China Trip – Part 2


Friday
Friday morning Bill headed downstairs to find some breakfast while we got dressed. He said he was walking down the street looking for a place that looked good when he suddenly smelled baked goods. A moment later he was having a hard time deciding what pastries and buns to buy, he wanted them all. He ended up with an amazing selection of puff pastries stuffed with chicken or pork and some baked buns filled with ham, cheese or sweet lotus paste. 
We called Tommy’s a breakfast pizza since it had cheese, onions, corn and tomato sauce on it. It sounds a little weird, but it was really delicious. 

 

The puff pastry filled with barbecued pork was delicious as was the bun filled with sweet lotus paste.

Chicken pie

Lotus pasted-filled bun on the left, “bacon bun” on the right.

Barbecued pork (my favorite).

Curried beef in puff pastry (Bill’s favorite)

I have eaten these pastries various times in the US, but the tenderness of the buns or the flakiness of the pastry was a whole other level of awesomeness. I would be a happy girl if we could have these for breakfast every day.

Tommy was still not quite caught up to the time change… an hour after waking up and he was acting like he was ready for a nap. Fake sleeping here.

Just kidding Mommy!

  Random stop in the hallway to snuggle with his blanket.

After breakfast we were picked up by the driver, Uncle Ming, and we made our way to a couple of Macau’s must-see sights. 

First stop was the A-Ma Temple. It’s a Taoist temple, built right into the side of a mountain at the southwest tip of the Macau peninsula. It was built in 1488 for Mastu, the goddess of seafarers and fisherman. It’s said that the name Macau is derived from the name of this temple. When Portuguese sailors arrived and asked the name of the temple, I guess it kind of sounded like Macau. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most photographed placed in Macau. 

I could easily spend all day at this place with my camera. It was really beautiful, except for the large crowds.

Lots of stairs! It was uncomfortably warm if we were in the sun, but in the shade it was nice.

The spiral-cone things are coils of incense. Macau Tower looms in the background.

It’s a very traditional practice in the Taoist religion to burn incense. You’re supposed to keep praying or giving thanks or whatever until the incense burns out.

Tommy giving his offering.

Looking back toward the entrance.

Tommy was quite excited to see so many bananas!

We tried to get Tommy to sit on the lion for a photo, but he wasn’t cooperative and there were just too many people milling around.

From the temple, we made our way to the Fortaleza do Monte (Fortress of the Mount). Built by the Jesuits in the early 1600s, this was the Portuguese colony’s military fort. We climbed more stairs than I cared to count to get to the top where there were some pretty panoramic views of Macau. 

Tommy enjoyed the opportunity to run around.  

Tommy was told to keep his hands in his pockets.

Views of Macau from the top of the fort. Across the water there is mainland China.

 

 

It was nice and cool down in this small museum.

“Hey Tommy! Go pick up one of those balls!”

“Hang onto the rail please!”

Right next to the fort sits the Ruins of St. Paul’s. It’s just the remaining front facade of what was a Catholic church in he 16th century. Many of the crypts have been preserved as… which really just looked like random holes in the ground. The church was destroyed by a fire after a typhoon in the 1800s. This is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We chuckled a bit at the Latin verse above the entrance “Mater Dei.” It means “Mother of God” in Latin, but we joked that this was Mater’s church.

  

Here we had our first experience of how Tommy is kind of a novelty here being half Chinese. A Japanese woman asked if she could take his picture when we were here. I was a little shocked that she asked, but it was pretty funny. 

The ruins sit at the top of a long set of stairs that reminded me of the Spanish Steps in Rome. Again, there were lots of tourists milling around, but it was still pretty to walk around and take photos.

After the sightseeing we joined with another one of Bill’s aunts for lunch at a dim sum restaurant in a fancy hotel in Macau. 

They had a few tanks of seafood including a tank of the “pissing shrimp.” Look how big they are!!

A lobster as big as his head!

We enjoyed lunch and Tommy enjoyed making faced at himself in the mirror that was on the ceiling. 

Say-Goo-May on the left and Lo-Goo-Jeh on the right.

Tommy was playing with the camera on Bill’s cell phone and managed to put it into a black and white mode. This was the photo I snapped at random. Tommy’s looking at the casinos from the window of the restaurant.

We headed back to Say-Goo-Ma’s apartment for nap time. On the way we stopped by Say-Goo-Jurng’s motorcycle shop to say hi.

 

Back to nap time… Bill and I didn’t intend to nap, but we did anyway; for a very nice three hours. Say-Goo-Ma had to wake us all up so we could get ready for dinner.

The driver took us back to Macau where Bill, Tommy and I walked around near the Wynn and the L’Arc hotel/casinos waiting for our dinner companions. The L’Arc has a french theme with the side facades of the hotel resembling the L’Arc d’Triomphe in Paris. 

 Big pot of gold!!

It was warm and breezy out and made for a nice walk. Adjacent to the casinos is a line of jewelry shops selling blinged out watches and jewelry; lots of diamonds, gold and jade. Some breathtakingly beautiful, some really gaudy. I saw a diamond and emerald necklace that I really liked and wondered if it was appropriate to wear while grocery shopping in Utah. I figured, why not?

We met up with two of Bill’s aunts and their families for dinner at a fancy Shanghai-style restaurant inside the L’Arc hotel.  Dinner was amazing and I wish I remembered to take some photos (I did eventually on this trip, I promise!). There was a deep fried whole fish that was covered in a sweet and sour sauce with diced carrots, pine nuts and tomatoes. There was also a really delicious braised pork dish that tasted like it had been braising all day. There were Shanghai-style soup dumplings and a noodle dish. There was also a tasty soup.

Two of Tommy’s second cousins enjoying their dessert… a very egg-y steamed bun filled with sweet lotus paste. The bun had an odd texture, but was yummy.

After dinner the kids ran around the lobby outside the restaurant and we took a group photo. 

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About wobetxela

Artist, mom, traveler, hiker, babywearer (for as long as they'll let me) and hobbyist photographer.
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