It was way past 6 when we landed in Macau, we flew via AirAsia and we can daresay that the trip was very smooth.
It wasn’t our first time flying via this airline. We have tried it when we went to Bali in Indonesia, Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia, and locally, Cebu when we went to Sumilon. I think out of all the low-cost airlines here in the Philippines- not everyone would agree- AirAsia has the best kind of service. Sure, everyone had their own fair share of airline mishaps, but one thing is outstanding about this airline, they are consistent in treating their customers well and giving them the importance and we are solved with that. Not to mention, the AirAsia Group has been awarded the World’s Best Low-Cost Airline for eighth consecutive years (2009-2016).
Going back to our trip, Macau boasts a unique festival culture, including traditional Chinese celebrations during Lunar New Year, A-Ma Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, as well as important Western celebrations such as Easter, Procession of our Lady of Fatima and Christmas. Many annual international events are also held in Macau, including Macau Grand Prix and Macau International Fireworks Display Festival, plus world-class concerts and shows! And we are lucky enough to have witnessed how they celebrated the Mid-autumn Festival or what they call Mooncake Festival.
Macau is part of the Special Administrative Region of China and has become a colony of the Portuguese empire back in 1557. It was lent as a trading post to Portugal while remaining under the Chinese authority; so you won’t be surprised why this small country is a literal Asian and Hispanic fusion, evidently seen in their structures, food offerings, and even languages. Enough of the historical background, allow us to take you to Macau through our photos. This will be photo heavy so brace yourselves.
FIRST DAY: Casino hopping and Taipa exploration
When we first arrived in Macau, we treated ourselves with the blinding lights of the towering Casinos and Hotels surrounding our condo unit in One Grantia, Taipa area- we will soon release a review about our AirBnb experience here. The place was so peaceful and contrary to what we have believed to be a congested and noisy place, we are in awe to see that Taipa is such a classy and quiet space to live in. We then headed out once we’ve settled our stuff in our unit and started our Macau expedition by hopping from one casino to the other. We dine, sipped wine, and even ate some delicacies that they don’t offer back in the Philippines. We finished at around 1AM and settled at the comfort of our beds, to recharge, for we know, our second day will be packed than the usual.
SECOND DAY: Authentically enjoy Central Macau
Lucky enough, in Macau, you need not ride Buses, trains or Cabs if you plan to visit the Macau Central, what we love about this place is that, since Taipa is near Cotai, surrounded by Hotels and Casinos, shuttle service serve free rides to your chosen destination. As for One Grantia, they have an exclusive shuttle service to drive you going to Macau Central if you plan to visit the all famed Ruins of St. Paul, Macau Museum, St. Dominic’s Church, and the Senado Square. So yeah, we headed to Central Macau to see what beauty it has to offer.
We even walked our way to see the all famed flame shaped hotel and Lisboa Casino on a nearby street.
During our walk, we also tried tasting their Egg Tarts and Hot Pot, watching their Sugar clay exhibition, and checking out art museums.
And since they are celebrating Mooncake festival, Central was a bit crowded when we visited. But all good in the hood! Everyone’s friendly handing out free slices of mooncakes, there were so many live performances, and what I love most is when we witnessed the lighting of flower-shaped lanterns in Senado Square. Tourists and locals alike were all mesmerized by the gleaming lights of the lanterns hanging atop the crowded square.
Mid-Autumn Festival is an inherited custom of moon sacrificial ceremonies. The ancient Chinese observed that the movement of the moon had a close relationship with changes of the seasons and agricultural production. Hence, to express their thanks to the moon and celebrate the harvest, they offered a sacrifice to the moon on autumn days.
Romantically speaking, the festival is to commemorate Chang-E, who in order to protect her beloved husband’s elixir, ate it herself and flew to the moon.
In addition to the romantic legend Chang E Flying to the Moon mentioned above, there are many other legends and stories related to this grand festival. The most well-known ones include Jade Rabbit Pounding Medicine, Wu Gang Chopping Laurel Tree, and Zhu Yuanzhang and the Moon Cake Uprising.
Speaking of Mooncake pastry, it was believed that this cake is sacred and some only eat this during the festival. Good heavens for the new millennium, we got to have a bite of this precious sweet! I personally love the sweet pastry, but my colleague and my mom loved the savory one.
There are also lantern installations made up of paper and lit with candles, some were made up of rattan and wooden frame covered with paper and in fruit shape
The sun is about to set when we finished filming the Central, and since it was a Holiday, we found it a bit hard to find good shots of the Central, but as expected, all sides were decorated with beautiful lanterns, in celebration of the Mooncake Festival.
Back in Taipa, we’ve witnessed the Famous fountain display in Wynn Hotel and it was tremendously captivating, especially if you ride their cable car to roam around the surface of the hotel, seeing it from atop was very different! On our way back we went to the Taipa Village and passed by the Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Centre.
THIRD DAY: Eat more. Stroll more. Enjoy more!
As if it weren’t enough, we headed back to Central Macau to buy some “pasalubong” from Koi Kei Bakery, what’s good about this pastry/ bakery shop, you get to unlimitedly taste their offerings before you convince yourself of buying a pack, I mean, if you are on a budget, eating here your breakfast, should be perfect! Ha-ha! Beef Jerky is also a must try, they have different flavorings and spices and different from the Beef Jerky in Singapore, Macau is more sweet and soft. And since we are there to buy pasalubong, we even bought two boxes of egg tarts, which we truly enjoyed on our way to Hong Kong.
This pretty much summed up our 3-day Macau trip but be sure to check out our top 10 list of things to do to fully enjoy Macau, this list will have a more detailed itinerary which we did not include in this primer Macau story. We will also soon release our adventure film in Macau, so be sure to check the site daily.
To check out more activities that you can absolutely do during the mooncake festival, check out our list here.
We also list down our top 5 Macau delicacies that are perfect for pasalubong, so better check them out here.
By the way, here’s a treat from Philippines AirAsia, they now provide 3x weekly flights between Manila and Macau, so there is no need for you to worry if you’ve been bitten by a travel bug – off to Macau specifically. Air Asia got you covered!
We would like to thank Philippines Air Asia for making this trip so memorable!