Our plan was to reach the Budget Terminal at 7.30am, but due to the ulu area where JT stayed, she only managed to get a cab around 7am++ … then came by our area and pick me & AG up.
So by the time we reached the terminal, it’s around 7.45am liao … and so coincidently PL reached at the same time right infront of our cab. We were still considered early cos the check in counter wasn’t open yet. And so we settled down at the Hans for breakfast.
Soon the check-in counter opened around 8am+…
Thought the earlier we checked in, the chances of choosing the seats we preferred will be higher. We forgotten that it was different from Jetstar where seating no. will be assigned upon check in. For Tiger, we were only get to choose the seats when we were up on the plane. Kiasu us 😛 Not knowing that, we had checked in more than an hr earlier than our actual 9.50am flight. We just got to roam around the waiting area for an hour+ lor.
And when the gate opened, we quickly rush in to queue up to the airplane.
The Macau airport is situationed at Taipa. Though not as grand as ours, but still considered quite neat and clean. By the time we touched down, it was already 1.30pm … but think we were more excited at the start of our ‘adventures’ than our lunch then.
When we reached the Macau airport, we went straight to find out about the ferry tickets to Hong Kong, but there is only TurboJet counter around, where their ferry reached Star Ferry at Sheung Wan in Hong Kong Island instead. As our hotel stay was situated in Kowloon, we could only buy the First Ferry tickets at the Ferry Terminal located at Macau mainland. And so we decided to head straight to our hotel, Sintra 新丽华, to check-in first before we proceed to Ferry Terminal.
Note: Cab fare from airport to Sintra = MOP/HK$57. The exchange rate of MOP to HK$ is very minimal, so it’s almost 1 to 1 exchange. You can spend HK$ in Macau. So it’s advisable to change into HK$ then to MOP where you can use in both Hong Kong and Macau. MOP can only be used in Macau and so it’s also advisable to spend all your available MOP instead of HK$ you have if you seldom go to Macau.
Soon we reached Sintra (@ rate of S$106 per rm/nite), a 3-stars hotel located at Av. Infante D. Henrique 殷皇子大马路 (one of Macau casino tycoon Stanley Ho’s group of hotels).
We set off to the Ferry Terminal via Sintra-Lisboa free shuttle bus to terminal after checking in.
Upon arrival at the terminal, we were approached by a few local agencies. Not knowing where the First Ferry counter was, we ‘followed’ a guy who said he could help us obtaining the tickets. Sounds scary right? … but not true lah … we are not that stupid too 😛 Anyway, he brought us to his little agency at the terminal and introduced his day tour package to us. Looking at the places covered … particularly to Taipa to eat the famous Pork Chop Bun 猪扒包 … cos it’s 2.30pm then and we had yet to take our lunch. Since he could solve our tickets problem at MOP135 each, we decided to take his offer which included 4pax in a private van for 3 hrs (we actually took 4 hr+ at no extra cost) at a single rate of MOP550.
The tour guide said that our timing was just nice for lunching at the famous eating place, Cafe Tai Lei Loi Kei 大利来记咖啡室, where it was said to sell only 300pcs of pork chop buns during weekdays and 600pcs during weekends. I had long heard of this place through many travel and food programmes and now we were actually sitting at the place eating their local Fish Ball Noodle 鱼旦面 (MOP15) and their speciality 猪扒包 (MOP11) 😉 Their 鱼旦 tasted different from our fishball which tasted more like our meat ball. 猪扒包 was simply fantastic! Not because we were too hungry, but their pork meat was really very tender and tasty … slurp! … drooling now :P. The buns were freshly baked before they were served to us, so still hot and crisy when we ate.
After our late lunch at the cafe, we returned back to Macau mainland and headed off to our first sightseeing location, A-Ma Temple 妈阁庙.
Along the way, the tour guide told us that Macau girls dun like rich man, in which JT and PL jokingly said that they dun mind rich man and just leave those guys with them 😛 And when he furthered said that there were 26 casinos there, JT even jokingly (but sounds very ‘serious’) that she wanted to stay in Macau because she wanted to work in casino … as manager! hahaha …
Next we were brought to Penha Church which was situated high up on Penha Hill which offers excellent views of Macau, Praia Bay and Taipa Island. On the day that we went, we even saw new couples taking their outdoor wedding shots … but the bride was wearing sport shoes instead HUH?! (we tried to take a pix of them but was very blur 😛 )
As we parted from the church, the tour guide drove through the old district area where it was once used to be very prosperous and lively until the build of the ferry terminal at the outer harbour.
Soon we reached Macau’s icon place, The Ruins of St. Paul’s 大三巴牌坊. Having watched many dramas and movies taking scene at the ruins, we were so excited when we were right there standing infront of it 😀 … and that’s explained for the numerous pix taken at different angles 😛
Our next destination was the Fishermen’s Wharf 渔人码头 … same name as the one in Taiwan. This theme park was newly opened early this year. One of the main attractions of the year. All our macau maps that we took during our trip still shows that it’s under construction (huh? almost entering into the 4th quarter of the year and still not updated?!). We spent quite some time there and din know that we had overshot our time … the tour guide thought we couldn’t find our way out and went in search for us 😛
Initially our last stop should be at the Macau Tower. But after considering the high entrance fee to the top, and since the purpose of viewing Macau mainland on high level has been done at Penha Church, we cancelled that trip and proceeded for dinner at the authentic Portugese restaurant recommended by the tour guide, which was also near to the casino, Sands 金沙 where we planned to go after the dinner.
After directing us the way to the casino, the tour guide alighted us at the restaurant and left for the day.
This Portugese restaurant Ho Ma Pou Kuok Sio Hau 河马蒲国烧烤 wasn’t very big … seems kinda of a family business restaurant to me. Maybe we were not used to Portugese styled of cooking which used pumpkin for the cheesy feel. Not a bad choice though … still worth a try if you are interested in trying authentic Portugese food which are rich in taste.
After spending MOP443 on our dinner, we proceeded to Sands (which had recently taken over the casino project in Marina South). My first time to such a grand casino … I was like “whao! whao! whao!” But then we din play … first we dun know how to … secondly we dun want to waste our $$ at the table … we would rather shop and eat more with the $$ 🙂 Since we couldn’t take any pix there, me and AG managed to grabbed a bottle of their FREE mineral water bottle each as our remembrance … which we aimed right from the start as we stepped in 😛 (cos we were not allowed to bring in any mineral bottle … was even told to finish up the water before stepping in … funnie rules … hmmm … )
Note: Cab fare from Sands to Sintra = MOP16
It was 10pm+ by the time we returned back to the hotel. After packing our luggages for next day trip to Hong Kong, we settled down to ‘clear our debts’ and calculate each of our expenses for the day. So by the time we went to bed was … only 11pm+??!? … that’s early for me! … considering on an overseas trip.