Hong Kong - 3ème jour - Macao

Ce matin, après avoir encore été réveillé par les deux chinois vivant avec nous (le respect du sommeil des autres n'est décidément pas une coutume chinoise), nous sommes partit en direction de Central afin de prendre un ferry pour... Macao.

Petit rappel historique, Macao a été 1557 la première colonie européenne sur le sol chinois, possession de la couronne portugaise qui l'avait reçue de la part de l'empire du milieu en remerciement pour avoir nettoyé la mer de Chine de ses pirates. La colonie est revenue dans le giron chinois en 1999 avec le titre de région administrative spéciale, comme Hong Kong. Elle a été tristement célèbre pour être le berceau des triades chinoises dans les années 90 et pour avoir prospéré grâce au blanchiment d'argent de ses casinos.

Pour s'y rendre, la première étape fut de réussir à acheter des billets qui convenaient à nos horaires (à savoir partir immédiatement et revenir vers 21h). Mais comme il y avait 3 compagnies et au moins autant d'agences de voyage, on a fait 3 fois le tour de l'embarcadère avant de réussir -_-'.
Une fois nos portefeuilles allégés des 35€ que coûtait l'aller-retour, nous avons pu prendre place dans un hydro-jet qui nous a emmené à destination en un peu plus d'une heure.

Arrivés à bon port (c'est le cas de le dire...), nous avons pu apprécier une étape que nous avions complètement oubliée : l'immigration. Et oui, on a beau encore aller de la Chine à la Chine, on a quand même dû faire 45 minutes de queue pour augmenter notre collection de tampons sur notre passeport. On en a néanmoins profité pour se préparer mentalement aux 28°C et 84% d'humidité qui nous attendaient dehors...

Une fois sorti, après l'échec d'une tentative d'utilisation du bus de ville (il voulait le montant exact de 2,30 patacas mais nous n'avions que des HK$ et des CNY -_-'), nous avons pris un taxi qui nous a emmené à McDonald's la Largo do Senado, sympathique petite place de style portugais au milieu de la ville. De là, nous avons pu visiter l'église baroque São Domingos (intéressante avec son toit plat), la cathédrale Largo da Sé (la même en moins bien), et la maison Lou Kau (jolie mais minuscule).

Nous sommes ensuite partis à l'assaut de la colline afin de rallier le fort Sao Paulo de Monte, célèbre pour avoir détruit la flotte hollandaise qui passait par là en 1622.
Du sommet, on a une vue imprenable sur toute l'île et sur les quatre types de ville qui la composent : la ville portugaise rénovée d'où nous venions, la ville portugaise non-rénovée ressemblant à des favelas brésiliennes, la nouvelle ville chinoise composée de HLM de 30 étages, et enfin la partie moderne composée d'immenses hôtels-casinos qui n'ont rien à envier à Las Vegas !
Juste en contrebas, on a pu voir la célèbre façade de l'église Sao Paulo (Le reste ayant brûlé en 1835), qui est devenu le symbole de la ville.

On a continué le trek urbain en direction du Largo do Santo Agostinho, où nous avons pu prendre un peu de repos dans le jardin de la très jolie bibliothèque de Ho Tung. C'est à ce moment-là que mon système immunitaire à définitivement lâché à cause des brusques changements de températures entre les 30°C extérieurs et les 20 intérieurs. Bilan j'ai passé le reste de la journée à éternuer méthodiquement toutes les 2 minutes -_-'.
Sur la suite du chemin, nous avons brièvement visité les églises de Santo Agostinho et Sao Lourenço (au final c'est un peu toutes les mêmes), avant d'arriver à destination, c'est à dire l'église de Penha au sommet de la colline du même nom. De là, superbe point de vue sur le sud de l'île avec la Macao Tower (338m de haut !) et les immenses ponts reliant l'île principale à l'île de Taipa.
Autour de l'église, on a croisé pas moins de 7 mariées qui prenaient des photos avec leur époux.

Pour finir tranquillement (ou pas) la journée, on est redescendu sur la rive du lac Nam Van, avec une belle vue ensoleillée (le soleil ne savait pas quoi faire...) sur les casinos de l'île. On a donc fait le tour du lac pour aller visiter le Grand Lisboa, plus grand casino de l'île avec sa tour de 47 étages en forme de palmier. Encore une fois, l'immense salle de jeux du premier étage n'avait rien à envier à celles de Vegas.

Comme il se faisait tard et que nous avions un horaire précis à respecter (à savoir le retour du ferry), nous sommes repartis tranquillement en direction du port. Sur le chemin, on a pu voir une jolie fontaine symphonique devant le Wynn, la statue de Kun Iam dressée face à l'océan et l'improbable Fishersman's Warf, plate-forme artificielle hébergeant des reconstitutions de monument mondiaux comme le Colisée, une ville fortifiée chinoise ou encore un volcan -_-'.

Retour tranquille en ferry, avec épreuve bonus à la fin : le ferry tanguait tellement (même lorsqu’il était attaché) que ce n'était vraiment pas évident de rejoindre le quai sans se casser la gueule (les piliers étaient d'ailleurs entourés de mousse pour éviter de s'éclater dessus ^^).
20 minutes d'immigration plus tard, on a retrouvé une amie chinoise qui habitait l'île pour aller boire un verre dans le quartier de Lan Kwai Fong. Ambiance très sympa, mais l'alcool étant très cher à HK, on ne s'est pas trop attardé ^^.

Au bilan, Macao est une ville assez improbable mais très jolie, avec un style qui lui est propre et que je ne pense pas retrouver ailleurs dans le monde, donc à voir absolument :).

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