A Travellerspoint blog

May 2017

Coloane Island Previous visits.

Visits in the past

Since I started writing about Coloane in this blog following a very recent visit, I decided to dig out old Coloane photos and scan them in order to present a wider picture of the quiet end of Macau. After all no-one knows how long this peaceful place will survive.

When we moved to Hong Kong in 1996, Coloane and Taipa were separate islands. Now they are joined due to all the land reclamation that created the Cotai Strip. As frequent visitors to Macau, we watched this transformation take place.

Coloane was for a long time our preferred place to stay in Macau. We frequently stayed in the Pousada de Coloane which is located next to Cheoc Van Beach . Cheoc Van means Bamboo Bay. It is a golden sand beach; in contrast with Coloane's larger Hac Sa or Black Sand Beach. When we stayed in the Pousada de Coloane, we often ate in the Italian Restaurant that overlooked Cheoc Van Beach. I have forgotten the restaurant's name, but assume it must have been La Gondola Italian restaurant as this is located in the right place. It may have had a different name in the past.

Me in the Pousada de Coloane when I was young. Cheoc Van Beach behind me.

Me in the Pousada de Coloane when I was young. Cheoc Van Beach behind me.

A younger version of my husband at the Pousada de Coloane.

A younger version of my husband at the Pousada de Coloane.

Another place well worth seeing in Coloane is the lovely Coloane Village. When you get off the bus here at Eanes Square, you are very near the famous Lord Stow's Bakery which does the best Portuguese egg tarts in Macau. This is the original bakery, but now Lord Stow's is so successful they have opened shops in lots of other parts of Macau.

Coloane Village has some lovely old, narrow streets to wander through. Stroll down to the sea front and look across the water. It is not far to Mainland China. There is a lovely walkway along the waterfront. Chances are there will be fish drying in the sun down here. Make sure to visit the beautiful old Chapel of Saint Francis Xavier. There is also a lovely old library building - the Biblioteca - and some Chinese temples. There are a few restaurants here, too. We have not yet tried them.

Street in Coloane Village.

Street in Coloane Village.

Street in Coloane Village.

Street in Coloane Village.

Old Portuguese style post box.

Old Portuguese style post box.

Fish drying in the sun on the waterfront.

Fish drying in the sun on the waterfront.

The Chapel of St Francis Xavier.

The Chapel of St Francis Xavier.

Peter wandering an old village street.

Peter wandering an old village street.

Walkway along the waterfront.

Walkway along the waterfront.

The Library.

The Library.

Coloane also has a park called Seac Pai Van Park. This is nowadays best known as the home of the Giant Panda Pavillion. In 2014 President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, decided to offer a pair of giant pandas to Macao. These pandas are called Xin Xin and Kai Kai. I have not visited them yet.

We walked through Seac Pai Van Park a few years before the arrival of these pandas to get on a trail to climb up to the huge A Ma goddess statue on top of Coloane's highest mountain - Alto de Coloane.

A Ma is the founding goddess of Macau and Macau takes its name from her. She is known as the protector of sailors and seafarers. Her other names are Matsu or Tin Hau. There is a lovely old temple to A Ma on Mainland Macau. The statue of AMa is 19.99 metres high. This is to commemorate 1999 when Macau returned to Mainland China. The statue was erected in 1998. Apparently there is now a cultural village next to the statue, but I think we visited before it was built as I do not remember it at all. There is now also a shuttle bus up to the village and statue, but when we went we walked in the heat - a bit of a killer really.

A younger me walking up to the statue of A Ma.

A younger me walking up to the statue of A Ma.

My husband on the trail to the statue.

My husband on the trail to the statue.

Me in front of the statue.

Me in front of the statue.

The statue of A Ma.

The statue of A Ma.

Posted by irenevt 00:02 Archived in Macau Comments (3)

Coloane Island

A Quieter Side to Macau.

Macau can be a crazy place: crowds, traffic, heat, noise. It can feel claustrophobic and oppressive. Thankfully, for the time being, there is still part of it with greenery, nature, beaches, peace and tranquillity. That part is Coloane Island. Who knows how long this haven will survive?

We stayed on Coloane very recently - May 2017. On this occasion we spent a night in the Grand Coloane Hotel. The Grand Coloane Hotel used to be the Westin Resort and it was one of the most expensive and exclusive and poshest hotels in Macau, but that was before restrictions on building casinos were removed and Macau turned into the Las Vegas of the east with grand hotels like the Venetian, the Parisian, the Sands, Wynn etc. Nowadays the Grand Coloane is a quiet, peaceful, family orientated hotel which mercifully does not even have a casino. Instead it has got sea views, pleasant green gardens and two lovely pools.

At the moment Turbojet one of the ferry companies that operates voyages from Hong Kong to Macau, is offering a special deal to fill all the unoccupied hotel rooms in Macau; there are not many - Macau is a popular place, but on this deal by purchasing a return super class journey to Macau on Turbojet, you can have a free night in a Macau Hotel. We used this deal to stay in the Grand Coloane.

On our arrival day, the weather was dull and drizzly, but we cheered up when we saw how lovely our room was.

Our very comfortable room.

Our very comfortable room.

Despite the weather we also checked out the Grand Coloane's pools. It has an outdoor pool and an indoor pool. The outdoor pool is separated into two parts by a little island connected to the sides of the pool by some bridges. I rather like swimming pools with obstacles to swim around and under so rather liked this though on the negative side this feature takes up quite a lot of room. The indoor pool was small but pleasant enough. It also had a Jacuzzi and in the changing rooms a steam room and sauna.

The Outdoor Pool.

The Outdoor Pool.

Me at the pool.

Me at the pool.

My husband at the pool.

My husband at the pool.

Me in the indoor pool.

Me in the indoor pool.

Hubby in the Jacuzzi.

Hubby in the Jacuzzi.

This hotel also has open green areas, some of them for particular sports, and a walkway along the seafront.

Greenery around the hotel.

Greenery around the hotel.

Waterfront at the hotel.

Waterfront at the hotel.

When we checked out of the hotel, instead of taking their free bus to Cotai or the Macau ferry, we opted to stroll along the beach into Hac Sa Village. This was a pleasant walk though it was a very hot day. Hac Sa is very popular for barbecuing and picnicking. Many people take to the sea to cool down. The beach has black, volcanic sand mixed in with normal brown sand. There are several maritime themed statues along the edge of the beach.

Looking back towards the hotel.

Looking back towards the hotel.

Hac Sa Beach is a very popular place for barbecuing.

Hac Sa Beach is a very popular place for barbecuing.

Mermaid statue.

Mermaid statue.

Sea themed statues.

Sea themed statues.

The Parasol is still in fashion here.

The Parasol is still in fashion here.

Hac Sa is a pleasant place to come for a meal. For years people always raved about Fernando's Restaurant. It was so popular there was always a long, long queue outside. We tried to go a couple of times, but we really are not people who queue, so instead of waiting we always ended up next door in Hac Sa Park Restaurant. After a few visits there we got to like it. Nowadays, Fernando's is still popular but, probably due to the competition from all the new hotels, the long queues have gone. However, we still by pass it and head for Hac Sa Park Restaurant instead.

On this visit we sat in the area of the restaurant known as Norman's Pub. The walls of this are decorated with Beatles memorabilia. We had ice cold beers, cod cakes, which we both love. My husband had a club sandwich and I had baked pork chops. My chops rested on a bed of potatoes and were covered with a thick creamy cheese sauce - very tasty.

Fernando's Restaurant.

Fernando's Restaurant.

Me in Normans Bar, Hac Sa Park Restaurant.

Me in Normans Bar, Hac Sa Park Restaurant.

The fish balls are our favourite.

The fish balls are our favourite.

In addition to its beach, BBQ sites, picnic tables and restaurants, Hac Sa also has a pleasant park, a large public swimming pool and public tennis courts.

Hac Sa Park.

Hac Sa Park.

Hac Sa swimming pool.

Hac Sa swimming pool.

There are some attractive looking houses on the waterfront at the opposite end of the beach from the hotel.

Houses on the waterfront, Hac Sa

Houses on the waterfront, Hac Sa

Posted by irenevt 05:39 Archived in Macau Comments (4)

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