Worldwatch: That Macanese magic
It?s nice and cool in Macau. Ambling through the choc-a-bloc streets I cannot help but notice the sweet and fruity smells filling the air. And while I chew on those thin sweet strips of pork (from the street stalls) and wash it all down with yet another can of Guinness I am almost sure I have died and gone to heaven.india Updated: Jan 04, 2006 12:21 IST
It’s nice and cool in Macau. Ambling through the choc-a-bloc streets I cannot help but notice the sweet and fruity smells filling the air. And while I chew on those thin sweet strips of pork (from the street stalls) and wash it all down with yet another can of Guinness I am almost sure I have died and gone to heaven.
Music in the air
Long before I touched the Macanese shores I was told that it had enough museums, churches and temples to satiate the hungry tourist. But all those worldly wise folks forgot to mention that other touristy attraction — Macau’s clubs. In most of these places gambling is practised with a fervour akin to Las Vegas. What’s different however, from the Vegas style is that most of the money is not spent on slot machines, but on the tables.
Hotel Lisboa, located in Macau peninsula, is one of the most grand and most popular of these hangouts. But just in case you haven’t gotten round to figuring out the manifold pleasures of the game then you could always search for the answer to the mystery in those well-stocked bars that abound.
Even as you munch on the nuts they serve you along with those nicely made drinks a live band plays on, making sure those spirits ride a perpetual high. And no, those husky voiced stunner don’t croon in their own language. On the contrary, they begin with Abba and other disco numbers, and then move on to more livelier stuff such as Rolling Stones’ Honky Tonk Woman.
Food for thought
Must Visit: A visit to the ruins of St Paul’s church.
Macau was the first European enclave in Asia. Lying just 65 kms west of Honk Kong, a simpler method of getting here is by hopping into one of those high-speed ferries that leave almost every 15 minutes from Hong Kong. The Portuguese influence (dating back to the 16th century) alongside the Chinese and Macanese cultures make for a heady mix. And there is no better testimony to this than the cuisine of the place.
Betting on grey hounds or horse races is another passion of the Macanese folk. Macau and its islands also have some pretty sight-seeing spots. The beaches are good picnic spots.
If you have time on your hands plan a day trip to China. Zhu Hai in China is just a stone’s throw from Macau. A combination of Sarojini Nagar and Palika Bazaar, here you can pick from a range of techy toys, clothes and shoes. But just a note of caution: it’s very likely that the Calvin Klein watch you pick up will turn out to be anything but genuine.