Filed Under (China, Cuisines, Macau, Travelling) by Janet on 05-06-2008
Armed with the following complimentary Macau Tourist Map, City Map, Food Guide & Shopping Guide from the Macau Ferry Terminal Visitor Information Centre, both Dear & I were set to start exploring Macau on our very own.
Macau City Map :
Macau Food Guide :
Actually not quite yet as we needed coins for our local bus transportation – & someone whom we believed to be a Hong Konger, one who’d just taken the Ferry from Hong Kong to Macau just like Dear & I, except that he was there to work & not tourists like us, probably as a hard labourer as he was dressed as one, one who touched our hearts so very much as we were queuing up at a local Macau bank counter to change coins.
It all began when Dear & I were at the back of a long queue infront of the bank counter & so I thought I’d check out the other counter which had been shut off from any queue, asking the other bank teller if we were able to change some coins, so that we would not stand in the queuing line if we were not allowed to change coins, so as not to waste time, cos afterall, we’d only less than a full day in Macau. And twice I tried asking the bank teller & twice that young Macau lady refused to tell me the answer to YES or NO!!! She was very impolite & inconsiderate & her behaviour was definitely not the right one to treat any tourist to her homeland at all!!!
Both Dear & I were kinda helpless & then that Hong Konger middle-aged man who was queuing behind us & who’d also seen what that bank teller just did to us, kept shaking his head in disbelief too, & he was so kind to offer us his coins – emptying of his coins from his wallet!!! And refusing to even take a single dollar from us as we only had big notes!! Both Dear & I were so so touched especially myself I could tell you my eyes actually teared up upon such most kind gesture of his, & a total complete stranger to us too, & the only thing we could do in return was kept thanking him as we bidded goodbye to him & left him………
And well, above pic shows us getting onboard the local bus after Dear & I left that most warm-hearted kind soul at the Macau Ferry Terminal. Similar to the Macau young lady from the bank counter, the bus driver wasn’t very friendly too when we tried confirming with him on the directions of the bus route to Senado Square. From these 2 incidents, Dear & I concluded that most Macaneses are not as courteous & helpful as Hong Kongers – how sad!!
We arrived at the Senado Square in a short while – here’s Dear standing at the beautifull Square paved in traditional Portuguese pavements designed with black & white stones of basalt & limestones. Such traditional paving is used in most pedestrian areas in Portugal & old Portuguese colonies such as Macau.
Built in 1918 to link Praia Grande with the inner harbor, & with an area of 32000 square km, Senado Square is the largest conjunction of streets – the city centre, surrounded with pastel-colored neo-classical buildings, which was the place where the governors looked over military troops & police force. It’s since become a tourist attraction & now Senado Square is the venue for most public & religious festivals in Macau. It’s also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of “Historic Centre of Macau” – a collection of over 20 locations & sites depicting the unique cultures of Chinese & Western influences in Macau.
It was still drizzling then as I brought out our Pink umbrella which we purchased from Happy Valley in Beijing :
Below’s the lovely St Dominic’s Church - a typical portuguese building from where the Senado Square ends :
And here’re some old buildings seen further up Senado Square. Built in 1587 by 3 Spanish Dominican priests, it was where the 1st Portuguese newspaper, A Abelha da China (or the China Bee), was published on Chinese soil in 1822. The Church is now also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Centre of Macau.
Dear standing in the midst of the Senado Square :
More pics of the local buildings & shops as we walked further up the beautiful Senado Square filled with a pitch of mediterrean taste & feel :
As we walked along some narrow streets in the Square, we came across the infamous Portuguese Egg Tarts shop. Created more than 200 years ago by Catholic Sisters, the Portuguese Egg Tarts evolved from “pastel de nata“, a traditional Portuguese custard pastry which was first sold in 1837. And In Macau, the Portuguese Egg Tarts originated from Lord Stow’s Cafe in Coloane, owned by a Briton named Andrew Stow, who modified the recipe of “pastel de nata” using techniques of making English custard tarts. And it’s since become popular in bakeries & restaurants throughout Macau.
See below’s gigantic Portuguese Egg Tart with its cutie smiley face, with rows of real Egg Tarts inside the warm container :
Heheh was I thrilled to see so many Portuguese Egg Tarts!!
Dear buying the Portuguese Egg Tart for our breakfast :
Look at the freshly out of the oven just baked warmy Portuguese Egg Tarts – Mmmm…..& they smelt really good too!!
And here’s the shop’s next best local Cuisine – as written in Chinese on the below advertisement at the shop’s front – “Chi Ming Da San Ba Zhu Pa Chuan Suo” meaning “Popular St Paul Cathedral Pork Chop Bun Legend” in English :
I’d actually read about these well-known Pork Chop Buns in the Macau Food Guide (same as the one which Mom got me from her recent Macau trip with Dad, my 3rd brother & family – way before Dear & I came to China), & I’d been looking forward to tasting them!!
Dear ordering the Pork Chop Bun at the shop counter, with the following huge Chinese Signboards reading “Famous Macau St Paul Cathedral Pork Chop Bun” & another saying ” First Taste Pork Chop Bun Before Ascending to St Paul Cathedral” above the shop :
And here’s our ready-made steaming hot & delicious Macau Pork Chop Bun – which consisted of a fairly thick sliced deep-fried Pork Chop (with bones intact) sandwiched between 2 crispy on-the-outside soft in-the-inside toasted Buns :
Mmmm…….Hmmmm…………it was real yummy yummy as Dear enjoyed eating his Pork Chop Bun :
And here’re our Portuguese Egg Tart & Bubble Pearl Tea :
Me holding the Portuguese Egg Tart & Bubble Pearl Tea :
Bitten-off Portuguese Egg Tart as shown on the below pic - Hmmm………the egg custard was soft & tasty, with the crust slightly crispy & flavorable :
And while Dear & I continued enjoying our Pork Chop Bun & Portuguese Egg Tart & at the same time sipping our cool Bubble Pearl tea as we walked further up the Senado Square, here’re 2 snapshots of some local Macanese BBQ Pork Slices which we were offered some slices by the shop saleslady :
Mmm Mmmm…….pretty yummy BBQ Pork Slices – Dear’s & my favourite, but nope we decided not to buy any but continued walking on the Senado Square looking for the Ruins of St Paul’s Cathedral………….
In the meantime, please enjoy my following Slideshow with top 10 Portuguese Songs :