31
Jan
12

The Chronicles of SAR: Homeward-bound (Day 04)

All good things come to an end, and after an interesting side trip to Hong Kong it’s time for us to return to Macau, and later on, back home.

This is how an above-ground train station looks like in Hong Kong

Two days are simply not enough time to explore Hong Kong, but it was nice that we were still able to visit the more popular of its tourist destinations.  I was in Hong Kong but didn’t really feel like it as we basically just covered Ngong Ping and Disneyland!  Oh well, more reasons to return!

Hong Kong MTR Central Station (underground)

Nice looking cakes from a bake shop inside one of the MTR stations 😀

Good bye Hong Kong!

From Hong Kong we again took the ferry back to Macau.  Because we were in a hurry to catch our ferry we had no time to stop for dinner, so I had a quick break at the ferry itself.  Talk about fine dining!

My ferry dinner: cup noodles and cold tea 😦

Macau-HK ferry is pretty much the same as those in the Philippines, except that the terminals are international and you need your passport

Less than an hour later, we were back at Macau via Terminal Marítimo do Porto Exterior (Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal) also known as the Macau Ferry Terminal or Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Pier.  We had originally planned to find a good spot for dinner, but probably because of fatigue we dropped that plan and hoped that the ferry terminal or airport would have some nice spots to eat.  Sounds feasible, but to our dismay there’s not a single food store inside the terminal, so we had to push our luck with the airport.

One of the first structures you’d see upon arriving at Macau via Terminal Marítimo do Porto Exterior (Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal)

Inside the ferry terminal

An international airport should have some decent places to eat, right?  Not if you’re at Macau International!  Yes, the airport is decent but that’s about it.  In terms of food, it’s unbelievable but they only have a single canteen (public-side) which, at its best, is just an ordinary canteen.  Even our mall food courts have more decent food.  Suddenly, Manila’s international airports don’t seem so bad.

Inside Aeroporto Internacional de Macau (Macau International Airport)

But as they said, “beggars can’t be choosers.”  We’re just famished, so any food, good or bad, is still food.  The airport canteen’s food isn’t so bad, but it’s not any good either.  I didn’t even have any motivation to take pictures of it!  There’s also another one further into the airport (after immigration) but the food is exactly the same.

This is just about the only interesting item in the canteen

Travel Tip: If you don’t intend of having Macau Pataca (MOP$) bills and coins as souvenir, make sure to “dispose” of them at the airport (or elsewhere) either by spending them all or exchanging them with other currencies (like HKD, USD, or even PHP).  Macau Pataca cannot normally be exchanged with other currencies outside Macau SAR.

Aside from the usual chocolates and candies from elsewhere in the world, you can get some authentic Macanese delicacies at the airport for “pasalubong.” This is also a great way of “disposing” of your remaining Patacas 🙂

Before concluding this trip, there’s one other “issue” I realized—about the Philippines’ arrival card.  If you can still remember how practical Macau’s arrival card is (which is practically the same as Hong Kong’s) you’d be “surprised” about ours.  At first I thought the flight stewardess gave me a flyer so I didn’t pay notice to it and almost threw it—good thing I looked at a second time.  I had actually forgotten about it, until this trip reminded me of it.  Almost half of our arrival card is advertisements!  And if you start filling up the fields, it’s a little bit annoying because it asks a lot of things which I don’t think is relevant!  I’ve no idea what tourists think about our arrival card, but personally I think it needs an overhaul.  Seriously, ads in arrival cards?!  Aren’t the ridiculous fees in our airports enough to cover a single sheet of a small paper?!

A flyer that also doubles as the Philippines’ arrival card (or is it the other way?), and it’s back to back!

Compare it with this: concise and single page

There were so many things that we were still not able to do because of our relatively short trip which makes me want to return to these administrative regions soon!  The total area of these two SARs combined are probably smaller than Metro Manila but there are a lot of things to do!  What I regret most about this trip was not being able to eat authentic local dishes.  When I travel, it’s not only the sights that I’m interested in, but also culture, and food is one of the best ways to experience a country’s culture!  Because most of my food were from fast food and commercial establishments, I feel that I’m only half of me is satisfied, but on the bright side, it gave me the craving to return real soon!

Last glimpse of Macau from the air

Until we meet again, Macau and Hong Kong!

* * * * *

The Chronicles of SAR: The Special Administrative Regions of Macau and Hong Kong


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