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.

Krabi 2018 : Timber House Ao Nang

Previously, we stayed at Ananta Burin Resort (2014) and Ibis Styles Hotel (2016) for our Krabi getaway. this year we tried Timber House Ao Nang. 

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Timber House is a 3 star family friendly resort with commendable facilities and staff. It is walking distance to the beach and most importantly, near Halal eateries for Muslim tourists.

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Things we loved about the place;

  1. The Room – we booked a family room which has 1 King Size bed and 1 single bed. Each unit has a private terrace complete with chairs and a table that overlooks the pool (in most places). I wished I had brought my HoboMinci for it would be an ideal place to do some journaling. Each room has the basic amenities like the fridge, hot shower, room and pool towels, daily complimentary bottled water and beverages, a kettle, a microwave (bonus!) and basic toiletries although I would recommend you bring your own shower gel.
  2. The pool – kids loved it especially when the management left a floating alligator in the pool for the kids to enjoy swimming. Pool opens from 7AM – 7PM.           wp-1535267001793..jpg
  3. The FREE BREAKFAST package – there were online reviews from fellow visitors that did not enjoy the choices. We personally think that it was alright for a 3 star hotel. Although the spread was not fully HALAL, there are safe options like the vegetarian fried noodle, the bread and HALAL butter, the fresh fruits, juices, lovely coffee from the machine. I had my fix of mocha and cappuccino almost every morning.
  4. The mini playground – the entrance is at the car park. The kids enjoyed playing the swing and the slide        wp-1535266900385..jpg
  5. Walking distance to the many places to eat – the HALAL pancakes, ice cream and hot meals are just around the corner. Take the turn up the hill towards 7 Eleven and voila, its like a Muslim street up there. It’s different from the street near the mosque but the options are just as varied and great.

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The resort did say we have access to FREE WIFi but I find the connection to be awful. So I resorted to my very own DIGI Roaming Package. It’s an RM25 package which has a 4GB Internet + 60 mins call for 3 days. Interestingly I could still settle my bills online and receive my TAC number for my transactions in Krabi.

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Would I stay here again? Yes. I think we paid for our rooms for less than RM 120 per night. And it was for 3 nights. Of course it would depend on certain variables like the season, the deals available and the number of people joining the trip. Still, it was a nice stay.

 

Krabi 2018 : The Rainy season. Phi phi Island and food.

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Its Eidul Adha and we decided to spend it in Krabi – a one hour flight away from Kuala Lumpur. This will be my 3rd time to Krabi but a first to a few people in our entourage.

It is a 4D3N trip for 8 pax using Air Asia. Our group consists of 2 senior citizens (my parents in law), my sister in law with her 2 daughters, my husband, my 2 kids and myself. We booked the trip separately because we couldn’t come up with an ultimatum regarding who wants to come and stuff. Despite that, we managed to secure quite good deals for the trip.

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We used AirAsiaGo.Com which means we get to book a combo of flight tickets and hotel stay at the website. The hotel we chose, Timber House Ao Nang comes with Free Breakfast. These total rates thus include return flight tickets + hotel stay + tax & fee. 

My family : 2 adults, 1 child, 1 infant

RM 1094.38

My parents in law : 2 adults

RM 756.48

My sister in law and daughters : 1 adult, 2 child

RM 993.30

 

Our flight from Kuala Lumpur was on 22/08/2018 at 1615H whilst our return flight from Krabi was on 25/08/2018 at 0800H. I guess at this month of the year, it does rain more. Therefore, we had to reorganize our activities accordingly. Our trip this time, was more laid back considering the group profile and abilities. We were not that ambitious to visit Emerald Pool this time.

Briefly, we just took a boat ride to see Phi Phi Island and most of our time is just for sightseeing around Ao Nang, having a massage and eat lots and lots of Thai food.

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My father in law had bad knees and is also prone to motion sickness. He did not join us on our boat trip. Our tour guide was Rihanna Da. She comes across as someone with a very strong personality, warm and hyperactive. Ha ha.

Believe in me. Believe in my team, she says

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Baby Ninie was very adventurous. She was not afraid of the sand and crawled on it like she belonged to the sea. LOl. She was very tired and hot afterwards.

We also enjoyed loads of Thai food mainly the TomYum Goong, green curry and som tam. And of course the mandatory pancake every night for supper. We also discovered the Meiji banana milk at 7 eleven. It’s HALAL guys.

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It was a short yummy trip. My next blog post will be about the hotel we stayed in – Timber House Ao Nang. 

Today was a great normal Sunday

One could easily tell my state of mind through firstly my pile of laundry and secondly my grocery supplies. If the fridge is like ’empty’ of peeled fruits or at least 2 types of vegetables in the bottom drawer – that is an indication that I have been neglecting myself and the household.

It will mean that I have turned all my family members during dinnertime into Italians for god knows how long as I’d probably be serving them pasta or spaghetti for days. Breakfast will be like the English with our toast and coffee. Forget about tea and scones though. Not applicable.

I was glad to be oncall early on during this recent long weekend. At least despite being post call and sleeping the lethargy off the next day – I still have one full day to get my stuff sorted. And boy I was motivated to just keep things in line. Mop rumah je payah sikit.

I managed to keep away some of my folded clothes. Only to be replaced by a new pile of course. I spent 75 minutes at Kipmart getting proper food to fill up the fridge and pantry with slightly more nutritional options. I feel more human having seedless grapes for snacks and that green leaf stuff in my soup! We even had homemade ayam goreng kentucky for lunch.

The best part of the day was when Mr Husband booked tickets to see Pete’s Dragon. It’s been a while since we watched a movie on a weekend. Together. The 3 of us. I think our last movie was Avengers: Civil War.

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Pete’s Dragon got me feeling very sappy and kinda got my eyes welled up in tears since the beginning of the movie. *bawl like a mad chicken here* thank god it has a happy ending. And our final pitstop of the day was a dessert treat at the Big BOwl outlet. What a great Sunday.