China, Part 9

Email diary:

March 20, 2008: Macau

Hey Everyone:

So today we ventured from Hong Kong to Macau, which is a former colony of Portugal, but like Hong Kong, was recently transferred back to China. Although both cities are part of China, they each still retain their own governments. It was about an hour away by ferry. Let’s just say Macau is a strange place. It’s basically equal concentrated parts of Las Vegas, Europe, and China. I’m not kidding- the harbour where we docked was like Vegas, or so d2 tells me- there is an area called Fisherman’s Wharf which has a huge volcano, a Chinese temple, and a whole strip that has buildings characteristic of different cities- Miami, New Orleans, and cities in Europe, etc. Then there’s a large area of new casinos- some being built, some already open. They are on the waterfront amongst old apartment buildings that will surely be demo’d in the coming years. I’ve attached a picture of the Lisboa Hotel that is near the casino strip. From here we ventured on to the oldest part of the city- I’ve attached a couple of pictures of a central square and a quaint little street there. It got insanely busy with people in the afternoon and the big sellers are almond cookies- they smell sooooooo good in the street- and meat jerky. We opted for a Portuguese tart and bubble tea instead. It is very odd to see signage in Chinese, Portuguese and English! Next were the ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral- see the last picture. The cathedral was built in the early 1600s and all of it was destroyed in a fire except for the front facade and some of the foundation. Beside these ruins there is also a fort up on a hill that we went to scope out. There were good views of the whole city from this point and not that many people, which was also a bonus. Then we walked back to the ferry and had a nice nap on the way back to prime us up for a tasty Korean dinner. Then a little walk near our hotel, and now it’s time to pack it in for another day. Tomorrow’s our last day here- what a nice, long vacation.

I hope you are all having a good day. Lots of love,
dpr

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