Day 2 – Macau Tower & Casinos
Much as I loved the sights of colonial buildings at Senado Square, we still had some places to visit so off we went in search of our destination. But wait…there was one more thing to do before we could head off to Macau Tower, a place where hubby deemed it a must to visit when in Macau, and that thing was to savour the double-boiled milk.
We were trying to find the bus stop where we could take the bus to Macau Tower) and accidentally came upon the shop that is famous for its double-boiled milk. Lina was drawn to the shop like a bee to honey. She had been talking about the milk dessert ever since the trip and she wasn’t going to be stopped. So we sat down at the shop and ordered, 3 double-boiled milk and 1 double-boiled egg. I had to take the egg since I am allergic to milk. Couldn’t afford to have an upset stomach during sightseeing, could I?
Anyway, the egg was good, the texture was like custard but softer and smoother. According to the others, the milk was good too. And this would not be the only time that we had the same desserts because by the time the trip was over, we would’ve tasted them thrice from 3 different outlets LOL
Off we went with bellies suitably pleased by the desserts. Instead of taking the bus, we opted for the cab instead because we couldn’t find the right bus stop and our legs were sorely in need of some rest. Here are some pictures of Macau streets taken from the cab…
From the street – the Grand Lisboa, hotel and casino
– Another view of the Grand Lisboa
Below are pictures taken outside the Macau Tower building…
The Macau Tower (or Macau Tower Convention & Entertainment Centre) is 338m (1,109ft) from ground level to the highest point. It consists of a shopping mall, cinema, restaurants, conference centre, theatre, an exhibition hall, an observation deck on the 58th floor and an adventure area on the 61st floor. We bought the high tea package which allowed us to visit the 58th and 61st floor and also have high tea at its revolving restaurant, the 360° Café.
The high speed lift that took us up to the 58th floor took only about 1 minute or less, and stepping out of the lift we were hit by the panoramic view of the Pearl River Delta. Walking along the glass-panelled walls of the tower, these are the views we saw:
– See the Grand Lisboa?
I never thought I’d get jelly legs being so high up in a building but when I set foot on the glass panels on the observation deck floor, I began to imagine scary things like the glass breaking beneath my feet and me plunging 223m down to my death. I guess having a very active imagination isn’t a good thing because I began to side-step the glass panels instead of walking over them like I had intended to.
Lina was brave as she walked over them and stood in the middle to pose for pictures without whimpering like I did. Irene wouldn’t even step onto the glass panel but she did in the end after much persuasion and just like me, she was standing on just one corner of the panel LOL
We were busy taking pictures that we didn’t notice the activities outside the glass walls. When I turned around at one stage I saw a body falling down outside! Some of the people who caught the scene screamed. We all tried to look down to see what happened to the guy who fell but couldn’t see anything except a huge inflated mattress below.
This is the reason for the falling body…
We decided to catch the bungee jumpers in the act from the 61st floor, so we took the lift upstairs.
Besides bungee jumping, there is also Skywalk, which means walking along the outer perimeter of the tower at 233m above ground level with no handrail around the 1.8m wide walkway for you to hold on to. Of course walkers will be in special walk harnesses and tethered to the building by cables to 2 points but look at the stunts these people pulled! Would you even dare to step out of the tower and onto the walkway?
After watching the Skywalker doing their stuff, we watched a Korean lady getting ready for her bungee jump. She was a picture of calm and bravery as she gamely posed for photos and videos as she waited to be taken to the slaughter house, oops, the jumping platform. And jump she did, amid screams from us spectators.
Then seeing another jumper being lined up after the Korean lady, we quickly made our way to 58th again and I managed to shoot this video:
After all the excitement it was time to tame our hungry stomachs. We had to go all the way downstairs to take another lift up to the restaurant 360° Café for our high tea. It’s a revolving restaurant so our table slowly revolved around the tower as we ate, the coffee and tea station slowly getting further and further away from us LOL Someone left their bag beside the glass wall and didn’t realise the bag didn’t move along with them. A waitress later went around with the bag looking for the owner LOL We were lucky that the waitress stopped us from leaving our bags at the side, otherwise the waitress would have been carrying more than 1 bag while looking for the owners LOL
When in Macau, there’s something you really have to do besides visiting the Macau Tower, and that is to visit one of the many casinos in the SAR. Our next destination was supposed to be the Venetian Macao, a luxury resort and casino owned by Las Vegas Sands, in the Cotai Strip, a reclaimed land joining the islands, Coloane and Taipa. But Irene mistook the hotel where she said there was a gondola rowing through an indoor canal to be the Sands Macao, so we ended up at there which is basically just a casino hotel also owned by Las Vegas Sands.
We spent a little time there searching for the gondola but when we couldn’t find it, we walked into the casino and that was our downfall 😛 Well, not really. We just spent HK$100 (S$16) each feeding the jackpot machines for the sake of remembrance. In order to make most of the money spent, we each took one or two bottles of the casino’s bottled water which would come in handy for our outing the next day.
Getting around in Macau is easy. Just hop onto one of the many hotel-provided coaches and you could move from one hotel to another, and hence, the areas nearby the hotel. So from Sands, we hop onto the coach that took us to the Venetian.
The grand hotel boasts a Venice-themed shopping complex, The Grand Canal Shoppes, besides 4 themed casinos and luxury accommodations.
– The casino
The Grand Canal Shoppe has a ‘city within a city’ look. We only took in a part of the shopping area but it was enough. The magnificence of the architecture just blew my mind. Looking up at the painted ceiling, you get a feeling that you are out in the open of the Venetian city. I couldn’t help but took many pictures of the settings. There really is a canal and we were lucky to catch a gondola sailing by.
Much as I would’ve loved to explore the hotel further, we had to leave to head to Zhuhai, China, where Lina wanted to get a few electronic gadgets.
Getting to Zhuhai from Macau was just one bus ride away. We took the shuttle bus provided by the hotel to get to the Gongbei Port, the customs checkpoint in Zhuhai on its border with Macau. Clearing the Macau customs was nothing compared to clearing the China customs. It took the Chinese custom officers in my lane a few minutes to verify that the photo shown on the passport matched the person holding it. The officer would check the passport photo and then look up at the passport holder, then back at the passport again and up at the person a few more times before she was satisfied, causing a pile up.
When we eventually cleared the customs we had not much time left to shop since it was almost 8pm. Zhuhai serves as a gateway to Macau for China and just outside the Gongbei Port, the Gongbei Underground Mall is situated. The mall has many small shops selling anything to electrical gadgets to fashion and toys. It was teeming with activities even though it was late evening when we set foot inside. The mall was massive and you could simply get lost in it if you’re like me, someone with no sense of direction.
Anyway, Lina knew what she wanted to buy and where to get the goods so we zoomed in on the shop. All the shops are small, and there are many shops selling the same products, especially mobile and computer peripherals. We bought some cute mobile phone and iPad covers and portable phone chargers. There was no time to browse around as we had to catch the ferry back to Hong Kong. Since we were too late for the ferry from Zhuhai (last ferry was 8.30pm), we had to take the bus back to Macau where there are 24 hours ferry service back to Hong Kong.
Our trip to Zhuhai was an unplanned one so we basically just zoomed in and out of the customs and there was no time to take pictures. We managed to make it back to our hotel before midnight, before we all turned into pumpkins 😛
Next up: Day 3 – Black Rainstorm Warning Day