Alvin In The Room: Journal

A day-trip in Macau

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Macau is a small city quite near to Hong Kong, with about an hour sea journey. As a Hongkonger, I don’t always visit there. The last time traveling in this city was 12 years ago! So I don’t have much understanding about it, and when I came there a few days ago, I felt like meeting a new friend. Start from zero, I chose not to plan in a day trip and walked anywhere as I liked.

澳門是一個鄰近香港的小城市,由香港出發只需約一小時的高速船即可。雖然我住在香港,但不是常常去那邊,而上一次⋯⋯已經是12年前的事情了。對這個城市的了解實在不多,所以幾天前的重訪,基本上等於重新認識。既然沒有什麼印象,倒不如以隨意走的方式再度過我的一天遊!

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I bought a ship ticket at the ticketing office in the ferry pier. At 9:15am I still needed to wait for 1.5 hour because there were so many people heading for Macau. I didn’t know I could be a waiting-list passenger to have a chance leaving earlier until I arrived at the gate, but I don’t think it’s a good idea since many passengers are queuing up. I took a seat with an Australian tourist next to me. He was about 40-50 with a big backpack, being on a 30-day trip for Hong Kong, Macau and some cities in China. This was the second time visiting Hong Kong but the first in Macau. We had a nice chat together thoughout the journey.

我只打算在碼頭購票,但是早上9:15抵達售票處,都要等待至10:45才能登船。後來在閘口才發現原來可以透過後補乘客的方式,如航班最後還有座位的話,是有機會乘搭較早的班次,但是排隊的乘客也不少,也不保證可以提早出發。最後,我坐在一名約40-50歲澳洲背包客旁,他打算用一個月遊覽香港、澳門和中國一些城市。他已經第二次造訪香港了,而澳門卻是第一次。在整個航程中我們閒聊了不少。

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I started walking from the ferry pier (only by bus when returning). Macau is a comfortable, beautiful and walkable city. No worries when you are tired because there are some big and small parks which provide enough seats. One of the parks I recommend is Jardim da Flora, or Flora Garden with the whole city available from a small mountain.

Walking can allow one to have a deeper impression on a city, although finishing the whole is not impossible at a time. I walked in a township, with many low historic buildings preserved. I also noticed many new high-rise buildings on the other side and it seems to be a current and future trend. This made me think what Macau is, or what the city will be.

從碼頭開始已經步行(只有回程才乘巴士)。澳門沿路風景很美,走路很舒服,路上的人不是很多。即使走累了,可以到公園坐一坐。比較推薦二龍喉公園,而且那裡可以在山上觀賞整個城市的風貌。

建議走路的另一個原因,就是可以加深對城市的認識,雖然不會有最全面的了解。這次我走在市中心,不少葡式建築都在這裡,但同時也望到另一邊有不少高樓大廈,似乎高密度的發展是現在甚至未來澳門的發展方向。

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The currency system here is interesting. Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) and Chinese Yuan (RMB) are acceptable in Macau so you don’t need to exchange your money to Macau Pataca (MOP, the currency in Macau) before traveling if you are from HK or mainland. Even when you pay in HKD, changes can be given by MOP. This is also the case in vending machine and the rule is clearly stated.

除了留意路上的事物,也可以留意它的貨幣制度。除了本土的澳門幣,這城市也接受港幣和人民幣,所以如果是香港或是大陸居民,可以不用找換的,但是找贖多以澳門幣為主,不一定考慮你所用的貨幣。自動販賣機也一樣做法。

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Really surprised when finding an interesting pocket park near Ruínas da Antiga Catedral de São Paulo (the Ruins of St. Paul’s), the most famous historic site in the city. There are several graffiti artworks covering the walls of the buildings nearby. The park used to be another building. The graffiti is not arranged by the government (like Kwun Tong, Hong Kong) but by an organization called Gantz 5 which promotes graffiti culture.

在著名景點大三巴牌坊附近,居然給我發現一個充滿塗鴉作品的休憩區。這個休憩區本來是大廈,拆毁後除了作為小公園,旁邊的大廈牆身就成了可以塗鴉的地方。按牆身的資料,作品不是由本地政府粉飾(香港觀塘工業區的巷弄據說由政府規劃的)的,而是由一個名為Gantz 5的推廣塗鴉組織,他們的網頁中說有時和政府合作,想是政府也容許吧!

Skyscraper, Macau
Skyscraper, Macau

Is it true that there is nothing other than its colonial history as well as more high-rise hotels and gambling sites in Macau? Is happiness and even well-being taken for granted under ongoing constructions? Can the locals decide how Macau can go and take part in creating a better city with its uniqueness, besides the government officials and businessmen?

在想,是不是只有葡萄牙殖民歷史和風格,還有高樓大廈,才能定義澳門這個地方,而不能容許其他的元素?持續的建設是否可以確保甚至提升人們的快樂和幸褔水平?除了政府和商人,居民是否也可以有參與城市規劃的機會?讓城市更變好,也讓城市有真正的特色。

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Although it was just a day-trip, I enjoyed the city walk in Macau. It’s a very small but fantastic city, and there should be more to explore other than what I said as above. I wish I could stay overnight and meet locals when I come next time.

雖然即日來回,但還是享受短短的步行之旅。澳門雖然細小,但不錯而且也應該有更多的待我去發掘和探索。希望可以再訪時,可以在這裡住宿,還有認識在地人,對澳門有更深入的了解。

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