The final installment of my Hong Kong 2015 adventure series isn’t in Hong Kong at all, but in Macau! It was a speedy one-hour ferry ride from Hong Kong, but it felt like we’d been transported to an entirely different place, ages away from Hong Kong!
For starters, the apartments were all scrunched together; they looked like huge, stacked bird cages!
The buildings were so colorful; dirty and rusty, but painted in such pretty pastel shades underneath all that grime.
Macau was famously colonized by the Portuguese, and the European influence here was everywhere, much more so than in Hong Kong.
The architecture was so gorgeous, though some buildings had obviously been kept in better shape than others.
I didn’t really realize how large Macau was, until after we got there. I’d expected to be able to walk right across it, but it’s actually composed of the mainland, two islands, and a casino-covered area of reclaimed land. So, we just stayed on the mainland, though I wish we could’ve explored more!
We headed straight for the mainland’s biggest tourist attraction: the Ruins of St. Paul Cathedral. The Cathedral was built in the 1600s, but was mostly destroyed by a fire in the 1800s, with the Southern facade being the only remaining piece. It is incredibly impressive, but difficult to truly admire on account of the masses of people everywhere!
The craftsmanship was amazing; I’ve never been to Italy, but I imagine it’s similar to cathedrals there. Just beautiful!
A view of Macau from the Cathedral steps.
Easter egg pink townhouses just around the corner from the Cathedral.
An old, rusty incense burner, also just ’round the corner from the Cathedral!
I loved the mixed Chinese and European influences everywhere; I mean, is that not a totally European lion?!
The Museum of Macau, located within a 16th-century fort. We didn’t go inside the museum itself, but enjoyed wandering around the remains of the fort.
Eoin delightfully named these trees “armpit trees.” I thought they were pretty funky, anyway, and they were absolutely everywhere!
We wandered out of the fort, and found a lighthouse somewhere (I can’t really remember where…)
There’s that classic bamboo scaffolding in action!
Spot the turd-shaped topiary!
So, the rest of our time in Macau was spent just aimlessly wandering around. We happened upon this little shrine nestled into the corner of an abandoned building (with another armpit tree dangling overhead!)
I loved how the tree’s roots were actually coming through the walls of the building, and beginning to grow into the shrine. Nature prevails, even in the grimiest urban environments ♥
I actually noticed this minty green cathedral from the top of the fortress, and sought to seek it out! Buildings are so much easier to find when they’re colored like sweets.
The cathedral itself looked very well-maintained, but the surrounding cemetery hadn’t been so well looked after.
This rusty old shovel lay just where someone had tossed it, presumably ages ago.
It was interesting roaming around the cemetery; some tombstones, like this one, were purely in Chinese, while others bore Chinese and Portuguese script. We even found an Irishman’s grave!
There wasn’t only a mixture of languages in the cemetery, but also a mixture of faiths. We saw quite a few graves with Buddhist figurines carved into them, like this one.
Maybe there was even a pet cemetery here?
The place was covered in feral cats, anyway. Eoin started patting one, and it immediately began coughing and explosively pooping everywhere. So, yeah. Leave them feral cats alone!
Soon after leaving the cemetery, we came upon this quirky little park.
More gorgeous architecture!
The park was full of cute little old people, hanging out and playing board games.
This winding walkway was built over a massive lily pond; unfortunately, they were all dead and dried out. I’ll bet it’s amazing when they’re alive and in bloom though, ugh!
Eoin was fascinated by all these funky rock formations.
Macau’s streets were impressively clean, probably because they slap huge fines on doggy doo doo and litter. So, where’s a pooch meant to go potty?
Uhh, in the designated dog toilets, obviously! I loved this idea so much. More puppy potties everywhere, please!
Random schnauzer surveying the world. Or maybe looking for the dog toilet.
You were magical, Macau! ♥ And thus concludes my last installment of our 2015 New Year’s holiday travels. I expect the next few weeks will be hectic with moving house and starting our new jobs, but hopefully I’ll have some Seoul-based updates for ya over the Korean New Year!