3 Nights in Macau – Episode II: Crash the party

Photography

Cruising in town

Macau Tower

Back to Episode I and Episode 0 if you haven’t read them yet.

Can you recall any of your perfect timing incident ever occur to you on the top of your head? I could recall just 1 perfect timing incident in my life. This Festival da Lusofonia (Portuguese Speaking Festival) will be my second incident i’d remember for the lifetime. I came to Macau for a business trip and it also overlapped with this exciting party event here.

Waiting for food at a roadside Cafe

It’s part of the routine to have Portuguese dinner during our stay in the first few days. After that, some colleagues and I walked to the festival nearby. I LOVE the walking in the streets of Macau. There’s so much to it. Now I wonder why photographers love traveling to foreign countries for their work. I’d very much love to do so and get more comfortable doing it out of my home.

Kid wants to play while family is chatting

The Party

Country representative?

If you ask whether i would enjoy alone at this carnival? I would most probably answer: nope, i became the minority all of a sudden. Would I be seeing exciting new culture: Yes. I was told that most visitors are actually locals (from many different countries! Yes!)

The festival takes place at the Taipa houses of museum. The location has a spectacular view. There is a huge pond right by it bringing in the nice cool breeze. The Festival is free to enter. Underaged visitors can pay $10 mop for a cup of Limenade. And adults can enjoy a cool cup of Portuguese drinks called Caipirinha. That costs a lot more…MOP$30.

Kids in a tram - Festival da Lusofonia

Festival da Lusofonia

Festival da Lusofonia

Friends

Brazil booth

I’m not a party person. I do not dance or anything. With a drink and simply walking around does pay off in the end. Not to mention the music at the stage. I have no frigging idea we in Hong Kong can’t ever hold simple concerts at this kind of plaza outdoor. It’s the best kind of free entertainment that’s accessible for anyone.

There are so many other Portuguese speaking countries in the world. All i know was Brazil. Now i know there is at least 8 countries that speaks Portuguese which the organizer has invited.

Kick back and relax

Music and dance

Festival da Lusofonia

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Stretching?

I spent close to 2 hours there. It really felt like only 1 hour. Macau has done an excellent job in maintaining the historic buildings and sites. They even open them to public where everyone can touch, breath and experience. I told my Portuguese colleague that my hours spent there was magnificent. I felt like i visited Europe. No really, i mean it!

Table soccer

Hangout

I really wish there’s a different me so i could fully enjoy at the festival and hangout with the Portuguese. I came back with a question why am i not a Portuguese?

Back in the hotel reviewing photos from my camera, I missed certain type of shots. It was also weird working my shots my friends are around near the performance stage at the plaza. I totally missed all the party dancing part. I think it’s something I’ve to work on in the future, to overcome the ‘weirdoness’ when doing candid photography with friends.

3 Nights in Macau – Episode 0: Background and arrival.

Photography

Arriving streets of Macau

It’s part of my business trip to Macau and spent 3 nights photographing my visit to various locations in town and also the annual Lusofonia Festival (a Portuguese-speaking Festival).

Background
Macau was a Portuguese Colony until 1999, they handed over to the Republic of China since then. Just like Hong Kong, it’s a S.A.R. (Special Administrative Region). Ever since i was born, i heard it from the news and people around; Macau is a dangerous place. There were gangster shoot outs, high crime rates, etc…Before the Vegas Casino Resorts business ever arrived, it’s an outdated town basically untempered. Now, Macau has already transformed into a gambling and tourism driven city.

At Venetian Hotel

Macau is a tiny place when compare to Hong Kong. It’s only 28.6km² (about the same size of the Hong Kong Island) and 39 times smaller than the entire area of Hong Kong. Macau consists of the Macau Peninsula, Taipa, Coloane and the reclaimed land Cotai. China has even rented out Hengqin New Area (right next to Macau) to Macau for further city development. So what can i say when we all are fighting for living place and personal interest in Hong Kong. I feel like we are a whole bunch of idiots. And i really wish Hong Kong has the luxury to rent lands from China. You see why population policy is so important in populated cities.

Venetian Hotel corridor

The Macau tourism used to relied on only a few long traditions, such as the dangerous road race Gran Prix and the Landmark Ruins of St. Paul. Now with the Venetian Resort, there is more than just gambling business going on in town. There are concerts, exhibitions, sport events (UFC), opera, and all kinds of international recognized performance. And how about the rest of the local attractions? They are brilliant. As a HongKonger, all I see in Macau is potential. All the old structures and neighborhoods are pretty well kept and maintained. I see the tourism board of Macau is embracing the Portuguese Colonial culture, by not destroying and removing much of the old structures. It’s making it so damn special for tourists including me. After all, It’s only an hour jet boat ride apart. It can be always an escape from reality.

The locals here are more laid back. You just won’t see the high tension life style of Hong Kong. Due to work, i got to meet and get to know a colleague who lives in Macau. He is a Portuguese which has been living in Macau for 1/3 of life. I got to experience the great hospitality from his Portuguese friends/restaurant owners. When someone says, you can understand a great deal of foreign culture by dining and eating together with the locals, i can’t agree more. I indulge myself time and time again in the authentic Portuguese Cuisine. Macau is the little Europe in East Asia. Besides the Portuguese cuisine, there’s also the Macanese cuisine, a type of  cuisine prepared with both Portuguese and Chinese ingredients due to the lack of resources in the past. This type of cuisine can only be found in here. The local Portuguese adapted by using alternative ingredients and methods for food. I hope this tradition can still pass on to the new generation. I have heard the Portuguese population is shrinking by factions year by year. There’s sign of climbing back up because Macau is slowing turning into an international city.

The eye contact

The main form of public transportation are taxis and buses. Either you go out by taxis and buses, or on foot, or you don’t go out at all; unless you got local friends with cars or scooters.

The Journey
One of the biggest international business events – Macau International Trade and Investment Fair (MIF) was what I was there for. I spent all day during my stay at the Venetian Resort Exhibition Center. It’s my second year attending the event with another whole new mentality – photography in Macau.

Shadow of a model

The first day of the opening was not opened to the public, so I wasn’t busy and got time to walk around near where I work. This year there’s a section for photographic equipment. It was nothing big last year. But this year that section got expanded. Even the official Leica authorized importer of Hong Kong attended. I got to touch a Leica MM. I wish there’s battery in it. There’s also, Fuji, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, Sony. I bet you must be thinking about the RX1. I didn’t Sony displaying that. There was also a runway for models. That’s when I got excited! There were many Chinese models rehearsing. Some of them were so attractive. Maybe I should stop here or I’d not stop typing about the models.

A Chinese model rehearsing

Sexy model

There were also traditional dance performance from Taiwan and inner China. They dressed up with their traditional costumes. That called it a day.

Traditional dancers

Dance performers

I had my dinner with colleagues at Dom Gallo, a Portuguese restaurant serves up the popular traditional cuisine. It was a happy night I must say. I even gone for a drink with the other two guys around the corner of the Macau Lan Kwai Fong.

In the car

I snapped a couple other photos at night while commuting back to the hotel. I did not go out for the rest of night. It was already 12am.

Continue tomorrow for Episode I.

People of Vinexpo 2012

Photography

Entering the event

Liquor

Wine in sizes

VIsitors

Wine Exhibitor

Reporter

Rothchild's booth

My last post about me ordering a Daido’s new book got me flipping a couple pages of his photo book. It got me motivated to dig up from my archive of some big event I attended earlier this year in May. I found photos of the Vinexpo 2012 in Hong Kong. It’s an annual wine event that global wine producers gather and buyers/suppliers/shop owners/wine lovers come for tasting. That’s how I interpret it. It’s one of the biggest wine events of the year.

It’s my second time attending the Vinexpo in Hong Kong. My first time was 2009. I got so hypered and tried many wines at the event. I literally got drunk and went home tipsy in the middle of the day. I attended the event with a company pass. It was totally free for me. I’d never seen that many wine people and since that event I studied wine. Though I do not often have chance trying wine all the time. I did had chance tasting some of the wines made from the famous indigenous grapes, including Barolo!!! I think knowing wine and some lingo helps navigate with certain people. I’m glad spent almost a year from time to time studied and tasted wine. Now I’m not as sharp as a couple years back due to my job relocation. I still enjoy wine whenever there’s chance.

This series came from my very brief visit to the event for some job related reason. I did not even have much chance tasting wine…not in the mood of tasting wine as I was not really there for wine. It’s sad..whatever..I had my GRD with me and I snapped a couple that i felt significant. I re-processed the photo just now similar to my last series – One month with X100 – Episode I, only with a different camera. Oh yea, baby!