Macau Work Trip: Easter Weekend 2011

I was given the opportunity to travel to Macau for work last Wednesday, and since my sister stays in Macau with my brother-in-law, I extended my stay there and made full use of the Good Friday public holiday to spend time in Macau!

It was never one of my must-go destinations, but surprisingly, I enjoyed myself quite a bit with the city! Compared to HK, it is much quieter and less crowded. It is a very small city with a unique Portugese heritage; yet home to some of the most impressive casinos in Asia. I love the juxtaposition.

My work landed me a night's stay at the Wynn hotel. After the tiring experience of taking Tiger Airways from the budget terminal on Wednesday afternoon, having to carry my luggage up the flight of unsheltered stairs to the plane door in the rain, I must say the hotel was very very welcome.

It was super luxurious, and I love the decor of the place. Everything also felt brand new. I must rave about my bed, it felt like sleeping on clouds. My lifelong mission is to find the exact same type of bedding!

It also had an automated minibar that detects if things were consumed via motion sensor, so I was advised not to lift the food up for more than 15 seconds. The toilet was huge!

Since we arrived at 5, we could only wash up, and go for dinner after that with my sister. We had an authentic portugese meal of fried rice with roasted piglet, and fried codfish balls as appetiser, as well as some veggies. Very delicious and local. Then we walked around the hotels, and had dessert at the italian restaurant at the Wynn as complimentary of the room. There is also a musical fountain in front of the hotel, very Bellagio.

Every hotel is blinged out to the max. It is very opulent, very rich, very casino! If you think our Resorts World and Marina Bay Sands are impressive, you have not seen the Macau ones.

Here's a bling light from the Grand Lisboa, the one opened by the grandaddy of casinos in Macau. His hotels are inspired by old chinese decor.

After my work ended on Thursday noon, it's time to head off for a mini holiday!

We started with an authentic pork cutlet bun with milk tea and a polo bun. It is a local delicacy here. Yummy. They also have an obsession with pork, I realized. Most of their food includes that meat.

Then having our bellies filled with a light lunch, it's off to sightsee! Joel my colleague had to leave that evening, so we try to see all the touristy things in that few hours.

I like the Portuguese-inspired architecture. Macau also has no english -- signs are in Portuguese or mandarin!

Of course, we visited the famous St. Paul's Church. Or the facade of it. Pretty cool structure.

We then went to Macau's biggest church (many brides taking photos), and a lighthouse. This was one of the high views from the lighthouse. There's plenty of high-rise condos in the distance, while the city centre is still filled with very old houses. Geographically speaking that's quite typical.

We then went to Coluane, the old town of Macau!

Here we tried the best Portugese egg tarts that one can have at Lord Stow's Bakery. That is a must-do in Macau, so we did it.

It was so creamy, smooth and the pastry flaky and fragrant. Yummy.

Next, some preserved Portugese houses from the settlement. They are painted in pastel greens and pinks (government housing). This was along a marsh that overlooks the river, which was nice.

That evening, we had food near the Square, from a charming french restaurant helmed by a Japanese cook. The food was really scrumptious! Then it is back home to zzz after a long day.

The next day was Good Friday, so we slept in a little, and then made our way to CHINA!

It was to Zhu Hai, which is just right next to Macau. We drove to the customs, took about an hour to clear it, and walked to the mall just right outside the customs. It is a really huge underground mall that has shops branching out from the main square you see here in all directions. It was so huge that we didn't even venture out, nor saw sunlight for most of the day that we were inside.

I did a gel manicure and normal pedicure there for SGD 40 at one of the numerous beauty saloons there. That is really cheap considering its a full pedicure, and gel nails in SG costs about at least $50. Without bling! It is very bling, and I like it :P

Also bought a lot of iPhone stuff like battery charger, covers and more covers. Things are really really cheap in Zhu Hai. Seriously, if you pay more than SGD$4 for a iPhone cover you are ripped off. Can you imagine the profit margin of local retailers here selling them for 29.90??

Went back to Macau at about 6 plus, and we went for dinner at the MGM. Along the way the lights were plenty. It's really cool, all the casino lights.

We had handmade noodles at the Grand Lisboa, which was nice. But the service is really horrendous, they got our order wrong, but apparently this is very common there...

This toilet inside reminds me of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. But blinged out.

Then it is back home to Peanut that sits comfortably on my bed. Oei! Haha Peanut ball is so cute.

We went out again at midnight to go to a club. Or should I say, THE club of Macau, because there is apparently only 1 megaclub there called Cubic located at the Hard Rock Hotel that opened in April. It's the club of the town.

Pretty impressed with it as well, it is comparable or even better than our clubs because the owner really went all out to do up the decor and make sure everything has standard.

We had free entry because my brother-in-law knows someone. That's good.

Something interesting too about the culture. I saw giant sparklers attached to champagne bottles there. Later my bro-in-law told me that's because champagne in the club is actually a 'premium' item. It costs about 200 SGD for a bottle, which is grossly over its retail price, because of the status attached to it. To afford the champagne means you are rich, and it is a way to show off. The sparklers is the way to do that, and that's also how the girls know which table to go to ;)

And boy were there plenty of sparklers all around.

After the party we went for supper at 3am. This is a particularly interesting dish -- glutinous rice and chee cheong fun with sesame paste and dark sauce, with a side of chili and mustard. That's about 4 different colours on top of 2 different 'bases'. It is VERY yummy and perfect for a supper food.

The next morning, I had the traditional HK-style breakfast at a nearby diner. It was nice, milk tea with spam and egg sandwich, and macaroni soup with smoked duck breast and sausage.

Then I had Share Tea after lunch! They have Come Buy, Share Tea and Gong Cha in Macau so of course I had to try. It is quite nice, but they are all about the same, after a while.

After lunch it was home to chill out, and then to the airport for my flight :(

I had really bad food on the flight that cost me 10 bucks. And the budget terminal really looks like a bus interchange. But I am home!

And thus concludes my Macau getaway. Awesome.
1 comment
  1. Isn't fried rice with roasted piglet Macanese, not Portuguese?