Making it Macau

I was utterly exhausted with the past weeks’ school activities by the time I boarded my Cebu Pacific flight for Macau along with a co-professor. We were attending the Asia Pacific Symposium on Music Education Research (APSMER) at the Macau Polytechnic Institute next week and were arriving a few days earlier for a much deserved R&R. This is only my second trip to this tiny Cantonese island and I was quite looking forward to it. The first one was more than thirty years ago with the family when I was still in elementary. It was a day trip from Hong Kong and the sea was quite rough which meant I spent the entire trip in the van, disembarking only at the Ruins of St. Paul and at Dr. Sun Yat Sen’s house. I had a really terrible time as I felt like puking all over the place.

Arriving in Macau is indeed, like being here the first time. I gazed in awe at the skyline as our taxi made its way across the bridge to the other side, away from the glitzy casinos. Our little hotel is in a quiet street just a few minutes walk to Senado Square which meant it is near everything but still far enough from the tourist crowds.

It was past 11 by the time we checked-in and the only dining place open was the Thai restaurant just a few feet away. It was khao kluk krapi (shrimp paste fried rice) rather than yang chow for the night. The servings were generous and the food tasted Thai enough.

We went to Taipa this morning for an old Macau feel, if it is at all possible with the massive tourist development and crowds of Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese on school break.

Walking around, I realized how much nicer Macau really is to Hong Kong with its narrow streets, alleyways, and shop houses.

The village of Taipei was particularly nice with its cobbled alleys.

After having just been to Portugal last April, the more I appreciated Macau’s architectural heritage.

The weather is really sticky though leaving me sweating and exhausted.

Revisited the Ruins of St. Paul but was put-off by the massive crowds.

It felt good though to be revisiting a place I had seen in childhood.

Went to Senado Square in the evening with its mosaic floors reminiscent of that of Praca de Commercio in Lisbon but the crowds and the humidity was just too much.

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