Saturday, July 9, 2011

Near (This week's Photo Hunt theme)

How far would you go for a good meal, a change of scenery and/or a nice leisure day out? For many Hong Kongers, the answer might be as far as some 60 kilometers (around 37 miles). More precisely, the Big Lychee's sister Special Administrative Region of Macau is a popular destination for day trips and weekend visits -- and I even know of at least one person who thought nothing of heading to the former Portuguese enclave for dinner after a full day's work in Hong Kong!

Considering how different Macau can feel as well as look -- and really is -- from Hong Kong, it can come as a surprise that the two Pearl River Delta territories actually are located fairly near to each other. And the distance between them can feel even smaller as a result of there being so many routes and transportation options to travel between Hong Kong and Macau.

For decades now, the territory which got its name from a goddess (AKA Tin Hau in Hong Kong, A-Ma in Macau and Mazu or Matsu elsewhere) has been Hong Kongers' "go to" place to scratch their gambling itch (but these days, it's not just Hong Kongers who can be found there as Macau has become a bigger casino town than Las Vegas). However, the territory that the Portuguese only handed back to China in 1999's principal attractions for me are its photogenic UNESCO world heritage-listed core and related old sections -- and the food served up in restaurants like Fernando's, A Lorcha and O Manel. (And for those who are wondering: O Manel is where the fellow who went to Macau just for a meal dined!)

And yes, it's true: I too now number among the people who will go to Macau from Hong Kong just for the day -- targeting a morning ferry ride that gets me into Macau in time for a big lunch, followed some sightseeing and strolling about to walk off lunch and build up an appetite for tea (I simply can't resist those yummy Macanese egg tarts!) and then a light dinner (sad but true, I have never been able to have a big dinner after the big lunch and afternoon egg tarts!) before making the return ferry trip back to Hong Kong.

And to Photo Hunters contemplating visiting Hong Kong for pleasure, I do recommend a side trip to (relatively) nearby Macau. So budget at least a week to do this part of the world justice should you decide to holiday here! :)


Anonymous said...

It looks like a beautiful and extremely photogenic place

ancient one said...

Great photos.. yes, it is near enough that I would go, if I could.

magiceye said...

beautiful take on the theme!

jams o donnell said...

ANother great post. It looks as if Macau has traces of its Portuguese rule?

Liz said...

They say it's really beautiful in Macau. I've been to HK many times but never to Macau. I hope to see it next time.

Love your take on the theme. Have a fabulous weekend!

Liz @ MLC

Annie said...

Very interesting. I didn't know that HK and Macau were so near.

Have a good weekend!

YTSL said...

Hi archiearchive --

I do believe Macau is that. :)

Hi "ancient one" --

Ah, but would you go just for the day or a meal? ;b

Hi magiceye --

Glad you like my take. :)

Hi jams --

Yes, Macau definitely has traces of Portuguese rule in its culture -- particularly architecture and food. :)

Hi Liz --

Consider going just for the day from Hong Kong -- though if you have time, I'd recommend over-nighting there at least once. :)

Hi Annie --

To give an idea how near they are to each other: the ferry ride takes just about an hour and there are ferries departing for the other place every few minutes! :)

Maya said...

We have a visit to Macau on the agenda when we visit Hong Kong in November. I was thinking of maybe staying the night, even though it is so close by-really close by Australian standards.

gengen said...

It is cool one...Happy PH! Mine is up.

Carver said...

Great take on the theme and it looks like a great place to visit. That seems fairly near to me. Where I live there are a lot of towns and cities which are part of one big area and people often go from one to the other to work eat or spend an afternoon as each have an individual identity.

YTSL said...

Hi Maya --

I think Macau is worth more than one day -- so if you've never visited before, I'd recommend that you plan to stay one night (and two days) there. :)

Hi gengen --

Thanks. :)

Hi Carver --

To add to your comments: Macau is made up of the Macau Peninsula and the island of Coloane and Taipa (now joined together by the reclaimed Taipa strip). Quite a few people I know who visit Macau only stay in the Macau Peninsula but I like to go to Coloane too whenever I'm there.

Susan Demeter said...

What a great take on the theme :) I always learn so much when I visit your blog and I appreciate it. Macau sounds like an interesting place to visit :)

rdl said...


LifeRamblings said...

Macau is a great destination for foodies besides sightseeing. i love Senado Square and you can never go wrong with those Portuguese egg tarts and almond cookies, yum yum!

Gattina said...

Must be a very nice place ! Hongkong seems to be a very interesting city!

Anonymous said...

i didn't realize that macau is that near to hk that's why people combine these two sites to see in one trip.

Sandra said...

Great photos, and as always, I learn so much when I visit your blog. I have never been to HK, but all of your photos have made it look so beautiful. Thanks for stopping by, have a happy weekend.

Colin Campbell said...

Not much into gambling. Is there any reason to go if you don't want to gamble. Some nice architecture? Have a nice weekend.

YTSL said...

Hi Sue --

Thanks for the nice words. Am glad you visit and that you get much out of doing so. :)

Hi rdl --

For the record, that was a dish I had at Fernando's and yes, it was yummy! :b

Hi Life Ramblings --

Sounds like we are quite similar in our tastes with regards to Macau. :)

Hi Gattina --

Hong Kong is a very nice... and hope you will think that Macau is a nice place too. ;)

Hi ewok1993 --

You said it! :b

Hi Sandra --

I'm glad that you like my photos. And yes most of them are of Hong Kong... but not all! ;)

Hi Colin --

Nice architecture (and quite a few, including churches and former merchants' homes, are open to the public) and delicious food are (my) reasons for visiting Macau! :D

Anneke (Mudhooks) said...

As usual, the most informative and interesting contribution. I always look forward to seeing what you've posted each week. Thanks!

jmb said...

One of my best friends is from Macau, she's my "twin", since we were born on the same day and the same year.

But she went to Hong Kong for her undergraduate years and came to Canada for her post graduate work and met and married a Canadian.

To us Macau seems very near to Hong Kong and if I ever get to Hong Kong I will certainly visit it. Did you get a side job for their tourist bureau YTSL? Just teasing.

Have a great weekend.

Willow said...

Macau provides a lovely lightshow during the night. Purrs Willow

YTSL said...

Hi Anneke (Mudhooks) --

You made my day with your remarks. Feel so chuffed by them -- thanks! :)

Hi jmb --

Sometimes I do wish that the Hong Kong Tourism Board would contact me and offer me a job. Re Macau: less so but actually, in a previous job, I had dealings with the Macau Government Tourism Office and have to say that everyone of its reps that I dealt with were absolutely lovely. :)

Hi Willow --

I've actually not seen the lightshow in Macau -- or, for that matter, a whole one in Hong Kong! ;O

Trekcapri said...

Hi YTSL, great photos and a wonderful take on this week's theme. Macau sounds like a fabulous nearby day trip. And the egg tarts looks and sounds delicious. I think I would travel some distance for those.

Have a wonderful week.

Dragonstar said...

Beautiful photos. I love the first one! You really make me want to visit Macau.

YTSL said...

Hi Trekcapri (Kathy) --

More re the egg tarts: thus far, Lord Stow's are my favorite -- but the next trip I take to Macau, I think I will try his ex-wife's! ;b

Hi Dragonstar --

If you ever visit Macau, make sure you swing by Hong Kong, okay? ;b