A Travellerspoint blog

January 2012

Lemuer Gulliver, His Oriental Beauty & Mini China

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

So Lemuer Gulliver and his oriental beauty once again found themselves washed upon the shores of the mystical Land of 'Beers N Noodles'. Sadly last Friday (27th January) Lisa Jane and I took a Shenzhen bound ferry and waved our sad goodbyes to beautiful Macau and the most extreme thing they have done over the past week has been to head down to the Lilliput (Buxian Village – Shenzhen) supermarket to restock the cupboards.

Today I decided to actually brave the cold and head out for the day but by the time I woke I found that I had fallen back to sleep and warmly slept most of the day away.

I then decided to rise and take an adventure on the subway and see where I ended up and after checking my map, I decided on the Splendid China and China Folk Culture Village Theme Parks. By the time I arrived the latter was shutting down for the very late afternoon/evening, so after chatting to one of the Gate Girls I was allowed to head in free of charge, only if I ‘promised’ that I would return to visit the Village/Cultural Park within the next few days.

She was tall, slim and dressed in a tight figure hugging Chinese Silk Dress. Yeah right, like I could say no!

<u>SPLENDID CHINA</u>

The park contains over a hundred miniature replicas of China’s most famous attractions, including the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta warriors, Guilin, the Kunming Stone Forest, Potala Palace, etc which is perfect if you're strapped for time and/or money and want to quickly experience &#8216;China’ in a single afternoon. With a total area measuring over thirty hectares, it is the largest miniature park in the world that besides scenic wonders also offers China's history, art and ancient architecture all of which are surrounded by beautiful gardens and leafy green trees along with over fifty thousand ceramic figures.

<u>WAS IT WORTH THE EFFORT & NO MONEY?</u>

For those like me who are fans of the Jonathon Swift novel &#8216;Gulliver’s Travel’s’, after purchasing a ticket allow yourself to simply become Lemuel Gulliver, but instead of being shipwrecked and washed ashore upon Lilliput Island, maybe the prior evening get hammered at a bar or night club, then find yourself washed up on the shores of the mystical and oriental Land of &#8216;Beers N Noodles’ and for the next several hours you can stomp your way around most of China found throughout its history.

Having visited most of the originals over the past seven years I actually found the miniatures to be almost identical to their forefathers. For those who are only visiting China for a short time and find themselves in or near Shenzhen city, then this park is more than worth a visit as most of what is to found is so much like its original, though much smaller of course! Throughout the day the park also hosts several live shows depicting various events in Chinese History such as a horse riding show depicting a battle led by Genghis Khan.

From what I can gather though, many are only performed on weekends. The evening performance is well worth staying for.

<u>So Where Can Lemuel Gulliver Find Himself?</u>

For those that want a bit of Royal Stuff: &#8216;A Voyage to Brobdingnag’

The Forbidden City (now who doesn’t want to tower over The Imperial Palace?) is the largest and best preserved ancient architectural complex in China. In Splendid China, the miniature encompasses the gorgeous spectacle of Emperor Guangxu's (1875 - 1908) marriage. The Forbidden City has been ornately and beautifully replicated and as with the original the dominant color is yellow, the symbol of the royal family.

The Old Summer Palace, also called Yuan Ming Yuan, was a cultural treasure house of luxurious jewelry, priceless paintings, calligraphy works and rare antiques in the past. But the real Old Summer Palace was reduced into a ruin by the Allied British and French Armies in 1860 and again by the Eight-Powers Allied Army in 1900. The miniature of The Old Summer Palace shows a recreation of the complete and original royal garden. It has been made according to a full and authoritative plan that was found by accident in the Forbidden City in 1990.

For those that want a bit of stone throwing: A Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, Glubbdubdrib and Luggnagg

The Great Wall, with a total length of nearing seven thousand kilometers is the world's longest protective wall. It was built in the Qin Dynasty (221 to 206) and repaired throughout the Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644). Here Lemuel can find himself towering over three miniaturised sections of the wall made of scree/talus, white stone and small green bricks which were especially made in Beijing for the project.

For Those That Want a Bit of Horsey: A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms

The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses (ranked as the eighth wonder of the world) are located at Xian City, Shaanxi Province. After the first emperor of China in the Qin Dynasty (A.D.221-206) ascended the throne he ordered more than seven hundred thousand workmen to build him a grand mausoleum and here the terracotta figures have been faithfully reproduced and arranged like the originals.

<u>For Those Wanting More of Gullivers Epic Tales</u>

For all the Lemuel Gulliver’s who want to insert another few coins and take the adventure further, then along with more miniatures of places of historical interest, such as the Ancient Observatory of Beijing, the Mogao Caves of Dunhuang, Tibet's Potala Palace etc, Splendid China also offers many modern day Lemuel Gulliver natural sites. Found in Anhui Province Huangshan is known throughout the world for its rare pines and bizarre rocks along with its sea of clouds and in the replica of the Li River, Lemuel will find his knees surrounded by a pleasant water and mountain garden which gives a small, yet picturesque view of the seemingly relaxed and contented lifestyle along the real Li River in Guangxi Province.

Turn the page and the adventure continues! Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by &#8216;Monster Magnet!’ The album was &#8216;God Says No’ ____________________________________________________________

Splendid China Adventure

Splendid China Adventure


Splendid China Adventure

Splendid China Adventure


Splendid China Adventure

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Splendid China Adventure

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Splendid China Adventure

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Splendid China Adventure

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Splendid China Adventure

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Splendid China Adventure

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Splendid China Adventure

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Splendid China Adventure

Splendid China Adventure


Splendid China Adventure

Splendid China Adventure


Splendid China Adventure

Splendid China Adventure

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

A-Ma Temple & Barra Hill History Adventure

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

So comes, Lisa Jane’s and my last day in Macau. Sadly it is also our last day with my iSister and amazing Kungfu Ken.

Unlike many of my previous seven years 'Summer & Winter Beers N Noodles Adventures’ where I have usually travelled alone throughout different rural parts of China, this time I got to actually got to meet someone that has become a close friend and that I welcomed into my life as my iSister. Both Kungfu Ken and CristinaW put aside their Chinese New Year to spend time with us and show us &#8216;their’ Macau and believe me, those who come here for a single day from Hong Kong are missing out on one of THE most beautiful parts of China that I have ever travelled.

Macau my friends is not for a fleeting visit. It is so much more than worthy of an entire weeks relaxing visit.

Like I said, Macau is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been too and for what both Kungfu Ken and CristinaW have done, there is no words that can express our heartfelt thanks for their time and friendship. I’ve never really sat back and thought about where I’d like to live when I am old, retired and more silly than I am now as I naturally always thought it would be Australia, but after my visit to Macau I am putting it as my first destination to kick back and relax with either a worldly brew or a steaming hot pot of tea.

Macau my friends, has captured both my heart and soul!

Over history Macau has been an important gateway through which western civilization entered China; for hundreds of years this piece of land has nurtured a symbiosis of cultural exchange, shaping the unique identity of Macau. The historic centre of Macau is living testimony to the assimilation and continued co-existence of eastern and western cultures over a unique chapter in history. It stands witness to successful East-West cultural pluralism, reflecting china’s persistent openness to the influx of western cultural concepts throughout that historic timeframe. It is the fruit of mutual respect and tolerance between different cultures and civilizations. Its value lies not only in the completeness of the architectural and urban infrastructures, but also in the fact that these have retained their original function and spirit to the present day.

The historic centre of Macau is the product of over four hundred years of cultural exchange between the western world and the Chinese civilization. The architectural heritage, predominantly European in nature, stands in the midst of traditional Chinese architecture in the historic settlement providing contrast. It is the oldest, the most compete and consolidated array of European architectural legacy standing intact in Chinese territory.

The settlement by Portuguese navigators, in the mid 16th century laid the basis for nearly five centuries of uninterrupted contact between East and the West. The origins of Macau’s development into an international trading port make it the single most consistent example of cultural interchange between Europe and Asia. For almost three centuries, until the colonization of Hong Kong in 1842, Macau’s strategic location at the mouth of the Pearl River meant that it retained a unique position in the South China Sea, serving as the hub in a complex network of maritime trade that brought tremendous wealth and a constant flow of people in to the enclave.

People of different nationalities came, bringing their own cultural traditions and professions, permeating the life of the city as can be seen in both intangible and tangible influences.

During the late Ming and early Qing Dynasties, missionaries from different European religious orders such as the Jesuits, the Dominicans, the Augustinians and the Franciscans entered China through Macau, engaging in missionary work and bringing with them a certain cultural influence. They introduced western concepts of social welfare and founded the first western style hospitals, dispensaries, orphanages and charitable organizations. They brought in the first movable type printing press to be used on Chinese soil and published the first paper in a foreign language. As Macao was the base for the Jesuit Mission in China and other parts of East Asia, Jesuit priests entering into China service would always come first to Macau where, at St Paul’s College they would be trained in the Chinese language together with other areas of Chinese knowledge, including philosophy and comparative religion. Other later achievements of Christian missionaries in Macau include the production of the first English-Chinese Dictionary and the first Chinese translation of the bible.

The worship of A-Ma originated with the folk beliefs of fishermen living along the coast of South China. Due to Macau’s special position in channeling cultural exchange between East and West, A-Ma Temple has played a prominent role as the earliest reference to A-Ma worship.

The name Macau is derived from the name of the goddess A-Ma, also known as Tin Hau.

<u>The A-Ma Temple</u>

At the southwestern tip of Macau Peninsula stands the A-Ma Temple; many people believe that when the Protugese first arrived on this spot and asked the name of the place, they were told &#8216;A-Ma Gau’ (Bay of A-Ma). According to legend, A-Ma, a poor girl looking for passage to Canton was turned away by wealthy junk owners. Instead a poor fisherman took her on board. Shortly after a storm blew up, wrecking all the junks but leaving the fishing boat unscathed. When it returned to the Inner Harbour, A-Ma walked to the top of the nearby Barra Hill and, in glowing aura of light, ascended to heaven. In her honour, the fisherman built a temple on the spot where they landed.

In modern Cantonese, Macau is Ou Mun, meaning &#8216;gateway to the bay’.

The A-Ma temple already existed before the city of Macau came into being. It consists of the Gate Pavilion, the Memorial Arch, the Prayer Hall, the Hall of Benevolence, the Hall of Guanyin, and Zhengjiao Chanlin (a Buddhist pavilion). The variety of pavilions dedicated to the worship of different deities in a single complex make A-Ma temple an exemplary representation of Chinese culture inspired by Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and multiple folk beliefs.

<u>Moorish Barracks</u>

Macau was just a link in the chain that was the Portuguese Empire, stretching from Goa, to Malacca to Macau. In the late 1800’s the Portuguese dispatched a garrison of Indian police to the territory, housing them in a specially designed, Moorish inspired barracks. The building moulds together Portuguese, Indian and Moorish influences, the latter best seen in the horseshoe arches that hold the barracks wide verandahs and the turreted roof. The building is now home to the city’s Maritime Authorities and is off limits, but you are free to wander around the exterior.

<u>The Maritime Museum</u><u></u>

If the history of Macau is really connected to the sea, there is no better place for the Maritime Museum that the square of the Barra Pagoda, dedicated to the Taoist goddess A-Ma, the protector of fishermen and also believed to be the place where the Portuguese landed and what better place to locate the Maritime Museum which is also built in the shape of a sailing ship anchored in the waters of the Inner Harbour.

<u>Museum of the Holy House of Mercy of Macau</u>

The Holy House of Mercy Museum was opened in 2001, it comprises of an invaluable collection of Macau’s Catholic relics, some of them dating back to the 16th century, bearing testimony to the history of Western culture that was introduced to China through Macau. Here lie items connected to the history of the Holy House itself, with natural emphasis for the original manuscript of the Commitment of the Macau Holy House of Mercy handwritten and dated in 1662, believed to be the oldest in the Holy House of Mercy’s archives, and institution founded some years earlier, in 1569 by the Bishop of Macau. Other pieces of secular history include the skull of Belchior Carneiro and the cross he was buried with along with oil portrait dating from the 18th century and the bronze bell from the old Rafael Hospital.

<u>Chapel of Our Lady of Penha</u>

The first chapel was founded in 1622 by the crew and passengers of a ship which had narrowly escaped capture by the Dutch. The chapel served as a point of pilgrimage for sailors embarking on a hazardous voyage.

<u>Chapel of St James</u>

This tiny chapel rebuilt in 1740 in the Barra Fort on the top of the peninsula is now an architectural part of the Portuguese Inn, or Pousada which has been established on the foundations of the fort. It is a charming sanctuary with a statue of the saint and blue and white tiles depicting Our Lady of Fatima and the saintly Queen Isabel. St James is the military protector of Macau, and legend tells that he frequently goes on patrol around the city, and at times, his boots are found to be muddy. A soldier used to be given the duty of cleaning the boots of the statue.

<u>The Macau Museum</u>

Opened in 1998, the Macau Museum is located in the Mount Fortress built by the Jesuits in the early 17th century. For a long time, the fortress was the city’s principal military defense structure where public access was restricted. In 1965 the fortress was converted into the Meteorological Services and later opened to the public and offers a panoramic view of the city along with the ruins of St Paul’s. The Macau Museum is a historical and cultural museum with a vast number of objects of great historical value, which shows the way of life and culture of the various communities which have inhabited the city over the ages.

<u>St Lawrence’s</u>

Today the most fashionable church in Macau, St Lawrence’s was first built in the 1560’s, replaced by taipa in 1618 and reconstructed on stone in 1801. Further renovations took place throughout the 19th century. The church is an imposing structure, standing in a garden filled with palm trees. It can be approached from the rear or by way of a grand staircase and ornamental gate. Painted in cream and white, St Lawarence’s Church has twin towers, one of which was once an ecclesiastic prison and a fine Chinese tile roof. The interior is richly decorated and it has a magnificent wooden ceiling painted with white and gold beams, from which hang elegant chandeliers. The high alter contains a handsome figure of St Lawrence in gorgeous vestments.

<u>Dom Pedro V Theatre</u>

Unable to understand Cantonese, Macau’s Portuguese population spent years in the cultural wilderness, with only the local library and mass on a Sunday to keep them distracted. More lively entertainment arrived in 1860 via the Dom Pedro Theatre, which included a bar, restaurant and pool room along with its auditorium. Restored after years of disuse, the theatre has classic colonial arcades surrounding it and a grand, three arched entrance, all swathed in a somewhat sickly green pastel color, bordered by white trimming.

Built in 1860 as the first western style theatre in China, with a seating capacity of three hundred, it has survived as a highly significant cultural landmark in the context of the local Macanese community and remains a venue for important public events and celebrations.

<u>St Augustine’s Square</u>

St Augustine’s Square gathers various classified buildings, such as St Augustine’s Church, Dom Pedro V Theatre, St Joseph’s Seminary and Sir Robert Ho Tung Library. The cobblestone pavement unifies the area and reflects a traditionally Portuguese streetscape.

<u>Sir Robert Ho Tung Library</u>

This building was constructed before 1894 and was originally the residence of Dona Carolina Cunha. Hong Kong businessman Sir Robert Ho Tung purchased it in 1918, using it as his retreat. He passed away in 1955 and in accordance with his Will, the building was presented to the Macau government for conversion into a public library.

<u>St Joseph’s Siminary and Church</u>

This church was opened in 1758 as part of the Jesuit seminary of St Joseph. It was the principal base for the missionary work implemented in China, Japan and around the region. St Joseph’s Seminary taught an acadenmic curriculum equivalent to that of a university and in 1800 the Portuguese Queen Dona Maria I conferred on it the royal title of House of the Mission Congregation. Located on a hill, with twin brick roofed towers, it was a famous landmark that was often a subject for artists. It is laid out in cruciform shape, with a high domed ceiling.

<u>Mandarin’s House</u>

Built before 1869, this was the traditional Chinese residential compound home of prominent Chinese literary figure Zheng Guangying. It is a traditional Chinese compound consisting of several courtyard houses, displaying a mix of Chinese and Western detailing, such as grey bricks against arched ornamentations and Chinese timber lattice windows against mother of pearl window panels of Indian origin.

<u>Lilau Square</u><u> - Largo Do Lilau</u>

<u></u>Arguably Macau’s most quintessentially Portuguese square, Largo do Lilau may lack the grandeur of Largo do Senado but the cluster of low rise, almost cottage like houses that bank the square and streets surrounding it, decked in pastel tones and featuring wooden shutters, are an authentic slice of small town Portugal in the heart of Macau. It’s said that if you drink from the fountain at the heart of the square, you’re sure to return to Macau.

<u>Fisherman’s Wharf</u>

Set on the waterfront, next to the Hong Kong-Macau ferry, there is no doubting the ambition of this project which is split into a number of themed areas, recreating architecture from Old England, Rome, 18th century Portugal and others, the buildings may be a little unconvincing but along with the cobblestone streets and South China Sea they certainly make for an atmospheric setting.

Fisherman’s Wharf Macau was also originally intended to give Macau a dedicated nightlife and dining district and here the attraction is moderately more successful. If you don’t like Cantonese or Portuguese food, finding grub in Macau can be a challenge, so the selection of American, BBQ and International restaurants on the Wharf is a welcome addition. Most boast terraces and some have sea views, both of which can be hard to find in a city that shuns dining al-fresco.

<u>Macau’s Fusion Food</u>

While Macau is renowned for its Chinese cuisine (especially dim sum), most people come here to sample Portuguese and Macanese food. Browse a typical Macanese menu and you’ll find an enticing stew of influences from Chinese and Asian cuisines, as well as from those of former Portuguese colonies in Africa and India. Coconut, tamarind, chili, jiggery and shrimp paste can all feature. One of the most famous Macanese specialty’s is Galionha Africana (African Chicken), made with coconut, garlic and chilies. Apart from cod, there’s plenty of other fish and seafood, shrimp, crab, squid and white fish. Sole is a Macanese delicacy and the former Portuguese enclave of Goa contributes delicious spicy prawns.

Other Macanese favorites include casquinha (stuffed crab), porco balichao tamarind (pork cooked with tamarind and shrimp paste), minchi (minced beef or pork with potatoes, onions and spices), and baked rice dishes made with cod, prawns or crab. Macanese desserts include pudlim, which is basically cr&egrave;me caramel, and serradura, a calorie rich &#8216;sawdust’ pudding made with crushed biscuits, cream and condensed milk.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Melbourne's 'You Am I' The album was &#8216;Snake Tide' ____________________________________________________________

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure


A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

A-Ma Temple &#38;amp; Barra Hill History Adventure

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Cotai Stripping At The Vegas of The East

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

The islands of Taipa and Coloane are Macau’s traditional countryside, where beaches, ancestral Chinese villages and forested hills with nature trails and picnic areas can be found. Once considered remote from the city, when they were accessible only by small ferries, the islands have developed as integrated suburbs since being linked to the mainland by three bridges along with frequent buses to Taipa and Coloane from Macau’s downtown and ferry terminal areas.

<u>Taipa Island</u>

In the 18th and early 19th centuries Taipa consisted of two hilly islands and a protected harbor which provided an anchorage for clipper ships and Indiamen engaged in trade with China. Smaller vessels would transship cargoes of muslin, manufactured goods and opium up the Pearl River to Canton and return with tea, silk and porcelain for export around the world.

<u>Taipa Village</u>

Chinese shop houses, Portuguese style offices, small temples and a former firecracker factory share the narrow streets and alleyways of this bustling and colourful village. Hanging flower baskets and old fashioned street lamps make it an appealing place to stroll, and the numerous restaurants along the Rua da Cunha (known as Food Street) are popular destinations for Portuguese, Macanese, Chinese, or Italian Cuisine.

Vibrant and still 'local’ Taipa Village is a study in the old brushing shoulders with the new as the enchanting village is honeycombed with twisting, narrow lanes and dotted with little houses painted in every Mediterranean hue.

<u>The Taipa Houses Museum</u>

The &#8216;Taipa Houses Museum’ was built in 1921, and was once residences for high superiors and wealthy Macanese families. In the 1980’s the Macau government purchased them and in the 1990’s they were fully remodeled and transformed into museums.

&#8216;Macanese House’ is one of Macao’s typical houses in colonial style and shows a period of Portuguese splendor that was characterised by frequent affluence of the Portuguese, British, Mandarins and merchants in this tiny territory. The &#8216;House of Islands’ is an exhibition hall in the form of a single level detached house that through themed exhibitions with exhibits, photographs, videos, models and description reflecting the lifestyle, customs, traditions, culinary culture and religions of the Macanese, it provides a better understanding of the life of the ethnic groups residing along the esplanade.

<u>Coloane Island</u>

When Macau was the center of trade between China and the West, the island of Coloane, with its deserted coves, rugged cliffs, large sea caves, and densely forested hills, proved a convenient base for pirates who preyed on the rich cargoes. Today its sandy beaches, hiking trails, and other outdoor attractions make it a pleasurable retreat.

<u>Coloane Village</u>

The heart of Coloane Village is the central square where several restaurants and the popular Lord Stow’s Bakery can be found. The village itself stretches north to the junk-building yards and the old ferry pier, and south along the waterfront promenade to the Tam Kung Temple, dedicated to the Taoist god of Seafarers. Halfway along the waterfront is the Chapel of St Francis Xavier and its picturesque Portuguese style square, with busy cafes under shelter of the arcades.

<u>The Museum of Taipa & Coloane History</u>

With its twentieth century architectural style, this Neo-Classical building echoes the classical architectures of Rome, complete with pediment. Local people once called the building &#8216;Yamen’. The upper floor formerly accommodated the offices of top officials, meeting rooms and conference rooms.

<u>After the Sun Sets, It’s Time to Hit the Vegas of the East!</u>

After both seeing and tasting colonial Macau, it’s time to get a feel for modern Macau, and nothing says Macau these days more than Casinos. The city is experiencing an unprecedented boom in both casinos and tourists and has already overtaken Las Vegas in gambling revenue. Macau has long been a gambling resort, but it is only now discovering how to act like one. Before the boom years, grim faced mainlanders would smoke and spit at slot machines and gaming tables in tiny casinos and no one ever seemed to be having fun.

Where was the glamour?

Things started to change when casino mogul Stanley Ho’s monopoly ended in 2002 and Las Vegas operators set up shop in competition. With a billion odd frustrated gamblers on the door stop, it was jackpot time for every operator and the results have been astounding. The gargantuan Venetian, a direct copy of its Vegas cousin, complete with canals and gondolas, is just one example of Macau’s high rolling, high kicking future, with many more lavish developments to follow.

The Casino that started the boom is the Sands, although it's been eclipsed by bigger and brasher casinos, such as the City of Dreams and The Venetian (the biggest casino in the world), the Sands is the casino that originally brought Las Vegas glamour to the gritty Macau gambling scene. Even if you don’t want to take a punt on Lady Luck, the Sands is still worth taking a stroll around. With live bands, free drinks and a unique atmosphere, Macau’s new casinos will all follow the Sands model.

Macau’s total number of hotel rooms is forecast to grow from about twelve thousand in 2006 to more than fifty thousand in ten years time, with them will come huge entertainment venues designed to attract the world’s biggest music acts, along with the world’s biggest spenders!

<u>The Cotai Strip</u>

The Cotai Strip is Asia’s answer to Las Vegas.

Located on a strip of reclaimed land that connects Macau’s islands of Taipa and Coloane, the Cotai Strip is fast becoming Asia’s leading tourism destination. Inspired by the glitz and excitement of the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada, American developers are spicing up this gambling hotspot with luxury hotels, Las Vegas-style casinos, world-class entertainment and brand-name and designer shopping.

The main developer of the Cotai Strip, Las Vegas Sands, is planning seven resort hotels and casinos for the area, including the US two and a half billion Venetian Macao Resort Hotel, which opened in August, 2007. When complete, the Las Vegas Sands’ development will boast more than twenty thousand hotel rooms, more than three million square feet of retail space, anchored by the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian Macao shopping centre and more than two and a half million square feet of meeting and convention facilities.

Six Las Vegas-style showrooms and a large arena for sports and entertainment events are also in the works for the Cotai Strip Macau.

Beyond the fifteen billion Las Vegas Sands development plan, other foreign and local investors are jumping on the opportunity to become part of &#8216;Asia’s Las Vegas.’ With an estimated thirty American-style casino resorts and more than thirty thousand hotel rooms and vacation suites, most say the Cotai Strip will easily actually outshine the original Las Vegas Strip in money, visitors and lights!

<u>The Venetian</u>

This ersatz Doge’s Palace is the first of several massive recent constructions that will form the Vegas Strip-style Cotai Strip. It’s a vast hotel, conference, gambling and shopping city within a city, recreating many Venetian icons, right down to the canals complete with singing gondoliers. The Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel plays a crucial role in making Macao one of Asia's most exciting entertainment destinations and preeminent convention and exhibition venues.

And it is large enough to hold over NINETY Boeing 747 jumbo jets!

The Venetian Macao is home to the world’s biggest casino with six hundred thousand square feet of gambling space and well over one thousand one hundred tables along with seven thousand slot machines. More than three hundred and fifty stores can be found at the &#8216;Grand Canal Shoppes’ which is an unmatched premium retail experience set in elegant streetscapes reminiscent of Venice. Those ready to eat can choose from over thirty world-class restaurants, with award winning chefs from every major culinary tradition creating dishes with flair and imagination

<u>The City of Dreams/Crown Casino</u>

The City of Dreams Macau is a one of a new breed of mega, casino resorts in the city and with its round the clock entertainment, high end hotels and gourmet restaurants it aims to be a destination for tourists looking to relax as well as gamblers. If you’re looking for a Vegas style resort in Macau, the City of Dreams Macau is a little more stylish than the faux cobblestones and gondoliers of the Sands across the road. In addition to unrivalled dining and accommodation options, forty two thousand square feet of gaming floor also means there is more than enough action to keep you and your wallet happy.

It’s fair to say that the battle for Macau’s best casino currently boils down to The Venetian Macau V’s City of Dreams Macau.

Stuck in a sparing contest across the Cotai Strip, the Venetian is the world’s biggest casino and pretty much a carbon copy of its sister Venetian in Vegas. Its gondolas, canals and maze of shops delivered Macau’s first true Las Vegas style resort casino, moving away from the backrooms and black suits that once dominated the Macau casino scene. The City of Dreams Macau aims to be smarter, younger and hipper.

If Ocean’s 14 was set in Macau, this is where you’d find George Clooney sipping cocktails.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane

PS: once again Lisa Jane & I must thank CristinaW and Kungfu Ken for putting aside their personal and family agendas which of course includes the Chinese New Year to take the time to show us &#8216;their Macau’….totally awesome! ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Janes Addiction The album was &#8216;Nothings Shocking’ ____________________________________________________________

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Macau Adventure With iSis CristinaW & Kungfu Ken

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

I started my Travelpod many years ago and through it I have met so many fantastic people with whom I still communicate for travel and life information along with personal help and friendship. Sadly though, always living in such rural areas of China I never get a chance to actually meet the person whose fingers clickity clack the questions and answers on the keyboard housed in a distant land.

You have no idea how happy I am! Today I finally got to meet my Travelpod iSister!

Many years ago CristinaW and I linked Travelpods, began communicating through email, MSN & text and over the years became iBrothers & iSisters. If confusion arose, be it Eastern or Western then with just a quick message, an answer would be just a few seconds away and if either of us was in a special or interesting place we’d take a happy snap, send it through and ask, where are you (meaning, look where I am, can you beat it),

No need to say that she kicked my butt as over the last year, each day she has been taking a single shot of her daily life in Macau and posting it on her own website each evening which is the reason why I am sitting here today writing this blog. Macau was never a place that captured my imagination or travel need. There is no reason why, it just seemed so small and uninteresting, simply because I never took the time to research it or its history.

But Cristina’s '365 Days in the Life of Macau’ sent my head into a spin as each day arrived a new glimpse of a territory that I never thought to tread!

Both Lisa Jane (JiangNi) and I would also like to offer a huge heartfelt thanks from the bottom of our backpacks to both Cristina and her most knowledgeable and wonderful boyfriend, Kungfu Ken. They both put aside their personal agendas and for three wonderful days and nights made time for us over the Chinese New Year. They not only showed us &#8216;their’ Macau but they took the time to sit and explain the real Macau over Portuguese lunches and dinners along with sharing local Macanese Street snacks.

<u>Now To the Captivating Mix of Historic Chinese & Portuguese Macau!</u>

It is rather difficult to find in the whole world a place to tiny with such a rich cultural and historical past as Macau. It is indeed one of those places, which most have difficulty pointing to on the map. But once you have walked through its narrow streets and charming squares you start to realise what makes up the unique way of life enjoyed by its residents. Different beliefs, smells, costumes and habits parade in front of your eyes and it has been like this for centuries and is embodied by the two major communities (Chinese and Portuguese) that wisely found way to live together harmoniously.

It is that rich history that makes for such the special cultural heritage in Macau.

Although small densely populated, Macau offers a wide variety of outdoor attractions such as beaches, hiking trails, and quiet green gardens where residents and visitors alike can enjoy spectacular views, take some exercise, or relax in a natural setting and thanks to its rich history, Macau is graced by gardens of every style from classical Chinese to traditional European to strikingly modern.

When the Portuguese established Europe’s first settlement on the China coast in 1557, it was expected to be a bastion of Christianity as well as a trading post and they called it &#8216;City of the Name of God, Macau’. The first settlers included priests and some of the first buildings were churches, initially constructed of wood and matting, later of Taipa (rammed clay) and from the mid 17th century of stone and plaster.

The churches, dedicated to the &#8216;Mother of God’ and named after popular saints, where built by the Jesuits and monastic orders with funds provided by the city and Portuguese Crown. The style was predominantly European baroque, but Oriental and tropical features were incorporated and can still be seen in roofs of Chinese tiles, panels of terra-cotta and Eastern motifs carved on some facades.

Over the centuries fires and storms have devistated Macau’s churches, but almost all have been restored or rebuilt. But as we all know, the Catholic Church itself has weathered different kinds of storms.

In the early 18th century the Vatican ruled against the Jesuits who permitted the Chinese converts to continue their custom of &#8216;Ancestor Worship’. The church split over this Rites Controversy, the missionary effort in China suffered and the Augustinian fathers were expelled from Macau in 1712. In 1767, under a decree of the Marquis of Pombal in Portugal, the Jesuits were in turn expelled, to return in the 19th century. Besides churches, the remains of several historic fortresses, some dating back to the early 17th century when Dutch forces threatened Portugal’s hold on Macau, occupy green spaces atop some of Macau’s highest hilltops which now provide ideal places to glimpse a bit of Macau’s history and gain an overall view of the city and islands.

This blog with its accompanying pictures will take you through the main sites of central Macau, most of which can easily be seen in a day’s visit from Hong Kong or mainland China. The rest are for those who arrive early or choose to stay the night and forgo the Casino’s and for those that know me, I of course need to see more, much more!

So I leave you with the timeless words of Oliver Twist; I want some more!

<u>Largo Do Senado</u>

Once the heart of Portuguese power in the city, Largo do Senado, or The Square of the Senate, is covered in decorative mosaic cobbles and banked by grand buildings covered in shades of pink and yellow. The square is almost head to toe colonial Portuguese and if you squint your eyes you could almost be on the Med, not in Macau. If you want to see Macau’s Portuguese, colonial legacy, this is the place to bring your Kodak.

<u>Leal Senado</u>

The centerpiece of the square (and the city), is the Leal Senado, a white washed building with wooden, green windows, wrought iron balconies and flowers hung across its fa&ccedil;ade. Built in 1784, the building was where the Portuguese plotted their conquest of Asia. It wasn’t to be, and today the building houses the Mayor’s Office and a public library.

The name Leal Senado means Loyal Senate, a name bestowed on the building when constructed, thanks to the Macau administration’s refusal to recognise Spain’s occupation of Portugal in the 17th century. You can still see the loyal inscription added to the entrance hall at the bequest of King Joao IV. Also worth seeing are the quintessentially Portuguese, blue, mosaic tiles that line the staircase leading up to the library.

Located close to the former Senate building, Sam Kai Vui Kun Temple it is also a reminder of the active participation of the local Chinese community in general civic affairs, providing a clear example of the multicultural dimension of the Macau community. The square is surrounded by pastel coloured neo-classical buildiinds, creating a consistant and harmonious Mediterranean atmosphere.

<u>The Cathedral</u>

The present building stands on the site of several previous cathedrals. The original cathedral was the church of Our Lady of Hope of St Lazarus, declared the mother church of the Macau diocese which included the religious provinces of China, Japan, Korea and other islands adjacent to China. The first stone Cathedral, constructed in 1850, was almost destroyed in a typhoon twenty four years later and had to be extensively repaired.

<u>Lou Kau Mansion</u>

Built in 1889, this was the home of Lou Kau, a prominent Chinese merchant who owned several imposing properties in the city. The location of this grand old house depicts the diverse social profile present in the centre of the old &#8216;Christian City, where this traditional Chinese residence stands near Senado Square and Cathedral Square. Lou Kau Mansion is a two storyey, traditional grey brick courtyard house, with the architectural characteristics of a typical &#8216;Xiguan’ Chinese residential building.

<u>Sam Kai Vui Kun Temple</u>

This temple is located close to the old Chinese Bazaar area, which nowdays functions as St Dominic’s Market, still keeping th essence of the original function of the area. The location of this Chinese construction at the heart of the main city square with its predominantly western style architecture illustrates the harmonious coexistence of the two cultures. This temple is directly associated with the long standing Chinese business association, precursors to the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in the city.

<u>The Holy House of Mercy</u>

The whitewashed, neoclassical building on the east hand side of the square is The Holy House of Mercy, a charitable, church organisation since its inception in the 16th century. Despite its divine mission, the building itself hasn’t always been a home of praying and piety and the house has served as a refuge for prostitutes and was actually where Macau’s first lottery ticket was sold &#8211; for charity of course. Today its home to a small museum commemorating the Society’s charitable works in Macau, including the skull of its founder, Dorn Belchior Carneiro.

<u>Guia Fortress and Lighthouse</u>

Guia Fortress, built between 1622 to 1638, occupies the top of Guia Hill, the highest point in Macau. It was designed to defend Macau from attacks from the sea, but because of its position overlooking the entire city, its chief value has been as an observation post. It originally contained barracks, a water cistern, ammunition and equipment stores, the commander’s house, and a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Guia. Today the Fortress’s most prominent feature is the lighthouse built in 18675 and the oldest on the China coast. It is a fifteen meter high tower and has a light which can be seen for around twenty miles in clear weather.

<u>Chapel of Our Lady Guia</u>

This chapel was first built in the 17th century as part of Guia Fortress. During the Dutch invasion of 1622, legend has it that the image of the Virgin left the chapel and held out her robe to deflect the enemy’s bullets. The present chapel dates from 1637 and contains the Image and fine old painting of St John the Baptist, Macau’s patron saint.

<u>Flora Garden & Cable Car</u>

The European style For a Garden, situated as the base of Guia Hill parallel to the Avenida Sidonio Pais. It was formerly the grounds of the Flora Palace, an aristocratic Portuguese mansion. The stone gateway entrance was once the palace guardhouse. A straight pedestrian avenue, lined with tall palms and flowering shrubs leads to the former site of the palace, now occupied by an aviary, a small zoo, and a tree-shaded refreshment patio. The garden also features formal flowerbeds and a stone pathway that winds upward, past small waterfalls and belvederes, to the top of Guia Hill, the highest point in Macau.

<u>St Dominic’s Church</u>

Perched at the north, western end of the Largo do Senado, on Largo de Santo Domingo’s, St Dominic’s Church is a graceful, pastel yellow building with tall, green, wooden shuttered doors and windows that are flung open during services. The church offers services in Cantonese, Portuguese and English and remains a major meeting point for Macau’s sizable Christian community.

At the back of the church, walking through the wide veranda is a small museum with an extensive collection of sacral art from both Macau and Portugal. Some of the pieces stretch back to the 16th century and include paintings, religious artifacts and a variety of statues, several of which look like they’ve been lifted from a Best of Kitsch convention.

St Dominic’s also has a violent dramatic past,

In 1644 a military officer who supported the Spanish against the Portuguese was murdered at the altar during Mass. In 1707 the Dominicans sided with the Pope against Macau’s bishop in the Rites Controversy. When local soldiers tried to enforce an excommunication order on them, the friars locked themselves in the church for three days and pelted the soldiers with stones. In 1834 the monastic orders were suppressed and for a time the church was used by the government as barracks, stable and public works office.

<u>Pawnshop Heritage Exhibition</u>

Housed in the former Tak Seng On (Virtue and Success) pawnshop built in 1917, this exhibition incorporates the fortress like eight story granite tower with slotted windows where goods were stored on racks or in safes. The pawn business in Macau has a profound history and plays an important role in the city’s economy. By the end of the Qing Dynasty to the beginning of the Republic of China, many pawn shops were already in operation. The &#8216;Tak Seng On (The Virtue & Success Pawnshop) was established in 1917 and belonged initially to Mr Kou Ho Ning a wealthy Macau merchant. Both the Macau Government and some locals bought the building in order to preserve its cultural heritage and the government funded its restoration. It has been returned to its initial splendor representing both, shop and storehouse along with its architectural design and layout, interior d&eacute;cor and equipment.

The Pawnshop Museum opened in March 2003 and was the city’s first business museum being jointly operated and owned by both the locals and government.

<u>The Ruins of St Paul’s </u>

Undoubtedly Macau’s blockbuster tourist attraction, St Paul’s is the ruins of a 16th century Jesuit church, which many believe to have been the most important church in Asia during Christianity’s early forays into the region. The church was almost wholly destroyed by fire in 1835, while being used as a barracks, and all that remains is the remarkably impressive fa&ccedil;ade. Set in stone, the four storey fa&ccedil;ade is held aloft by slender columns and adorned with intricate carvings of biblical scenes, saints and more Asian inspired images.

The church was built in 1602 adjoining the Jesuit College of St Paul’s, the first Western college in the Far East where missionaries such as Matteo Ricci and Adam Schall studied Chinese before serving at the Ming Court in Peking as astronomers and mathematicians. The fa&ccedil;ade of carved stone was built in 1620 to 1627 by Japanese Christian exiles and local craftsmen under the direction of Italian Jesuit Carlo Spinola.

<u>Na Tcha Temple</u>

Built in 1888, this temple is dedicated to the worship of Na Tcha. This small traditional Chinese temple stands close to the remains of the principal Jesuit enterprise of the region, presenting a dialect of Western and Chinese ideals, as one of the best examples of Macau’s multicultural identity and religious freedom.

<u>St Anthony’s Church</u>

First built of bamboo and wood before 1560, this is one of the oldest churches in Macau, also marking the site where the Jesuits set up their earliest headquarters in the city. The church was reconstructed in stone several times, while the present appearance and scale of the church dates back to 1930. Previously members of the Portuguese community would hold wedding ceremonies there, so giving rise to the Chinese name of &#8216;Fa Vong Tong’ or Church of Flowers.

<u>Monte Fort</u>

As a Christian stronghold in a distinctly un-Christian neighborhood, the city’s early Jesuits was constantly concerned about invasion and having their heads chopped off by non believers. In 1617 they began construction of the Monte Fortress, a stronghold that would eventually cover over ten thousand square meters and was designed to withstand a siege of over two years.

The fort didn’t see much action over its lifetime and the cannons were only fired twice in anger, once when, instead of rampaging pagans, a Dutch fleet arrived to invade the island. Seriously outmanned and outgunned, a Jesuit priest, apparently in retreat, fired one of the canons by mistake. Fortuitously he struck the Dutch gunpowder ship, blowing it and half the fleet into the sky and saving the island at the same time.

<u>St Augustine’s</u>

The original church was built by Spanish Augustinian friars in 1586 and taken over by the Portuguese three years later. The present building dates from 1814 and has a spacious interior with three aisles separated by colonnades. The marble clad high alter contains a statue of Christ carrying the cross. It is said that when this statue was taken to the Cathedral by church authorities it would mysteriously return to the altar of the church.

<u>Sections of the Old City Wall</u>

This surviving segment of the city’s defense structures, built as early as 1569, is a remnant of an early Portuguese tradition of constructing defensive walls around their port settlements, done also in Africa and India. In Macau, this section bears testimony to the incorporation of local techniques and materials, especially a solid compound named &#8216;Chunambo’, an elaborate mixture of clay, soil, sand, rice straw, crushed rocks and oyster shells compacted in successive layers.

<u>Protestant Cemetery</u>

This site provides an insite into Macau’s diverse community profile . Located close to the Casa Garden, the Protestand Cemetery provides a comprehensive record of the earliest Protestant community of Macau. The chapel, built in 1821, is now referred to as &#8216;The Morrison Chapel’ in honour of Robert Morrison. George Chinnery, an important British China-trade artist is also buried at the site, alongside various other prominent officials from the East India Company, and Protestants from the United States and Britian.

<u>Casa Garden</u>

This house was built in 1770 and was originally the residence of a wealthy Portuguese merchant, Manuel Pereira. At a later period it was rented to the English East india Company. Nowdays the property is the headquarters of the Oriental Foundation.

<u>Rua De Felicidade (Red Light street)</u>

Not far west from Largo do Senado is Rua da Felicidade (Street of happiness). Its red shuttered terraces were once Macau’s red-light district and for all the Indiana Jones fans, several scenes from &#8216;Temple of Doom’ were shot here. So for those seeking the Chinese slant on the city you should head here. This former red-light district is packed with traditional shops selling various jerky and cookies, as well as Macau's oldest restaurant, Fat Siu Lau, which serves up a mean roasted pigeon. Another building worth visiting is, Temple da Deusa A-Ma, (A-Ma Temple), which is just next to the inner harbour at the bottom of Barra Hill The temple is over six hundred years old and was erected before the Portuguese ever arrived.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane

PS: Cristina has a wonderful, yet extremely peaceful soul that allows her express herself through the different forms of art that she finds herself dabbling in, be it painting, piano, guitar, knitting, creating digital music, violin, writing/blogging, photography etc....it seems one can simply not stop her from learning!

Kungfu Ken, mate, he is a wealth of knowledge on what it seems, almost everything. Its like...Ken, whats that over there? Oh, well, that's the &*&^% and in 1657 *&*&^. Hey Ken, who invented the left hand mouse button? Oh well, in 1984 *&^^^& etc. I'm serious, if I knew everything he knew I'd be Bill Bloody Bryson mate.

Some people just 'Have It'.....you know what I mean? But when it comes to Cristina & Ken.....it seems they both have it! I am so proud to call her my iSister & he now my newly found iBrother.

CristinaW's Travelpod CristinaW's Yahoo/Flicker CristinaW's 365 Days In The Life of Macau CristinaW's Soundcloud (Digital Music) - she is an experienced at piano & violin and now studying guitar but these are her first born when it comes to simple digital music. ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Pavement The album was &#8216;Wowee Zowee Sordid Sentinels Edition’ ____________________________________________________________

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


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Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

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Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

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Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken


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Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Macau Adventure With CristinaW &#38;amp; Kungfu Ken

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Sleepy Portuguese Backwater Turned Gambling Resort

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

So, where does the 2012 Winter Beers N Noodles Adventure find me? The Chinese people have stood up, they’re off to Macau and so am I.

Chairman Mao (who coined the first half of that sentence) must be spinning in his glass coffin. Mainlanders can’t get enough of this once sleepy Portuguese-administered backwater turned gambling megaresort. Such has been its explosive growth in the last half decade that it is commonplace to refer to Macau as the Vegas of the East. It might be more appropriate to put that the other way round, since Macau has long since eclipsed its American rival in gambling income.

Hitherto, Vegas has been able to relax, safe in the knowledge that it is better at putting on a show, although perhaps, not for much longer. Big name entertainers are flocking to Macau, while the scale of construction along Macau’s Cotail Strip beggars belief as they are just at the beginning of the city’s bid to become Asia’s leading arts and conference destination, an aim underpinned, of course, by ever more gaming tables.

Beyond the neon gaming halls, Macau offers the visitor a captivating mix of historic Chinese and Portuguese influences.

Handsome colonial houses line cobblestoned streets punctuated by baroque churches and stone fortresses. Restful pockets of greenery, thirty UNESCO listed historic sites and beach resorts of Coloane Island more than match the casinos for diversion. Macau’s unique mix of Chinese and Portuguese ethnicity has also created some mouth watering culinary fusions in Macau’s justly celebrated marriage of southern European and Chinese flavors.

Macau’s proximity to Hong Kong means that sadly most spend just a day in the former Portuguese colony, before heading back to Hong Kong in the evening.

Cobbled together by the Portuguese centuries ago, a map is a must, thanks to the warren like structure of Macau’s streets. Luckily streets are well signposted, in the Roman alphabet, and Macau is a compact city with most of the sights within walking distance. Thankfully it has been far more protective of its colonial heritage than Hong Kong and, for the most part, the churches, squares and government buildings constructed by the Portuguese are still standing throughout the city. Most of the best Portuguese Macau sights are clustered around the Largo de Senado and can all be visited comfortably in around half a day, with a further hour or so needed to visit the Dom Pedro Theatre and Moorish Barracks.

Made up of three islands, Macau is blessed with a selection of beaches. One of the best, on the furthest Island of Coloane, is Hac Sa Beach which means black sand beach. The beach itself is around four kilometers long, meaning you won’t find your nose in someone else’s swimsuit, and also has a convincing selection of amenities such as beach bars, picnic places, as well as hire facilities for water-skis and other water-bound activities. Macanese cuisine is unique; a blend of Chinese and other Asian flavors, as well as influences from Portugal and its colonies. Despite the misleading name, Macau's most famous specialty is African Chicken, which is chicken baked in coconut and peanut paste, with garlic and chilies.

Budget hotels and accommodation in Macau is not a family.

The city and its hoteliers have their eyes firmly on the high rollers who pull up every weekend and most of the city’s new hotels are attached to casinos. While the room rates are fair for what these luxury pads offer, they aren’t cheap. At the bottom end of the market there are also a good number of absolutely bargain bucket guesthouses. You won’t find a website, you won’t find anyone who speaks English and you’re unlikely to find the place has been cleaned since the ill-fated Dutch invasion of the island back in 1622.

<u>Now For A Bit Of History</u>

Portuguese galleons first visited Macau to trade in the early 16th century and in 1557, as a reward for clearing out pirate’s endemic to the area, they were allowed to establish a tiny enclave here. As trade with China grew, so did Macau, which became the principal meeting point between China and the West. However, after the Opium Wars between the Chinese and the British and the subsequent establishment of Hong Kong, Macau went into a long decline.

China’s Cultural Revolution spilled over into the territory in 1966 and 1967.

The government reportedly proposed that Portugal should leave Macau forever but, fearing the loss of foreign trade, the Macau Government refused the offer. In 1999, under the Sino-Portuguese Pact, Macau was returned to China and designated a Special Administrative Region (SAR). Like Hong Kong, the pact ensures Macau a 'high degree of autonomy’ in all matters (except defense and foreign affairs) for fifty years.

<u>What Language Is Spoken In Macau?</u>

Cantonese and Portuguese are the official languages of Macau, English is harder to find here than in Hong Kong, but in most mid-ranged and top-end hotels, casinos, restaurants and tourist zones it is easy enough to get by. Mandarin is reasonably well understood, though most written Chinese is in traditional characters, not the simplified forms found on mainland China.

Glitzy Casinos, un-spoilt beaches and top-class restaurants, Macau is a glorious slice of the Mediterranean tucked away on the South China Sea. A Portuguese colony for nigh on five hundred years, Macau has retained much of its colonial charm and if culture doesn't interest you, there is always gambling.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Rose Tattoo The album was &#8216;Nice Boys & The Extras’ ____________________________________________________________

Macau 1st Night Walking Adventure

Macau 1st Night Walking Adventure


Macau 1st Night Walking Adventure

Macau 1st Night Walking Adventure


Macau 1st Night Walking Adventure

Macau 1st Night Walking Adventure


Macau 1st Night Walking Adventure

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Macau 1st Night Walking Adventure

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Macau 1st Night Walking Adventure

Macau 1st Night Walking Adventure


Macau 1st Night Walking Adventure

Macau 1st Night Walking Adventure


Macau 1st Night Walking Adventure

Macau 1st Night Walking Adventure

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)