November 30, 2011

Kids and dry bones

Today is December 1!! Which means Christmas is just around the corner!!!

I think December is like my favourite month of the year. Its the feeling of joy and love and family and laughter... Oh, just so exciting :)

Time to set up the Christmas tree and hang out the lights.


Anyway, to start off this exciting month, here is some pictures from GTPJ Kidz@5 a few weeks back. We were learning about Ezekial and the Valley of the Dry Bones which Michelle did a very good job explaining it to the children... And then we did craft...


Joshua, such a little man..  

Erm.. I forgot her name..

Valerie, always smiling and cheerful..

Caitlin, cheeky as usual.. 

Rene, hard at work.. 

Final art pieces.....

Kids make me smile :)

Day 1 - Macau Island

To many, Macau is well-known for its casinos and gambling and nothing else. That was also my original thought before I visited Macau and stayed there for 3 days.

I arrived in Macau via AirAsia late one Tuesday night with Rockstar and Aunty. We took a cab (MOP80 = RM32) to Best Western Sun Sun, located on Macau Island. Since it was already late, we did not venture out except to walk to the nearest 7-11 for some bottled water.

The next morning, the hotel staff kindly provided us with some maps, and gave recommendations and directions on where should we go. According to them, it is just a short walk to the fame Senado Square from the hotel, which we found to be true. We exited the hotel, turned left, walk up a short slope, turned left at the top of the slope, continue walking along the road till you see a beige coloured building in front of you. Senado Square is just infront of the building.

Macau government have made it so easy for tourist. All their tourists attractions were located within walking distance from each other. Pick up any map, spot the green line that stretches from north to south, which shows where the attractions are and walk along it. 

Senado Square

Buildings surrounding Senado Square

Small market along 1 of the alleys off Senado Square. 

More buildings leading north, out of Senado Square towards other attractions

Looking back towards Senado Square

Pork Burger!!! We tried it the next night. *more in my next post*

About 5 mins walk, we arrived at St. Dominic's Church, painted with a shade of orangy beige colour with dark green shutters. A lot of historical building in Macau were beige orange white in colour. 

It is an easy walk along the tourist attractions. The streets were paved in stones and there were many cutsy dark green signpost that shows where all the places of interest were. 

As we headed up towards the must see Ruins of St. Paul's, we passed by a long row of stores (Rue de S. Paulo) that sold lots of dried meat, cookies, pastrys, tarts, etc. etc.. Its was noisy as each shop kept shouting and offering free tidbits to anyone that walk by in hope of luring them to buy their products. But good for us cos we had so much to sample :)

First glimpse of the Ruins of St. Paul's. 

Ruins of St. Paul's

From the top of the Ruins of St. Paul's, looking back towards the street we walked up from. 

We then decided to take a long short tiring walk up the walls of Monte Fort to reach the top of the fort where we could see the skyline of Macau Island. 

After snapping lots of pictures, it was time to go down. We discovered there is an easy way using the indoor air-conditioned escalator to reach the top of Monte Fort instead of the climb we did *pffttt*. From the Ruins of St. Paul's, follow the sign that says Macau Museum instead of Monte Fort. The escalator that leads you up to Macau Museum will also lead you to the top of Monte Fort as the Museum is located at the top of the fort. 

My first ever Portugese Tart in Macau. Hot, crispy and layers of thin pastry. Yummy!!! MOP7 = RM2.80

From the Ruins of St. Paul's, we decided to walk up north along Rue de Santo Antonio to visit more places of interest. As we walked further up, the crowd grew lesser and lesser.  

Beautiful alleys along the walk. 

We passed by St. Anthony's Church but didn't go in to see. 

Arrived at Camoes Park at the heat of the day, and stop to take a rest under the shady tree with the old people :). In Macau, you can see lots of tiny parks on every other street and there are a lot of old people sitting there chatting, people watching or just staring into space. 

I was sitting about 30ft away when I spotted some little birds playing in the fountain and managed to capture for afar shots of them .

Located beside the park is the Macau Protestant Chapel & Cemetery, where it stood quaint, quiet and lonely. 

Walked back to Rue de S. Paulo later in the afternoon to find it thronged with people.. 

Fruit stall at the corner of Rue da Palha

Cute baby boy in pink getting a diaper change :)

Fruit market inside a building along the way. I can't remember the name :)

McDonald for lunch!!! Kinda sad for the 1st lunch in Macau. :)

Institute of Civic and Municipal Affairs. Didn't walk in but manage to capture the gorgeous orange flowers at the stairs. 

After many hours of walking we decided to head back to the hotel for a rest before coming out at night again. One last picture of Senado Square. 

The night before I left for Macau, I met up with Tze Hong who just came back after working in 1 of the casino in Macau, for insider tips on Macau. 1 of the places he said I must try was the 'Wan Tan Mee' at the place where there were red and white building. I asked around but no one knew the place, not even the taxi drivers. 

But as we were walking back to the hotel, we took a wrong turn and found ourselves on a street with white buildings and red shutters. We found it!!! The name of the street is called Rua da Felicidade. It was formerly a right light district but now, the forlorn buildings were just a reminder of its glorious past. Its located a few minutes walk from Senado Square. 

The not so well known but have better noodle place, located beside Pasteria Kok Kei. Since we were full from lunch, we decided to come back for dinner later. 

View from our room. Can you spot where Ruins of St. Paul and Monte Fort is? You can gauge how far it is to walk from the hotel. It looks super far away but it was actually quite an easy walk through tiring and long.. 

Later that night, we headed back to Rua da Felicidade. We expected it to be busy with life but were solely disappointed to find that its just a reminisce of a ghost town. Lights, red lights, red houses, red banners but only a handful of shops are open and few people walking around... The picture below shows a busy part of the street.. 

And there are countless of shops selling shark fins... Big, small, all kinds of sizes.. 

Dinner. We went back to the shop we spotted earlier to try their specialty - 'Shrimp Noodle' similar to Malaysian 'Wan Tan Mee'. I believe its fame exceeded its taste. It tasted like semi-cooked wan tan mee noodles with dried shimp powder on top. The powder was then mixed with the noodle causing it to be really dry. Its kinda OK for me, edible and need some time getting use to it. For Rockstar, its a different thing :) According to the newspaper cutting on the wall, its shrimp powder is famous. You can even purchase it is jars. Well, I tried it once and that's it. It might be a comfort food for some but I'll pick Malaysian Wan Tan Mee anything :) 

We also ordered some fish ball to ease the dryness of the noodle. It came in a plate with soy sauce. Very home-made in look and taste, like pieces of fish meat mashed together to form fish balls. 

Total meal cost MOP78 = RM31. So not worth it for 2 plates of plain noodles with powder on top and a couple of fish ball. 

After dinner, we walked again towards Senado Square, passed it and headed towards the lights :) That's what Macau is well-known for.. 

First casiono - Casino Lisboa. Gaudy and small compare to its newer version..

The Grand Lisboa. The most prominent and I think 1 of the tallest building in Macau. Noticeable from everywhere for its 'tomblike' / flower structure. Go back to my picture above of the skyline of Macau Island and spot it right in the middle of the picture. 

View of the bridge towards Taipa Island - the new part of Macau. There is 3 bridges that links both island and this is the middle bridge. 

Next - Wynn. 

No pictures of the inside as we were not allowed to take pictures of casinos. But we did walk through it and its all really grand. The architecture, the decor, the interior, everything screams money.. Every casino that we visited, not gambled, were unique and beautiful in its own way.

Another hotel cum casino that we passed by; we passed by so many that I cannot remember the name. After awhile, it all became the same - blurred out - casino tables, lights, gold, money, people, tinkling of the closing bell for bets, the spinning of wheels, the voices of dealers.. I stopped taking pictures after a while cause it was tiring. But this hotel was special cause I like the lights. It looks so dreamy and romantic and I think it has a famous name :) 

Another big and famous casino - MGM Macau and a less well-known one - King Casino (I think)

After while, we decided to call it a night. Its been a tiring but exciting day. I couldn't wait to see what else Macau have to offer..