As I mentioned in, my first reason to visit Hong Kong on my 28th birthday was because I wanted to visit Macau. The only place that I really wanted to go was the ruins of St. Paul, because I saw a lot of my friends visiting Macau and taking a picture in front of the remains of the cathedral and despite the fact I’ve been to the similar building in Melaka, I just wanted to go there.
For this Hong Kong trip, I spoke to some people through Couchsurfing and despite there were some other travelers that I spoke to on the website, I only managed to meet another solo female traveler from Singapore called Fiza. After trying to fix our Hongkong-Macau itinerary here and there, we agree to travel together in Macau.
At first, we made an appointment to meet each other at the pier at 8 AM sharp. But then being a clumsy traveler as I am, for some reason I arrived at the wrong pier. Silly me.
My first mistake was that when Fiza told me that she would leave from Kowloon, I thought it was the one around Tsim Sha Tsui. Turned out, it is not. As a result, I had to take a ferry from Tsim Sha Tsui to Hong Kong Central Pier in order to get a ferry to Macau.
Because of this misunderstanding, we agreed to meet up straight in Venetian Macau as she left by ferry at 8.15 from Kowloon to Macau. And since I had to take a longer journey to get to Hong Kong Central Pier, fortunately I could manage to get the ferry to Macau from Hong Kong Central Pier at 8.30.
Hongkong to Macau by Ferry
I got the TurboJet ferry from Central Pier to Macau for HKD 153, and since I purchased the ticket in the last minute, I got the seat on the aft deck while the ferry itself was full booked. The journey took around an hour as we caught ourselves in-between storm when we were on the ferry.
Thank goodness, the weather was rather fine when we reached Hong Kong. A little way colder than in Hong Kong, but the silver lining was it wasn’t raining.
Due to lack of research (lol), by the time I arrived at Macau pier, I went to money exchange in order to get MOP. I just found out the fact that we could actually use HKD in Macao by the time I met Fiza. :p
I took the shuttle bus from the pier to Venetian Macao, and although we thought that we would have a hard time to connect with each other since both of us didn’t have a mobile data when in Macau, as it turned out wifi connection was all over the city!
Seriously though, they provide a rather good wifi connection on the bus as well as in the mall. That helped me and Fiza to stay connecting with each other, and since we agreed to meet in Venetian Macao so off I went there alone.
When I arrived in Venetian Macao, the first thing I knew was that I didn’t think I could afford anything but food over there. Pretty much the same feeling as when.
In my opinion, Villaggio Mall is slightly better than Venetian Macao although maybe it’s a plus for Macao to have Parisien Macao as well.
Fiza and I ended up meeting each other at Parisien Macao after we both had breakfast at McDonald’s, in a separate time for a totally different reason!
I chose McDonald’s because I was really hungry by the time I arrived at Venetian Macao and McDonald’s was the first restaurant I found there.
As for Fiza, Fiza managed to stroll around Venetian Macao a little longer and she went to the food court as well before going to McDonald’s only to find out that foods in Macao are expensive, and the only affordable food that we could get with our budget was McDonald’s. Needless to say, when in doubt, always choose McDonald’s! 🙂
The Ruins of St. Paul
We finally met each other at Parisien around the fountain and we continued our journey to the mall around there. Fiza also went to Hard Rock Cafe as she’s been collecting Hard Rock pins from places she’s traveled to for herself. And after that, finally the ruins of St. Paul!
In order to get there, we took another shuttle bus from the mall to Grand Lisboa. From Grand Lisboa, we relied on the everlasting wifi connection with the map on our phone to get to the ruins of St. Paul. Although to be fair, we got lost for a bit so we also had to ask people around.
But then long story short, we managed to get there!
Just like the typical tourist attractions, the ruins of St. Paul was so crowded with people that it was difficult to find a spot to take a picture without anyone around. Very touristy. What amused me is that I saw a lot of Korean girls with hot pants, now I’m really curious how cold the weather in Korea is that they could actually wear hot pants as I thought it was freaking cold when I was in Macau!
From the ruins of St. Paul, we went to the post office as Fiza wanted to send a postcard for herself. It actually inspired me to do the same in my next travel, so next time I travel abroad, I will send myself a postcard as a surprise for myself! 😀
We also managed to visit some other sites like the old municipal office at Macao, while Fiza also went for a bit of shopping to buy some shirt for her boyfriend back home. However, since Fiza already bought the ferry ticket back to Hong Kong, she had to leave early so we bid farewell at Grand Lisboa while I continued my journey to go to Macao Tower.
I met a Filipino woman on the bus and randomly had a chat with her. She was a woman in her 50s and she asked me whether I was Filipina or Indonesian. When I told her I was Indonesian, she started telling me a story about her Indonesian friend called Murni. This Murni woman married a Frenchman, but she was one of the nicest women she met here in Macau.
This Filipino woman called Ruth herself married a local Macau, and she has lived in Macau for more than 30 years.
I think the best thing about traveling is a short period I got to talk to strangers talking like that. It’s always great to know a piece of the story from some total stranger. It’s a privilege to know a part of their journey throughout life. Whether it is about people or their life problem.
Back to Macao Tower, so when I reached there, I found out that the ticket to get to the peak of tower was expensive and it indeed exceeded my budget. So I decided to not go there. I know it’s now or never, but then when it comes to money, so yeah… I didn’t go.
Good thing is that there are some painting galleries around that I could see around.
It didn’t take long for me to see the painting and everything, but I think it was great. I could totally skip Macao Tower in my case, but then at least I’ve seen some other part as I had to commute from Grand Lisboa to Macao Tower and there wasn’t wifi available on the public bus. :p
Needless to say, one day in Macau is enough to enjoy everything at a glance. Despite the fact that the city is so touristy, but it’s worth the visit indeed.
Am I planning to go back? I don’t know, maybe?! I mean, who knows if next time I have enough money to gamble there and whatnot? Never say never, right?
After Macao Tower, I got back to Grand Lisboa to catch the shuttle bus to the pier. The ticket to Hong Kong cost a bit higher as I had to pay MOP 160, but who cares? I had some fun!