First off, I’m sorry for my lag between posts. I’d like to believe that there’s still the continuity with my posts, despite being held back a day or two. So where were we?
Ah, yes. The Best Part.
I woke up shivering. The AC was turned up to the highest point, and I think it rained a bit during the night. So the window was foggy and covered with dew from the outside. But that only fazed me for a minute, because I know today would be a great day.
We decided that for today, we’ll go visit another Chinese territory: Macau/Macao. I was psyched because my mom told me it’ll be like travelling from Singapore to Malaysia – we have to go through the process of long lines at the immigration counter, since apparently Macau and Hong Kong are two special administrative states which are autonomous-ish. Go figure.
Since we were billeted in a hotel that had a view that was basically city on one side and water on the other, it was natural for the harbor to be located a block away from where we were staying. We just had to walk to…..of all places, a mall, which housed/had the pier for the ferries that leave for Macau. I don’t really have anything to say about the ferry except for the tiny detail of me feeling sea sick. Do not take the First Ferry, take the Cotai Jet if you’re high maintenance (haha), and stay calm while you’re dealing with ticket operators which don’t really have patience for people who can’t speak Mandarin. They can go semi-ballistic so keep your poker face ready.
We arrived at Macau, extremely hungry. It was around 2pm and we still didn’t get a proper meal for the day. So our tour guide (Yes, it was necessary to get a tour guide in Macau, and no, we didn’t have a tour guide when we were in HK) took us to a hotel (I think it was called Mocha) which had a food court in one of its floors. Apparently hotels are the lifeblood of Macau – there are exhibits, casinos, stores and food courts all rolled into a building.
And what could be better to quell my hunger than to have a bowl of rice, topped with what I have been waiting to devour since I got to Hong Kong: Peking Duck.
That was a meal to remember. It was amazing. Basically Peking Duck is roasted duck, hung out to dry, marinated with flavors I have yet to comprehend (please, somebody help me!).
The skin, was juicy, slightly crispy and fatty and had this intense flavor to it that came from the flavorings used. As for the meat, well, ironically it didn’t taste like chicken. It had an earthy flavor to it, it was succulent, very meaty without a lot of fat.
And I realized what it reminded me of – lechon meat. No, not the fatty meat, but the lean meat without a lot of fat. It wasn’t tough at all. It had this slightly chewy yet soft texture to it. I heard that overcooked duck meat is leathery, so I was glad it was not that all. And they serve it with a side of Bok Choy (not in picture), which was a nice addition as well.
Forgive me for just posting the rest of the pictures of what my mom and ninang ate. Nothing could top the epiphany my mouth just had.
Next stop – The Ruins of St. Paul’s cathedral. Getting there was nice because we had to pass through a slightly narrow street jam-packed with people. The buildings were an eclectic mix of Spanish and Chinese, from run-down to modern.
The cobbled streets really made me feel that even if nothing escapes time, there are just some things that will never go out of style. And it was lined with stores selling everything from food, souvenirs to clothing. It was lovely chaos.
Despite the fact that I’ve just been to one of Macau’s most iconic landmarks…there was one icon that I was more excited about:
Go figure. I just had Peking Duck, I was on a roll.
Now, let it be known to the world, that Hong Kong Disneyland’s egg tarts could never hold a candle to what I just ate. It was….just so good.
The egg custard filling was soft and velvet-y with just the right amount of sweetness. And like HK Disneyland’s egg tart crust, Macau’s was puffy, crumbly and had this melt in your mouth deliciousness.
Now it was time to go “hotel-hopping”. I mentioned awhile ago that hotels were the go-to places when tourists visit Macau. I like that idea of swanky snooty hotels being built to offer attractions and free admission for people who just want to look around.
One of the hotels, I’m not sure if it was the Wynn or The Grand Lisboa, had the Dragon of Fortune show. There’s basically a large circular area with a big dome in the center. When it’s time, the dome opens, smoke billows and out comes a larger than life mechanical dragon.
And the ceiling, which we thought was just for posterity, opened to reveal a digital fire show.
Our tour guide said we didn’t arrive in time for the better show: the Tree of Prosperity which was according to him, more beautiful than a larger than life scary dragon.
At the end of the day, the highlight of the trip, aside from the Egg Tarts, was most definitely…..the Venetian Macau.
And this is where I scream “cliff hanger!!!”
There’s too much for me to talk about that I didn’t have it in me to cram all of it into one post. So…
(please don’t hit me)
To be continued.