Dream Trip to Macau |Being Lost On Greatness


Friday, 7 November 2014

Dream Trip to Macau

The year is 1513. Around the month of May, a Portuguese explorer by the name Jorge Álvares reached the shores of Guangdong (Present day Ou Mun) in Southern China.  A group of fishermen who were out at sea were the first to notice this big expedition of 6 junk ships. They were puzzled by the looks and features of these foreign explorers as this was the first time they had come in contact with Europeans!
This would probably be how the explorers arrived :)
IMAGE: Google
Let’s sidetrack for a little bit of history on the group of fishermen. During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1664), their forefathers migrated to Macau from the Fujian province together with farmers from Guangdong province. However, they were not the first here. Many many years before this migration, people seeking refuge from the invading Mongols were the first known inhabitants of this land (yeaps…you would be right if you are currently imagining them running away from the infamous Khans – Genghis, Kublai & Möngke).  

Back to 1513.  As Jorge Álvares was disembarking his junk, a group of kids playing nearby ran to him. Below is an excerpt of their conversation: (Note: I believe they would have conversed in either Cantonese/Mandarin or Portuguese with a lot of hand gestures but I have taken the liberty to translate them to English for you)

Kids     : Uncle! Uncle! Who are you?
JA        : I am Jorge Alvares, explorer from Portugal. Tell me child, what is this land called?
Kids     : “A Ma Gao” uncle. It means “Place of A Ma”. My grandpa told me that it is named after the Goddess of Seafarers. We even have her temple here! *pointing to a red building with a large moon-shaped opening complete with emerald and gold tiled roofing*
JA        Oh I see. *Turning back to his group of explorer* Boys, we have landed in Mak Kau!! 
The entrance of A Ma Gao temple is a large rock on which is engraved a traditional sailing boat. On other boulders are carved red characters invoking the gods or repeating a prayer.According to legend, A-Ma, a poor girl looking for passage to Canton, was refused by the wealthy boat owners until a lowly fisherman took her on board. A storm blew up and wrecked all but the boat carrying the girl. IMAGE: Google
Since the Portuguese’ first contact up to the year 1535, not much trading if any took place on Macau. 1535 was a breakthrough year because the Portuguese traders obtained the rights to anchor ships in Macau’s harbor and carry out trading activities. They however needed to return to their ships at dusk as they did not have the right to stay onshore. Only around 1552-1553, did the Ming Dynasty grant the Portuguese temporary permission to erect storage sheds onshore and this later led to the building of rudimentary stone houses around the area now called Nam Van. One thing led to another and soon enough in 1557, the Portuguese established a permanent settlement in Macau and went on to establish a city that within a short time span became a major port for trade between China, Japan, India and Europe!
Click on the above picture to see an interactive history of Macau
Fast forward to the present , we have a piece of land that is 31.3km2 in size with an estimated population of 624,000 (as of Oct 2014) that makes it the most densely populated region in the world! Macau is also one of the only 3 countries in the world to practice the “One Country, Two System” policy with the other being Hong Kong (thanks to the Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration). Not only is Macau the most densely populated nation, it is also one of the world richest cities! Wow….from a society of fisherman and farmers to a country thriving on its amazing gambling and tourism industry.  How's that for rags to riches fairy tale?
A picture of the Sino-Portuguese Lisbon
Agreement, which was signed in 1887 that
i managed to retrieve from Wikipedia

The email that "created" this entry
Now that I've got your history knowledge on this tiny peninsula sorted, let me share with you the main reason behind this blog entry. The wonderful people at Nuffnang Malaysia and Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) decided to play Santa and give away money can't buy early Christmas gifts to 3 lucky Nuffangers! This opportunity for the experience of a lifetime came to me via email and ever since reading it my hand is still raised! Just kidding...hahahah!.

The first thing i did when i received this email was to ignore it. Not because i thought it was spam but because i knew so little about this country-The only association i could make at that time was casinos! Later that day, my lovely girlfriend was telling me about the ideas for pre-wedding photography and showed me a few pictures of a couple in front of what seemed like the Colosseum and on a Gondola. She ask me if i would consider taking such photos to which i replied, "Baby, the flight ticket to Italy will be a killer. Aren't we on a tight budget?". She just smiled while continuing the photo slideshow and said, "Dear...it is not Rome or Venice...It's Macau!". My eyes lighted up as i slowly murmured, "Ma...what?"

It was then i remembered the email and quickly looked it up on my phone. A quick search on the internet brought up many resemblances to Malacca especially the Portuguese influence (where i spent 5 years studying for my degree). The more i read, the more intrigued i became of this little nation that sounds very similar to a certain long-tailed, often colourful species of parrots.
This could have easily been Macau's national bird!
IMAGE: cell11.com
My tenacious curiosity, coupled with the profound power of pondering (on the chances of stepping foot in Macau for the 1st time) drove me to take up the challenge thrown by Nuffnang in their "Macau Your Way To An Experience Of A Lifetime!" blog entry :)

You can also participate in this contest by doing the following:

1. Identify 3 Amazing things about Macau
2. Share why you should be picked
3. Write your blog and submit your entry!

Three Most Amazing things that make me want to visit Macau are:

  1. The Food! (If this isn’t your Top 3, you aren’t Malaysian) 
Growing up as a Malaysian, I have been conditioned to LOVE food! We eat all the time and enjoy various kinds of cuisines thanks to our multiracial nation. I can’t think of any other country off the top of my head that has eateries with a full range of food open for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year and 365 days a year (366 days on leap years...lol!) Food in Macau can be categorized into 3 cuisines:

                                i.            Southern Chinese Cuisine
This is the most obvious category given its position as a Special Administrative Region under China. Nevertheless, one can find an array of food from most of the southern mainland provinces. Pictures are worth a 1000 words therefore I have decided to list them in them in a pictorial format below:

Variety of food from Guangdong (Dim Sum), Peking (Roasted Duck), Szechuan) (Spicy Soup) & Shangai (Freshwater Hairy Crab & Steam buns with minced pork filling) IMAGE: Google
                                ii.          Macanese Cuisine / Snacks
What happens when the gastronomy of Portugal marries it's Southern Chinese counterpart? Yeaps....they produce little "Macaneses" This cuisine is unique to Macau and the common preparation methods are baking, grilling & roasting. Do you know how this "marriage" took place? I didn't too until my curiosity led me to the following quote:
This is how i imagine it!
"Many unique dishes resulted from the spice blends that the wives of Portuguese sailors used in an attempt to replicate European dishes - using ingredients and seasonings from Europe, Latin America, Africa, India, and Southeast Asia, as well as local Chinese ingredients." - Wikipedia
It then hit me. The mother of all cooking! This fusion has something from more than half of the continents of the world except North America , Australia and Antarctica !  *starts salivating* Are you ready to feast your eyes on the resulting heavenly dishes. *Drum roll*

Galinha à Portuguesa/ Africana (Portuguese/African-style chicken)
A common misunderstanding is that Galinha à portuguesa and Galinha à Africana are the same dish. It is not entirely true. Yes, both Galinha à portuguesa and Galinha à Africana are chicken (Galinha) based dishes with Portuguese influences but there is where the similarities end. The African style was created when Portuguese from Mozambique and Angola brought it to South Africa and infused the dish with African ingredients. This was later brought over to Macau. The Galinha à portuguesa on the other hand, originated from Macau. Visually it is easy to differentiate between the two as one grilled while the other is baked :)
Galinha Africana (African chicken – a Macanese dish of chicken grilled and served with spicy peri peri sauce). Nando's serves a similar dish under its flame-grilled chicken selection :) IMAGE:morselsandmusings 

Despite its name, Galinha à portuguesa is a Macanese dish served as pieces of chicken, potato and sometimes boiled rice with a mild, coconut-based, curry-like sauce, baked till golden and with a distinctive aroma. IMAGE: foodobyte.com

Bacalhau (Codfish)
If you have been to Portugal (been there once), you will realize that this nation loves fish! Wikipedia further supports my observation by stating that Portugal has Europe's highest fish consumption per capita and is among the top four in the world for this indicator! With that, it is no surprise that the most pervasive fish (Bacalhau) in Portuguese cuisine is brought over to Macau. There are countless ways one can prepare this fish. It is even  said that there are more than 365 ways to cook cod, one for every day of the year!!! I am more of a eater than a chef, but for the sake of my readers, here's a link to prepare at least one type of delicious Bacalhau dish: Golden or Macanese Codfish (By Macau Tourism).
Golden or Macanese Codfish. The use of coconut milk and saffron gives it a milder taste and a distinctive colour. (Let me know if it turns out the same when you follow the recipe ya) IMAGE:macautourism
Bacalhau a Gomes de Sa (Salted Cod, Onions and Potatoes). Here's a fun fact you didnt know - It takes about 35-40 hours to prepare this dish! Don't believe me? Keep scrolling! IMAGE: obagastronomia.com
What did i tell ya? :)
Pato de cabidela (Duck Stew / Bloody Duck)
I have read my fair share of Macau travel blogs and unfortunately, this is another dish that is not properly explained. Most of the blogs attribute the rabbit meat version as a Macanese cuisine but that is not true. Further reading on this exquisite dish tells that Cabidela is definately a Portuguese dish made with poultry or rabbit cooked in its own blood added to water and a bit of vinegar. All the blood in the meal preparation is captured when the animal is slaughtered (hmm..nothing is wasted i see). The rice is then cooked together with the meat or separately. The grayish or brown colour of the dish is imparted from its blood! Okay...so why am i saying its duck instead of rabbit?Here goes:  Cabidela is the dish and Pato is Duck...tadaaaaa....ä...Yes, there is a rabbit, chicken and also pork versions of this dish but only the duck version is uniquely Macanese :) To clarify further, the Portuguese colonized many countries and each nation has their own variety of this special portuguese dish:

In Portugal     : Rabbit or other poultry
In Macau        : Duck or sometimes substituted with chicken
In Brazil          : Made exclusively with chicken (galinha à cabidela)
In India           : Pork cabidela is a popular dish in Goa and Mangalore
The traditional Duck Stew dish from Macau. It combines duck cooked together with red wine and duck’s blood to create a richly textured and uniquely tasting stew. IMAGE: tripadvisor
A chicken version that is lighter coloured. IMAGE: teleculinaria
Macanese Minchi (Minched or ground meat)
Finally... A dish i found easy to remember....Minchi....(Min - Minched & Chi - Chicken)...hahaha (need to remember its not made with chicken though)! This Macanese comfort food consists of minced meat – beef and/or pork and flavored with molasses and soy sauce. Fried potato and onions are usually thrown in as well. If you didn't, you knew it first here - Minchi is presumably Macau's NATIONAL DISH.
If it is served with a fried egg on top it is minchee chow dan. It is said that the word minchi came from the British who lived in nearby Hong Kong. The word “minced” was pronounce by the local Cantonese as Minchi and hence the dish became known as Minchi. IMAGE: hungerhunger 
Cardo Verde (Green Broth)
Macau's version of the Caldo Verde is strikingly similar to the Portuguese original, where it still uses potatoes but substitutes locally available pak choy for the kale. This, alongside green salad, is an almost universal starter in Macanese cuisine. Some recipes even add meat to it.
Caldo verde originated from the Minho Province in northern Portugal.Today, it is a traditional national favourite that has spread across the nation and abroad, especially to Macau :) IMAGE: Andrea Yori
Porco Balichao Tamarino (Pork with balichao and tamarind)
Macau's version of sweet and sour pork.  This pork hotpot is cooked with Macanese shrimp paste (balichao) and tamarind.
Traditionally it is eaten with Arroz Carregado (Compressed Rice) but can be eaten with plain white rice as well. IMAGE: iyswme-e-recipebook
Now let's take a look at some of the snacks and desserts...Yummmmyyyy~

Pastéis de Nata (Custard egg tarts)
You typical egg tarts but with a blend between the European and Chinese kinds making it an unmissable treat. Although often considered quintessentially Macanese, they were in fact invented only in the 1980s by an English pharmacist! Andrew Stow and his wife Margaret Wong (wow! They are also somewhat fusion of European and Asian descent.) opened their first bake shop in Coloane Village, Macau, and named it Lord Stow’s Bakery. Ever since then, Andrew's egg tart in the bakery has been the "must try" variety of egg tarts in Macau :)
Nahh....don't worry about getting a burnt taste. These tarts aren’t burnt. The darks areas on the tart or rather caramelised surface is Lord Stow’s Portuguese Egg Tart’s signature look! IMAGE: lotusasia
Pork Chop Bun
This is a seasoned, deep-fried pork chop in a baguette-type bun, unadulterated by dressings or salad. Being one of its most famous snacks, it is easily found in Macau. Ironically, the type of buns used for this snack is called "Piggy Bun". I personally feel this is the easiest snack ever to make - Cut piggy bun into half Place pork in between bunsClose bun and eat! lolz!
Purposely chose this picture from Google as it looks like a cute little turtle :) IMAGE:cestlaviebenz
Almond Cookies
Who doesn't love cookies with nuts? I was told that in Macau one can find 10-20 stores (in one area) selling these cookies with different flavours.....The advantage to tourist? Each hawker is trying to push their merchandise thus leading to an ample supply of "free tester cookies"...hahahah!
The cookies are baked on the premises, and have a gritty texture and nutty flavor, made with mung bean flour. A slight saltiness prevents them from being too sweet. IMAGE: Wikipedia
Also came across a short YouTube video on how almond cookies are being made in one of the stops in Macau. Seems pretty easy and fast! :)

Ginger Milk Curd
A hot dessert on a cold wintry day in Macau? One bowl of ginger milk curd please :) This hot dessert isn't confined to Macau, but they're hugely popular here. I'm not sure how it is currently made but in its purest form, water buffalo milk is used in the recipe! *grunts like a water buffalo*
At one look its does look like the Tau Fu Fah we get in Malaysia. One thing for sure, Tau Fu Fah uses Soya Milk! IMAGE: Wikipedia
Oh....and did i mention Macau has 2 Michelin 3-starred restaurants? (Eight and Robuchon au Dome)
Another reason (apart from being Malaysian) the food is my first amazing reason to visit Macau is Macanese Gastronomy was inscribed on the Macau Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2012. I really wanna experience this intangible cultural heritage first hand!!

Ok...let's move to Amazing Reason #2:

  1. The Culture! (East meets West) 
Colonialism often leaves an everlasting mark on a country. The same can be said about Macau. The gorgeous architecture & distinctive heritage makes up for the lack of flora and fauna in this country. In my humble opinion, preserving some of Macau's older architecture has been essential in maintaining its exceptional atmosphere. Just surf some blogs about Macau, and i can assure you that every single one of those will at least have one remark or photo highlighting its outstanding landmarks! Macau's rich and remarkable architecture includes over 20 World Heritage listed sites that comprises of churches, squares, mansions, gardens and Chinese temples . They represent the interface between Western and Chinese cultures in unique Macanese forms. My trusted research partner (Google), enlightened me that the Portuguese-European influence can be seen across the churches, squares and mansions built while a glimpse of the Chinese contribution can be appreciated through the shrines, temples and gardens.

Follow me on a journey of pictures to appreciate the beautiful union of Portuguese and Chinese culture. Let's go!
Undoubtedly the most famous landmark in Macau - The Ruins of St. Paul IMAGE: Wikipedia
The back view of this magnificent 23 metres across and 25.5 metres high structure which survived the fire on 26 January 1835 IMAGE: railwaybobschinatrip
I couldn't help slotting in this picture of St. Paul's ruins in Melaka. (Built by the Portuguese as well) . It does have some resemblances to the one in Macau. IMAGE:  www.panoramio.com
St. Anthony's Church - First built of bamboo and wood before 1560, this is one of the oldest churches in Macau. IMAGE: Flickr
Pou Tai Un on Taipa Island is one of the best-endowed and most picturesque temples in Macau.This is one of Macau's most impressive temples and although it is not as ancient as A-Ma Temple, it boasts plenty of rich decorations. IMAGE: citsmacao
Lilau Square - The ground water of Lilau used to be the main source of natural spring water in Macau. The Portuguese popular phrase: "One who drinks from Lilau never forgets Macau" expresses the locals' nostalgic attachment to Lilau Square. IMAGE: www.evelienvanderiet.nl
'Leal Senado' Building - Located at one end of the Senado Square, it was originally built in 1784. This was Macau's first municipal chamber, a function it maintains to the present. IMAGE: Wikipedia
A bronze sculpture called "Permanent Handshake", representing the friendship between Portugal and China that sits inside the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Municipal Park. This park is situated at the north end of Macau, not far from the old gate that marks the Macau S.A.R.'s border with China,thus providing good views of the Chinese Special Economic Zone of Zhuhai across the border. IMAGE: visitourchina.com
Although it is NOT a fusion of Portuguese and Chinese culture, i added this image for 2 reasons:
1. At one glance it looks like our "Penang Bridge" and "KL Tower" are in the same place! lolz
2. Did you know that the "Macau Tower" is one of the few if not only tower that started it's construction during the Portuguese colonization (1998) and completed under Chinese Administration (19th December 2001) IMAGE: www.sportsunlimited.de
There are too many beautiful architecture in Macau so i decided to end with this panoramic view of Central Macau from Google. Click on this image to enlarge it. I can spot the ruins of St, Paul, Macau tower, Grand Lisboa Hotel & Sofitel Macau At Ponte 16. What else can you spot? IMAGE: www.tiirikainen.fi
I would like to do something different here. I am sure many of you reading this would have seen most if not all of the recent pictures of Macau that is shown above. My curiosity led me to this forum. Dear readers, exclusively for you, i scoured the Internet to bring you images of Macau that most you have never seen before! All the below images are courtesy of a forum on Skyscrapercity :)
Central of Macau (Senado Square) wayyyyyy back before that is was pedestrianized
Chunambeiro area, southern end of Praia Grande. In those years a collection of farms, country houses and fishing huts. Nowadays all of this area is a landfill well incorporated in the city - 1890
Boa Vista Hotel - 19th Century.Distinguished visitors to this hotel include Sir William Robinson, Governor of Hong Kong, and Baron and Baroness of Ladario of Brazil
A view of the Ruins of St. Paul before the area around it was "developed"
Taipa Village (Vila da Taipa), on the left you can find the church of Nossa Senhora do Carmo - 1908
Senado Square before the statue is replaced with a fountain.
A glimpse of how the square changed over the years.
Portas do Cerco. This is where an assassination took place! Continue reading this blog entry to find out more :)
Coloane in the old days had some villages, combining rural Chinese and Portuguese influences making an interesting contrast with the city of Macau, which was a blend of urban Chinese/Portuguese. Here is where the famous "Lord Stow's Bakery" is now open :)
Panoramic of Cidade de Macau, by Jules Itier (1802-1877) - 19th Century
This is the only "complete" building of the Church of Mater Dei built in 1602-1640 and the St. Paul’s College that i could find.  There is no known  photos of this complete structure during its glory days because photography was only successfully invented in 1822 in France, only thirteen years before the fire in 1835 that collapsed the rest of the Cathedral. How unfortunate :( 

A newspaper article on the statue being shipped back
to Portugal. The bronze statue of João Maria Ferreira
do Amaral done by Maximiliano Alves depicts
the horse with both hooves raised. IMAGE:flickr.com
Additionally, did you know that before the handover of sovereignty of Macau to The Peoples Republic of China (20th Dec 1999), China wanted all colonial symbols in Macau removed. The Portuguese didn't have the heart to destroy the statues so they shipped them back to Portugal! Among this is the Statue of Ferreira do Amaral the Governor of Macao from 1846 to 1849. Interestingly, the governor was assassinated by the chinese on the 22th of August 1849 near the "Porta do Cerco" (Cerco doors).
It is now proudly standing in the Alameda da Encarnação which is just a short walk from Lisbon's Airport. IMAGE:waymarking
If you are planning or have already bought tickets to visit Macau soon, do include a visit to the exciting range of museums and galleries on offer to fully immerse yourself in it's rich history and culture. Alternatively, if you don't have enough money for a vacation yet (like me) and would still like to find out more on Macau's World Heritage, fret not, you can head over to Macau Tourism site by clicking here.

Now that you know my Top 2 reasons can you guess my Third Amazing Reason? 

  1. The Entertainment! (Theme Parks, Casinos, Shows & Adrenaline pumping activities!) 
Fondly referred to as  the "Vegas of Asia", there is no need for me to further elaborate on the 33 casinos here (Twenty-three casinos are located on the Macau Peninsula and ten on Taipa Island). However, just to throw in my 2 cents, i think the "Las Vegas Strip" in Nevada, US should be renamed to "Little Macau" since Macau surpassed Las Vegas in terms of gambling revenue ever since 2007! hahahaha! With all the media hype and conclusions made by travelers, i am sure not many would think that there are any restrictions on gambling on the island. I would like to educate my readers that NOT ALL GAMBLING ACTIVITIES ARE LEGAL in Macau. Yes...u read it right...As of November 2014, Macau does not licence online gaming!  So if you are thinking of placing bets through your personal mobile devices while visiting Macau, think again :)
At 550,000 square feet, the Venetian Macao is the largest casino in the world! IMAGE: macau-club
The famous canals of Venice are recreated indoors at the Venetian. Don't be fooled by the ever sunny skies and beautiful clouds. Those are only paintings on the ceiling. How creative! IMAGE: tumblr.com
City of Dreams is another mega casino project by the same developers of Venetian Macao. Instead of writing about its casinos, i would like to highlight an extraordinary arena called  "Dancing Water Theater". This purpose-build theater is the home to "The House of Dancing Water", a uniquely created show for the City of Dreams by Franco Dragone. With its astonishing sound, lighting and special effects it is no surprise that this show received the 2012 Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement for a Live Show Spectacular. Even after watching the below trailer from YouTube, i can't seem to digest how the arena can be dry one moment and suddenly be filled with 3.7 million gallons of water the next! and just to be sure they really blow my mind away, ships appear from under the water, bridges disappear underneath and the skies change from dusk to dawn within seconds! My oh my....If even the trailer is this magical, i wonder how it will be when i watch it in person :)

So....remember i was telling you about the Colosseum earlier in this blog? That place is known as Macau Fisherman's Wharf. It is a theme park that consist of several visitor attractions including Tang Dynasty, East Meets West, Legend Wharf and Vasco Da Gama Waterworld. It has recently become a famous pre-wedding photo shoot destination (as explained by my dear girlfriend). This is due to that fact the one can find the different settings from various world seaports such as Cape Town, Amsterdam and Venice. A miniature version of the Roman Amphitheater (that seats 2,000 pax) can also be found within its premise. Now tell me, how much would you be willing to pay per entry to go photo-crazy inside Macau Fisherman's Wharf? Do keep in mind that it is open 24 hours a day!....You can have both afternoon and night photos as well :) $$$RM100? RM50? RM10$$$? Not at all---There is no admission fees and you can even get free shuttle bus to the hotels!! Who says nothing good is free? :) :)
A sample pre-wedding photo taken in Macau Fisherman's Wharf. IMAGE:Naturewedding  
From top left: Vulcania, a 40-metre high replica volcano which erupts every evening behind a building styled as the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet; Aladdin's Fort;A miniature replica of the Tang Dynasty Fortress. IMAGE: Flickr.com; Doctorbull; Mazyunna.
"Aiyah....Macau seems so laid back....What can an adrenaline junkie like me do there?"

The above must be running in some of your minds...Trust me...from my many days of in-depth research, i can safely tell you that Macau has something to offer everyone.  For me personally, the most exciting "entertainment" in Macau happens at 233 meters above ground level. Among the activities one can partake at this dizzying height includes Bungy Jump, Sky Jump and Skywalking. You can take it one step higher by scaling the only skyscraper in the world that allows you to climb to its top at 338 meters! Whoaaaaa.....this must be able to satisfy anyone in pursuit of the ultimate adrenaline rush :)
If Santa can do it, so can you! IMAGE: ajhackett
This is one position i dream of being photographed in someday IMAGE: ajhackett

So you love bikes. Why not ride 233 meters above ground? IMAGE: ajhackett
Even Spidey came all the way from New York City to conquer Macau Tower  IMAGE: ajhackett
Phewwww....now that i have shared my 3 Amazing reasons for visiting the "Monte Carlo of the East", let me go on and elucidate why i should be among the Top 3 Nuffnagers to blog about the all expense paid 3d2n trip to Macau :)

The first time is always the sweetest
I believe this should be given to a first time traveler to Macau (Me!). This is because one is usually more excited the first time and the chances of exploring instead of re-exploring the iconic tourist attractions is high. Think about this - Comparing a first time tourist  and a seasoned visitor, who do you think would be able to appreciate a nation's uniqueness without bias? The latter would usually be comparing his or her previous experience while the former is a white piece of paper ready to be drawn on!

Me, Myself and My Camera
95% of the images in this blog is taken from various sources online. If given the chance, i am positive i will be able to take pictures that would do Macau proud!

The chance to transform myself from a Macau Novice to a Macau Expert
As you have read, before beginning my journey with this blog, i knew nuts about Macau...ok...not nuts...maybe just casinos. About 5000 words later, i can humbly say that theory-wise, i have somewhat conquered this tiny peninsula. By stepping into the country and experiencing all the above that i have written, i can then proudly say, "I blogged....I experienced....and i conquered"

It does not end here. I have decided to take this blog one notch higher by planning my 3D2N itinerary in Macau thanks to the ridiculously easy to use “Trip Planner” on Macau Government Tourism website. Visitors can either pick from “Suggested Tours” or customize their trips using the “My Trip Planner”. One thing I particularly love about the suggested tours is that it provides a detailed nature of the tour including routes, time taken, bus routes and to top it all off, it even has a video of the tours! To add icing on the cake, they even have mobile apps for IOS (Iphone) and Android based phones called Step Out, Macau! Do click the links and download the apps before travelling to Macau ;)
Click on the above picture to see a simple guide on the planner
A must have app for travels to Macau!
Being a person who makes full use of time while exploring a country, I compiled the time needed to complete all the suggested tours as I will only have 3 days and 2 nights in Macau. To my surprise, it takes approximately only 8-9 hours!  (*10-15 minutes stay at each attraction). Yaaaay! This will leave me ample of time to explore the other aspects of Macau during the 3D2N stay. On the other hand, I will surely spend more time in certain spots (15 minutes only in Macau Fisherman’s Wharf and Macau Tower? No wayyy...i need more!). With that being said, I would suggest for visitors to extend another day or 2 in the city in order to fully rest and take in all the city has to offer :)

A tour of Historical Trails : 100 minutes
A tour of Nature & Creativity : 150 minutes
A tour of Arts & Culture : 150 minutes
A tour of East meets West : 90 minutes

The above is the estimated time for each of the suggested tours. For more details and latest updates, do visit:

I would also like to say a big THANK YOto MGTO and Nuffnang for giving us Nuffnangers a chance to get up close and personal with Macau. If you haven't heard of Nuffnang, i highly recommend clicking on the below links :

Hoping my dream of experiencing the 3 MOST AMAZING THINGS about Macau becomes a reality soon!
(RFood RCulture REntertainment
A poem specially for the organizers from me! :)


  1. Bro you were like name out 30 reasons to visit Macau with much History hahaha all the best!!

  2. Hahahah! Yea...Too many things in Macau so strategicly grouped them...lucky they didn't say 3 activities :p

  3. Wow love your post!! Was there in Macau for work last month. Totally loved the scene over there. Food was top notch and service was equally as excellent. Wouldn't mind going back there again!

  4. Yo! If it is that great even for work I wonder how much fun one can have during a holiday!!! Wow!

  5. Wowowow..that's a thorough write up I must say... All the best to you!

    1. Thanks!! Yours is good too....love your doodle of your shopping haul :)

  6. Wow that's a very long ambitious blog #surewin. Thanks for checking out my blog as well
    From the travel blogger

    1. Hahaha....didn't expect it to be this long too...thanks for reading it whole thing :) your entry is good as well...very informative..good luck! :)

  7. whoa! I really hope you one of the lucky winner...love your entry since you spice up with the historical brief on the intro. Good job!

    1. Thanks! I'm not a history freak n never liked it :p ...so I decided to make the history of Macau interesting for my readers as well...from your previous experience in Macau I can say it is a very interesting country...hope I get to go too :D

  8. Fuyooo....so many info here! Just by reading this I felt like I already visited Macau...looking forward to your travelogue from Macau. All the best!

  9. Glad you enjoyed reading...I definitely will if I'm chosen as the lucky winner! Thanks again :)

  10. Hi Melvin.. oh dear! it took me 3 days 2 nights to finish reading yr blog man.. hihihi.. just kidding. Well written and full of interesting information. Really hope you will win. Thanks for visiting my blog too. All the best!

  11. Hahaha..thanks!...yours must be the funniest comment so far! Glad u liked it...I liked the part in you blog when u quoted the sentimental dialogue...nice one...good luck to u too!!! :)

  12. Wonderful. I like the aspect you write on history. Not to forget, food recipe.


  13. Thanksssss! Yeaps....did add them in to make it unique :) yours is nice too...oh ya...advanced congrats for your wedding :)

  14. WOw!! great! hebat sangat! love it! All the best to you!! and thanks for visiting my blog :)

  15. hihi~ thanks ya! i like your entry too....didn't know Sazzy Falak did a jump from Macau Tower! All the best! :)

  16. hi bro..sure win lah!!
    nice blog..
    full with info!!


  17. Terima kasih! all the best to you also! :)

  18. Hahahaha..bro if you win, pleaseee...pleaseeeee....do the bungee jumping at macau tower ok...and i would love to see your videos and photos in macau! All the best!

  19. Thanks Syaz! for sure....if i can't jump (frozen legs due to fear) will get the guy to push me off the tower! wakakakak! :p

  20. great entry, make me wana travel to Macau too!

    1. thanks william. You should la....since you like backpacking should do one to Macau and Hong Kong! :)

  21. wow such a detail post! great job melvin! the food portion made me saliva could not be control anymore and i miss portugese tart in Macau!

    1. wowww....hope u got some food nearby! hahaha...thanks ya! if i win, will get u some tarts from Macau..if they can last la :p

  22. Hey Melvin! Thanks for dropping by. What a great post you got here. Well, i'm wishing you all the best too


    1. Thanks mate! You post is good and unique with the video as well...all the best yo! :)

  23. Hi Melvin!! Your post is awesome!! You really do enough homework for this Macau post!! (Even history of Macau ~ lol~)

    all the best to you!!

    1. Thanks! Yea...the last time I did this much research was while studying kot! Lolz! Glad u enjoyed it and learnt something new :) love the pics on your entry too....the jump shot is cool!! :D

  24. Wow very long and detailed write up. Macau is indeed beautiful and i really loved their yummy foods. Wish to go back soon :-D
    Good luck Melvin. Thanks for sharing with us.

    1. Jenny! Thanks!! i love the food pics u always post on FB!!..thanks for reading my hunble blog and hope you learnt something about Macau! :)

    2. Welcome Melvin. You know your post make me wanna go back again soon. I really love Macau. AA is on sales now but ticket is not cheap lor . Still checking the best price . Wakakakakaaaa

    3. im glad my writing can make someone wanna go back!! you made my day! :) yeaaa...they keep saying sale sale...but still expensive :( let me know if you find any good deals!

  25. Hi Melvin,

    Thanks for sharing this, Macau @ "MAK KAU" is definitely on my to-visit countries in the near future.
    Here's wishing you all the best to experience of all the above for yourself.
    Kind Regards,

    1. hahahah! Thanks for reading...Will give you tips for your future visit if i win and get to visit Macau soon! :)

  26. so creative! good luck..=)


  27. Thanks for dropping by! All the best to you too! :D

  28. Wow! Amazing blog you had. All the details was written and it makes me more excited about the trip thou . Somehow I wish I can be there. All the best and good luck to you!


  29. Heyyyy....thanks for reading my humble blog...I like your entry too- specially the dialog between. Left and Right...lolz! Wishing you good luck for the contest as well!! :)

  30. Good luck bro. Gonna use ur guide when I visit Macau!

    1. Thanks mate! reading back i do feel its a complete guide to Macau's favorite spots! :)

  31. wow...interesting history! good luck too :)

    1. Glad you enjoyed it!! Thanks! Good luck to you as well (",)

  32. Interesting post my man. Looks like there is more to than meets the eye when it comes to Macau. Hope you win this trip since you have clearly done your research. Good luck again. Cheers! :)

  33. Yo! Thanks bro...Yeaps...Macau may seem small but there is tons to do... Hoping I will get to experience it all first hand ;)

  34. wow; what an interesting post. goodluck to you :D

  35. Thanks!! I enjoyed you post too.... Good luck ya! :)

  36. Wow! What a superb entry! Very informative.

    1. Thanks Chengy! Glad u enjoyed it...All the best to your entry too :)

  37. Woww very detailed written and informative too! Thanks for visiting my blog and good luck to you too! :D

    1. Thanks for dropping by :) glad you found my humble entry interesting....all the best to your entry too! :D

    jgn lupa souvenir utk sy nnt ;-)

  39. Thanks ya! God willingly :) Good luck to you too!

  40. thanks for visiting my page. also all the best for u too

  41. Very nice written! Love the history part! You must have put in so much efforts. Good luck to you! :)

  42. Terima kasih! Glad u enjoyed the history...took me a lot of research to come up with that :p All the best to you too! :)

  43. Wow, your writing is awesome.. :D

    This is like a one stop center for information about Macau. Reading your blog made me feel like I am already halfway there.

    Since you listed 3 amazing reasons to visit Macau, let me list 3 things that I love about your blog:

    1) The Interactive history of Macau ~ Great way to put history in an interesting manner. I manage to go through it without falling asleep (Well I am not a big fan of history :P )
    2) Being a Malaysian, definitely the food; And to be specific, I love the link to the recipes. I did try the Macanese Codfish recipe, and it turned out pretty well I would say (apart from the fact that I forgot to put the flame low and it end up being in brown color instead of golden)
    3) As a person who loves adventure so much, I am attracted at the activities available at Macau Tower. The fact that it's the only skyscraper in the world that allows you to climb to it's top at 338meters really excites me. (another addition to my bucket list)

    If I could feel the excitement by just reading, I believe there's much more to be experienced out there for real. So, thanks to ur blog.. Macau is officially my next travel destination. (Hunting for cheap ticket now) ;)

    1. Omg! Ummul...thanks so much for dropping by. I didn't except such a long comment...hahaha...i like how u list 3 things about this entry! yeaps...i find the interactive history very interesting as well. You tried the recipe? lolz...i never thought anyone would...kekeke...do make some for me once you perfected it ya....i'm really happy that you enjoyed this blog and it makes you wanna fly off to Macau! If i win, i'm surely getting you a souvenir just for the effort in commenting! Good luck to you too! Ps: let me know if you find any cheap tickets in between ;)

  44. thank you for visiting mine.
    Your entry is awesome. full of information and perfect!

    1. Ur welcome! I enjoyed reading yours :) Glad you found mine informative..Good luck to you too! :D

  45. Replies
    1. Tenkiuuuu....good luck to you too! :)

  46. Replies
    1. Wow Samantha! Never expected someone from the Nuffnang Community Team to leave a comment! Made my day☼! Thanks for dropping by... :D

  47. This is so informative!! Hope u win ! :D

    1. Glad u like the information! Thanks ya...Good luck to you as well!

  48. WAO I can't deny that you're doing good in this, I enjoyed reading your historical introduction. Hope you'll be one of de lucky winners!

  49. Thank you so much for dropping by Shanley...I'm really happy you enjoyed the way i wrote the history :) I hope so toooo...thanks ya! :)

  50. Melvin, sir I think you did a better job than I did on this one. :)

    1. Thanks mate! You have a very good entry too :) Good luck :D

  51. wow great entry..!!
    gud luck ^^

    1. Terima kasih!!!! All the best to you too! ;)

  52. wow... it's amazing how you are able to write about Macau in such detail when you have not even step foot on it..


    I have been thinking of picking a place for holiday next year considering there are flight promos now... you made me feel like goin to Macau now.... :P

    1. Joanne! yeaa...now i'm wondering what else to write for my actual trip to Macau...Maybe pictures with me in it...wakakakak! Glad u enjoyed it...yeaa...Airasia cheap now...time to plan 2015 vacations :) btw, didn't know you had a blog too! :D

  53. Hey Melvin! Just saw the news. Congrats man! I knew this is a #surewin blog. Keep it up!

    1. hey! yeaa...you are the first one who said #surewin! lolz... congrats to you too! still haven't got the detailed email from Nuffnang kan?

    2. Yup tgh tunggu more detail dr nuffnang. All we get is an invite to cooking demo session. U going?

    3. Yeaps .still no mails . no la...can't make it for the cooking demo as I my carols are that week....hope to meet you some day :)

  54. congratz man....! as expected!