Saturday, August 18, 2012

Can and Sculpture & Monuments (This week's Photo Hunt themes)

For many people, a visit to Macau is not complete without a visit to at least one of its many casinos.  For others, a visit to the former Portuguese enclave just is not complete without digging into some Macanese and Portuguese food.

As those who know me will realize, I've never actually spent a dime in a Macau casino but I've definitely enjoyed many meals and snacks in "the other SAR" -- and that many of my recent visits to Macau have been motivated by a yearning for Macanese or Portuguese food.  At the same time, I also consider my excursions to this cultural heritage-rich territory to be incomplete without a stroll around the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Historic Centre of Macau and visits to at least one of its many historic monuments.

Although some of Macau's historic monuments (such as the Mandarin's House) can appear to be off many visitors' radars, pretty much every tourist and traveler will invariably gravitate at some point during their visit to the very photogenic Ruins of St. Paul's. Almost as inevitably, many of them tend to be generally content to just take photos of the intricately carved 17th century facade of what was originally the Jesuit Church of Mater Dei -- with or without ascending the 66 steps leading up to it -- and also snap a picture or two of the friendship sculpture located nearby of a Chinese woman presenting a flower to a Portuguese man.

But because I realized that the Na Tcha Temple located near the Ruins of St Paul's (so close, in fact, that you can see it to the left of the photo at the very top of this blog entry for Sandi's and Gattina's Photo Hunts that's dominated by the Jesuit structure) is dedicated to the Taoist god that was the subject of a favorite childhood movie of mine called Na Cha the Great, I made a point to check it out on one of my early visits to Macau.  (And yes, it's a small and architecturally simple structure but this temple built in 1888 as part of a bid to halt the Plague ravaging the territory at the time is indeed also one of Macau's valued historic monuments).

However it wasn't until my most recent visit to the territory that I finally checked out the Museum of Sacred Art and Crypt  built in the inner area of the Ruins of St. Paul's. And even though I was surrounded throughout my visit by hordes of tourists, I have to say that I'm glad I went -- and, also, that I was indeed moved by what I saw in there: notably, the remains and relics of Japanese and Vietnamese Christian martyrs that had been shipped to Macau as well as a historic painting depicting the 1597 crucifixion of the 26 Martyrs of Japan (who I had been told about on my first visit to Japan back in 1982 but hadn't previously realized had their remains removed more than a thousand miles (i.e., close to two thousand kilometers) away to Macau).


Horsoon said...

Hmm NOW I realized what I've missed the last time I was in Macau! Had to get your help the next time I get the opportunity to visit Macau and HK again :)

Great post, as usual!

ancient one said...

I love the detail you present in your posts. Beautiful photos for the themes!!

magiceye said...

Beautiful takes on the themes!

Trekcapri said...

Hi YTSL, a wonderful photo collection for this week's dual theme. There's something so sweet about the sculpture in your last photo. Your post makes me want to visit Macau both for the food and the history and interesting monuments. Thanks so much for sharing.

Have a great weekend.

Vicki said...

You sure can do. Nice coverage of the theme.

EastCoastLife said...

I am so looking forward to visiting Macau and tasting the Portuguese food. Glad that you didn't waste any money at the casinos. :P

YTSL said...

Hi Horsoon --

Yeah, I think getting my help (via reading this blog) might be good for the next time you visit Macau as well as Hong Kong! ;b

Hi ancient one --

Thanks for reading as well as looking. Appreciate your appreciation. :)

Hi magiceye --


Hi Trekcapri --

Well, I do hope that when you do decide to set foot in Asia, I'll help sway you to visit Hong Kong and Macau. :)

Hi Vicki --

Thank you! :)

Hi EastCoastLife --

Hehe. Re the casinos: not only have I not wasted my money at them but I've actually made use of their free shuttle buses AND air-conditioning! :b

Gattina said...

I like the sculputure in the last picture !

Anonymous said...

beautiful shots . . .

Carver said...

Great post and it encourages one to go beyond the quick snaps and venture up the stairs as well as into the museums.

YTSL said...

Hi Gattina --

Hope you like the pictured monuments too! ;b

Hi JDeQ --

Thank you.

Hi Carver --

Exactly the message and sentiments I was trying to convey. Thanks much for "getting" it! :)

Twisted Cinderella said...

LOVELY pics!

Annie said...

This makes me want to visit Macau. Your photos are fantastic!

YTSL said...

Hi "Twisted Cinderella" --

Thanks! :)

Hi Annie --

I'm glad you like my photos. Re Macau: it's a bit sad that the majority of its visitors just want to go gamble -- but that just means the historic centre's attractions and streets are less crowded for the likes of us! :)

Sreisaat Adventures said...

Soksabay, YTSL!
I've been to HK many years ago and I had the awesomest time ever. The food, the sights, everything is exciting! I'm targeting Macau next, with my husband. I can't believe I missed it when I was in HK.

Thank you for the info about the WHSites in Macau. I'm collecting postcards under the WHS theme and I haven't got one from Macau yet.

Here's my PH this week:

Sue St Clair said...

Like you I definitely prefer hikes and visits to historic monuments and places than lose money at the casino. Great take on the themes :)

YTSL said...

Hi Sreisaat Adventures --

Long time no see! ;)

I can understand your having had so much to see in Hong Kong alone that you didn't think to go to Macau from Hong Kong. But if you can spare a day on your next visit, do go check it out -- and even better, spend a couple of days and one night there. :)

Hi Sue --

I think that's the thing with casinos: I'm convinced I'll lose money at them. One look at how huge and grand some of the Macau ones definitely gets me thinking that!

Mariposa said...

Beautiful! The photos make me want to go to Macau!

YTSL said...

Hi Mariposa --

Wow... maybe I should ask the Macau tourism authorities to sign me up! ;D