Macau – What’s Your Game Plan?

Tiger Air is the only airline flying direct from Singapore to Macau.

Tiger Air is the only airline flying direct from Singapore to Macau.

Priority Lounge in Terminal Two for Tiger Air.

Priority Lounge in Singapore Changi International Airport Terminal Two for Tiger Air and other budget airlines.

Beverage and Biscuit section.

Beverage and Biscuit section.

My travel partner JJ checking out the chafing dishes.

My travel partner JJ checking out the chafing dishes.

Food I skipped.

JJ said the hot foods weren't great. She had a mushroom flavoured cup noodles which was bland. I think she'd added too much hot water into her cup. I ended up having orange juice and instant noodles taking care not to dilute the soup.

JJ said the hot foods weren’t great. She had a mushroom flavoured cup noodles which was bland. I think she’d added too much hot water into her cup. I ended up having orange juice and chicken flavoured instant noodles taking care not to dilute the soup.

I can't believe I'm having only instant noodles for lunch. Oh, I forgot... I had one mini custard puff and a raspberry jam biscuit.

I can’t believe I’m having only instant noodles for lunch. Oh, I forgot… I had one mini custard puff and a raspberry jam biscuit.

We had half an hour more to kill so I went out to take some pictures of sunflowers but that was a different gate so I ended up with this.

We had half an hour more to kill so I went out to take some pictures of sunflowers but that was a different gate and I ended up with this.

This was our boarding gate and it was almost a full flight.

This was our boarding gate and it was almost a full flight.

For SGD30 more, you can have row one which offered more leg room for the 4 hour flight.

For SGD30 more, you can have row one seats which offered more leg room for the 4 hour flight.

Did you know that Macau also spelled Macao, was administered by Portugal from the mid-16th century until 1999? Also, according to The World Factbook, Macau has the second highest life expectancy in the world. I would have thought her to be stressful being a gaming centre in Asia. Amazing isn't it?

Did you know that Macau, also spelled Macao, was administered by Portugal from the mid-16th century until 1999? Also, according to The World Factbook, Macau has the second highest life expectancy in the world. I would have thought her to be stressful being a gaming centre in Asia. Amazing isn’t it?

Scenes along the way to and fro the airport and hotel while I was “trapped” there…

Reception at The Landmark Macau where we stayed.

Reception at The Landmark Macau where we stayed.

No wifi except for the business centre and lobby area. It forced me to take a break from the cyberworld.

No wifi except for the business centre and lobby area. It forced me to take a break from the cyberworld.

The very same day JJ and I arrived in Macau, the typhoon signal was hoisted and predicted to hit 8 - 9 which meant floods leading to traffic jams and no operational ferry services. We were trapped to roam only a few nearby locations.

The very same day JJ and I arrived in Macau, the typhoon signal was hoisted and predicted to hit 8 – 9 that night, which meant floods leading to traffic jams and no operational ferry services. We were limited to roam only a few nearby locations.

View from my room the next morning. It was clear but the rain came and went during my stay. I fell sick on the second day and fell in the bathroom on the 3rd. Hurt my bum real bad. Why do they insist on polished marble flooring in hotel toilets?

View from my room the next morning. It was clear but the rain came and went during my stay. I fell sick on the second day and fell in the bathroom on the 3rd. Hurt my bum real bad. Why do they insist on polished marble flooring in hotel toilets?

The best place to shop is at Wynn Hotel where most of the brand names are housed. Their collections are also very up to date putting Singapore's boutiques to shame.

The best place to shop is at Wynn Hotel where most of the brand names are housed. Their collections are also very up to date putting Singapore’s boutiques to shame.

Entertainment was limited to karaoke in this Cave which is decorated with different safari themes in the rooms.

Entertainment was limited to karaoke in this Cave which is decorated with different safari themes in the rooms.

After checking in and clearing the immigration, JJ and I went to a restaurant on the second level serving Asian cuisine and had our final meal in Macau International Airport. The waiter served her first but he dropped the soy sauce onto the table and splattered some on her. She was wearing a grey Tee. I was in a state of relief that it was not me as I was wearing cream coloured T. Was I bad for having such thought? Yea, I was :(

After checking in and clearing the immigration, JJ and I went to a restaurant on the second level serving Asian cuisine and had our final meal in Macau International Airport. The waiter served her first but he dropped the soy sauce onto the table and splattered some on her. She was wearing a grey Tee. I was in a state of relief that it was not me as I was wearing cream coloured T. Was I bad for having such thought? Yea, I was 😦

Steamed Minced Pork with Salted Fish and Rice 鹹魚蒸肉饼饭 - The best I had was in a food court in Hong Kong 15 years ago! This one was overly dry yet I did not want to drizzle the soy sauce provided as you can see the the salted fish was a huge piece and adding more soy would destroy my meal.

Steamed Minced Pork with Salted Fish and Rice 鹹魚蒸肉饼饭 – The best I had was in a food court in Hong Kong 15 years ago! This one was overly dry yet I did not want to drizzle the soy sauce provided as you can see the the salted fish was a huge piece and adding more soy would destroy my meal.

Time flies for those who enjoy. See ya in Singapore :)

Time flies for those who enjoy. See ya in Singapore !

I was having problems with the internet lately and could not post as often as I did but I had some 26 guests from Hong Kong the week before my trip to Macau (there are a couple or more of these dinners that I will post later). My girlfriend of 30 years friendship hosted them and they reciprocated with an invitation for all of us to visit Macau. My last trip was about 8 years ago and so it’s time for me to get re-acquainted with the land of games 😉

Macau (澳門 pronounced as Oh Moon/Ou Mun in Cantonese), a former Portugese colony (sovereignty over Macau was transferred back to China on 20 December 1999), is one of the two special administrative regions of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) with the other being Hong Kong. The territory’s economy is heavily dependent on gambling and tourism but also includes manufacturing. Before the Portuguese settlement in the mid-16th century, Macau was known as Haojing (濠鏡, literally “Oyster Mirror”) or Jinghai (鏡海, literally “Mirror Sea”). The name Macau is thought to be derived from the A-Ma Temple (媽閣廟), a temple built in 1448 dedicated to Matsu – the goddess of seafarers and fishermen. It is said that when the Portuguese sailors landed at the coast just outside the temple and asked the name of the place, the natives replied “ma ge” (媽閣). The Portuguese then named the peninsula “Macau”. The present Chinese name 澳門 means “Inlet Gates”. Info credit: Wikipedia

There’s a saying among us that Macau is “女人的天堂, 男人的地狱” meaning a woman’s heaven (great shopping) and a man’s hell (uncontrolled gaming and clubbing). I thought it funny when I first heard the phrase but upon deeper reflection, it all boils down to discipline, control and moderation. I have been to casinos but I have never acquired the taste nor skill to play so I’m not qualified to further the topic but “go for broke” gambling is definitely a vice that can hurt relationships and destroy families.

The few days I spent in Macau was not as eventful as I had anticipated due to the typhoon. I did not have the opportunity to visit points of interest like the Ruins of St. Paul, Macau Tower, Senado Square, Macau Fisherman’s Wharf or the famous A-Ma Temple. I was also hoping to re-visit Lord Stow’s Bakery (安德鲁葡挞) at 1 Rua da Tassara, Coloane Island, Macau, for one of the “must-eat-food” in Macau, their buttery flaky pastry and rich custard filling Portuguese egg tarts. Oh well, who knows I may just up and go again.

Keep a lookout for my next few posts on food I had in Macau. Three dinners (I had 2 and skipped the last for street food instead) were prepared by 2-Michelin-starred Chef Cheng Kam Fu.

Happy vacationing 🙂

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Comments
20 Responses to “Macau – What’s Your Game Plan?”
  1. Janet Rörschåch says:

    What a fun trip. I really like your photo of the orchid and the bee. It is lovely.

  2. daniellajoe says:

    Macau sounds like a big Las Vegas !! Did that pork and fish rice dish taste good?? I like salted fish with veggies…

    • Sam Han says:

      Indeed Macau is Asia’s LV. As for the meal, it was overly dry so not good enough. The salted fish was slightly too much in proportion to meat and rice. I would love for the fish to be sliced thinner and the meat loosely packed and juicer 😀

  3. Laura Lynn says:

    Sorry to hear about your slipping, it IS silly to have marble in a bathroom where it will get wet. But the photos are beautiful. Love the orchid and bee. That’s a work of art. It should be framed. I’ve never experienced a typhoon (and I don’t want to!) they sound scary!

    • Sam Han says:

      No worries Laura, I’m much better now. I was lucky not to have hit my head, lol… Typhoon is scary but I slept through it 😉 Thanks for the compliment of the orchid and bee 😀

  4. LFFL says:

    What beautiful pictures!!

  5. Lignum Draco says:

    So that’s where you’ve been! I’m surprised you weren’t at some international food fair. 🙂

    But Im guessing you had a lot of nice food. Looking forward to the upcoming posts.

  6. Jessica says:

    I really enjoyed visiting Macau! The old Portuguese section is really neat. And they have these special cookies! Shortbread, I think. I don’t remember what they’re called now… My friends have had some bad experiences on Tiger Airways. I’m glad you had a safe trip!

    • Sam Han says:

      Is the shortbread cookies the almond biscuits? Was my first time on Tiger but my friend flew several times without trouble and it’s a direct flight so all the more better. Otherwise I would have been stuck like the others who flew SQ via Hong Kong. And yea a regret not being able to take pics of the old architecture. 😀

      • Jessica says:

        I don’t remember! I will have to ask my friend from Portugal, who lived in HK when I was there and is now in Taiwan. He would be sure to remember what kind of cookies/biscuits they were. And direct flights are *always* better!!!

  7. An evil woman took me into a casino when I was an innocent 21, and I lost 5c. I have never been back to one. I only ever went to Macau for the yum cha (used to be some places where the old ladies still pushed around trollies).

    • Sam Han says:

      I had no chance to venture out coz of typhoon. Hopefully I can make another trip there. The old ladies and dim sum trolleys, wow! I would love to “shoot” them 😉

  8. Looks like you still had a lot of fun. The night scenes are really beautiful. Love your illustrations – I think Macau’s locals probably do not gamble as much and preserve their life expectancies! I hope you get to eat the 葡挞 next time. I got that from some of the Chinese bakery here in San Francisco.

    • Sam Han says:

      Yes, I had plenty fun 😀
      I tasted the Portuguese egg tarts from Lord Stow’s more than a decade ago. These tarts are available in Singapore but the feel is somehow missing.

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