Notes on Macau

St Paul’s Ruins – seriously don’t understand what’s the fuss over a piece of wall. Haha!

Well, I’ve been to Macau 3x and I had blogged about it 2x. So I guess you guys must be pretty bored lah reading the same old shit. Haha! Some more this time no Katak story to entertain us.. it’s a pretty pleasant trip, nothing bitchy. Haha! Most of our times are spent eating, eating and eating! And of course, making fun of each other. So, this time I am going to put some important stuffs in point forms that you should not missed if you are traveling to Macau soon.

The wobbly egg tarts at Cafe Kam Ma Lon

1. Café Kam Ma Lon – I remember this shop as we walked past it the last round. I noticed the big bun is still being displayed in front. This shop serves delicious, wobbly egg tarts and pork burgers in crispy buns! Don’t miss it! Details here.

2. Cheong Kei Restaurant – this was also recommended by Ms Hantu and even with my sore throat, I down the bowl of noodles goodness and fried fish balls coated with rice flakes. It’s indeed a taste to remember.

My favorite street in the whole of Macau – Rua de Felicidade

3. African Chicken – I think it’s pretty standard dish served in every Portuguese restaurant. We had it at this Portuguese restaurant along Rua de Felicidade. Seriously.. Rua de Felicidade will always be my favorite street in Macau for the amount of gastronomy adventures it gives! African chicken might taste a bit weird the first time you sink your teeth on its meat. It just tastes better as you eat more. I don’t know how to describe the taste of it – but it’s nothing like I’ve ever tried before.Taste like a bit of sweeten creamy curry, a bit of mint. Quite extraordinary!

4. Taipa – we visited this place just for the pork burgers. But it was worth it! The snake lining up to the counter to take away buns is really crazy! After that, do try to go to the Food street to sample the gelato. Try the serradura. It’s really good!

The famous pork chop bun in Taipa

5. Ah.. I talked about food only lah.. anyway, this time round, I managed to go to Guia Lighthouse. We took the bus no. 6 as recommended by the guide book but we didn’t know where to stop. It was a long walk on the way up that we decided to take a cab instead! So, in order to get there, try taking the cable car at Jardim de Flora. It only costs MOP2 one way.

6. I still think the brand Tai Sam Pa serves better almond cookies than the much favored Koi Kei. When I bought my almond cookies at this Tai Sam Pa shop along the walkway to St Paul’s, the lady boss commented that Lord Stow’s egg tarts won’t be as tasty by the time we bring them back to Malaysia. Well, the bitch is wrong! They are still nice, despite its crust lost its crunchiness! The filling is creamy and bursting with fragrant butter flavor!

7. You really have to go to Macau with a big appetite and drink a lot of water or leong char with the amount of pork burgers and egg tarts you will be having! I fell sick after all the dosages but it was the chow tao foo in Hong Kong that delivered the final blow. My nose bled after that. Goodness!

8. I think that’s about it. Open your eyes and see! There’s always a surprising delicious find in every nook and cranny in Macau. Explore! Enjoy! Bon Appétit!

PS: Macau Immigration has proven once again that they are bunch of idiots and morons again (Remember the magnets?) On the way back from HK to Macau via Ferry, the immigration officer who stamped my  passport – stamp it with overflowing ink.. and it messed up my passport page a bit. If not for the immigration card, I think the whole passport will turn blue! Some more the fucker rudely threw my passport  on the counter. That happened to Ms Kanasai too. Memang kanasai these people!! And they were very rude to other people too. I saw them scolding one couple – one of them is a skinny black woman and then, they took them into the investigation office. Dunno what the fuck is their problem!

I’m Back

No internet at home is really a bitch. It made it so difficult to update anything. But I was down with terrible sore throat, bad cough and slight fever yesterday that I had to stay home to rest for one day before going back to work today.

The trip to Macau and Hong Kong was pleasant because of the two lovely companies I had. Ahem! Let’s call them Ms Hantu (not because she’s behave like a ghost – err.. sometimes also lah – she is “obsessed” with  anything owls! So instead of calling her Ms Owl, I think Ms Hantu would be more appropriate. Haha!) and Ms Kanasai (KNS – her favorite hokkien word that kept spewing from her mouth every 5 seconds). Haha! As for me, they have nicknamed me CK – short for cilakak as they said they don’t feel right calling me an angel for the “snow angels” I made on bed when I was in semi conscious state. Haha!

The weather was rather chilly and foggy all the time in Macau, while in Hong Kong, we were there on Sunday but it was pretty hot. However, towards the evening that the weather got slightly chilly and on Monday, it was cold! Before going, we check on the internet and it said, 17C to 22C, so we gather we should wear more covered up clothes.. mana tau.. kena tipu. Further, a few friends who just got back from Hong Kong before us told us contradictory things – some say hot, some say cold. There was even a sandstorm reported in Hong Kong but we couldn’t really feel anything while we were there. Perhaps it’s the sandstorm that somewhat gave me the sore throat because of the polluted air to my slightly asthmatic lungs?

I will update soon on the trip when I gather some pics – as well as to wait for my house internet to be restored (Note to brother).

The Magnet That Brings Down The Plane

2nd March 2009, Monday

Our flight was delayed from 5.50 pm to 7 pm. It was a good thing that Air Asia informed us via sms on our first day in Macau so we need not rush to airport on the last day. At least, we would have more time to shop!

Hello, Old Friend!

After packing and checking out, we walked towards A-ma temple, which is about 10 minutes walk from Ole London Hotel. Before that, we stopped by a shop to have dim sum. It wasn’t that great. On our way, we saw many dogs and cats on the pavement.

Make peace, not war

I was impressed that the dogs here knew how to use the zebra crossings and was even more amused when a car stopped to let a dog past. LOL! Back in Malaysia, even if they see a human being walking on the zebra crossing, they would step on the gas. If you ask me, I agree that the government hike up price for petrol to reduce vehicle users (and hence, morons) on the road.

Penha Church

After A-Ma temple, we walked past Moorish Barracks and then made our way to Penha Church which is located on the hill. Boy! It was such an arduous climb! The moment we reached there, all pain was forgotten because we were greeted by a beautiful view of the Macau tower and bridge. It was unfortunate that the place is so foggy, so we could get a great picture. However, the view is still breath taking.

We fooled around taking a lot of pictures backed by overcast skies. Actually, it was good that it wasn’t too sunny and hot throughout our visit in Macau and the cool weather made all walking much more bearable.

I couldn’t forget the place where I had the spicy beef and potato noodles with the pork chop bun that I had to go back to St Joseph’s Seminary to locate the shop. Like other shops in Macau, this one  is  also narrow with limited tables, so we had to wait our turn to get in. It was lucky that I stumbled into this shop during my last visit when we were trying to find shelter from the sudden rain. It was indeed a gem to find this eatery!

Most happening spicy curry potatoes!

Do try the spicy potato beef noodles! You can request for other ingredients such as fish ball, pork ball, ham, etc but the main thing to try is the potatoes itself! You can just order extra bowls potatoes to go with your noodles. After 3 days of having pork chop bun, I could say this place probably serve the best pork chop bun. Unfortunately, the kind lady told us, they ran out of buns and asked if we would like to have it with toasted normal white bread instead. We gave it a go and seriously, the meat here taste much better. We ordered two more but the lady said, she only left with one, so we made do with that  final piece! So, I guess try to come early, perhaps for breakfast to avoid disappointment.

The shop selling the spicy curry potatoes behind St Joseph’s seminary

There was a slight drizzle when we walked back to Senado Square for last minute shopping. You can get your almond cookies, egg rolls with pork floss, tarts, dried meat, peanut candy, etc on the last day of your stay at long alley towards St Paul’s.

This time round, I went to buy almond cookies from St Paulo’s instead of the very much famed Koi Kei’s. It was a lucky thing that I tried the cookies before buying. I am not a fan of almond cookies but, almond cookies from Macau, I would made an exception because it has no “cockroach” smell.

This time, I took my time to savor the various almond cookies being offered. So, I decided to buy St Paulo’s because it has one whole almond nut in one cookie, broken into two! A chat with the lady selling the cookies, we were told that, you can only get St Paulo’s cookies in Macau and no where else. Their cookies are all hand made and unlike the more famous competitor brand, Koi Kei, their cookies are manufactured and are exported overseas to sell. I guess she might be right because I heard from Ann that, they even have Koi Kei in One Utama!

St Paulo’s cheaper too! You get one at MOP24 for 18 and if you buy 5, boxes you get one for free. So average about MOP20 per box. St Paulo’s cookies are not individually packed like Koi Kei’s-MOP32 for 15 cookies per box – if you buy more than 4, you pay MOP28 per box.  St Paulo’s offers quite a good deal considering they put an entire nut into one cookie! Do try to buy the egg roll in pork floss! It’s simply delicious!

Colors on the Streets of Macau

We ended our shopping after 1 hour and 45 minutes and made our way again to Mah Si Fu Dim Pan for another round of almond, walnut, black sesame and water chestnut tong sui! It’s just too bad that we couldn’t bring water into flight or else, I guess we would ta pao some for consumption in our flight later on!!

You guys must be wondering why I put the post title as the magnet that brings down the plane… I didn’t check in my fridge magnets because we went on last minute shopping and I totally forgotten about it till after I had lock my luggage.

I have been traveling to so many places the past few years and sometimes, I would hand carry my magnets. This time round, the stupid airport security people in Macau claimed that magnets would affect the plane system and they had to confiscate them.

Hello? Does that woman even know what is electromagnet? She should be sent back to school to attend Physics class. She proudly announced that, she confiscated other passengers’ magnets as well. Funny. Most of my travel mates also carried their fridge magnets in their hand carry luggage but why are theirs not confiscated? I am sure other passengers also have magnets in their bags!

So what if I have magnets in my bag? Will the magnets made me into Gina the Magneto? All forks, spoons and knives will fly and stick on me as I board the plane???? Wait a minute.. Air Asia don’t even serve meals with steel forks, spoons and knives!

A well meaning friend who walked behind me was shocked to see my bag was being frisked and in spur of the moment, she also blurted quite loudly – I ALSO GOT (magnets). I stared at her in disbelief and waved her to go away before I die from heart attack. I think my glare must be quite “murderous” as I could practically  see her soul jumped out from her skin. I am so sorry.

Sigh. I thought my trip would have a happy ending, but I guess not. Anyway, there goes my souvenirs for my closest buddies – so, I am sorry. If you want your magnets, go and ask from that stupid bitch in Macau who confiscated my magnets.

Short notes/tips on Macau

1. It’s very convenient to travel around Macau via bus. All stops are listed and tickets range from MOP3.20 to MOP6.40 per trip, depending on where you want to go. You don’t have to hire people to take you around. Almost every bus goes to Senado Square.

2. You can get free shuttle rides to casinos – Venetian/Sands from the ferry terminal.

3. You can get all info on Macau at this very useful website.

4. You can use HK Dollars in Macau. They would prefer HKD now because of the higher exchange rate due to appreciation of the HKD with the US dollars.

5. You can hand carry all your almond cookies back to Malaysia.

6. Try going to Coloane on the last day because you get to ta pao Lord Stow’s egg tarts! And even when we eat it at night, the crust still goes, “krup krup krup!” It’s that crunchy!!

7. Most landmarks or roads are in Cantonese or Portuguese, so it’s better for you to brush up your Cantonese as most locals don’t know what is St Paul’s! It’s called “Tai Sam Pah” (not big garbage ah!)

8. Look out for the visible dark green colored signage to plan where you want to walk. It’s really a tourist friendly place!

9. You can hop into any tourist info bureau to get free copy of Visit Macau and maps. It’s a very useful booklet with good quality pictures and descriptions!

10. Please bloody check in your magnets or else, stupid airport security idiots  in Macau, who never graduated from science school would confiscate your magnets and claim that it might affect the plane system.

Sleepy Coloane and Viva Venetian

1st March 2009, Sunday

To cross or not to cross over?

We started the day late after a long yesterday in Hong Kong. The chilly weather did not help to ease the stiffness in both my legs. I am glad I didn’t get any blisters with the obscene amount of walking! Thanks to my old trusty Reebok which has been traveling with me for the past 2 years.

We had some simple breakfast of toast and noodles beside our hotel before heading for Coloane. From our hotel, we took bus no. 26 to Coloane. Price of bus ticket is MOP5 for each person. Other buses no. are 26A, 21A, 15 and 25. You stop at Villa de Coloane, overlooking a small town square where a little cupid could be found.

Lord Stow’s fantabulous Portuguese egg tarts!

Coloane is a small fishing village, situated about a 20 minutes bus ride away from town. The moment we got off the bus, I was greeted by smell of freshly baked egg tarts. I signaled the gang to this Lord Stow’s café, just opposite the bus stop for another round of morning breakfast. One Portuguese egg tart is NEVER enough! Even we just had breakfast an hour ago, we stuffed our face again with two egg tarts each and washed it all down with a cup of café latte or expresso, whichever we fancy. We also had tiramisu (and they really use generous amount of liquor in it!) and the pumpkin dessert with steamy hot, creamy pumpkin pudding inside! Their breakfast set of freshly baked croissant and also salads looked mouth watering too! Too bad, we were a little stuffed with all the food we had earlier on.

We then proceeded to walk to the Chapel of St. Francis Xavier’s. It’s a colorful chapel in yellow, red, green and blue. At the square, I read from the internet that you could have some authentic Portuguese food. We didn’t try because we were already stuffed silly with so much food earlier on.

Benches for the tired and worn out

We walked by and charmed by the quiet, sleepy town with old benches and colorful houses overlooking the sea line. At the end of the short road, where a small light house is, there is a temple called Tam Kung temple. We loitered around for awhile, taking pictures before turning back and headed towards the old ferry pier – Ponte Cais de Coloane.

There, we saw a huge crowd by the pier, standing and walking around, looking at the water. Curiosity got the better of us, so we went to find out. Apparently, there were some monks blessing and praying for visitors and it was a good day to “fong sang”. There were pails with live fishes inside and the believers went to let go at the sea, near the pier.

Beside the pier, there was a shop selling all kinds of salted fish and other fish produce. This place reminds me of Tanjung Sepat. The only difference is probably the chilly weather and it was much, much quieter compared to Tanjung Sepat on weekends, even with bus loads of visitors made way to the pier for blessing and some came to buy some fish produce. I was joking with my friends that, the moment all these deities let go of their fishes, the fishes would end right up here (pointing at the shop selling fish produce) – sunned and salted. An elderly lady who was standing near me laughed at my remark.

Crispy roast suckling piglet

On our way back to the town centre, we stopped by a quiet restaurant for a quick lunch. Here, we had the roasted suckling pig – presumably the most delicious in the small town of Coloane. It wasn’t too bad. The skin is crispy but the meat is a little bit too fatty for me. Other dishes were fresh lalas, some vegetables and fried fish finger.

Passion of Christ

Before we go back to town center to watch the Procession of Passion of Christ from the Cathedral, we stopped by at Lord Stow’s bakery again and purchased 12 egg tarts for MOP80! We took the same bus, no. 26 back to town center and got off at Senado Square. We visited Lou Kao Mansion before going to Cathedral to watch the procession at 3.30 pm.

Actually, I did a blunder. I wanted to book our trip to coincide with the Awal Muharam holiday which is on 9th march but I checked the wrong calendar and booked a week earlier instead. However, this blunder did come as blessing in disguise that, we get to watch this once a year event!

Cute chick at Lou Kao Mansion

After the procession, we walked along the alley back to Senado Square and tried the beef offal, situated right in front of the Lou Kao Mansion. It’s something like a steamboat but the soup base is much better! It consists of beef and curries from India and Myanmar, according to the owner. We ordered the yummies one bowl after another and even ta pao-ed some back to the hotel to eat. It was that good! So people, if you fellas are there, please remember to drop by in front of Lou Kao Mansion to try this beef offal. You may opt for spicier taste by adding more spoonfuls of chilies!

The best beef offal… ever!

We made our way back to the hotel to freshen up before we go to the casinos at night. We took a bus to the ferry terminal again and hopped onto the free shuttle bus to Venetian. Venetian is so beautifully decorated! I think one do not need to even travel to Italy to get the European feel. They have gondola rides as well and if you go in the afternoon, say 2.30 pm, there will be a carnival of performers walking on stilts, fire eaters and clowns.

The very cliche, nevertheless beautiful Venetian

We went to the Sands after that and walked across to Babylon Casino. Here, they have a mini version of Rome. I think I had enough walking for the day, so some of us sat at the picnic benches along the many mini fountains while waiting for the rest to take pictures. It was a cool and windy night, with vermilion and crimson colored skies, reflected from the many neon lights along the street. Everything just felt wonderfully right. I wished the night would never end.

We went back to Senado Square and walked towards Rua de Felicidade to have another round of tong sui and had late supper, before we reluctantly went to bed.

Hong Kong Walkathon

28th February 2009, Saturday

We started the day at 6.30 am and got our sleepy asses to the ferry terminal in Macau. The moment we get out from the hotel, we were embraced by the freezing northern winds. Everyone was in their jackets and scarves. I wish Malaysia is as cold as this.. so I don’t have to sweat too much!

The bus ride to ferry terminal was a breeze. It was a good thing we were early. As soon as we cleared immigration, there were hordes of people at the immigration counters! I guess it’s still not as bad as the last time I came to Macau from Hong Kong where the queue was horrendous. Surprisingly, the ferry we took was not that full and we got on turbojet half an hour earlier than our scheduled time at 7.30 am. I quickly text a friend in Hong Kong, Vincent to inform him we would be there half an hour earlier.

Vincent and I met on the yesteryears’ popular IRC when he was still in UK pursuing his masters and myself, in KL struggling with ICSA. He has been a good friend of mine ever since. He’s a great conversationalist, super humorous, frank, patient and super generous. Girls, sorry.. but he’s married. Ok enough about him.

Vincent caught up with our earlier schedule as we were having milk tea in one of the eateries found at the Shun Tak Centre. We took Turbojet. There will be a journey every 15 minutes to and fro Macau and they are pretty on time. It’s advisable to book your ferry tickets earlier to avoid wasting time waiting.

You can opt to take either First Ferry or Turbojet from Macau to Hong Kong and vice versa. We took Turbojet and the ferry docks at Sheung Wan – more central compared to First Ferry, where it would dock at Kowloon. So, depending on where you want to explore, you may consider which ferry you want to take.

Giant Buddha at Lantao Island

Without wasting time, we went to the nearest MTR station to get to our first destination – Ngong Ping 360 and Giant Buddha at Lantao Island, where I missed going the last trip to Hong Kong in 2007. They have one day tourist pass at HKD55. A one way trip from Sheung Wan to Tung Chung, where the cable car to Giant Buddha is situated costs HKD20.50. So, it would be more worthwhile to buy a one day tourist pass on MTR at HKD55. Or if you are in Hong Kong for many days, you may opt to purchase the “Octopus” with top up value which gives you 20% discount on normal tickets.

At Tung Chung, there are many factory outlets for sport shoes and also sportswear. We didn’t check it out as we didn’t plan for shopping. I heard from Jasmine that you could get Rocksport’s shoes at RM100 (original price is about RM300 – RM400)! Perhaps, it’s good to make another trip here.. solely for shopping! We had a quick brunch of dim sum before going up.

We reached the Ngong Ping hill slightly before afternoon. The journey via cable car was quite a pleasant one. The officer in charge would let you travel together with your friends in a private cable. Since there were 8 of us, we were placed in one cable car on our own. One cable car would carry up to 17 people – so my very well meaning friend, Vincent, told me not to worry as my weight would not pose any problem. Very funny.

You need to pay HKD96 for a return trip or more if you would like to go to their “Walking with Buddha” and the “Monkey Theatre”. Since we were here for a short visit, we decided to just go and walk around the Giant Buddha. We were advised against eating the vegetarian food there as they were too expensive and not that great. I overheard some tourists complaining the vegetarian food sucks. LOL! So Vincent was right.

I couldn’t believe that I actually climbed the steps till the top. It wasn’t really a hard climb. So, I was glad that my sluggish stamina didn’t give up on me. Batu Caves’ staircases looked more intimidating! So, you lazy people! Get your arse up there! If I can do it, so can you!

We made a brief stop at the Path of Wisdom before going back to the cable station to get back to town. By the time we got to town, it was already 4 pm. I was famished! Vincent took us to Tsim Sha Tsui’s stop and he suggested Sweet Dynasty. I thought the name sounded familiar and I asked if it’s on Canton Road? He said I was right. So, I veto-ed the idea of going back to the place with bad recommendations from the internet and went to Taiwan Beef Noodles shop instead, on the same road.

Our dishes choice comprised of all meat – siew ngor, char siew and siew yok! Other dishes were quite mediocre but the roasted goose and char siew is quite delicious. I wonder why they add peanuts to char siew? The peanuts made the char siew more aromatic?

Ladies’ Market

After the late lunch, we loitered around Mongkok and Langham Place. The 8 of us went on separate ways. I was with Vincent, Lil and Amy. Lil, having a Hong Ki as a sis-in-law, surely knows what’s good in Hong Kong.. apart from the roasted goose. We ended buying Tempo tissue paper instead. LOL! What the hell? Lil claimed that the tissue paper here has better quality and we wouldn’t get this type of quality back in KL. So, just to amuse myself, I bought some tissue paper too.

Playful and friendly traders at Ladies’ Market

Our legs were so tired and in pain after the whole day of walkathon around Hong Kong. I think I’ve met my quota for exercise for the entire year by walking this whole day alone!

We made our way to Arena of Stars to watch the laser show. There was a thick fog or mist surrounding the harbor and hence, we could hardly see the laser in the sky. There were hordes of people standing and applauding while the laser fired into the thick fog, accompanied by some very oriental music.

The very nice but expensive award winning siew ngor @ Yung Kee

We took the Star Ferry to Central and then, went to Lan Kwai Fong to end the day with a bang. We had the famous roasted goose at Yung Kee along Wellington Road. It’s HKD420 per goose!!! But it’s delicious. The skin is crispy and the meat is tender. But, beware of the crowd on weekends though.. it can be quite a wait.

We bid Vincent good bye as he sent us to the ferry terminal. Thank you, Vincent for being such a generous host. It was indeed a pleasure to see him again.