Last time I’ve been to Macau was 1999 before it was handed over back to China. It consists of the Peninsula Macau and the two islands Taipa and Coloane, just opposite Hong Kong. Macau was a Portuguese Colony from 1887 till 1999 but first Portuguese settlers go back as early as 1557. It has a nice mixture of Portuguese flair, alleys and Chinese temples and shrines. Also to note it is the only place in China where gambling is legally allowed. In 1999 there was only one Casino and tourism not the strongest income source. So I expected to experience quite some change after 14 years.
The main attraction I guess is the St. Paul ruin and if I remember correctly nothing much changed here. Luckily I came in the evening so there was at least a bit of space to take some shots but it was already quite dark and as usual I’m running around without a tripod. Prominent place for wedding photos.
I like travelling with the X100 it’s easy to carry and to handle but I had here and there my challenges to get sharp photos which I haven’t uploaded here. One will come where I just couldn’t get the exposure though it was tricky. Again very bright sky, sun shine and a lot shadows.
The streets were usually busy, day and night. But once the shops closed (ard 9:30pm) you would see only cleaners and carton collectors. You will see a lot of not so shape or out of focus shots, well I also like shooting while I’m walking and not always hold for the shot.
One thing which striked me were the several “new” bak kwa shops just in front of St. Paul ruins. This is a typical Chinese BBQ pork meat (see above flat thin slices) also popular in Singapore.
Not to forget the street food, seemed to be also very popular in Macau. A long queue in front of a shop means good food and you can be sure everything is fresh.
Above you see a crowed of mainland Chinese tourists. Macau was conquered literally by mainland Chinese tourists. When I went to the Venetian buses and buses loaded with tourists from mainland were arriving with no end. And they seem to like the Venetian, a taste of “old” European style. I just wasn’t sure if they all also went gambling (the casino was quite busy actually). Though I’m not a great fan of “fake” kitsch it was still impressive. For the above shot I waited a bit till some started moving else you won’t see much as they are big crowds.
I had a lot of Portuguese food, it was good and a welcomed change to the food court “meals” I usually have for lunch in Singapore.
One of the new iconic buildings in Macau is the Grand Lisboa, see above the tall building. You could see it almost from any part of the city. Not only a hotel but also a huge casino. Also this one was quite busy.
Now I’m back and wondering why I haven’t thought of using the build in ND filter of the X100, one of the reasons actually I had bought the camera. Many shots were overexposed and the bright sun actually cried for the ND filter. What did I write below ? I ‘m still growing with the Fuji Xes.
After 14 years there are lot of changes. Many many casinos, many many people. Macau is doing fine and the locals seem to like the changes as they bring business and buses loaded money.
Hope you like some of the photos. Comments and feedback is appreciated.