We just got back from Macau and it’s midnight. Macau is supposed to be a replica of Vegas, but it’s not really the same. Vegas looks a lot nicer and it has a different vibe, but apparently Macau brings in much more revenue.
Our day started out with the alarm going off at 5:45 because we agreed to meet my brother-in-law and his wife at 6:45 in the lobby in order to have breakfast and meet their parents to catch the ferry to Macau. We took the Island Line over to Sheung Wan station, where the boys had McDonald’s for breakfast, and I had a sticky rice dumpling with assorted meats. One of the assorted meats was a chicken wing, bone and all! It was good. Hubby’s parents and relatives met up with us just as we were about to sit down and eat. After breakfast, we walked over to the ferry terminal, which was connected to Sheung Wan station. Hubby’s uncle was kind enough to pre-purchase the tickets a few days earlier, to avoid the massive line-up. We whizzed through and caught the 8 a.m. hydrofoil in time. I was told that this was a big boat, so motion sickness wasn’t going to be an issue. That statement is only partially true. Had we been laggards and jumped on at the very last minute, we probably could have avoided the strong rocking motion as the boat was docked. The Hong Kong harbour was pretty choppy and I immediately felt my stomach churning. Lucky for those beside me (hubby and my sister-in-law), I didn’t puke up my rice dumpling. Once we were out of the harbour, the ride was admittedly pretty smooth. The ride is an hour long. The Macau harbour is much more calm, and it was good to get my feet on dry land. Our tour guide met with us and ushered us to our private bus. She took us around the island, which she emphasized was very small (population of 500,000). I had troubles understanding much of what she said as I discovered that I tend to translate literally, since I can’t understand the context (for Chinese speakers, an example would be the translation for Horse Head – that actually meant ‘terminal’ or Red Cat means panda). Mondays are apparently quiet on the island as it’s a day of rest, but we did manage to visit some museums and historical landmarks, as well as see the casinos. Most of the places we visited were quiet, with very few people walking around. Turns out, everyone is in the casinos gambling, and I learned that most of the gamblers are very rich people from mainland China. We had lunch at a Portuguese restaurant, but we came to our own conclusion that it was not authentic. We tried a Portuguese egg tart at Margaret’s Cafe (owned by a friend of hubby’s aunt, and is very popular) and it was yummy. It’s definitely more greasy than the typical Chinese egg tart, but there’s more egg custard, which is my favourite part.
Our ferry return tickets were for the 10:30 ferry, but we got there early, in hopes of catching the earlier one (comes every 15 minutes. We were at the terminal by 8:45). It was chaos, and even though we stood in several different lines, getting on stand-by was not working out for us, so we ended up on the 10:30. When you’re tired, that ride seems a lot longer than an hour. I managed to snooze for a bit which gave me my second wind. After disembarking, we had to go back through immigration to get back into HK. Of course, my passport was flagged and I was taken away into a holding area while the immigration officers did what they needed to do. In the end, I was released without explanation. This isn’t my first experience with HK immigration. Five years ago when we were coming back from China (Lo Wu) into HK, I was flagged and they took my passport for examination, and then I was admitted in. Maybe I have the same name as a felon. I never have problems leaving HK. They just don’t seem to want to let me in.