An Asian Holiday: Part 6 – A Surprise Trip to the Macau Panda Pavilion, Street Entertainment, and a Historic Walking Tour

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Emily Jablon: Daraius and I celebrated Christmas in Macau and Hong Kong with his family for ~8 days.  It was our 1st time to Macau and Hong Kong and we were very excited to visit!

Panda Macau

Emily and Daraius Outside the Macau Panda Pavilion

An Asian Holiday – Trip Report Index:

We will cover various activities in Macau including:

Street Shows at the Venetian, Macau

The Venetian is located across the street from the City of Dreams, which includes the Grand Hyatt.

Panda Macau

Look Familiar?  The Venetian Macau Is a Replica of the Venetian in Las Vegas

It’s only about a 5 minute walk from the Grand Hyatt.

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Daraius in Front of the Venetian in Macau

Similar to the Venetian in Las Vegas, the Venetian in Macau hosts nightly shows with street entertainers.

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When the Sun Goes Down the Lights Turn On and the Entertainment Begins

We saw various characters dressed up, including an Ice man on stilts…

Panda Macau

The Venetian Street Entertainers Had Excellent Costumes!

…Frosty the Snowman…

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He Might Be Made of Snow, But He Still Warmed Our Hearts

…and a Princess.

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Her Light-Up Umbrella Was Cute!

There was also was a free magic show!

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The crowd was mesmerized.

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The Magician Must Be Pulling a Rabbit Out of a Santa Hat

What I liked best was all of the people out enjoying themselves with their families.

You could really feel the festive spirit!

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The Venetian Street Entertainment Is the Perfect Way to Spend a Family Night Out and It’s Free!

After enjoying the show we went to the Shoppes at the Venetian, which included lots of name brands like Zara and Hugo Boss.  There were also some Asian stores.

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Asian Shops Selling Unusual (for us) Items

Some of the shops were so busy that the security men enforced crowd control by only allowing a certain number of shoppers at once.

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Folks Lined Up to Get Their Hands on Discounted Bags

There were shops selling layers of dried pork meat…

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Are We Still in the City of Dreams?  Because Daraius’ Dreams Just Came True – Not a Vegetable in Sight!

…and shops with cute toys.

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Hello Kitty Was Everywhere

The food court was huge and very busy.  There were food from virtually all of Asia represented in the food court!

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You Can Save Money by Eating at the Food Court

We weren’t hungry so we skipped dinner.  After a couple of hours of shopping we were exhausted.  So we walked back to the hotel and went to sleep.

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You Will Find Everything From Pizza to Sushi in the Venetian Food Court

Giant Panda Pavilion

The next day Daraius had a surprise for us so we left at 10:00 am in a cab.  It cost ~$5 from the Grand Hyatt to the panda park. Soon we saw a sign for the Giant Panda Pavilion!

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I Was Excited When I Figured Out We Were At the Panda Pavilion!

He had taken us to a zoo for 2 giant pandas, which are an endangered species.

Panda Macau

Da Xiong Mao Means Panda in Chinese

We paid the entrance fee of $10 HKD, or ~ $1.

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The Giant Panda Pavilion Is a Bargain at Only ~ $1 for Adults and Kids Under 12 & Seniors Get in Free!

We arrived at 10:40 am, so we decided to wait the 20 minutes until the 11:00 am starting time to see the pandas.  They let visitors in for only ~1 hour and at fixed times.

While we were waiting, we walked around the complex.

Panda Macau

Gorgeous Trees and Flowers Were Throughout the Park

We went into the gift shop, where there was panda everything!

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Where’s the Matching Wallet?

I wanted to take some pandas home with me.

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I’ll Take 2!

We went to the pavilion and were granted entry at 11:00 am.  For the first 10 minutes the pandas were hidden from view.  One was on the side of the building  and it was a bit hard to see him.

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Pandas Can Eat Up to 84 Pounds of Bamboo a Day!

However, we soon got lucky and saw one of them eat breakfast right in front of us!

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Nom, Nom, Nom, Nom…

We read that pandas can forage and eat for 10 to 16 hours a day, which is quite a lot!  Daraius wishes he could be a panda for a day. 🙂

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There Are 2 Pandas at the Pavilion, Kai Kai and Xin Xin

The park also had ostriches and a few other birds, but the main attraction was the pandas.

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They Are Adorable

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This Panda Looked Like It Was Waving Good-bye to Us

Self-Guided Walking Tour – The Penha Peninsula

The next day we decided to go on a walking tour to see sites around the Penha peninsula, which included old churches, temples, a restored mansion, and residential streets.

At the start our walk we came across a square which had the Maritime Museum and a temple.

We used the itinerary laid out in the Fodor’s Hong Kong guide book for this tour.

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Tickets Run From ~38 Cents to ~$1.25.  Children Under 10 and Seniors Over 65 Get in Free

We quickly toured the maritime museum, which had reproductions and old artifacts from maritime life in Macau.

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The Maritime Museum Has Many Ancient Fishing Artifacts

We went to the A-Ma temple, which was in the same plaza.

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Entrance Into the A-Ma Temple Is Free

This is Macau’s oldest temple and parts of it date back to the 1500’s.  You can buy incense to honor the seafarers’ goddess.  Be careful not to get bitten by the dragon!

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Inside there were several buildings.

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Upturned Roofs With Ceramic Details

Many people were lighting incense.

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The Prayer Hall

I liked the incense coils!

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Incense Coils Are Supposed to Burn for 2 Weeks Between the New Moon and the Full Moon

We then went to see the Moorish barracks, which were built in 1874.  I loved the old architecture.

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The Barracks Are Now Home to the Macau’s Current Maritime Officials And Not Open for Public Tours

Many of the streets contained modern cement buildings, which were not particularly pretty.

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Even the Balconies Were Covered With Bars

I enjoyed seeing the different kinds of shops, from tailors to antique dealers.

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The Shops Along the Historic District Were Primarily Locally Owned

Our next stop was the Mandarin House, which was built in 1860.

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The Home Was Built by Writer and Political Reformer, Zheng Guanying

It’s a 60 room traditional Chinese mansion.

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All of the Entryways Face Northwest

It wasn’t kept up over the years and at one point over 300 people stayed in the 60 rooms.

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The Moon Shaped Doorways Were Unique

Inside the house you can see before and after pictures of the recent renovations.  I really liked exploring this house because of its architecture and secret passageways.

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You Never Know Who You Might Run Into

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It Is Easy to Imagine How Beautiful This Home Must Have Been When It Was 1st Built

Next on our walk was Dom Pedro V Theatre, which was built in 1860.  It was the first Western-style theatre in China.

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The Green Exterior Reminded Me of Many Buildings We’ve Seen in the Caribbean

The inside was a bit plain though.

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The Theatre Is Still Used for Music and Dance Performaces

In tomorrow’s post, we will highlight exploring old Macau through 1 more walking tour and the House of Dancing Water show at the City of Dreams.

Bottom Line

They are so many cheap things to do in Macau.

We had a wonderful time walking around the city and learning about its history.  Watching the street performers at the Venetian is a fun activity for families and it’s free!

I really enjoyed our surprise trip to see the pandas.  Watching the pandas eat and play is an experience that shouldn’t be missed!

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7 responses to “An Asian Holiday: Part 6 – A Surprise Trip to the Macau Panda Pavilion, Street Entertainment, and a Historic Walking Tour

  1. Has anyone told Daraius that if he’s going to be a panda for a day, he’ll have to eat up to 84lbs of vegetables?

  2. Look at Emily’s face when she put her hand into dragon’s mouth … it’s so funny. Looks like you guys have a great trip altogether. I’m looking to make the same trip someday.

  3. Hi Daraius and Emily,

    Since you guys liked seeing giant pandas you should really visit the panda reserve in Chengdu. In Chengdu you are able to participate in the panda keeper experience (we will write about it soon on our website) where you are able to feed the pandas. You are also able to hug a panda for 2 minutes-see our writeup here:

    We really think you would both love it there!

  4. Loving your trip reports about Asia. I avoided Macau, having been told it is like Las Vegas. Thanks to your report, Emily, I’ve just learned there’s lots more to it than glittery lights! Thanks too for information on getting to Mumbai. You two are wonderful!!!

  5. Your report inspired me. I’m posting today from the Conrad Macau. We’re off to the Giant Panda Pavilion this morning after another free Hilton Gold breakfast with the best omelet I’ve ever had. We were even upgraded to a deluxe king suite with city view. It’s about 1200sft! Tonight’s the House of the Dancing Water. Wow what an adventure! Thanks Emily and Daraius!!!