After a suitable party-fuelled recharge in Guangzhou (well, what else is there to do there) I was heading to Macau for my own little bit of family history, and some amazing egg tarts (mum had gone on and on about then for ages, so I figured I simply had to try them!) I checked into the Victoria Hotel for the best nights sleep I’d had since the toy town in Mongolia! As with most hotels in China, I was highly amused by more Chinglish signs.
Feeling well rested in a really rather swish hotel, it was time to check out the ruins of St Paul before wandering round a very bizarre Macau Museum. Which housed such oddities as an entire collection of ‘cricket wrestling’ accessories, yes, you did read that correctly, cricket wresting…apparently it was quite the rage in Macau in the late ’60’s, right up until the ’80’s! They even had coffins and funerals when the crickets passed on, and to promote and encourage them to fight they even had an elaborate array of ‘cricket ticklers’ (yes, even I was beginning to wonder if there had been something slipped into in my Starbucks coffee before I entered this bewildering museum!)
Before I’d left for China, mum had told me that my great great great uncle Robert Morrison was in fact buried in China, Macau to be exact, in a cemetery next to the aptly named ‘Robert Morrison Church’ in central Macau. So obviously to clear my head after the weird museum full of cricket wrestling paraphernalia this was the next logical place to go.
Finding your own little bit of family history on the other side of the world is always pretty cool so obviously there was need for photographic evidence of this discovery. After paying homage to my ancestor it was then time to hunt down the legendary king of Macanese Egg Tarts – Lord Stowe’s Bakery in Coloane Village, unfortunately, due to my falling asleep, I managed to miss my stop and ended up on the beach. Wandering through the time-worn streets of Coloane you really do get a sense that this is a village that time forgot about, the clocks stopped here and have begun to grow a layer of dust, the crazy hedonistic gambling lifestyle of central Macau hasn’t hit this sleepy little village yet, and I really hope it stays this way, life shouldn’t be lived full pace at full volume all the time, there’s always time for an interlude! Eventually I found my way to the center, guided, I am convinced, by the mouthwatering smell of Egg Tarts!
After my fill of egg tarts (and stocking up on enough to substitute for my breakfast the next day) I had some time to wander along the beach and admire the sleepy little idyllic village, as yet untouched by the crazy speed of the rest of Macau. Before I headed back to mainland Macau it was only right that I tried some proper Macanese cuisine, Portuguese – Macanese to be exact, at the Restaurante Fernando, No 9 Praia de Hac Sa, who serve you the most amazing little petit fours chocolates at the end of your meal. Right up from the beach, and only a short walk away from Lord Stow’s, if I’d planned this better I could have eaten here first, and taken dessert at Lord Stow’s. Oh well.
Now I’d had my fill of local life and local cuisine it was time to head back to the bright lights of the bigger city, time to take on some Macanese Casinos, British stylie, before hitting Hong Kong in the morning! One of my old class mates from Harbin was joining me for the last few days. I headed back to the hotel to meet her, scrubbed up and we hit the town’s casinos in style – and didn’t win a dime! Which is probably why Macao’s casinos are the most profitable in the world.