Minci travels Macao 2019. Family friendly places of interest

We tried sightseeing to as many places as we could in Macao. Indeed, this place is fairly easy to navigate especially with its reliable cab services. Here are some of the places we went to.

Senado Square → Ruins of St Pauls Cathedral → Monte forte

Senado Square is very pretty at night. It is a public place (pedestrian-zoned) with tourists shops in between the historically designed buildings. We found the Turkish ice cream place around the corners and came to discover that the owner used to sell the kebab we were looking for based on what we read from blogs. Only, he does not sell them anymore.

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The Ruins of St Pauls had whats left was this stone facade with 68 steps leading up to it. The structure has carvings of Jesuit images that has an oriental theme to it which may be of interest to some visitors.

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Fortaleza do Monte is the historical military centre in Macao. It was initially built to keep of pirates but was later taken over by the Portugese. Ee was very excited to see the cannons and boy it was one heck of a climb to the top of the fort. I perspired like crazy.

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Matteo Ricci : The European scholar who mastered the Chinese script and Classical Chinese

Fishermans Wharf

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It’s like a theme park but maybe we picked the wrong time of the day to go there. Too early in the day? It has hotels, casinos, many interesting East meets West architecture and restaurants. Perhaps a visit to this place later at night would be more colourful as it was a bit too quiet during the day. Furthermore, we didn’t really have an idea of what to do there apart from taking pictures and enjoying the sea-nery. 

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Macao Science Center

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This place reminded me of Petrosains Kuala Lumpur. However, because some of the science stuff uses chinese as its communication language – we find it quite difficult to enjoy certain things. Ee got bored.  Even then, my favourite section was the Biomimicry area. It showcases how modern human technology draws inspirations of its innovations from animal kingdom.

For instance, the Shinkansen 500 series in Japan is designed in the shape of the kingfisher’s beak, which not only eliminates the issue of noise but also enhances the trains fuel efficiency. This change is made after Eiji Nakatsu, an engineer with JR West discovered that this bird are able to dive into water without making noise or splashing water because of Nature’s design.

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You could also use your AirAsia boarding pass priviledge here for a discount. Anyhow, for us the entrance fee is cheaper using their bundle package rather than our pass.

Kun Lam Ecumenical Centre

Kun Lam is The Goddess of Mercy and here she stands 20ft tall emblemed in a special bronze. underneath her feet is a lotus shaped dome which houses information regarding Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.

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The Chinese Buddhist Goddess of Mercy is widely worshipped for her readiness to rescue those in need, and her responsiveness to peoples’ wishes.

Source : macaucloser

 

Macao Tower

I like that this tower is full of life with all the adrenaline rush activities. They have Bungee Jumping, SkyJump, Sky Walk and Tower Climb. Although I did not try them myself, it was still fun to watch. The 360 degrees view was majestic and great. We bought popcorn and just sat there enjoying Macao.

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To sum up my experience..

…Macao is to us, a different option unlike the Krabi that we went to for like almost 3 years in a row. We look forward to coming back to Macao especially when most of the constructions have been completed. I really hope that there will be more dining out options for Muslim travelers too.

As a souvenir, we bought the usual tourist stuff – fridge magnets and “I Love Macao’ TShirts.

Perhaps next time, we would interpret the weather forecast better for half of our luggage were almost winter wear jackets when in fact Macao this time around (March/April) – is like suhu bilik ekon. Macam tu la… 

I hope this gives some insights into how you could enjoy Macao as a muslim traveler without the gambling and the booze. HA HA HA HA.

 

 

Minci Travels Macao 2019. Spending the day in Cotai

Cotai spells out Luxury, Prestigious, Posh etc. It is a center where the buildings are huge, expensive and casinos are just everywhere. We felt a bit under-dressed walking underneath the glittering chandelier the size of our sofa at its shopping area. Perhaps next time I’ll wear a nice dress with heels. And a fashionable shawl to match. With a pair of classy sneakers in my posh backpack, just in case.

We managed to visit 3 places there. The place is so huge that we managed to lose our sense of direction even though the map for the area is readily available. Perhaps we were hungry. Even then, we couldn’t find the Indian restaurant that we badly wanted to go and try. I think they have the Peacock Restaurant there at The Venetian.

The Venetian Macao

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In short, we wanted to see the much talked about San Luca Canal. Indeed, it was a beautiful place. We did not get into the gondola. We only took a picture.

The Parisian Macao

This is a separated building that houses also many shopping brands, hotel and casino. It is however connected with a bridge that you can walk through. The highlight of this particular hotel is the replica of the Eiffel Tower. You can enjoy the scenery at the observation deck if you stay at the hotel. But we weren’t guest. And we were also not members (of god knows what). So we paid for our tickets. The building was breathtaking with its tall, magnificent features but the view, was a tad disappointing.

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Tickets were

MOP $108.00 for adults, MOP $85.00 for children. 

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It is because constructions were still happening on the Cotai Strip. So, it is not that ready yet with all the cranes, lorries and sand.

Studio City

This has got to be my favourite place. This is also a hotel and casino resort but more cinematic in appearance. The design of the external building was very Gotham city with the statues on the roof. Their collaboration with Time Warner ( which means they are also friends with Warner Bros and DC Comics) enables visitors to enjoy DC character features such as the Batman Dark Flight. We could not enter because Ee had height restrictions.

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We did however enjoyed the Golden Reel, a figure 8 ferris wheel. Walking to the entrance of the elevator to the reel felt like walking to an Academy Award Show. They were playing the OST of Jurassic Park and gosh, it felt so majestic to walk through the glittering, sparkling hallway. Again, we felt under-dressed. Haha.

This is also the part where it got interesting. The guy at the counter asked if we brought our boarding passes to which my husband fortunately had. He said for any passengers boarding the Air Asia flight which flew directly to Macao can benefit from a discount to the entrance fee. So keep your boarding passes people! I am however not sure which other airline also has this perks.

By the time we finished our 15 min ride on the wheel, we were really really tired from all the walking. Yup, you can actually walk from one resort to another. It burns the calories but kills your feet. Especially with Mr Husband having to carry our 12kg Ninie.

it was only nearing 4 pm but totally exhausted. So we took the cab back home to Metropole Hotel and retired quite early to bed that day (lights out by 9pm) as we have another full day the next morning.

Take home messages :

Prepare snacks kids are familiar with. They might not want to try something new.

Wear, comfortable (fashionable, if you must) shoes

Bring a fold-able umbrella, just in case.

Minci Travels Macao 2019. Metropole Hotel, Getting around & Food

This is part 2.

If you have kids, perhaps staying near the area of Senado Square is a good idea. At least, when the kids sleep – your older self can just roam the lit up, vibrant streets downstairs.

Getting Around

Unlike other travelers, we chose the taxi as our mode of transport. A bit on a posh side but comfortable for the family. We always start with MOP 19 on the meter. Eventhough the driver does not speak fluent English, having a picture or address of the place you intend to go would help. Despite thinking that Fishermans Wharf is a tourist spot and should be recognizable, they cannot seem to grasp what it is in English. Ha ha. cute.

They accept HKD for payment.

 

METROPOLE HOTEL

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We initially chose the Superior Chinese Style room but was later upgraded to a Deluxe European Style Room. We also received complimentary breakfast with the room, so big thank you there. Despite the hotel situated in the busy bustling city, the noise does not seem to penetrate the walls of the hotel – unlike the hotel we stayed in Vietnam. HA ha ha. Hence, we had really restful nights during our stay there.

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Our room had the usual, expected amenities ; complimentary beverages, mini fridge, a TV. The bath tub was a bonus! I managed to squeeze a bubble bath 2 nights in a row. The sockets in the room were Malaysian friendly (meaning you don’t need those international adapter thingy) and they even have readily available USB ports. What I don’t get is that you only have one switch for the entire room. In other words, you don’t have the option of putting the lights out and watching TV at the same time. Cause once the lights go out, your TV is out too. Interesting, right? kedekut

I used the qiblat finder website to find the direction of the qiblat in the room. screenshot_20190329-151321_chrome5761446460054149522.jpg

Breakfast was in the form of an a la carte menu but with free flow coffee/tea/juice and pastries. We inquired regarding the possibility of preparing a vegetarian menu. Not that we are but under certain circumstances where we are not sure if the meat is handled/prepared the halal way , it is best to stay away and choose a safer option. The lady was happy to oblige.

“I will tell my chef – no meat, no pork or wine”

We thought that was really kind. In fact, their noodle in vegetable soup was super yummy. Padahal sayur kubis je tuh.

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Food

Own packed meals

There are times when the kids are just too tired to walk which resulted in us abandoning the itinerary and have a meal in the room itself. Here is where Brahims meals becomes handy.  They even give you a metal spoon in the box. Since we don’t have a microwave, we need to submerge the packet in hot boiling water for at least 8 – 10 minutes. And they come with a few flavours. We bought the mushroom and cheese rice & tomato rice.

 

On the other hand, we bought most of our extra beverages at the Eco RM2 store back home. oklah.. we get at least 3 sachets in a package of RM2. And it taste nice.

 

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Ting Ting Vegetarian Cafe

On top of their cafe, they also have this little kiosk in the Jorge Alvares Square Park situated right in front of our hotel. This food joint sells vegetarian based meals and Mr Husband discovered that the owner is Vietnamese. Or was it only the person manning the kiosk. Their mushroom burger is to die for!! They also have tofu based burger and fresh smoothies.

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LUO LANG RESTAURANT

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This is a very familiar name to most muslim travelers. The workers are Indonesian but the owners are Macanese. We ordered a beef broth with noodles, a lamb pie which is practically karipap yang dibesarkan, the signature fig juice (ya habibi.. kiciknya gelas dia..) , rose tea and egg fried rice.

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We all know the price is steep but hey, the portion was huge. We had to tapao the karipap. The Rose tea was nice but it took us so long to finish the pot. Its like never ending tea. Tuang ada lagi, tuang ada lagi.

 

If a culinary adventure was what you were hoping, I am afraid that this is the only thing I have for you. Yes, there are other local halal places like those with an Indonesian flavour to it. There is that Michelin peacock restaurant too. And eateries with an Indian influence to it.

This is us enjoying Turkish ice-cream. It’s time to draft the next part of the holiday.

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Minci travels Macao 2019. Tickets and the start.

This is Part 1.

I am a Malaysian. I am a Muslimah and is traveling with my two young children. Let’s face it Macao is expensive. So it is very hard to create a budget itinerary when you want to be comfortable. Or maybe there is a way but I have yet to find how. We shall learn from other bloggers. I am not going to lie. I felt a bit anxious wearing a hijab there but thankfully nothing bad happened.

Short clip Video

Edit by googlephotos

Here are our preparations for the trip. It is a 4D3N trip using Air Asia. Mr Husband was very generous as he ordered in flight meals for the  direct 3 hours 45 mins trip from KLIA to Macao. Perhaps he did not want Ninie to be irritable and hungry. Yes, young girls need to be fed before she starts rolling on the floor like a mop. The ticket was booked in less than a month prior to the trip. We went there on the 29th of March. The ticket was booked on the 13th of March. Very last minute. Geram pun ada. Tak sempat nak inform boss. 

Packing the suitcase

  1. Brahims instant meals. While Mr Husband and I are adventurous when it comes to trying new food – we were just worried that both Ninie and Ee being unaccustomed to new dishes may not be able to stomach their meal very well. So we brought something more familiar to their tongue from home. A few other instant meal options I discovered out there was the delicious Sharifah (Nasi Briyani GAm) which I ate before the trip and Kembara Meal that was a bit over my budget. The latter is sold at selected petrol stations. In Melaka, they have it at MITCs Petronas station.
  2. Medicine and ointments
  3. A simple notebook. For me to document anecdotes for my blog and hobominci
  4. Extra coffee and hot chocolate beverages with snacks
  5. Entertainment for the kids in the hotel. In our case, the ultramans and raksasa. 
  6. Socks and light jackets
  7. BABY WIPES!!! Very useful for easy, effective, quick sanitation. Basically to wipe everything from bums to food and stuff.
  8. My doTERRA oils – I handpicked Peppermint, Wild orange & Forgive Roller Blend to bring with me. And since we will be doing a lot of walking – the deep blue rub.

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Currency

I exchanged RM500 of spending money into HKD. In Macao, we can use HKD but the change will almost all the time be given back in their own currency, the Macanese Pataca (MOP). I made my husband keep my money and basically spent it on souvenirs like magnets, food and taxi fares.

Since coming back from the trip I have yet to receive any change, so I guess we have spent it all. Ha ha ha.

Starting the Journey

We left Melaka at 0530 in the morning by car and stopped at Seremban RnR for Subuh prayers. This time we parked at Salak Tinggi instead of the Long Term Car Park centre. From Salak Tinggi we took the KLIA Transit train and hopped off at KLIA2. Since we are traveling with an infant, we have to check in at the counter which was a breeze that morning. We bought a 25 kg baggage and ours was already a freaking 19Kg. macam heran ada jugak.. bawak apa lah.. LOL.

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We had a light breakfast and it did not take us long to board the plane. Our flight was at 1005AM and e.t.a was 1355PM. There is no time difference between Malaysia and Macao. Only the prayer times are slightly early. I did have a bit of difficulty to locate the baby changing room once we’re in the departure hall. I did find one at the L2 area. It had a water dispenser in the room hence easy to prep Ninies milk. It also had a small curtained area for privacy in case a mom needs to breastfeed or do some pumping.

Ninie amazingly behave throughout the flight. The in flight meals were delicious. The prebooked meals we had were Potato salad, choc banana muffin (highly recommended),  milk coffee, chicken teriyaki with rice, bukhara chicken briyani and uncle chins chicken rice. We had a similar menu on our flight back home.

2 adults, 1 child, 1 infant : Return tickets + in-flight meals + tax = RM 1595.00

With Air Asia, everybody can fly.

Our plane landed 15 minutes early. There is no prayer room at Macao airport but it is okay, we can perform our jamak prayers at the hotel.

Immigration was simple. Because we have no hidden agenda of course. No questions. They check your passport, look at your face and soon you are on the way. Not even a Hello was exchanged. We then took a cab to our hotel which was located in the city itself. The Metropole Hotel.

The WaterFront Hotel, Kuching

 

For our annual trip balik kampung last year, we decided to try a different hotel than our usual Lime Tree. Hence decided to give The Waterfront Hotel a try. We did not regret our choice.

Ninie being cheeky and refusing to sleep during the flight from KL – KCH.. 

 

I made a booking for two rooms. One for my Minci family and the other for my parents.

The trip was in December. I booked for myself, a Deluxe King room for 5 nights. After tax and a discount of 5% the total price amounted up to RM 1071.40. My son Ee was charged an extra RM15/day for breakfast at the hotel. But it was worth it. The breakfast spread was awesommmmeee.

We rented a car in Kuching which we drove from the airport to the hotel. The hotels parking area is shared with Plaza Merdeka. It’s a wonderful shopping mall attached to the hotel. It took a while to check in because of the high volume of visitors during school holidays. So we passed time taking pictures and kind of explored the mall.

Here are a few points I especially loved about this hotel;

LOCATION

Situated in the heart of the city, it is walking distance to most of the main attractions in the city. We could shop at the nearby Carpenter Street & India Street. Famous for its spices, textiles and local delicacies. If you’re willing to walk a bit further, you would reach the Main Bazaar where most of the souvenirs are sold. A little further, you could reach Top Spot. Tapi jenuhlah nak menapak.

Having Plaza Merdeka as a neighbour which houses most of our favourite fast food joints makes handling cravings for a McD cheeseburger, Gloria latte and Sugarbuns chicken easier with picky eaters. They even have MPH!

SPACIOUS CLEAN ROOMS

What more can I say. Our life is complete when there is a mini fridge to store those Kuching only food we buy at the store.

Housekeeping were on time and very accommodating. I particularly loved the toiletries they used especially the lemon grass like shower gel. It felt fresh.

And did I tell you they have the cutest, cosy swimming pool ever?

BREAKFAST BUFFET

We could actually sit there till 10am. I was too hungry to take pictures of the area. Suffice to say, the selections were delicious and we really enjoyed the Sarawak specials eventhough its just Nasi Aruk for that day. The Sarawak Laksa was the best. I think it is a special on a Sunday. Or was it on a Monday. I’m not quite sure cause they change these special menu daily.

But even so, you still have the star dish daily. That is the NASI LEMAK. LIkeee woowwww.. I had it everyday. And the bread pudding!

You can have your breakfast outside at the terrace too if you wish.

In general, the hospitality offered by the staff was like 10 stars. We couldn’t feel happier.  It is those little things that count you know, like the free shuttle to the nearest masjid for Friday prayers! I look forward for our annual trip this year. Perhaps, if the price is similarly great – we get to experience this first class hospitality all over again. InsyaAllah..