The Venetian….Culinary, Picnic and Gambling.

Gambling and Casino are two things which are very identical with Macao. So if you go to Macao and don’t see their casino, it won’t leave an impression..

It’s easy.…

Do you want to gamble? Who knows, you will return from Macao then become wealthy.

Or….

Just want to see how is gambling at casino?…Yup, no one forbids.

One thing when you travel to Macao….Decide immediately! Which casino will you visit. Because there are many casinos there.

For me, because I was just curious about real casino, I decided to visit The Venetian.

Why does The Venetian?

Yes, I will close my exploration by having dinner there, then see gondola to feel Venice sensation and finally I will close my exploration by seeing gambling at casino….The Venetian can fulfill all three. So I chose it.

Christmas atmosphere at The Venetian.

—-****—-

This time I easily got bus, just turned left from Macao Tower front yard then I got a bus stop (Torre Stop / Tunel Rodoviarios) and I waited for city bus no. MT4.

By paying bus fare for about USD 0.5, I arrived at The Venetian in 15 minutes.

I saw a blue bus passing by in front of The Venetian’s lobby. I understood that I would ride it later after exploring The Venetian. Yes, it’s The Venetian’s free bus to take tourists from Outer Harbor Ferry Terminal.

Admiring classic style of The Venetian’s building when I started stepping into building. Hunger which had attacked since leaving Macao Tower made me immediately move to 5th floor when I entered The Venetian.

Surrounding food court, I tried to find the cheapest menu for my dinner. Made sure with surrounding twice before I spent USD 6.8 for a portion of fried rice and USD 1.5 for a half liter of mineral water….So expensive.

Not finished eating it because a portion is so large, then I looked for existence of gondolas in Venice’s gondolas style to ending my curiosity which appeared since watching them on a television show several months before my departure to Macao.

This is an artificial river at The Venetian for gondola tours.

You only need to spend USD 16.6 to enjoy this tour.

I was so absorbed in enjoying beauty of The Venetian, passing around every corridor which provided branded products.

Shops at The Venetian.
Shops too.

A step later I was right in front of casino entrance. My main target destination that I finally visited in my tour closing session in Macao.

Entering casino at The Venetian is quite easy, just need to show your passport to security officer at front gate so you will easily enter.

Like being in an old Hong Kong movie, I searched every side of casino to see how did people gamble at casino. At each table, there was always a dealer who always offered me to gamble. Of course, I would never do it. I just smiled to respond their request to gamble.

Very special ending. Finally I could directly see casino in Macao. The darkening of day was required me to leave The Venetian.

As I stated above, I wouldn’t miss another session i.e riding free shuttle bus which was provided by major hotels in Macao. This time I boarded The Venetian’s free blue shuttle bus. I headed to Outer Harbor Ferry Terminal using this shuttle bus.

From Outer Harbor Ferry Terminal, I continued on my way back to hotel using bus no 10A like I did when I first arrived in Macao. With a tariff of USD 0.4, I arrived back at Villa Ka Meng Hotel to rest and continued my trip tomorrow to Shenzhen using fast ferry.

Bye The Venetian….Bye Macao.

Macao Tower….Not Just Bungee Jumping.

It isn’t easy to reading Macao public transportation map. Because of that reason, I never found what was bus number and where was bus stop which could move me from Ruins St. Paul to Macao Tower, Its distance was around 3.5 km

Walked through narrow streets around Ruins of St. Paul to looked for a bus stop.

Every bus stop which I met, I always looked for existence of bus 9A route but I never found….I didn’t lose….Just a little disoriented.

I sat for a long time at a bus stop….what is the road name?, I forget…. Sitting down and trying to understand my wide bus map. Everyone who came to bus stop noticed my face, which was different in skin color from them.

Looked like I began to understand its route after long time detaily learning the map.

Guided by my little compass, I began to head to south….I didn’t try to turn from Largo de Santo Agostinho road which I knew that It would direct me to a bus stop which bus no 9A would pass it.

I accidentally passed Dom Pedro V Theater at Largo de Santo Agostinho street.
It was appearance of Grand Lisboa Hotel which very famous in Macao.

I had to find and immediately get on bus no 9A before I was caught in the dark when returning from The Venetian on afternoon. I turned right to go through Avenue Da Praia Grande road and then crossed to Avenue Dr. Stanley Ho which I assumed as location of bus stop which I was looking for.

I was very glad, when I find bus stop which I mean at that road. That bus stop name is Praca Jorge Alvares bus stop. 10 minutes later, I was in bus no. 9A which leads to Macao Tower.

Entering bus with full of sweat after walking under sunlight for 15 minutes in Macoa’s hot streets.

In 7 minutes, I got off in a large courtyard in front of Macao Tower.

That tower was too high to fit in my handphone photo frame. Many times trying and still failing, the tower couldn’t completely captured. I had to capture it from another point.

Heat of the sun forced me to momentarily enter a building which have function as a toilet around Macao Tower courtyard.

That fan helped to cooling my body from hot weather.
Toilet
Toilet for people with disabilities.

Towards Macao Tower backyard, I tried to find lush trees to more freely enjoy beauty of tower.

Found a tree and casually sat underneath.

I deliberately waited for the sun which prepare to glide at dusk. And excitement came. More the sun sank, so more Macao resident came in courtyard where I sat in it.

From many local people who were active in backyard, I was more stunned by a beautiful young athlete who was accompanied by her trainer who was wearing a stopwatch. Push-ups, sit-ups and sprints are her lessons which must be devoured every second.

Finally, temperature had decreased. I hurriedly left my seat which located next to water pool in tower’s backyard.

Photo taken from behind of tower.

Move to frontyard and directly saw bungee jumping activity, which participants were thrown from top of tower. You need to know that this 338 meter high tower, besides being used for observation and entertainment, is also used for telecommunications and broadcasting.

As far as I know, bungee jumping at Macao Tower costs tens of USD.

Front gate of Macao Tower.

At exactly 15:30, I began to leave the tower and waiting for arrival of bus no MT4 at Torre/Tunel Rodoviarios bus stop at left side of Macao Tower front yard.

I headed for my last destination in Macao….The Venetian.

Catching a Pig at Ruins St. Paul.

Preparing to left Senado Square.

Not satisfied yet in enjoying classic charm of Senado Square, I slowly moved away. It wasn’t difficult to find direction to ruins of church and college which located about 600 meters north of the square.

Green direction sgins will help you to find it.

My steps continued through several souvenir shops, majority of them sold variety of food. While sun was highy rising, my stomach was getting hungry. But I didn’t rush to look for lunch, instead I did another madness.

Do you want to know?….

You need to know, each stores provides food samples which offered by their employees who stand in front of store area. If there are more than 30 stores there, then do you know what I mean?… let’s don’t think too long.

Look at their totality when sold foods. Their costumes were cool.

Yes, you should know. My madness was taking and tasting almost all types of food samples which offered to tourists for trying the taste.

30 small pieces of cake are certainly more than a portion of lunch for me. So….Free lunch….That’s the point.

And my luck arrived. In the midst of busy chewing a kind of cake, suddenly, I could taste extraordinary savory taste. I continued to chew it until my eyes sharply glared and forced me to turned back to sales promotion girl who offered me the cake.

Me : “What is it?”.

She : “Cake, Sir”.

Me : “No no no, the ingredient?”. Beef or chicken?

She: “No, It’s pork, Sir”.

Me: “Oh nice taste, Ms”. With fast movement, I vomited the cake in a trash can.

She: “Are you OK, Sir?

Me: “Yeaaa, I’m Okay, thanks Ms….But, sorry. I can’t eat pork. I’m moslem”.

That was first time, I tasted a nice pork even though it was only a few chews in my mouth.

Ruins of churches and colleges which better known as Ruins of St. Paul was finally right in my eyelids and only separated by a few dozens of stair which I was ready to climb.

Preparing for entering Ruins St Paul.

Many tourists made everyone were very difficult to captures themselves in front of Ruins of St. Paul gate without any interference from someone behind them.

Oh God, gate of Ruins of St. Paul which I always saw in the world weather forecasts on a cable TV channel, was finally in front of me and I could see it with my naked eyes ….

But…Guys,

This is a ruined site of a church and college….

As a good explorer, you shouldn’t be complacent just by taking a photo of front gate. You must enter to back of gate to imagine how big the church and college were in its heyday.

Let’s entering it!….

Entering the gate, you will see that the wall behind the gate is supported by a very large and thick iron plate. Yes, of course this is to prevent collapse of the gate of Ruins of St. Paul.

Back gate was guarded by security.

Next you will find holes which are covered by a thick layer of glass. So I can only peek it. Then what is that hole?

Estimated as former main pillar (column) of St. Paul church.

Can you imagine how big original pillars of St. Paul church?.
Look closely.
Original form of St. Paul church in cross shape. Cool.

In addition to these square holes, you will also find a subset of space which has been conserved. This is Museum of Sacred Art and Crypt.

This is the room.
Other part of room.

So….that’s gaes, the shape of Ruins of St. Paul.

Let’s Visit !….Senado Square

My trip by city bus No. 10A ended when passing Kam Pex Community Center Bus Stop Avenue de Almeida Riberio. Luckily, bus driver allowed me to get off at a T-junction which nice view of Ponte Cais 16 Hotel in its center.

Kam Pex Community Centre bus stop.

That receptionist seemed to be son of hotel owner. Every question which I threw to him, He always answered easily, “Wait sir, I firtly ask to my mom”. Gosh, very luckily kid who will get a legacy a hotel later….Hahaha

Checking-in finished after I gave USD 16 to get Villa Ka Meng Hotel’s room key.

As easy as clicking my fingers, suddenly my eyes saw big “halal” logo in front of a restaurant. And the surprise was, a Chinese was the owner of restaurant. Loulan Islam is that restaurant name.

With a big smile, he asked what did I want to eat and offered a menu with such effort. His index finger danced around to writing various Chinese alpabhets in the air. My irresistible laughing made whole restaurant visitor happily laugh. Burying my sleepiness which affect me since early morning.

I paid a little more than standard street food prices which I ussually hunt. At least, I got a Halal dish reference in Macao.

Passing at left side of the road….I headed to Senado Square which was very near. But before actually achieving it, I stopped at a money changer to exchange my US Dollars for Macao Dollars.

Exchange only a little of USD Dollars !….Don’t forget to little preparing in Shenzhen !.

Finally I set foot in Senado Square, second destination in Macao that I visited.

The uniqueness of Senado Square is its floor motif which seems to be bumpy and identical to white and black color. The square which was full of tourists really showed that this place is a UNESCO historical heritage. It wasn’t a big surprise about its visitors who very crowd.

Classic buildings which adorn every sides of square were be easy targets for tourist’s camera.

St. Dominic’s Church.
Historical museum which ever functioned as an orphanage and health clinic.
Macao city hall which very classic.

Main Square’s wide limited my ability to explore all of it. And then, I sat at its side to hide from sun which very hot.

Chinese tourists: “Malaysian?” A middle-aged man greeted me under a tree which effectively reduced heat of the sun.

Me : “Me?….Oh, I’m Indonesian”.

Chinese Tourist: “Waaa…Indonesian. Nice country”.

Me : “Ever go to Indonesia?”.

Chinese Tourist: “Yes….Bali, Medan and Batam”.

Me : “Great….How about Indonesia?”.

Chinese Tourist: “I Like….I eat Nasi Padang there. Nice”.

Me : “Hahaha….Ya ya ya. The most delicious food in the world”.

Chinese Tourist: “Ever go to China?

Me : “Absolutely….I will go to Shenzen after my journey in Macao”.

Chinese Tourist: “Ohhoo….Good good. Welcome to my country”.

Me : “Thanks Sir

Our conversation ended when a woman who I suspected as his wife approached and invited him to continue their seightseeing at Senado Square.

Some spots at Senado Square:

“Taxi zone” map.
Taxi which was waiting for passengers.
Damn….Why did I capture that trash can.
Payphone.
A city bus which passes Senado Square.

So….If you go there when in Macau….Just enjoy it.

5 Macao’s Tourist Attractions in 24 hours

Macao is 10th country that I visited. Starting from getting for Cebu Pacific Airlines’ promo ticket worth USD 38 which accidentally drove me to Manila. And instead of buying return ticket from Manila which was very expensive, it was better to go home from Shenzhen (China) because Tiger Air offered cheaper return ticket.

In Manila to Shenzhen trip, I was stranded in Hong Kong and Macau. Fortunately didn’t for long time….Only 48 hours in Hong Kong and 24 hours in Macau.

After writing 48 hours story in Hong Kong. So now, I will tell about what did I visited for 24 hours in Macao.

1. Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal

That moment arrived when I chose to use TurboJet Ferry to leaving Hong Kong. On exactly 8:55 hours and in distance about 70 km from Hong Kong, I arrived at ferry terminal located in east of Macao island.

At outside building, this port has a name in Portuguese, namely Terminal Maritimo de Passageiros do Porto Exterior. Portuguese scripts are very commonly seen throughout Macao. This was happen because for 4 centuries, China rented Macao to Portuguese to be used as a trading port.

If on Google maps, there are terms i.e Macao Maritime Ferry Terminal, Macao Ferry Terminal or Hong Kong Macao Ferry Pier then thar are different names for a same place, i.e Outer Harbor Ferry Terminal.

So if you are docked at this ferry terminal then just enjoy being there.

2. Senado Square

I deliberately chose a dormitory near Ruins of St. Paul complex. Because in this complex, there are two leading tourist destinations namely Ruins of St. Paul and Senado Square. So that, I could freely explore both of them by walking.

Immediately putting my backpack in Villa Ka Meng Hotel after getting down bus on Avenue de Almeida Ribeiro street closed to Ponte Cais No. 16. And after enjoying breakfast at Loulan Islam restaurant, I rushed to Senado Square

Senado Square itself is a square which was built since 1918. It is shopping tourism for branded goods hunters to street food ones. Being one of UNESCO’s heritage, Senado Square offers great views of classic buildings which were built from Chinese and Portuguese culture aculturation along its sides.

3. Ruins St. Paul

Leaving Senado Square, the next closest destination which I visited was ruins of a cathedral called Ruins of St Paul. If you go to Macao and haven’t take a picture in front of Ruins St. Paul, then your trip would feel like it isn’t “legal”. Therefore this place was the busiest destination which visited by tourists during my journey to Macao.

Ruis St. Paul was originally a Portuguese cathedral which built in 16th century. It is also a UNESCO’s world heritage site when it became a historical conservation after a great fire in 1959. The iconic part which is often be a photo object by tourists is remaining front gate of cathedral.

4. Macao Tower

Ruis St. Paul to Macao Tower was a route which made me stucked for some time in Avenue Da Praia Grande street. Focus and fast understanding of complex and massive Macao bus route, I finally found a bus stop which passed by city bus no. 9A towards Macao Tower.

“A 338 meters in high” tower offers observation deck tours, restaurants, theaters, malls and bungee jumping activities. While in tower park, there is a plaza and a pool for sport activities or just for spending time in afternoon for Macao residents.

5. The Venetian

Perception of The Venetian’s grandeur made my visitation in Macao Tower wasn’t focus. I seemed to be in a hurry to immediately enjoy The Venetian. Curiosity to entering the biggest casino in Macao and even one of the biggest in the world, made me to want to immediately go there. Besides casino, one thing which I always remembered about The Venetian is gondola rides which would take us to the tourism nuances in Venice, Italy.

It is an integration of two functions, namely luxury hotel and casino. This 39-storey building is located on reclaimed island of Cotai and is affiliated with The Venetian Las Vegas.

And then….I completely visited those five destinations within 14 hours of exploration in Macao. I spent remaining time to took a rest and sleeping in a hotel to recover my body condition after a few days before exploring Manila and Hong Kong.

It is very crazy….

Hi, Macao!….Welcome to Outer Harbor Ferry Terminal!

Finally I set foot also in “City of Asian Sin”….Yes, so known indeed. Considering Macau is a gambling paradise in Asia. Casinos are everywhere and even for easy access, these casinos are integrated with shopping centers and hotels …. Are you curious?

That morning, 8:55 a.m., TurboJet ferry which I was traveling on slowed down when it passed under a giant bridge which was an inter-island access in Macao, i.e Macao-Taipa Bridge.

I watched closely rows of car which passed Macao-Taipa Bridge.

Within minutes, that “red fast ferry” was anchored. Impatient to set foot in Macao, I rushed out of the ferry towards immigration counter immediately.

First time know that bottom of ferry is hollow.

Approaching immigration counter, I closely watched immigration officers, majority of them used white gloves. It was similar when I was entering Hong Kong, very fast and easy. They only gave me a piece of immigration paper to entering Macau. So I never got a collection of immigration stamps from the Macao Special Administrative Region.

The coldness of ferry cabin which I rode for 55 minutes made my bladder was unable to compromise. Slightly held back a piss until toilet became a only thing in my mind as soon as I passed immigration counter.

Urinoir at Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal.
Smoking is fined for about USD 74.
Baby changing station from California.

Carrying a Indonesian passport made me be easily observed by tourist hunters….Yess, I was targeted by a salesman of transportation service provider for tourists.

He: “Hi Sir, are you from Indonesia? (speak in Indonesian language)”. Beuh, he could speak Indonesian language….He kept sticking to my left side.

Me: (it is usual scale question for offering something), “Yes sir“.

He: “Upss….your accent is javanese english….Which java are you come from sir? (speaking in Javanese language)”

After that, we was both speaking in Javanese language. This is our conversation.

Me: (Wow, Macao is cool, there is Javanese language here), “I am from Sragen (a small city in Central Java), Sir“.

He: “Oh Central Java, Sir. Where are you going, Sir?….Do you want rent a car? “.

Me: (Damn it, I could smile when I heard Javanese language in Macao), “Wow, sir, I am backpacker….My money isn’t enough….I will use bus…. I’m sorry sir“.

He: “Oooh….Where do you stay in Macao?”

Me: “Villa Ka Meng Hotel, sir. Which bus can I use? Where must I stop?

He: “Are you sure, you don’t want rent my car, sir?”.

Me: “Yes, sure

He: “Oh, okay….You can use bus number 10A….Stop in Ponte Cais No. 16“. (Ponte 16 is a casino at Rua do Visconde Paco D’Arcos Street)

Me: “Oh, thank you, sir. Have you stay in Java, Sir?. Your Javanese language is fluent“.

He: “Oh, Never sir….But, many of my friend are from Java“.

He was looking for other prospective customers because he couldn’t catch me.

To make my exploration easier then as usual, I hunted for brochures and other Macao tourism information.

Hunting for tourism information via digital platforms at ferry terminal.
The easiest way is approaching tourist information centre which is usually awaited by beautiful staffs.

I grasped a map of Macao city bus. Make me more confident when leaving ferry terminal.

A few steps when leaving main building of Outer Harbor Ferry Terminal.
Another part of Outer Harbor Ferry Terminal.

Macao makes its visitor to get easy journey. This can be seen from existence of free minibuses which provided by several leading hotels in Macao.

Here it is free bus platforms.

Backpackers don’t need to worry because that bus can also carry you even if you don’t stay at hotel which is a bus owner. You just need to tell the driver that you will play gambling in its hotel. Surely you will be given a seat on bus. Arriving at hotel, you just need to enter in casino for a while and then go out again and then looking for a dormitory which is you have booked. So if you go to Macao, booked a dormitory near famous hotels !…Hahaha.

But I don’t get on this bus, guys?

I better use an city bus by paying USD 0.40 because my hotel is near Senado Square which is quite far from hotel that have that free buses.

Kesan pertama ketika tiba di Macau….Hebat lah Macau.

Garden of Stars or Avenue of Stars?….Just the same, as Long as There’s Bruce Lee.

Early morning around 8 o’clock, I began to descend Chungking Mansions Building where I stayed for 3 days in Hong Kong. Hong Kong was crazy, I couldn’t see the morning sun because it was so tightly with skyscrapers. Streets were also full of people who passing by with their respective activities…..Very tight.

Nathan Road became a road name which I was most familiar with because I always passed it every morning, afternoon and night while in Hong Kong. That morning….Yes, Nathan Road again…. I turned left toward Salisbury Road. While looking at roadside shops, I hope to find a minimart soon to buy a cheap breakfast. Crazy indeed….Hong Kong transportation can be cheap, but food and hotel are expensive.

T-junction of Nathan Road and Salisbury Road.

Then arrived at T-junction of Middle Road and Salisbury Road, I found 7-Eleven minimart. Yes, that morning I ate a slice of Ham & Egg Sandwiches at a price of USD 1,40. Simply heated in a microwave, I could quickly enjoy it. It was just strange, cashier didn’t want to accept my HKD 100 paper money, she said it was old money….What?

Standing at the end of road while enjoying my smoky sandwiches, my chewing was interrupted by presence of a Japanese wanderer who was a little difficult to speak English and with his gadget showing a picture of an orange building with a wall clock on it. Oh that’s Hong Kong Clock Tower, I immediately understood…..I was clever right, Hahaha.

Me: “Do you want go there?”.

He: “Yes….Yes…”, Nodding and smiling.

Me: “Do you have a map?”.

He: “What…What…”, He didn’t understand.

Me: “Wait….Just wait”….I put my food on a sidewalk bench, I lowered my bag from my back, then I took a map which is a loyal tool for my trip. I knew that clock tower is located near Star Ferry Pier, maybe he wanted to cross towards Hong Kong Island. Yes, I found its location in map and then I put my compass on it….Okay, I knew

Me: “Hi Buddy, you just go through that road…You must across that road towards left side….Just walking straight for about 1 km. You will find it in the left side….Okay”…..I explained while pointing my fingers here and there because he didn’t understand English.

He: “Okay…okay, thank you very much”.

Me: “Arigatou Gozaimasu…..”. while bowing

He: “Oh…Oh, yea “, He smiled broadly and leaned forward. It seems like he is honored.

Finished in eating sandwiches, I immediately continued my journey along Salisbury Road….Opposite direction to a Japanese who ask to me earlier. Within 5 minutes, I arrived at a tunnel court with would direct me to Garden of Stars. Free…. no needed to spend money to entering this destination. Entering Garden of Stars Time Tunnel, I was treated to Hong Kong city stories from ancient era until now. Wow, the picture stories displayed along tunnel wall leave me stunned by the rapid development of Hong Kong….Cool.

Out of tunnel then I arrived in the vast Garden of Stars. Wahhhh…. those famous statues. The statue was being moved from its original place namely Avenue of Stars on a side of Victoria Harbor due to a renovation project.

Actually amused too, photos with that statues…. Hahaha. My far away journey just to took a photo with statues in Hong Kong….Wow.

Here were some Garden of Stars captures:

Mc Dull sculpture….the pig cartoon figure.
Sculpture of the legend….Bruce Lee.
Anita Mui sculpture.
Hong Kong Film Awards Sculpture.

Besides statues, I also found Star Handprint Plaques. Trying to touch Michelle Yeoh’s handprint …. Oh God, how cute is her hand ….I really like it.

Forgotten whose handprint is that?

At the end of park, I could find statues which depicting film activities in Hong Kong.

Lighting crew sculpture.
Sculpture of sound assistant.
Donny as cameraman.

Garden of Stars itself offers a breathtaking view of Victoria Harbor. Didn’t want to leave its charm, I decided to enjoy a cup of coffee and sit facing Victoria Harbor to enjoy the beauty of Hong Kong on that morning.

Victoria Harbour view….very beautiful.

How cool was my trip.…

Ferry from Hong Kong to Macao

My 48 hours adventure in Hong Kong must end.

Early morning, I packed my things. After filling my drinking bottle in hotel’s water dispenser, I had to fight with fully effort to wake the receptionist up who was snoring behind room curtain. Don’t you imagine how luxury of its reception desk….Because a hotel reception is only a small room with a hole interaction between guests and hotel receptionist with 1 square meter in size.

And his snoring was swallowed when he woke up because of the bell disturbance from me. I didn’t know if he was angrily muttering or maybe he was just shocked because of his Chinese idiom which I didn’t understand. While muttering, he tried to find an envelope filled with money in desk drawer to returning a room deposit money to me. Not bad, 100 Hong Kong Dollars.

Exiting Chungking Mansions in a still dark street, I walked fast enough to immediately enter Tsim Sha Tsui underground station which is located 100 meters from Chungking Mansions exit.

With Tsuen Wan Line MTR, I headed for Central Station then continued with Island Line MTR and stopped at Sheung Wan Station which is integrated with Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal.

Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal is a regular ferry port with route from Hong Kong-Macao Ferry Terminal in Hong Kong to Outer Harbor Ferry Terminal in Macao.

Within 16 minutes and a fare about USD 0.75, I arrived at Sheung Wan Station. I immediately headed to ticket counter to withdraw my Octopus Card deposit for about USD 6.50 stored in it. “The Octopus” duty to accompany me was completed because I was at ferry gate to leave Hong Kong.

Ferry departure schedule.
First time to ride a fast boat.

After buying a ferry ticket to Macao, the price was about USD 21.30, I immediately approached a money changer to exchange Hong Kong Dollar for Macao Dollar.

TurboJet ticket.

Not a long waiting, on exactly 08:00 hours, I began boarding to red speed boat. And a moment later, TurboJet ferry sailed towards Macao.

Ferry interior.
She was beautiful….Hahaha.

Sailing in middle of a light drizzle and continuing to swing across waves made me amazed watching waters of South China Sea. There wasn’t compliment of any food in this short cruise for 55 minutes. I just kept facing window to see amazing view outside ferry.

I was freezing.
Cool yes….

Giant pillars which supporting Macau-Taipa Bridge are a sign that ferry is moving closer to Outer Harbor Ferry Terminal. Macao has a very famous road upper the sea. And I could enjoy its beauty from other side. Even though in the end, I would pass that street later when I went to a famous Macao hotel and casino, The Venetian.

That is the bridge….
Anchoring at Outer Harbor Ferry Terminal, Macao.

Let’s find your ferry tickets on 12Go at the following link: https://12go.asia/?z=3283832

Tian Tan Buddha….Religious Fascination in Ngong Ping

Journey to Tian Tan Buddha

Me: “Is it a bus to Tung Chung Station, Sir

Driver: “Yes, Sir….It will go there”.

A short conversation in double decker S56 front door at bus shelter, Hong Kong International Airport. With that double-decker bus, I headed to Tung Chung Tempory Bus Terminus which is 250 meters northwest of Tung Chung MTR Station.

Sitting on bus lower deck, I continued to look out the window to find a direction sign to Citygate Outlets as the closest building to Tung Chung Station which was most easily seen because of its towering height.

30 minutes passed, I finally saw top of that shopping center. Made my heart a little calm because of I wasn’t lost. Bus slowly approached at Tung Chung Temporary Bus Terminus. Instantly, I could see bus no. 23 bus which was aiming to Ngong Ping. Didn’t rush to catch it, because I had to look for breakfast at Citygate Outlets.

Shopping center which is combined with offices and hotels.

In and out of several minimarkets in mall ground floor, I never found halal food. Returning to front plaza while sitting and observing around, until finally finding McDonald’s logo at end of mall. I entered in that fast food restaurant. A warm omlet burger and a cup of hot tea for USD 1,9 made me better prepared to explore Big Buddha.

Hong Kong MTR (Mass Transit Railway) logo.

A step later, I was getting ready at Tung Chung Temporary Bus Terminus and then queueing at Bus no.23 platform. Starting by swiping Octopus Card on automatic fare machine near driver, I finally began my journey to Tian Tan Buddha.

Bus no.23 interior which goes to Ngong Ping.

How about views during my trip using bus no. 23. Let’s took a peek!

That’s part of South China Sea.
Rode through Tung Chung Road.

35 minutes later.…

Me: “Hello, is it yours?“, I shouted to tour group while holding someone’s Immigration Clearance Arrangement which had fallen under bus seat.

One of them: “Oh, it isn’t” she said after reading and confirming that it wasn’t her name and her group mate.

Me: “Oh, Ok“. I handed that sheet over to bus driver, maybe someone would look for it later.

Bus No. 23.

That incident had closed my journey story heading Tian Tan Buddha.

Tian Tan Buddha and surrounding destinations

The first part which I went through was Ngong Ping Piazza. What were in Ngong Ping Piazza?, here it is:

Entering Ngong Ping Piazza front gate amazed me about this destination. Spacious, majestic and sacred.

Ngong Ping Piazza main gate or often called New Pau Lau.

After passing through gate, next part which you will pass is 122 meters Bodhi Path with 12 statues on left and right sides which are known as “The Twelve Divine Generals”.

The Twelve Divine Generals” are in form of 12 statues of Gods Generals as guardians of Tian Tan Buddha. These 12 Gods Generals also symbolize 12 Chinese zodiacs. The twelve were armed with certain weapons.

The General Indra, represents the time between 9-11 AM. Representing snake symbol in Chinese zodiac. Armed with a stick.
The General Makura, represents time between 5-7am. Representing rabbit symbol in Chinese zodiac. Armed with an ax.

After passing Bodhi Path, you will find another section called The Four Lotus Ponds (Di Tan). This part is usually used for religious ceremonies held by Po Lin Monastery.

In Tan is centre of Ngong Ping Piazza. Often dubbed as “The Alter of Earth”.
If you are lucky, you will be greeted by a cow which is free to roam around Ngong Ping Piazza.

OK, Ngong Piazza was finished……

Next part which I would going to was Tian Tan Buddha.

Tian Tan Buddha is one of the tallest Buddha statues in the world. Facing north and need to climb 268 stairs to be exactly reach it. From above you will also see 360-degree views of Lantau Island.

Come on …. Are you strong to climb or maybe don’t climbing up there?
360-degree view of Lantau Island awaits you if you success to climb those stairs.
Free if you are visiting outside from Tian Tan Buddha statue. But you have to pay if you want to go to bottom of Buddha statue.

Around of Tian Tan Buddha, you will find six Bodhisattva statues which look like they give different offerings for Tian Tan Buddha.

Here it is one of six Bodhisattvas statues.

Then how about form of Tian Tan Buddha. This is it:

Dashing standing with 34 meters in height.

Stepped down the stairs of Tian Tan Buddha then I immediately rushed to Wisdom Path.

What is Wisdom Path?

Yups … is a path that cuts through forest with views on either side in the form of inscriptions containing writings from Heart Sutra teachings and poured in large pieces of wooden boards. The Heart Sutra itself is highly respected among Confucius, Buddhists and Taoists. These 38 wooden planks are arranged so that forming number 8 pattern as a symbol of infinity.

Sign towards Wisdom Path.

This Wisdom Path is only 15-minute walking from Tian Tan Buddha..

Yuhuuuu….I reached the Wisdom Path.

Wisdom Path was finished…..Then, what else?

Yup….Let’s visited Ngong Ping Village.

Is this a really village, Donny?

Noooooo…..This is just a souvenir sales place. Hahaha. So surely, I won’t visit it for long time….

The last….There is another destination in Ngong Ping. Namely Po Lin Monastery. Sorry, guys, I couldn’t visit…. Swear, I was very tired. I hadn’t slept all night, because there wasn’t comfortable sleeping area at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila. Hopefully I can go to Hong Kong again and visit this monastery where monks gather and religious gatherings on an international scale held.

Bye Ngong Ping….Welcome Disneyland…..

The Venetian….Kuliner, Piknik dan Judi.

Judi dan Casino adalah dua hal yang sangat identik dengan Macau. Jadi kalau kamu ke Macau dan tidak melihat casinonya maka itu tidak syah.

Gampang kok….

Mau judi beneran?….Monggo. Siapa tahu kamu pulang dari Macau menjadi kaya raya.

Atau….

Hanya mau lihat-lihat orang main judi di casino?….Silahkan, ga ada yang ngelarang.

Satu hal ketika kamu jalan-jalan ke Macau….Segera putuskan !. Casino manakah yang akan kamu kunjungi. Hal ini dikarenakan sangat melimpahnya jumlah casino di sana.

Kalau aku, karena hanya penasaran dengan wujud casino yang sesungguhnya maka kuputuskan untuk berkunjung ke The Venetian.

Kenapa The Venetian?

Yes, aku akan menutup eksplorasiku dengan makan malam disana, lalu melihat gondola untuk merasakan sensasi wisata Venice, Italia dan terakhir akan kututup eksplorasiku dengan melihat orang berjudi di casino….The Venetian bisa memenuhi ketiganya. Jadi kupilihlah dia.

Suasana Natal di The Venetian.

—-****—-

Kali ini aku mendapatkan busnya dengan mudah, cukup berbelok ke kiri dari pelataran Macao Tower maka aku mendapatkan sebuah halte bus (Halte Torre/Tunel Rodoviarios) dan aku menunggu bus kota bernomor MT4. 

Dengan membayar ongkos bus sebesar Rp. 7.000, aku berhasil mencapai The Venetian dalam 15 menit waktu tempuh.

Aku melihat bus berwarna biru lalu lalang di depan lobby The Venetian. Aku pun faham bahwa aku akan menaikinya nanti selesai mengeksplore The Venetian. Ya, itu bus gratis milik The Venetian untuk mengambil wisatawan dari Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal.

Mengagumi gaya klasik bagunan The Venetian ketika aku mulai menapak masuk di bangunan itu. Kelaparan yang menyerangku sejak meninggalkan Macao Tower membuatku langsung bergerak ke lantai 5 ketika memasuki The Venetian.

Mengelilingi food court, aku berusaha mencari menu termurah untuk dinner ku kali ini. Memastikan dengan berkelilling dua kali sebelum aku melepas Rp. 93.000 untuk seporsi nasi goring dan Rp. 20.000 untuk setengah liter air mineral….Mahal ampuuuuuunnnn.

Tak sampai habis melahapnya karena porsinya yang begitu besar, kemudian aku mencari keberadaan gondola ala kota Venice untuk membunuh rasa penasaranku yang muncul sejak menonton wahana tersebut di sebuah acara televisi beberapa bulan sebelum keberangkatanku ke Macau.

Inilah sungai buatan di The Venetian untuk wisata gondola.

Kamu hanya perlu merogoh kocek sebesar Rp. 225.000 untuk menikmati wisata ini.

Aku begitu larut menikmati keindahan The Venetian, berkeliling di setiap koridor pertokan yang menyediakan produk-produk ber merk.

Pertokoan di The Venetian.
Pertokoan juga.

Selangkah kemudian aku tepat berada di depan pintu masuk casino. Target destinasi utama yang akhirnya ku kunjungi pada sesi penutup wisataku di Macau.

Memasuku casino di The Venetian cukuplah mudah, hanya perlu menunjukkan passport kepada petugas keamanan di pintu depan maka kamu akan melenggang masuk dengan mudahnya.

Bak berada di film-film Hong Kong zaman dahulu, aku menelusuri setiap sisi casino untuk melihat bagaimana cara orang berjudi di casino. Di setiap meja selalu satu bandar yang selalau menawariku untuk bermain judi. Tentu aku tak akan pernah melakukannya. Aku hanya tersenyum simpul setiap menanggapi permintaan mereka untuk berjudi.

Penutup yang sangat istimewa. Akhirnya aku bisa melihat secara langsung casino di Macau. Semakin gelapnya hari mengharuskanku untuk meninggalkan The Venetian.

Seperti yang kuungkapkan diatas, Aku tak akan melewatkan satu sesi lagi yaitu menaiki shuttle bus gratis yang disediakan oleh hotel-hotel besar di Macau. Kali ini aku menaiki free shuttle bus berwarna biru milik The Venetian. Aku menuju Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal menggunakan shuttle bus ini.

Dari Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal aku melanjutkan perjalanan pulang ke hotel menggunkan bus no 10A seperti yang kulakukan ketika pertama kali tiba di Macau. Dengan tariff Rp. 5.500, aku tiba kembali di Villa Ka Meng Hotel untuk beristirahat dan melanjutkan perjalanan esok hari ke Shenzen menggunakan ferry cepat.

Bye The Venetian….Bye Macao.