I forgot my ferry from Shenzhen, China, to Macau (technically China, despite the border and different currencies and rules) was over 90 minutes from Shekou Port, I was expecting only an hour.
My plan had been to cycle around all of Macau in a day. However, the best laid plans sometimes end with me in prison. Fortunately, this wasn't one of those misadventures. It was a far cry from a well laid plan.
I didn't have the name of a specific bike rental place when I arrived. I'd assume the tourist info desk would be able to help me. I should've known better. The lady seemed to know nothing about it. She uncertainly directed me to a local bus that she thought might lead to a bike rental place, maybe, possibly.
You can travel around much of Macau for free, courtesy of the hotel shuttle buses, but I took one of the numbered buses to the south island. Last stop in Coloane. I asked someone where the bike shop was. They didn't know. The next person directed me around the corner. This place seemed largely devoid of people and shops.
I happened upon a family though and asked them. They said there isn't anything nearby. I asked which bus I could take. It was a mother, father and daughter. Only the daughter spoke English. They offered to drive me there. Sweet local hospitality! I accepted. They took me to a temple in Taipa Village. I gave them my thanks and set forth for the bike rental place right next to this temple:
The lady at the shop spoke quite badly broken English. I think it turned out to be 20-30 MOP/HKD per hour for a pretty run down, rusty bicycle. But it worked well and was big enough for a guy who's almost 2 meters, so I took it. She provided me a padlock at my request too, as I imagined there would be some things to stop and look at. I cycled around for a bit, but I quickly discovered, this was not the best place for cycling. The roads are narrow and busy. I didn't see any bike paths. And the little narrow streets looked much more interesting to explore on foot. Therefor, I made use of it for only an hour, and then decided to walk.
This was a good choice. The little streets were interesting, colourful, multicultural and a real breath of fresh air from life in Shenzhen. I wish I had more time, but the sun would be setting soon. I should arrive in the morning next time.
I discovered that though I would like to cycle all around the perimeter of Macau, there was lots for me to find on foot, in the nooks and alleys and shops that I may have missed if I were cycling.
Taking the local bus was a good idea too to find new places in Macau. I think the fair is always less than 10 HKD/MOP (Less than $2 USD as of Nov 2014) and you can just get off to walk around at the interesting looking places the hotel shuttle buses don't take you. In fact, my driver refused payment. I tried asking in English and Chinese and he just didn't accept fare from me!
Some shots from walking Taipa village below.
Have you cycled around Macau? Tell me about it in the comments!