The new and old Macao in a day
It’s been 15 years since I last went to Macao and I hear that it’s changed a lot since. Recently I went back to Hong Kong and decided to go to Macao for a day visit. I caught a coach going via the new Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macao Bridge (HZMB) and spent quite an interesting day in the new and old Macao.
已經十五年沒有去過澳門。聽說近年澳門發展得非常繁榮，被譽為東方拉斯維加斯。再加上 2018年底，港珠澳大橋開通，似乎又把澳門推上國際舞台。我這次去澳門是從香港坐遊覽車經港珠澳橋，看看這花了18. 8億美元，又極具爭議的工程。另外澳門真是傳說中的繁榮嗎？
Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macao Bridge HZMB
The HZMB connects Hong Kong, Zuhai in mainland China and Macao. It is 55km long, is the world’s longest sea bridge and was opened in 2018 at a cost of USD18.8 billion. There was quite a lot of controversy when this was built, mainly around the exorbitant costs, casualties and fake safety reports during construction, and adverse impact on marine life. More importantly, there were concerns over the best use of public funds to build the bridge versus other much-needed social requirements such as public housing and health. Was there really a need for this bridge or was it built to fulfill one’s power and ambition?
Private vehicles are not allowed to cross the bridge unless you have a special permit. Only 300 have been issued. The rest are lorries and public transport carrying travellers like myself. Vehicles were sparse on the bridge on a supposed to be busy Saturday. When I got to the border entry on the Macao side, this was how many cars there were….
Oriental Las Vegas
I’ve heard that Macau has developed so much in recent years and many call it the Oriental Las Vegas. This was my first encounter with the new Macau, it certainly has changed so much since my last visit. None of these bling bling buildings used to be here. As to Oriental Las Vegas, what do you think?
The Old Macao
Macao still has its old side. If you go to Macau you have to go to the ruins of St Paul’s. I went up to the Monte do Forte first, not because I intended to. I got lost and kept on walking uphill by mistake and missed the turning to the ruins. The mistake turned out quite well as I got a really good view of the ruins from the fort. The facade of the former church looked really impressive. When I finally made my way down to the ruins, it was packed with people.
The New and Old Macao at Night
My day at Macao with filled with amazement on how a city can transform itself from a wild teenager to a young sexy lady. Everything looked so dazzling on the surface, but what exactly was it like underneath all the bling? I was hustled by thousand of tourists, many dragging their suitcases over the beautiful old tiled pavement. Everytime the suitcase rolled over history it sent out a loud thud. A thud that chips away a piece of Macao’s history and culture. How much more can Macao endure before it loses its identity?
Night time came and it was time to leave. I had enough of the HZMB and decided to leave by a ferry. That’s how people always used to travel to and from Macao. Why a suddenly a bridge? As I was walking to the ferry, the new and old Macao all came out in full swing at night. Casino Lisboa representing the old Macao, frantically vying with the likes of Wynn representing the new Macao.
I’m done Macao. Thanks and no thanks.