Macau The Beautiful Share
The moment when I posted about the journey to Macau in Facebook, the comments reflected the views of Keralites on that place. Most of the people earmarked this as an immoral land. Besides having many gambling centers there, nothing else I felt bad about that place. Macau is a beautiful shore situated about 64 km from Hong Kong near Southern Chinese Sea .Like Hong Kong it is also a union territory under Chinese subservience. Even though it has been called as the resort city, about six lakhs of people are living in just 30 square kilometers.
From Honk Kong I started the journey to Macau with family in Ferry.
Ferry is a kind of boat which looks like a ship in a sight. About 250 travelers can be accommodated in it and it takes one hour for the journey. This luxurious super-class journey is much expensive, similar to a business class flat. The passengers are provided with snacks and drinks. The cost for economic class is around 149 Hong Kong Dollar [approx.125 Indian Rupees]. Since the walls are made with glasses both sides are clearly visible. Even duty-free shops can be found there.
We are required to use seat belts while travelling in ferry as it feels like being in a flight. Cabin attenders will be there for proper administration. Announcements from captain can be heard frequently. The speed of the journey is 60 km per hour. There is no requirement of visa for the Indians even though the emigration procedure should be completed at Hong Kong Terminal. It will take a few minutes. The entry to Hong Kong is allowed once the security checking is completed. If there is a luggage bag it should be separately sent.
The Hong Kong- Macau journey in ferry is a busy one. Annually around 10 lakhs of people are using this. Therefore the tickets are booked much before. It is more convenient to book the ticket much earlier the journey. If you are ready to spend more money it is likely to use the helicopter service to reach Macau within 15 minutes.
From Kerala, flight services are available to Macau. The service of Air Asia from Cochin will help you to reach there at a low cost.
In the Macau union territory, there is a peninsula named Macau, the regions called Taipa, Coloane and Cotai-the land formed by the diversion of sea. Macau is connected by three great bridges. Besides the ferry terminals to Hong Kong and Shenzhou, Macau also has an International airport. Near the ferry terminal there is a bus terminal too.
The construction of Y-shaped Sea Bridge which connects the popular city of Hong Kong in Pearl River delta with Macau and Zhuha in China is getting completed. By the end of this year, the 55 km long bridge will be opened for transportation and it will become the world's largest sea bridge. I felt a disappointment for not being able to travel through this bridge.
After reaching Macau, I went to a hotel. The bus journey in Macau is of low cost. Although, we must keep their currency named Pataka with us. We will be in trouble if there is no change with us because the balance will not be returned. The shops in Macau will also accept Honk Kong dollar and Chinese Yen. The free services of many luxurious buses are also available near to the ferry terminal. Being inside the bus nothing will be asked by anyone but will be getting down at respective casinos only. This journey will be much useful if we are supposed to stay in the hotels near to the casino.
The Visual Attractions
After finishing my food from hotel, I went to Senado Square, an important tourist place in Macau. The stones were paved beautifully. The water fountain situated at the city center is so popular. There are many expensive shopping complexes near the square. This made me to hold the hands of my wife firmly.
Ruins of St. Paul is situated close to this. This is a church named after the Christ disciple named St. Paul. Now there remains a tower and gateway of the church. Due to continuous fire, the church has been subjected for destruction. This church has got world heritage status in 2005. The old fort Mount Fortress and the temple Na Tcha are situated near to this. These also have got the World Heritage status. Some of the important casinos of Macau are also located very close to this church.
Before handing over to China in1999, the Macau was ruled by Portuguese. Their influence is visible all over the Macau. 30% of the population is Chinese natives and the rest are Portuguese and Philippines. Buddhism is the main religion.
The 70% of the total income of the Macau government is from gambling centers. Venetian Macau is the important casino. Asia's largest single-structured hotel building is located along with this World's largest casino. Everyone except children is allowed to enter the gambling center but I focused on the beauty offered by malls and hotels. The casinos in Macau and the shopping complexes along with it are the last word for luxury. I felt that the gambling centers there were the hi-tech electronic version of those centers in my native place.
The great canal and shops in Venetian Macau were built based on Venice in Italy. The canals and shops here are a smaller version of Venice. Looking to the artificial sky I felt like it is going to rain. This sky is owned by an American company named Las Regas Sande. Parison Macau is a fascinating casino similar to the Macau Tower. This small region has 38 casinos within it.
Another attractive feature is the 338 meter long Macau Tower. Its official name is Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Centre. The adventurous sky walk above the tower is so much exciting. The jump from 233 meter height reaching the earth in 17 seconds is world's highest bungee jump. We are well protected with rope while doing this jump. There are many other scopes of adventures too. The free luxury bus services are available to casinos from Macau Tower, Macau International Airport, Macau ferry, and China border.
The Fisherman's Worth, the ancient town Coloane, Kunlam, A Ma Temple are some of the tourist destinations in Mecau. The 'Macau' has been originated from the name 'Ama'.
With lots of memories, I left Macau - another version of European cities and headed to Hong Kong, a city similar to New York.