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Old 05-30-2012, 04:57 AM   #991
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Originally Posted by queenie82 View Post


You're showing me why I said that
This falls higher than anywhere in the Middle East...just above Vegas

I will find it INTERESTING...just saying it's not where I want to go
Always a good day when you can help someone else.
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:59 PM   #992
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Since 1488



We had visited the Venetian casino and the Macau Tower in Macau thus far. Interesting as both stops were, they were both icons of modern Macau and not quite the experience I was looking for. However, because we had arrived at Taipa, they were logical stops for us to visit on our way to Macau Peninsula.

We got back on our wheels and headed off to our next stop. We were dropped off here…and our first experience of the distinctive wave pattern in cobblestone that we would find in Macau.





Approximately four hundred years ago the Portuguese landed on a sea promontory near a temple. They asked the local inhabitants the name of the land, but the locals misunderstood, thinking that the Portuguese were asking for the name of the temple. So they answered 'A Ma Gok', which was the name of the temple. Later, the Portuguese translated the named into 'Macau' and used it to refer to the land. So, this temple – the A Ma temple – was the reason behind the name Macau. The temple has been here since 1488.

According to legend, A-Ma, a poor girl looking for passage to Canton was turned away by wealthy junk owners. Instead a poor fisherman took her on board. Shortly after a storm blew up, wrecking all the junks but leaving the fishing boat unscathed. When it returned to the Inner Harbour, A-Ma walked to the top of the nearby Barra Hill and, in glowing aura of light, ascended to heaven. In her honour, the fisherman built a temple on the spot where they landed.



We entered through the Gate Pavilion.





A succession of pavilions are aligned with the main gate which leads to the Prayer Hall located in front of the Hall of Benevolence.





There is a large rock engraved with a traditional sailing junk at the entrance. The temple is dedicated to Tin Hau or Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea and Seafarers. A Ma is the informal way of addressing Mazu. There were people praying at the prayer table to Tin Hau; so this is the closest I was getting.





The A-Ma Temple consists of a bewildering number of prayer halls and pavilions connected by winding paths through moon gates and tiny gardens.
Built at various times, the various pavilions are dedicated to the worship of different deities. Whilst we were travelling with Buddhist and ex-Buddhist practitioners in our party, they all scattered in the various directions to pay appropriate respects to the different deities. We were left on our own to explore; so I wasn’t entirely sure of the layout.

We did find the Prayer or Wish tree.





This courtyard was outside a major pavilion, the entry is located to the left of the picture.





There were a heap of people praying in here.





Notice the boy in the picture? He’s rubbing a Resonance Bowl. Assuming you have the right touch, rubbing the handles on the bowl will change the frequency of the waves in the bowl. The aim is to produce spouts of water from four points or nodes in the bowl. You might find similar bowls in Science museums these days and I only remember seeing someone create the water spouts once in my life.





Incense has been used as a method of purifying the surroundings, bringing forth an assembly of buddhas, bodhisattvas, gods, demons, and the like. Take a look at those huge coils in the temple!





Worshipers at the temples will also light and burn sticks of incense or joss sticks in small or large bundles, which they wave or raise above the head while bowing to the statues or plaques of a deity or an ancestor.





Individual sticks of incense are then vertically placed into individual incense holders located in front of the statues or plaques either singularly or in threes, depending on the status of the deity or the feelings of the individual. The temple included the appropriate incense holders. This one looked rather old to me.





I also found this one elsewhere in the temple. The joss sticks were definitely grouped mostly in threes.





Many Chinese traditionally believe that the deceased will have 'material' or earthly objects materialise when burnt, for their use in their afterlife in hell. Some say this practice sprung from the ancient Chinese's attachment to life such that they believe there must be life in equivalent in another world after death. The idea of using burning is to "dematerialise" objects so that they too can "materialise" in the other world. Many temples will have similar type ovens for this practise.





The Stupa was originally used to hold the remains of Buddha or another sacred relic. These days there are multiple uses for it. The stupa here is constructed along the lines of a pagoda and when I asked the Buddhists in my Party@12, they seemed to think that this was more for symbolic purposes. But they didn’t know for sure.





The A Ma Temple is located at the foot of the Barra Hill with some of the pavilions located up the hill.






We just kept following the path upwards.





There were shrines like this dotted along the way. This one was a shrine dedicated to Buddha.





And still we climbed.





This was the uppermost shrine.





This top shrine was honouring Kun Lam or Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy. We'd already seen her at the Tian Tan Monastery.





What goes up, must come down.






And still more pavilions.





The roof tiles were more beautiful than this picture shows.





I was really fascinated with the fact that bananas were growing here. It must get rather hot and humid in summer.





There were a number of moon gates that we walked though before we headed on out.





In 2005, the temple became one of the designated sites of the Historic Centre of Macau enlisted on UNESCO World Heritage List. Whilst it isn’t the oldest site in the world I’ve ever visited, it is one of the oldest I’ve been to in Asia.

Since 1488. The A-Ma temple already existed before the city of Macau came into being. It may be of interest to note that in Cantonese, Macau is Ou Mun, translating to “gateway to the bay”. It does make you wonder what Macau could have been called today if those fishermen of the past had provided a different answer.



(Continued in Next Post)
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:03 PM   #993
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(Continued from Previous Post)


Around Barra Temple Square



I’d certainly enjoyed the time we’d spent at the A Ma Temple and enjoying the incensed air there.





Outside in Temple Square, in front of the A Ma temple, there was a large temporary pavilion being constructed. I never found out what it was going to be used for but I suspect that this was in preparation for Buddha’s birthday, which is at the end of April. Bamboo scaffolding is very popular!





At one corner of the square was the Maritime Museum. I didn’t seem to have gotten a picture of it; but the museum is built on the spot believed to be where the Portuguese first landed.

At the opposite corner is this building. The Macau Governor used to live here. It is now the administration building for the maritime museum.









I headed down the alley to the right of the Governor’s House.





The architecture here was familiar but different at the same time.





I do remember lots of terrace houses from my childhood.





But none of them were ever this colour.





Cacado de Barra has at least two other claim to fame. I stopped by this shop – the first Koi Kei shop in Macau.





Their fortunes are based on making almond cakes or biscuits. One of the shop attendants kindly let me take this picture of the uncooked biscuits….





….and then showed me another tray of the cooked biscuits.





Another chinese favourite was also being sold here….chinese style jerky.
Yoke Korn (dry meat) or Long Yoke (Dragon Meat) is grilled over a charcoal brazier and is a combination of sweet and salty. Unlike American jerky which is chewier, the meat is really tender and soft.





It was at this stage that we needed to leave the area. One of the issues of being in a ‘tour group’ is that your time is not really your own. I wish I’d taken note of the time more….as I missed out on seeing the Moorish Barracks, which I believe was around the corner. I also gather that you could walk from the here back to the historic centre of town. In any event, I was not in the right physical shape that day to walk that day. Something for next time.


Our travelling wheels was ready to push on to the next destination.




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Old 05-31-2012, 03:44 AM   #994
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Thanks for the picture of the jerky. We were amused at the shopkeepers in Macau who were standing outside their shops offering free samples of it, but only to Asian people! Every time we approached they stopped offering, some even turned their backs on us! We figured that maybe it was an acquired taste that they thought us westerners wouldn't be able to handle!
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Old 05-31-2012, 05:44 AM   #995
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Reminds me of Singapore...
While much smaller, the temples in Chinatown in Singapore had the same 'feeling' I get looking at this...
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:52 AM   #996
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In 2005, the temple became one of the designated sites of the Historic Centre of Macau enlisted on UNESCO World Heritage List. Whilst it isn’t the oldest site in the world I’ve ever visited, it is one of the oldest I’ve been to in Asia.

Since 1488. The A-Ma temple already existed before the city of Macau came into being. It may be of interest to note that in Cantonese, Macau is Ou Mun, translating to “gateway to the bay”. It does make you wonder what Macau could have been called today if those fishermen of the past had provided a different answer.


That is very cool I love going to older cities and learning about the history.

The oldest place I have been to is Tallin Estonia, the fort was built there in 1050.
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:58 PM   #997
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I'm really enjoying the pictures of the temple and the tie in with the Portuguese history.
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:28 PM   #998
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I've heard many fables similar to that one. The one that pops into my head is from Disney's version of Beauty and the Beast (only no one dies since it is Disney). This update is precisely why I need to travel to other countries. You never see anything like that here. There are so many beautiful and old things there. I want to see if I can create a spout of water. At least you saw it done once. That's cool. When I think of incense, I always think of my Uncle. He was our live in babysitter when I was younger (because my Mom was gone and Dad had to work). Daily, he would smoke marijuana in his room and try to cover the smell or claim the smell was incense. My Dad bought that story for a long time. All of us kids knew better.
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Old 06-01-2012, 04:57 AM   #999
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehsmum View Post
Thanks for the picture of the jerky. We were amused at the shopkeepers in Macau who were standing outside their shops offering free samples of it, but only to Asian people! Every time we approached they stopped offering, some even turned their backs on us! We figured that maybe it was an acquired taste that they thought us westerners wouldn't be able to handle!
WOW! How rude!

But did you get to try any in the end? If so, I hope you and your family liked it. It is one of my favourite foods. Lucky for me, there's a chain called Jerky House that sells it here so I can partake when I want.


Quote:
Originally Posted by queenie82 View Post
Reminds me of Singapore...
While much smaller, the temples in Chinatown in Singapore had the same 'feeling' I get looking at this...
Yes, it is not unlike other Buddhist temples in South East Asia. And having been to a couple of temples in Melbourne, I would think that most Buddhist temples around the world have the same feeling....and smell.



Quote:
Originally Posted by dgbg100106 View Post
In 2005, the temple became one of the designated sites of the Historic Centre of Macau enlisted on UNESCO World Heritage List. Whilst it isn’t the oldest site in the world I’ve ever visited, it is one of the oldest I’ve been to in Asia.

Since 1488. The A-Ma temple already existed before the city of Macau came into being. It may be of interest to note that in Cantonese, Macau is Ou Mun, translating to “gateway to the bay”. It does make you wonder what Macau could have been called today if those fishermen of the past had provided a different answer.


That is very cool I love going to older cities and learning about the history.

The oldest place I have been to is Tallin Estonia, the fort was built there in 1050.
There are some American Indian sites in the US that is older than this. Perhaps you might have been to older sites at home?

Some of the Aboriginal sites in Australia go back 10,000 - 20,000 BC.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ACDSNY View Post
I'm really enjoying the pictures of the temple and the tie in with the Portuguese history.
Thanks! Glad you're enjoying it still.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kmedina View Post
I've heard many fables similar to that one. The one that pops into my head is from Disney's version of Beauty and the Beast (only no one dies since it is Disney). This update is precisely why I need to travel to other countries. You never see anything like that here. There are so many beautiful and old things there. I want to see if I can create a spout of water. At least you saw it done once. That's cool. When I think of incense, I always think of my Uncle. He was our live in babysitter when I was younger (because my Mom was gone and Dad had to work). Daily, he would smoke marijuana in his room and try to cover the smell or claim the smell was incense. My Dad bought that story for a long time. All of us kids knew better.
Far out!


My dad once found a heap of pot plants growing in a deserted spot. He thought the plant looked nice and because there were so many, he...er..took one home. It was, afterall, a very deserted spot.

He watered it and tended it for the better part of 2 months. And was really pleased when it started to flower. He showed it to me when it was flowering and I had to break the news to him that he was growing marijuana.

He didn't believe me until I brought my compendium of plants out. I've never seen him move so fast to get rid of something!
Shame, really. We could have easily started a fire and burnt the evidence instead.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:15 AM   #1000
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No, we never tasted the jerky. We were amused that nobody would offer it to us though! I was glad to see it in your report so that now I know what it actually was!

Love that story about your dad
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:27 AM   #1001
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Love the story about your dad growing marijuana lol!

I've just caught up on your Macau updates and enjoying seeing another different side to the area.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:33 AM   #1002
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DH and I have been reading this TR and LOVING your photo's. I really was planning on another USA trip, but now DH is sold on HK. Thank you for sharing.
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:26 AM   #1003
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On a major catch up (no internet access for most of the week )

We haven't scheduled in Macau - I think we'll have enough to squeeze in for our trip already - but really loving your TR of it!! Those tarts looked A-Mazing!! nom nom nom!!
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:31 PM   #1004
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Alot of interesting rituals there. Maybe since you remember as a child of the colors, maybe they have relaxed and wanted color. The biscuits look good. It is hard when you are with an excursion so to speak, never enough time. Love the pictures..
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:39 PM   #1005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehsmum View Post
No, we never tasted the jerky. We were amused that nobody would offer it to us though! I was glad to see it in your report so that now I know what it actually was!

Love that story about your dad
Well, if you're ever in Melbourne, Jerky House is on Lonsdale Street. But you might find some over in your side of the continent anyway.


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Love the story about your dad growing marijuana lol!

I've just caught up on your Macau updates and enjoying seeing another different side to the area.
I should have said it was a long time ago and well beyond the statute of limitation.



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Originally Posted by craftymama71 View Post
DH and I have been reading this TR and LOVING your photo's. I really was planning on another USA trip, but now DH is sold on HK. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks for stopping by and providing the feedback. When are you thinking of going?

(And if I were in your shoes, I'd be angling for a trip to HK AND the US! )



Quote:
Originally Posted by Princess_Melanie View Post
On a major catch up (no internet access for most of the week )

We haven't scheduled in Macau - I think we'll have enough to squeeze in for our trip already - but really loving your TR of it!! Those tarts looked A-Mazing!! nom nom nom!!
Oh NO! No internet access????

Even if you haven't scheduled in Macau, just be aware that it is a day trip away; should you need to fill in some time.



Quote:
Originally Posted by usnuzuloose View Post
Alot of interesting rituals there. Maybe since you remember as a child of the colors, maybe they have relaxed and wanted color. The biscuits look good. It is hard when you are with an excursion so to speak, never enough time. Love the pictures..
The pastel colours of Macau do not figure into the colour palette of my childhood memories. We were more into whitewash then!
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