Monday, 7 January 2013

Strolling through "The Historic Centre of Macau - Part Two

Reviving the Old Streets of Macau - Day 1
This is my second trip of Macau this year 2013 that I was on the trip since last year on 11th Nov 2012, and eventually to come back for my work project history of unforgotten old streets of Macau along the History Centre of Macau that listed the World Heritage Macao. I have worked out the locations, bus-stops, streets names, museums, churches, and so on, that I can decided where to begin with if some of the musuems closed on certain days.
Old Photo taken in 1988 at Ruins of St. Paul's (Macau)
This is not as difficult as to find as I had been there since 1988 that was 24 years ago. I retraced the locations from my old photos of Macau and some of the old roads and churches are still the same, and the shophouses are repeating changes by different stall owners or moved to somewhere else.
Well, Revisit the places that comes in my mind, as I just followed the location map to where I wanted to visit.
Strolling through the "History Centre of Macau" is worth a visit in search of happiness of the Portuguese who lives their life when they first landed on Macau many decades ago.
On the 5th Dec 2013, my hubby and I decided to find the happiness of the old streets of Macau after I went there last year 11th Nov 2012 on my travel & work and found that this has to revisit the places when I reached home at the end of my travel & work. I told with my hubby about the place that I wanted to revisit the place again where I retraced tracks of the old places since I went there in 1988 that much different from now.
So we planned to go on the 7th Jan 2013 for a week and to retrace back to the old places where I had visited especially the 'Ruins of St. Paul's on my old photo in 1988 (see above picture) that I went there with my childhood friend, April J. Wee and her grandma to visit our old childhood friends in Thailand and followed a trip to HK & Macau. So my hubby and I booked a new hotel in Macau (newly opened on May 2012) called Holiday Inn which connected to Conrad Hotel that it shared in one hotel that comprises with two lifts lobby wings that are Holiday Inn lift wing and Conrad lift wing, not to be confused which lift we are checked-in otherwise we might get into the wrong wing.
We arrived at the Macau International airport around 9.30am safety after delay in less than 45 mins, because of the  Internet radio screen not working inside the plane where we boarded earlier. Luckily the staff managed to spot the problems of the network that takeoff or landing not shown on the screen. Then the staff upon the engineers to oversees the problem that took them about 20 to 30 mins.
After we arrived at the Macau airport and we took free shutter bus to our hotel at Macau Cotai Central - Holiday Inn. When we reached at the hotel entrance lobby , the hotel staff told us that some of the rooms are not ready to check-in after all we came to hotel so early. We leave our luggage at the hotel lobby counter and went for a 'early' lunch at the Shoppes, later check-in after 1.00pm
King Size with 42" HD TV
The hotel room we booked is much bigger space, my choice of a King size instead of Double-double twin bed room, features a choice of firm or soft pillows, IPod docking station, multi-functional shower head, and a spacious work desk with task chair allowing me to stay connected with high-speed wireless Internet access. Note: Free Wi-Fi is available in the lobby area and around McDonald’s and Pacific Coffee, so it’s not necessary to pay for the extra levy to use it in your room.
Posh Cushion Chair with a soft cushion
There is also Posh Cushion Chair with a soft cushion that is soft and fluffy makes you feel comfortable while you sit, reading a newspaper or doing paper work. And there is also an alarm clock sitting on the side table that makes you waking up when setting an alarm time tune.
Koufu@Central Cotai Shoppes
At about 11.30 am, we went down to the hotel lobby to have a early lunch at the newly opened Foodcourt - 'Koufu' on the 3rd level of the Shoppes Cotai Central (Shoppes Cotai Central, Shop 3008, Level 3 Sands Cotai Central, The Cotai Strip, Taipa, Macao SAR, P.R. China). Newly opened Koufu foodcourt is the biggest foodcourt in Macau with spacious dinning tables and variety of foods from all the over the countries. The price is slightly higher than Singapore. The food tastes good and the stall's wide space is large and you might try on their different cultures of their foods from other countries.

Crystal Tree@Conrad Hotel main lobby

After lunch, we walked down to the Conrad hotel's lobby to watch over thousands of crystals and it's indeed a huge crystal tree! You will see a truly stunning crystal tree when hotel turns light on along the lobby.
There are 900,000+ individual pieces strung together to create the unique Crystal Christmas Tree. Guess how many are those crystals? Gee....tens of thousands of crystals!
Maybe you will see crystals like this as below two pictures where I have taken a shot at Shoppes near the crystal Christmas tree.
Crystals@Shoppes Cotai Macau
Chance upon the lady who could be hotel staff standing at the shoppes along the shops near McDonald, she is wearing a long 'vase' shape dress on her that look stunning beauty without moving an inch. Guess what type of dress that is made of?
Stunning 'Vase' shape dress
After walking along the hotel Shoppes, we suddenly remembered that we have to check-in after 1.00pm before going to one of the first 'old' casino in Macau that I have heard of the founder of the 'big' boss - Stanley Ho of the Grand Lisboa (pic below). We will take a public bus no. 26 route to this place! Oh...yes, We bought two bus cards (/HKMOP 100) earlier at the store (2nd level) after we arrived at the Macau Airport. And here I am at Grand Lisboa.
Grand Lisboa
Grand Lisboa ( 新葡京) is a 58-floor level, 261-metre-tall (856 ft), owned by Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau (STDM) and designed byHong Kong architects Dennis Lau and Ng Chun Man. And it casino and restaurants opened in 2007, Feb 11 while the hotel opened in Dec 2008 respectively. Grand Lisboa is a ironic hotel with 'round' shape below, its extraordinary elegance. Grand Lisboa is located in the heart of the Macau Peninsula and is easily accessible by all means of public transportation and is one of the tallest building and can be seen in most locations and well known by locals in its new landmark. Grand Lisboa offers free shutter bus services to certain locations indicated on the signboards where you can find in the basement and awaiting areas - pick-up point.

Casino Lisboa
Casino Lisboa (葡京娛樂場) is one of the most famous hotel casino in Macau and owned by STDM, Stanley Ho company. The 3-storey complex was built in the late 1960s and the original casino and its 12-storey was built by Stanley Ho and its partners. A total of 2362 rooms was built in 2010 after a series of extension in 1991 & 2006. Inside the Grand Lisboa, there is an Stanley Ho's statue & horse statue which I will post in the next blog.
Macau Police Car
As we walked along outside the Hotel Lisboa, we saw an cute 'blue' police car jeep parked just outside the hotel that was different from our Singapore police car. And also there are lots trishaw riders parked along side next to police car. All marked vehicles employed by Public Security Police (PSP) have all blue finish with a seal of the force (shown in car).
Trishaw Riders (top) & Rickshaw pullers(1970s)
The rows of Trishaw rider ( 三輪車) where I spotted in front of Lisboa Casino, is a unique mode of transport in Macau, though it is mainly for sightseeing purposes but they were a type of mainly used transportation system before 1970s because of their cheap price. They can easily be found next to Hotel Lisboa and the Macau ferry terminal waiting for passengers. In Singapore, Trishaw rider can expected to charge S$40 for 2 passengers per trip between Westin Stamford and Orchard Road. A trishaw is a mixture of tricycle and rickshaw, featuring a shade of seat behind where as pulled rickshaw (1970s) generally pulled by one man with one passenger.
G4S vehicle in Macau
Minutes later, as we walked along the road, my hubby spotted a van with indicated logo 'G4S' passing by and he mentioned to me that this vehicle that he saw it stationed and came out from the casino nearby and it could be from Grand Lisboa because we saw the huge building that we know is 'Grand Lisboa' behind us.
G4S vehicle came out from Grand Lisboa
We assumed that this vehicle is from G4S, a international security group in Macau that operated more than 100 years (1901-present) a world global operations of 125 countries. G4S is a cash transportation that ferries to and from the world leading casinos in Macau with secure transportation of cash using high security vehicles, fully screened and trained personnel and purpose-built technology to transport, protect, count and reconcile the cash to customer records. What's about Singapore's casinos and how they do in cash?
Water Hydrant
In the middle of the road of Grand Lisboa, the old Water Hydrant is spotted outside the Grand Lisboa in the busy streets of Macau while many tourists and locals could have spotted and avoid of being knock over this.
Facade wall tiles
The beautiful wall design retro tiles is the oldest tiles of what is used to be HDB's kitchen many years ago. There, I found this tiles familiar to my mum's house many years ago with its distinctive appearance on the wall. This retro wall tiles can be found at Rua Da Escola Comercial - ESCOLA PORTUGUESA DE MACAU is a commercial school in Macau.
Cobbled Stone Walkway
The cobbled stones that was placed embedded on the walkway of this Portuguese buildings are amazing! It was cut into maybe 2x2 inches small and carefully pressed on the ground, a combination of black and white marble square stones, as you can see on the above pictures. Truly amazing!
From the view of the old building, as we walked to the world hesitage: The Historic Centre of Macao in the heart of busy street, the 8 magnificent squares namely: Barra Square, Lilao Square, St. Augustine Square, Cathedral Square, Senado Square, St. Dominic's Square, Company of Jesus Square and Camoes Square. Right there, we only arrived at Senado Square that because we walked from Grand Lisboa walkpath to reach there and this what I traced the along the way. Before then we will go the remaining squares in the next few days as we still have much time to do. Firstly, we are at the Senado Square followed by St. Dominic's Square where there is a church nearby - St Dominic Church and also Cathedral Square. 
Senado Square at Day
Senado Square at Night
Senado Square (Largo Do Senado) has been Macau's urban-center for centuries and is a public square, located in the central areas of Macau Peninsula covering an area of 3,700 sq.meters and is one of the four largest squares in Macau. It has inscribed on UNESCO's World Hesitage List as it formed part of the Historic Center of Macau in 2005. Surrounded by neoclassical buildings and paved with traditional Portuguese Calcada, the square offers an harmonious atmosphere which is reminiscent of the Mediterranean. At Senado Square, the Macau Business Tourism Centre just next to the fountain on the left (above1st pic).
Holy House of Mercy
On the right is the Holy House of Mercy originally established by the 1st Bishop of Macau, Dom Belchior Carneiro in 1569. The building was constructed around 18th century, acquiring its present appearance which is essentially neo-classical with traces of mannerist influence in 1905. This building was modelled after one of the most prominent, oldest charitable organizations in Portugal and founded the 1st western clinic and several other social welfare structures in Macau that still function to this day. The role of Holy House of Mercy was to provide support for orphans and widows of sailors who died at sea, a role that is intimately linked to Macau's profile in the context of the principal regional and international maritime trading routes.
Pharmacia Popular
The Pharnacia Popular stands in 400 year old that closes to the water fountain and General Post Office (below pic). A history goes like this, a Portuguese man opened Macau's first western pharmacy in 1895, housing its 2-storey European building in the centre of the city. More than a century later, the building still operates and serving customer and is part of one of the city's biggest providers of medical services. It had three major renovations - in the 1980s and in the 1990s, it has great historical meaning a symbol of the East and the West. The 2-storey building is painted in yellow with yellow shutters on the 2nd floor. It occupies the prime site close to the square with the water fountain in the heart of the city. It sells Chinese and western medicines, medical instruments, health and skincare products.
'Leal Senado' Building
Leal Senado's building was Macau's 1st municipal chamber built in 1784. Its neo-classical in design and has retained all its original master walls and primary layout. The carved library was particularly styled after the library of Mafra Convent in Portugal.
Leal Senado Building hall
The granite staircase that leads up to the courtyard garden and to the public library and conference room on the 1st floor. Wall is covered with blue and white Portuguese ceramic tiles, a most distinctive feature rarely found in other building in Macau, flank granite staircase, the central axis of the building.
General Post Office by night
We walked around till night as we would like to see how the night falls on Senado Square and we believed it would be the most beautiful night scene at Senado Square where many locals and tourists like us love to meet people all walks of life and the amazing buildings turn into brightly colorful scene. Here is the General Post Office, we walked pass again to see this magnificent building brightly lit in the cool breeze (15 degree).
St Dominic's Church by Day
St. Dominic's Church by Night
St. Dominic's Church was founded in 1587 by 3 Spanish Dominican priests. It was here that the1st Portuguese newspaper was published on Chinese soil. The bell tower has been modified into a small museum exhibiting a collection of around 300 artifacts.
Statue of Stanley Ho & Bronze Horse Head
Vase with Lotus Flower
Golden Dragon Ship
Now, we have to head back to where we were previously - Grand Lisboa,  to see some permanent displays at the lobby of Stanley Ho's possessions (above pics) and his precious Lotus pond, this incredible Lotus pond sparking under glitlering crystals ceiling chandelier. The Bronze Horse Head of the Summer Palace (worth HK$69.1 million) was donated by Dr Stanley Ho to China. In September 2007, Dr Stanley Ho purchase it through Sotheby's Bronze Horse Head of Yuanmingyuan to return it to China and set a world record for any Chinese Qing scrulpture.
Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal
At last but not least, we called it for a day, instead of taking public transport bus, we took a free shutter bus service at the basement of Grand Lisboa to Ferry terminal (above pic) and changed to our Holiday Inn hotel shutter bus & headed back to the hotel in 20 minutes,  for our dinner at the hotel where there is a foodcourt at level 3.
We will set off the next day on Day 2 in the next blog.

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