Sunday, September 14, 2008

Akin ang Macau

That's exactly how this trip was like. The Hong Kong leg is all for Francis, and the Macau leg is all for me: "Sa 'yo ang Hong Kong, akin ang Macau." Syempre, para di naman ako lugi sa trip na 'to. But being on foot for the entire Hong Kong leg, hindi pa man nakakarating ng Macau, lugi na ako. Still, I tried to make the best out of this trip, since Macau was suppose to be a gift for myself.

Getting into Macau from Hong Kong is easy as 1-2-3. There are two major ports with several ferries that ply the Macau-Hong Kong route. The one nearer the City Econo Guest House where Francis and I stayed while in Hong Kong is located near the Royal Pacific Hotel. Although it's nearer, a Pexer advised me to take the one near Sheung Wen Station instead since I have a kid in tow.

Buti na nga lang, I followed her advise. As soon as we got off at Sheung Wan Station, signages can be found where the ferries to Macau are located. What's even better was we didn't have to leave the building where we got off! The Shueng Wan Station was at the underground level, while the ferry port was at the topmost level. Cool! Puro lang kami escalator.

Schedules aren't a problem too. There are ferries leaving for Macau every 15 minutes! We bought tickets for a 4:45pm trip since we were walking slower than usual (pagod na ang mga tiil namin!!!) and we still have to pass by the immigration area. The 30-minute leeway we gave ourselves was just enough. Five minutes after we got to the pre-departure area, we were already called on to board the ferry.

The ferry is big enough and clean. Unlike most of the ferries here, theirs is, of course, well-maintained. So, even if you book a seat in the economy class, it still feels like you're taking a plane ride unless, you look out at your window. Promise! There's no foul smell of grease or oil eminating in the air or even noise from the machine roaring down below.

There are seat numbers, too, so there's no need to hurry to save a seat. There's a huge area for big luggages as well so you can sit comfortably for the less than an hour trip.

Unfortunately, when we got to Macau, all the banks were close. Nyaiks! I didn't have any Patacas with me. But there's no need to worry, according to the Customer Service personnel, I can simply use my Hong Kong dollars to pay my way to the hotel. Hong Kong dollars are very much used in Macau.

I brought a Chinese translation of the hotel where we're staying so I never had a hard time communicating with the driver. They also have a computation table ready to convert the cost of the fare to Hong Kong dollars. In no time, we were pointed to a street towards East Asia Hotel.

We rested for more than an hour in our room before finally going out to look for a restaurant and have dinner. I brought my camera and my tripod along just in case we pass by something worthy enough to take a photo of.

We walked along the Avenida Almeida Ribeiro to look for a decent place to eat. We still don't have any patacas so we're also on a look out for a money changer.

Luckily, there was one open several meters before reaching the Largo do Senado. While looking at the exchange rates, a man asked me "Ano po ba ang ipapapalit n'yo?" Hayyy, salamat! Pilipino ang guard! We exchanged our remaining Hong Kong dollars to patacas. And then Francis said, "yehey, may pera na tayo, pwede na tayong mag-taxi!" Kawawang bata. He's just as tired as I am.

We saw the "M" signage not far from the Largo do Senado. I think it's high time we have dinner in a place that Francis loves best, McDonald's.

Right after dinner, I begged Francis to allow me to take just one photo along the way. Of course, that one photo became several photos, but it was all the same building, the General Post Office. I wanted to take more photos of the buildings at Largo de Senado, but taking another step farther away from our route back to the hotel is such a painful process. Pagod na rin talaga ako.

My son and I went back to the hotel to have an early rest, dreading the long walks we need to do the next day.