On the second day, we are ready for a different Macau experience!
Exploring the great outdoors out on Coloane Island, hiking around the Coloane Trail, visiting the A-Ma Cultural Village, eating Lord Stow’s Bakery’s tasty egg tarts, trying out authentic Portuguese cuisine and more!
First stop: Vasco da Gama Garden
Right next to Hotel Royal is the Vasco da Gama Garden. Sitting pretty with its well-manicured flower bushes and a bronze bust of Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama, it would be difficult for anyone to guess that it boasts a rich history… The garden used to be a section of a long avenue built to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the navigator’s arrival in India in 1898, but this was the last bit of that moment in history.
Second stop: Trekking on the Coloane Trail + Seeking out Goddess of A-Ma Statue
Clear signs on the trail ensure that we won’t lose our way…
We headed to a nearby bus stop to catch number 25 to Coloane Island. Dropping off at the Seac Pai Van Park, we joined the Coloane Trail for a 1.5-hour trek up to Macau’s highest point, Alto de Coloane, at 171 metres above sea level. The trail was flanked by huge stony boulders and dense vegetation, but was a relatively easy trek with a few long flights of rocky staircases. We could barely see the scenery below, with the thick fog shrouding the Coloane Island, Taipa and beyond.
Amie trying to lift a boulder… for fun, of course!
After nearly 90 minutes of trekking, we finally saw the Goddess of A-ma Statue, standing majestically at 19.99 metres. Why 19.99 metres, you might ask. Well that’s because it symbolizes the year when Macau reunified with China in 1999 after 400 over years of Portuguese rule. We could get panoramic views of the Coloane Island, spying Hac Sa Beach through the mist.
We tried to get a jump shot at the statue but as you can see from here we didn’t manage to do it…oh well :)
Third stop: Catching the Sea Breeze at the Hac Sa Observation Deck & Exploring the A-Ma Cultural Village
The Hac Sa Observation Deck provides a good view of the Hac Sa Beach and the South China Sea out in the distance…but the visibility wasn’t too good at this time of the year so we couldn’t see much. But we still managed to catch some cool sea breeze and make out the faint outlines of the coastline below.
An extravagantly designed temple complex, complete with its own drum towers, bell towers, ornate jade dragon carvings, white marble pillars, a huge well-maintained courtyard in front of the temple and a long flight of steps leading up to it, the A-Ma Cultural Village seems to be a new tourist attraction because there were very few other tourists there. I can imagine there would be crowds of people offering incense during the upcoming Chinese New Year, so we were glad to be there to see it in its peaceful and serene surroundings.
Fourth stop: Lord Stow’s Egg Tarts! Need I say more?
The real deal…a box of six piping-hot egg tarts! :)
By now, all the exercise and exploring has made us very hungry indeed! Time to head down the hill to Coloane Village. The renowned Lord Stow’s Bakery has people flying in from all corners of the world… When we arrived at Coloane Village Square (or Largo Presidente A.R. Eanes), it wasn’t difficult at all to spot the bakery because many happy faced patrons were emerging from there with their piping hot egg tarts in their hands.
Needless to say, we made a beeline for the bakery and ordered six egg tarts in one box, which costs MOP 40. The buttery aroma of the egg tart wafting into my nose was so tempting that I quickly took a bite out of it…aah, it was very delicious indeed! Read Amie’s post on Lord Stow’s egg tarts here!
Posing in front of Church of St. Francis Xavier
Fifth stop: Up into the clouds at Macau Tower
Looking down the glass panel beneath our feet at the streets below!
We rode up the elevator at the Macau Tower, and reached the observation deck at a height of 233 metres in nearly 20 seconds! We could only make out the faint outlines of the streets below due to the heavy fog. Nevertheless, we had a fun time walking around the observation deck and standing on the glass panels was a scary experience especially for the faint-hearted! :O
Sixth stop: Tantalizing the taste buds at O Porto Interior
Voila! What we ate for dinner at O Porto Interior restaurant….hmmm. Read our reviews at Amie’s post here!