My 2-day stay at the wondrous Macau was a brief one; yet still manage to get me stuck in awe wander. The formerly Portuguese colony has made an immense growth over the past decade as a country with countless hotel skyscrapers and mega casino resorts all around its corners. Macau offers luxuries and pampering to some and a gold pool of opportunities to others, it is clearly a hot drifting tourists magnet in Asia.
This time, my trip went a little diverge from the usual course. Itzy-glitzy splendors aside, I’m on the roll for the breathtaking historical sphere of Macau, Taipa Village.
Heading off to the heart of Macau, my attention drifted quickly towards the rare fusion of Cantonese and Portuguese cultures that are still strongly concentrated among the area.
As if I just channeled down to the era of 16th century: I see History. I see a brilliant work of art lingering in the present. I can feel it down within my bones; the entire bound of Old Taipa Village that maintains such strong essence of the Portuguese’s colonial possessions. Indulging me with kudos to the preserved heritages that have lasted from the past century, mainly juxtaposing the elevating glass buildings clustered around the diameter.
While walking along the paved main road entrance of Largo Do Senado (senate square), I noticed the wavy pattern of ebony and ivory tiles printed on the ground, creating such motion of a warm greeting to the jammed crowd of thousands. Ahh…this is one of those times that spark off such an alluring crisp-crisp euphoric sensation in between my bloodstream! A rush feeling of warmth welcome and a sense of belonging to the jubilant crowd, just work out the twist perfectly for me.
Pronto! Mix scented aromas of assorted local foods suddenly struck right into my nostril. Mmm…So captivating, it reminded me of my rumbling tummy. Based on a little research made earlier, I then headed to Wong Chi Kei (黃枝記) Noodle and Congee House (can be easily spotted with just a bit of straight walking from Senado Square’s entrance). Very famous in the wired net and judging from the lining queue outside the restaurant, indeed it is the favorite eatery for both locals and tourists. The idea of waiting itself was a betrayal to my longing tum, yet oh God, their famous ‘Wong Chi Kei’s Wanton‘ was da bomb! Thin strings of authentic braised noodle with divine generous serving of homemade shrimp wantons and top up with a dust of shrimp eggs that looks exactly like chili flakes as a final touch up really did satisfied my craving…. Oops and don’t forget to order hot soya bean milk as your beverage if you happen to visit Wong Chi Kei, totally recommended!
Moving on to Rua do S. Paulo, a narrow passage walkaway guiding towards the prominent Ruins of St. Paul Cathedral, relays long lining of local bakeries given the nickname the Snacks Street where tourists often purchase delicious souvenirs from. Where to start! Haha everything they got to offer is all legit speaking to my bias. Well, KOI KEI Bakery I think put on market the largest selections of snacks and biscuits. My ultimate favorite there is the Almond Cookie, unlike any other cookie you ever tried, this one is a bit different in color, it has this white sandy like texture mixed with rich amount of roughly chopped blanched almonds and probably a lil bit of vanilla essence to complete the taste. It is a flavorful cookie that melts inside your mouth like sweet refreshment, making you want more and more of it! KOI KEI bakery also sells the popular traditional Portuguese Egg Tart that consists of a soft and moist texture of the golden custard filling, caramelized right on top of it with crispy puff pastry on the outer layer encircling the egg custard, it almost gives the savory of crème brulee-like consistency, but only 10 times better alongside the crunch pastry! I also got some greasy beef pork jerky from KOI KEI, though I prefer the spicy one compared to the original sweet sour flavor both really worth the penny spent, as it is a great company to go with a bowl of plain congee.
Nearby relies the facade of the popular landmark in Macau, The Ruined of St. Paul’s Cathedral , was built around the 17th Century marked as one of the largest Catholic Church in Asia during that period of time. It’s really interesting how the church was once burned and destroyed by fire thrice until it really collapsed, then later the reconstruction of its facade began as the foundation and tomb of the church was uncovered. The facade was constructed in such a precise measurements with well ornate details of the building to sustain its historical value for it also includes a grand stairway from the rear up to the cathedral, giving people access to climb up and take a greater scoop of the artistic work. The place was undoubtedly jam-packed with groups of people moving right here and there trying to search for good angles to capture the exquisite monument live. Asides from Ruined of St Paul there are some other vintage churches existing nearby, like St. Domingo Catholic Church in Senado Square which until now still performs daily services.
After spending some time admiring the sublime Ruined of St. Paul, I headed off to my final destination of the day, which is the mighty Porta D’armas da Fortaleza (Fortress Armorial Gate). A quick hike is required to reach the top of the fort. Where I saw numbers of big cannons being displayed as props to the strong impregnable fortress that it used to be. The firm stonewalls who faded its actual dark grey color into irregular shades of dull stain, never washed away its individual charm as the symbol of security. Walking along the peripheral of the fort…. I was stunned upon seeing the beautiful panoramic exposure of Macau that really bewitched the eyes. The wind breezed gently towards me, as it brushed my cheek swiftly and blew away my hair in astray, the peaceful serenity of an early evening has put an end to my little adventure in Taipa Village imprinting a glowing daze that still lingers under my skin.