EMILIANO & JAEHEE
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IMG_0822Ruins of St. Paul’s, in Portuguese: Ruinas de Sao Paulo, Macau

Another trip to Asia working on Spring 13 for Gap right now and for the first time in all these traveling years to HK, I am having real full 2 day weekend without work.  Saturday was relaxing spending much time to work out and sweating out all the toxin out of my system in the steam room then had good laughs over lovely dinner in Central HK catching up with Daniel, Kim and Joey. It’s always good to see friends especially when I am away from Emi and Gael.

Then how about Sunday?  A long ago, I have watched a documentary on Macau, a formal Portuguese colony back in the 16th century and lies between China and Hong Kong bordering Guangdong province. The Portuguese influence still runs through their food and also architecture that makes the city so exotic from anything I knew about China and it always stayed in my head. I thought I would visit Macau one day, and that One day finally came to me in just right timing!

Here come check out my day in Macau.

IMG_0717The day started with bit of rain. It’s super humid for the moment in HK and Macau is just the same. There are 2 main stations where you can catch a ferry depends on which side of HK you are. I am on Kowloon side, so I took the ferry at China Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, which is also walking distance from Inter Continental and Sheraton Hotel in Kowloon side of HK.

IMG_0711The ferry gets quite full but clean and comfortable with good leg room and cushy chairs!  You get your seat assigned. And a good Air Conditioning. Ahhh you so need it with weather like here but you may want to bring a light cardigan as it gets bit chilly.  About 1 1/2 hour ride one way fair from Kowloon to Macau is about HKD 160. By the way, Macau’s own currency is SAR but literally Everyone takes HKD as norm in Macau.

IMG_0706Bring your Passport!! And check if your nationality needs a Visa. Koreans are waived from getting a Visa for up to 30 days. HK$166.00 ( about US $24.00) for one way ride.

IMG_0744My first stop at A-MA temple. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS TEMPLE! This temple was built back in 1488 dedicated to Matsu the Goddess of seafarers and fishermen.

IMG_0746So shrine and peaceful with lots of soft warm colors at the temple. These cone shaped shades are hanging at many little spots at temple holding visitors’ wishes and prays…

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IMG_0752Always love the smell of incense… I feel blessed when it covers me over… especially at temples.

IMG_0754More prays.

IMG_0762A-MA temple is located on the south east tip of Macau peninsula cascading down from a small but good 50 feet high hill right off a main road along the water.  Quite curved up and pointed tips of roof are cute and fun. I love the washed down mints against the brick red together.

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IMG_0764Pressing down my own urge to kneel and pray… I am still looking for a right spot for me. There are plenty of little pockets where you can unleash and get blessed at the temple.

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IMG_0769I am in love with these circular opening gates sort of. Do you think the circle means eternity…?

IMG_0777HK$30 can get me that little connection to my superior God in Macau. It’s about to be my turn. I found the right spot. It’s at the very top of the hill.

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IMG_0787I pray and think of all those faces including you. Emi, Gael, mom, brother, dad, Yoon, Hun, aunt, uncles, grannies, all of my in-laws, Suzy, Livia, Luciano, especially their health, family at work all around the world, their little worries, issues, happiness and health, all of friends here and fiends there. Ben and Ben’s Mom. Angela’s and Beppe’s. Tania and Tamara far away in England. And good business after all of our hard work. Love among the family and friends…

IMG_0790But most of all I ask for Strength. Not some powerful magic for things being solved by itself or God. I’ll do that. But I can’t ask enough for solid strength, agility and resilience. Just like my running and just like being a mother.

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IMG_0793You can also burn a candle. They come in different sizes but all in Lotus flower shape. By the way there will be Lotus Flower festival in Macau from June 16 for a week.

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IMG_0803Larger than life size incenses!

IMG_0810The main room.  Most colorful and ornately decorated.

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IMG_0733Right outside of temple, Portuguese music and dance is going on, The mosaic tiled flooring reminds me of Rio in Brazil.

IMG_0820 A typical Macau Bakery. Macau got some good thing going on when it gets to food. Delicious Portuguese warm egg tarts and Almond cookies!! Yum! and Crispy pork sandwich on the street!!!

IMG_0815Egg tart! I am getting one. About US$1.00 Cheap and Cheerful!

egg tartThe first bite is warm and flaky. Ssooo good!  Then it gets creamy getting into the custard. Not too eggy. It tastes sort of Cream Brulee in a pastry cup as the surface of custard has that slight crunch and caramelized texture to it. Not too sweet but just right. I really had to stop myself for buying the second. I may search to see if I can find this back in NYC!

IMG_0823In and out of sun, it’s getting really really hot in Macau. You can see the humidity in pictures!  Walking up to the facade of Ruins of St. Paul right near the main square in Old City.

IMG_0825Built back in from 1582-1602, this facade is what is left from the complex of St.Paul’s college and Cathedral of St. Paul. As many other sites in Macau, Ruins of St.Paul is also a part of UNESCO World Heritage site.

IMG_0824Right in front of the site, there were these handsome young men playing Macau’s traditional music.

IMG_0827OK, Check out their awesome instrument in such geometry. I love it. And i like to pay huge respect that they are wearing these heavy boots and all. I am talking about 90 degrees at 90% humidity! Here I am watching them sipping on chilled PocariSweat which is Asian Gatorade. Or I would have fainted already in this heat.  Their song does not have any lyrics. It’s more of this instrumental like low and high sound that they make through the air inside of their head and throat. It’s quite fascinating.

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IMG_0834OK. There is only One street that connects from the main square of Old City to Ruins of St. Paul. You know what that means, that little street gets quite crowded but maybe it was the very best kind of touristy spot I had so far! About 50 feet long walk will give you the best taste of what Macau can offer as far as their savory Jerkies, Fried Pork chop sandwiches and delicious Macau cookies. It’s overwhelming and so much fun!

IMG_0831These are all sort of different meat that is dried and seasoned. They are gooey tender sweet savory and sticky! There are plenty of little shops lined up on this street giving away little samplers. They cut and pack to each order while you wait.

IMG_0832There is High Competition selling these delicious crunch Almond Cookies on this alley. They seemed to be steamed on a steam tray, but amazingly crunch it feels like they are baked. The cookies also called ” Chess Cookie” as they are in a shape of Chinese Chess.  This guy is a sample/sales man.

IMG_0839Before they get on to the steamer. They have this system they can steam, a few trays at a time by stacking them tall.

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IMG_0833This guy got them all!  Jerkies and various cookies. Another sample man.

IMG_0836Sesame cookies.

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IMG_0844There are 33 churches, 44 temples and 100 banks in Macau ( think gambling). This is a small temple off the market.

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IMG_0847I am thinking it’s in lychee family.

IMG_0871I assume this is a kind of plum. It’s me that I don’t speak the language… They told me what it is but I didn’t understand.

IMG_0854This Oh-so-smell-good fried pork in a bun is Everywhere!

IMG_0856One more look at Egg Tarts!

IMG_0853This sign sort of sums up a vibe of Macau to me. It feels like an outskirt of what old HK could have been. It feels old school and quite sweet despite all these crazy Casino business they got going on. There are plenty of little streets and churches and temples and little signs. Lush trees in between old buildings. I like it.

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IMG_0859Getting into the heart of Old city. Apparently all these building are 500-700 years old!  There are plenty of weekend visitors from HK and China.

IMG_0860The main square where the church ST. Joseph is. Check out the tiling! Just like Rio.

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IMG_0863Quite humble interior of Church. Here I was going for the second round of stop and pray.

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IMG_0869One of the most popular ways to get around in Macau.

IMG_0868Bean, Tofu and dessert place.

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IMG_0875Cute Macau moment.

IMG_0876Main downtown with lots and lots of banks.

IMG_0879Heading back to Ferry station. The white and cream building with wild windows are one of many high rise Casino/Hotel buildings.

Two things that I didn’t do this time visit to Macau were 1. Gambling and 2. Proper meal as I am not interested in gambling at all and I actually hate it and I was quite exhausted from the heat so I kept drinking water rather feeling for any food. So I have one good reason to visit Macau one day again. Food!!

But click Here to see where you can eat in Macau and watch Anthony Bourdain’s 2 day visit to Macau!

IMG_0101Moving Digital art by Jennifer Steinkamp, USA: “Rapunzel 9″  greets you at the reception. I absolutely LOVE this.  I would call it ” Underwater creatures’ Fire works”. It’s very Avatar and Christopher Kane. Love Love Love and I want it!  

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IMG_01136th floor Reception.

IMG_0119Lounge at night.  I am never into  trendy hotels.  Or trendy wanna bes with lousy and loud pumping music and cheap decor and all. Especially when it’s a business trip.  You just  can’t rest. It’s too much. If you even hear all that  noise rising to your room, then it’s the worst. But I must admit I really enjoyed staying at W HK on Austin road this trip. Quiet quiet rooms and well pulled off modern and quirky decors. It’s modern and fun in a nice way. And W HK can cook!!

IMG_0116Another great design I really dig. The lamps at the bar on the 6th floor. Illuminating Sting Rays? yeah I think so. It makes a beautiful scene either that is day or night!

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IMG_010620th floor elevator area. It’s a modern day “Alice in Wonderland”

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IMG_0144Digital room number book. Built with lighting system indicating  need cleaning or not to maids.

IMG_0127“Kitchen” entrance.  Beautiful harbor view is impressive in the morning. And  the food is excellent here at kitchen. It serves Breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet of fine international cuisine including fresh sashimi and huge selection of baked goodsAnd beautiful decor. 

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IMG_0068On going floor to ceiling big glass windows along the entire restaurant are absolutely beautiful. And it’s a different take on the view of HK. The Harbor view without the skyline of HK main island and I love it. Especially in the morning the industrial mega size boats look almost shrine and peaceful. It has edge vibe. 

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IMG_0171Loving the beautiful chairs. Deep red adds a great accent through out the floor.

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IMG_0078The wonderful ” Kitchen”!  Filled with all the delicious hearty food with comfortable style. It’s beautiful and  Not intimidating. Fresh smoothie, juices in farm style bottles, a huge range of baked goods and Japanese and Chinese cuisine and so much more. I think the best thing about this Kitchen is the nice and open layout with a style that feels like you are in your good friend’s house who has a lovely lovely kitchen. It’s inviting and cozy. It’s relevant to today and I love it!

IMG_0176Wonderful Pastry Bar. Home made Jams, Honey, bread, bagels more more more…

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IMG_0138The favorite part of the Kitchen: The Communal table with the fantastic Show case filled with stacks and stacks of plates, bowls and ceramic cats.  Ahhh, It’s so great! The surreal beauty!

IMG_0140I love everything is being stacked in this kitchen. The luxury of having it all. The luxury of all that space you want and you fill it up! It’s so satisfying. I envy it.

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For your next HK trip Check out and Check in at W HK on Austin Road!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intercontinental Hotel in Kowloon, HK is always a stop by for at least for one evening. Truffle oiled fries, mini Berger plate, seared tuna salad and couple of drinks.  But real charm of the Intercontinental is their enormous water front glass view window of the lounge. It’s spectacular!

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You can reach to the main HK island from Kowloon side by $2.00 Ferry, which is a good local fun thing to do, or by a car. Tropical breeze and stormy spilling lights. HK is a another Manhattan, the city never sleeps…!