Tuesday, 16 January 2018

What's Left of Old Macau

Leal Senado Square in Macau by day on a Sunday morning
I visited Macau on the weekend and it was nice to finally visit the old parts of the casino town. Usually I am there for work and literally go in and out of hotel complexes in the quickest time possible.

The square is deserted in the evening with shops closed
But this time my friend and I wandered around after dinner on Saturday night and Sunday morning. We were on the Macau side and walked to Leal Senado Square that was quiet. The Christmas decorations were being taken down so there wasn't much of a lively atmosphere.

We wandered down the street and most of the shops were already closed, but we managed to find a 24-hour supermarket and bought some Portuguese olive oil.

The next morning we went back again, hoping to find other shops open, most of them sold snacks, clothing or pharmacies selling milk powder -- much like Hong Kong.

In the small lanes many of the shop spaces were empty or even moving out of the area -- rising rents were probably the culprit.

Many of the shops have shuttered
The last time I visited around the ruins of St Paul's Cathedral over three years ago, the shops below used to be mostly ones selling antiques, but they were all replaced with snack shops -- Macanese egg tarts, pork chop buns and beef jerky.

It is disappointing to see Macau's old flavour disappearing, but perhaps it's the sign of the times. They are all catering to the mainland market, which is looking for delicious souvenirs.


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