China 2010: Day 3: Macau and Zhuhai
Turns out Macau is a pretty small place, even though it's comprised of not one, not two, but three islands/peninsulas and an extensive bridge/bus system. Our tour took the morning and early afternoon, with a stop at the Ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral, the shopping area nearby, A-Ma temple, a drive by the Venetian to the black sand beach and the Fernando Restaurante, plus lunch and some other stuff.
Honestly: not as much to see as I was hoping. What was there was kind of nifty, but nothing that blew me away... okay, I admit Lord Stow's (home of the original Portuguese dan tat) Bakery was pretty good!
The contrast between some of the shanties vs. the new high-rise apartments behind them was a contrast some of us in the trip had to get used to, and it's a striking example of the disparity in wealth between the rich and poor. More of a social welfare statement than anything else, it was still interesting, especially when backstopped a few miles down the road with massive casinos (that isolated you away inside, just like casinos in Vegas... so cool to see, but aside from the different money and people, you almost could've been in Vegas!).
Our tour guide here was still pretty good, though. The details she knew, including the contrast across the river with Zhuhai. We got dropped off at the ferry, had a much easier time immigrating across there into China, and met up with our two new tour guides (only I didn't know it at the time, curse my inability understand Mandarin!), waited for the bus, then got a very similar tour of Zhuhai as we did before, 3 years ago.
That meant the Fisher's Girl statue and the usual horse, canons, and "seasons" dancing show. Sort of a mild introduction to China... and honestly, like much of the tourist stuff in China, a little contrived.