1. Dongmen Market, February 2018. Shenzhen’s Dongmen district is one of the oldest parts of the city, with a three hundred year trading history under its belt. If you’re in the mood for some shopping, or even just people watching, this is the place to come for the biggest variety of goods and price ranges to suit all budgets. But be warned, Dongmen can be pretty chaotic! So roll up those sleeves, flex your elbows and prepare to do battle.
1.Huaqiangbei Electronics District, February 2018. Wonderboy and I were pretty excited about seeing China’s Silicon Valley, a sprawling three kilometer district packed with electronic malls, stores and service centers. The largest of its kind in Asia, this is one of the busiest shopping areas in the country. Except that is, when you rock up during Chinese New Year bank holiday days to find everything shut. Doh!
1. Anima Macau, February 2018. Wonderboy and I were walking from Seac Pai Van Park to the main street of Coloane Village when we unexpectedly stumbled upon this Animal Protection Centre on Estrada do Altinho de Ka Ho. The iron gates at the main entrance were locked and after peeking through the bars I initially guessed it was closed. But then a dimunitive Portuguese woman appeared. “You want to come in?” she asked, rattling a ring of keys from the belt at her waist.
1. Seac Pai Van Park, February 2018. After five nights in the hustle and bustle of Macau Peninsula, I was definitely in need of a change of pace. Happily then, a day spent strolling around Coloane Island provides just that. Start your wanderings here at Macau’s largest natural green area, a beautiful, protected animal park converted from farmland.
1. Street Steel Heavy Metal Bike Gallery, Macau, February 2018. I’m not really into motorbikes. In fact… let me revise that… I couldn’t care less. But Wonderboy LOVES them, so I knew we’d be checking out this exhibition from the moment he saw the big billboard: “The only motorcycle exhibition in the world 24 hours open for free!”
1. MGM Macau, February 2018. Having spent three days diving into Macau’s rich history and gorgeous UNESCO sights, it was finally time for Wonderboy and I to start hitting the hotel-casinos for a dose of the territory’s world famous glitzy luxuriousness. Our first stop was this beast of a building on Avenida Dr. Sun Yat Sen. Opened in 2007 at a cost of US$1.25 billion, the building boasts fine views over Zhujiang River Estuary and nearby Taipa island.
1. St. Lawrence’s Church, February 2018. I don’t think Wonderboy and I managed to see ALL the churches in Macau, but we must have gotten close. This one, towering above Rua de São Lourenço, is one of the peninsula’s oldest structures dating back to the mid sixteenth century.
2. St. Lawrence’s Church, February 2018. It’s an impressive neo-classical structure peppered with touches of baroque details. This is the main room, Hall of the Soothing Winds, where the families of Portuguese sailors used to gather to pray for the safe return of their loved ones out at sea.
3. St. Lawrence’s Church, February 2018. St. Lawrence is the patron saint of navigation, a sea god in the eyes of the Portuguese who protects people. Images of the old dude decorate the altar, a bible clutched in his left hand, a staff in his right.
4. St. Lawrence’s Church, February 2018. For me, the thing that really sets St. Lawrence’s apart from the other churches we saw was its gorgeous garden bursting with palm trees, rose bushes and all manner of exotic plants.
5. St. Lawrence’s Church, February 2018. Check out the beautiful glass panels showing engraved scenes from the bible. The church and garden is free to enter and open from 10:00-18:00 (Monday to Friday) & 10:00-13:00 (Saturdays). It’s closed on Sundays.
For more on my time in this amazing corner of China, check out my other articles on Macau.
Like these? Then why not leaf through my many other 5s from across China.
I’ve also written a short story series called Challenged in China.