20.01.2008 - 20.01.2008 21 °C
We set off for the Star Ferry again around 11ish for the boat to Macau from the other side. Just managed to catch the 12pm sailing to Macau; it was a bit of a rush as you need to go through passport control before you board the boat. It's a high-speed boat and takes around an hour to reach Macau.
Macau was handed over to the Chinese by the Portuguese in 1999 and the post- handover government has spent a lot of money improving the infrastructure and tourist facilities. There are serveral large casinos here and glitzy hotels to match, but it has much more to offer. There are loads of interesting colonial buildings and history so it's well worth spending a day or two here. After clearing immigration we got the bus from outside the terminal to the main square, where we started a walking tour recommended by our guidebook (always a good way of taking in the main sights!).
The walking tour started in the Largo de Senado (Square of the Senate), in the heart of Macau.The square is bustling and is surrounded by some lovely colonial buildings.
Most of the streets still have Portuguese names such as Rua de Sao Domingos and Rua de Sau Paulo.
It was an interesting walk, the highlight being the facade of the ruins of hte Church of St Paul. This is a Jesuit Church built in the early 17th Century and the facade is really impressive. Some consider the ruins to be the greatest monument to Christianity in Asia.
Along the way we tried a custard tart which are quite popular here as well as HK, and stopped for a gorgeous fresh fruit juice.
We had a lunch at a sushi bar and then carried on with the tour, seeing the lovely A- Ma temple, some nice churches and a pretty sqaure called Largo do Lilau where a cluster of old women had gathered to chat.
We got a taxi back to the ferry terminal and had a 45 minute wait for the next available one (ferries are often full in spite of several running each hour, virtually 24 hours a day) so got back to HK around 8ish. We ate in the same restaurant as last night seeing as it was so nice, and then went by the harbour to get our photo taken. There are a line of people with tripods who will take photos and sell them for various prices depending on the size. We bought two and then headed back to the hostel.