Ready to be surprised in Macau

Foggy night upon our arrival in Macau, the Venetian is all but a blur as we passed it from the airport.

I was invited by the Macau Government Tourism Office-Philippines (MGTO) together with other travel writers and bloggers for a familiarization tour to this interesting place last May and it was a beautiful experience with its cuisine, glitz and old world charm. I wasn’t really prepared. I know nothing about Macau except for a few things or what I think I knew of this place:

  • first and foremost, it is one big gambling den where high rollers win and lose big stakes. Money, it seems is free flowing
  • It was a Portuguese colony for a few centuries until it was returned to China in 1999, and thus there is a catholic community there
  • The ruins of St. Paul Cathedral is one of the top destinations

Other than that, none. Zero. I think this is a good thing. With only these things in mind, I am open to what Macau has to offer, good or bad. I am always receptive to something new: food, places, structures and probably culture and people.

Welcome fruit at the Sofitel Ponte 16

Big room with extra comfy bed. CLICK TO ENLARGE

From a late evening flight from Manila, we arrived at the small international airport in Macau. Kind of tired and hungry that we are ready to munch whatever is placed before us. Outside the van that transported the group, the lights were already aglow. The night was foggy and kind of cold.

It was all a blur. The Venetian loomed over us at the left, bright and massive. It was kind of detached and gloomy. Maybe it was the hunger or the tiredness that influenced the overall atmosphere. Macau unfolded as we went from the airport to having dinner and finally reaching our hotel, the Sofitel Ponte 16.

I am ready to be surprised in Macau.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.


  1. nina
    November 9, 2010 @ 16:46

    Macauuuu~~~ I miss Macau! Sana makabalik next year!

  2. estan
    November 9, 2010 @ 22:33

    dami promo fares nina 🙂

  3. Chris Walker-Bush
    November 10, 2010 @ 9:01

    Macau intrigued me when I was in China in 2008. I had a friend who I was traveling with who went there after we parted ways and raved about it. Definitely on my list. I look forward to hearing more about your time there 🙂

  4. pompo
    November 10, 2010 @ 9:17

    wow! interesting photos! looking forward for your next post!

  5. estan
    November 10, 2010 @ 11:40

    @chris, its one of the places that should be visited and there are many interesting things to discover there beyond the gambling tables

  6. journeyingjames
    November 11, 2010 @ 1:00

    waiting for the next post…. 🙂 wow macau!

  7. The Nomadic Pinoy
    November 17, 2010 @ 10:18

    Is there a direct flight to Macau from Manila now?
    Just love that photo of the fruits!

  8. estan
    November 17, 2010 @ 10:31

    @nomadic pinoy, there are direct flights.

  9. witsandnuts
    November 18, 2010 @ 6:07

    I miss Macau. That’s a nice photo of the fruits.

  10. kaoko
    November 23, 2010 @ 17:17

    HA! Babalik ako sa January! 😀

  11. estan
    November 23, 2010 @ 17:23

    ay, buti ka pa 🙂

  12. » Macau: the old meets the new | Langyaw: Sojourns and Off-the-Beaten Path Travels
    December 25, 2010 @ 20:54

    […] Wonder of wonders is Macau! One might be shocked at this territory’s disjointed landscape especially when viewed from a high vantage point with its old soul bared in all its decrepit glory but for one who is interested with heritage and urban development, it becomes a beautiful place. The contrasts, the differences, the disparity, do give it charm and character. Manila could have been like Macau except that the former has continually fallen into disarray and confusion. […]

  13. » The Wow Macau roundup! | Langyaw: Sojourns and Off-the-Beaten Path Travels
    May 12, 2011 @ 18:24

    […] are so many things in Macau that for the uninitiated, will be surprised by the variety this small territory has to offer. It’s not at all a sin city that is governed […]

  14. mhaeLord
    July 28, 2011 @ 0:06

    hope to be soon.. 🙂

  15. » Macau’s Largo do Senado | Langyaw: Sojourns and Off-the-Beaten Path Travels
    March 7, 2012 @ 22:09

    […] square where Macau’s main road, the Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro, passes. It still is a surprise being […]

Tell me what you think

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.