Curious to see that the Galo de Barcelos (the portuguese rooster), a symbol of Portugal, is also a touristic souvenir in Macao !!!
Barcelos is the name of a town located in northern Portugal. The story of its rooster became also a symbol of Portugal.
The Galo de Barcelos legend:
"Barcelos' famous symbol is a rooster, in Portuguese called o galo de Barcelos. The legend says that a rich man made a big party. When the party was over, the rich man noticed that his sterling cutlery was stolen by a guest. He accused a pilgrim and let him go to court. He protested his innocence, but the judge didn't believe him. The judge was about to eat a roasted cock and the pilgrim said: If I am innocent, this cock will crow three times. When the pilgrim was about to be hanged the cock crowed. The judge release the pilgrim. The story ends a few years later when the pilgrim returned and made a statue over the event."
Every visitor to Macau needs to fill out for the Immigration Department a small form entitled by "Arrival Card", that is given to each visitor before entering the territory.
This "Arrival Card" is a 12 cm x 8 cm (4.7 inches x 3.1 inches) form, is written is three languages, Chinese - Portuguese - English, and as an equal page attached that directly copies everything one writes on the first page. Officials at the border will collect the original for entry and the other form's copy is supposed to be kept by the visitor and collect by the officials at the departure of the visitor.
On the copy's back page one can read:
"Persons who remain in the Macao Special Administrative Region beyond the legal authorized period are considered as illegal immigrants and are subject to sanctions by Law. This Visa does not entitle the holder to work.
.... and also (in the languages: Chinese - Portuguese - English):
Emergency ...................... 999
Tourism Dept ............ 315566
Hospital .................... 313731
Immigration .............. 725488, 7985327
According to the Chinese zodiac the Year of the Pig runs from Feb 18, 2007, until Feb 06, 2008.
Well, it is not only the year of the Pig, it is the Golden Year of the Pig. According to Chinese Folklore, this is an event that occurs once in every 60 years and will ensure that a baby born on this year will experience a prosperous and wealthy life.
However, I've read that it might not be accurate and that in general Chinese people are actually being mislead !!. According to some particular culture researcher "this year is not golden, It is earthen. The last Golden Year of the Pig was 1971, and the next one should be 2031, with 60 years as the full cycle." !!!
- Oh well..., what should I believe now ??
While wandering around I found these incredible set of private mail boxes in Macao. When I first saw it I just said "Wow !!! - Each mail box is really different from the other !! " - I wonder how confused it might be for the postman that is delivering the mail :)
Macao is definitely a much prettier and exotic city when featuring the "calçada portuguesa", or traditional portuguese pavement.
----- wikipedia. -----
Portuguese pavement (Portuguese, Calçada Portuguesa), is the traditional paving used in most pedestrian areas in Portugal and former Portuguese colonies such as Brazil and Macao. Being usually used in sidewalks, it is in plazas and atriums this art finds its deepest expression.
Click here to see more pictures on Macao's portuguese pavement.
All street names in Macao are written in both languages: Chinese & Portuguese.
The streets are named after Portuguese people or Portuguese institutions and sometimes after major Portuguese cities such as Coimbra, Lisbon, or Guimarães. Other streets are named after Chinese gentlemen. All written in both languages.
It was not a surprise to see that the most flow of Tourists visiting Macau are coming from Hong-Kong and mainland China.
On this Tip's pictures Chinese tourist take shots to the Ruins of St. Paul's Church
Pastéis de nata is an egg custard tart traditional in Portugal and area enjoyed today in countries that have Portugese immigrants. The tarts are a particular treat in Macau.
The original pastries were was created before the 18th century by Catholic nuns at the Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon.
There is a great bakery near the A-Ma temple that sells these scrumptious tarts as well as other Chinese treats. They make a peanut toffee coated in black sesame seeds that is also delicious. It is one of several shops of the Koi Kei chain.
When facing the temple turn left and the bakery is about 150m on the right.
Main photograph courtesy of Wikipedia.
Once a year in November the city prepares for the noise and pollution - the Formula 1 races. If you come to sightsee and walk around town then you may want to avoid this particular time.
Right after crossing the border from Zhuhai, China, to Macau, there's a pleasant small garden located in the "Portas do Cerco" area.