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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

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    The Two Towers of Macau

    “On a clear day you can see forever.”

    During a recent familiarization tour of the Special Administrative Region of Macau in China courtesy of Cebu Pacific for Visayas and Mindanao media, we had the special treat of scaling the heights of two of the highest points in Macau.

    While most Filipinos tend to ignore or overlook Macau, or just opt for a day trip from Hong Kong, the tiny Special Administrative Region of China will surprise travelers with a myriad of food finds, attractions and entertainment options.

    While Coloane Alto ( Portuguese: Alto de Coloane) in the island of Coloane is the highest natural point at 172.4 meters (560 ft) above sea level, the Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Centre in Sé, Macau is almost twice as tall at 338 m (1,109 ft) in height from ground level to the highest point.

    Officially opened in December 19, 2001, the Macau Tower was inspired by the Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand which so impressed Macau casino billionaire Stanley Ho Hung-Sun that he immediately commissioned a similar one for Macau.

    Designed by architect Les Dykstra for the Kiwi engineering firm Beca Group and Gordon Moller of Moller Architects for Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau, it was started in 1998 and is a member of the World Federation of Great Towers.

    Its observation deck features views, restaurants, theaters, shopping malls and the Skywalk X, a walking tour around the outer rim. It offers the best view of Macau and in recent years has been used for a variety of adventurous activities.

    The glass enclosed elevator will zoom you up 223 meters in under 60 seconds as you have an unmatched view of the Macau skyline unfolding beneath you.

    We enjoyed amazing 360° views from the level 58 Observation Lounge over a “Cafe on 4” coffee, and later savored an international buffet lunch at the Café 360 Revolving Restaurant.

    Meantime we had a grand time taking photos of the unmatched vistas all around as well as looking at the daredevils who were seriously contemplating their immediate future with at the 61 Adventure Deck and its various sky tracking attractions such as the Skywalk Skywalk, Bungee Jump Bungee Jump , Skyjump and Tower Climb. 

    At 233 meters, the Macau Tower's tethered Skyjump and Bungee jump by AJ Hackett from the tower's outer rim, is the highest commercial skyjump in the world (233 meters), and the second highest commercial decelerator descent facility in the world (after Vegas' Stratosphere skyjump at 252 meters).

     The Tower has routinely been used as a site for staged bungee jumping events, by professional jumpers or as part of entertainment shows. On December 17, 2006, the father of contemporary bungee jumping, A J Hackett, and popular artist Edison Chen broke two Guinness World Records at the Macau Tower. A J Hackett, broke his own Guinness World Record of "The Highest Bungee Jump from a Building" achieved in 1987 from the Eiffel Tower. Edison Chen represented Macau Tower in the inaugural jump to bid for "The World's Highest Bungee Jump Facility".

    Please call (853) 8988 8656 for bookings or further inquiries. You may also avail of special rates only available  by E-mail: macau.reservations@ajhackett.com or their website.

    My good friend Toots Jimenez Jr. of The Watchmen Daily in Bacolod had a lot of fun posting photos of him getting ready for the bungee jump but that was actually as far as he got although he continues to get a lot of queries and likes on his FB post asking him about his experience. All in good fun!

    The entrance fee is $120 — slightly steep but still reasonable, depending on what you want to do there. The entrance fee gets you to the indoor and outdoor observation decks — you can get an amazing view of Macau from there.

    Eiffel Tower at the Parisian Macau

    The City of Lights, the City of Love. Paris is at the heart of romance, and the Eiffel Tower is at the heart of Paris.

    The Parisian Macao, and in particular its Eiffel Tower, has emerged to become one of Macau’s iconic landmarks of the city’s skyline.

    Although there are now over 30 replicas or similar towers around the world (such as a 1:25 scale one at Japanese theme park Tobu World Square and another half-scale replica atop hotel and casino Paris Las Vegas), the Eiffel Tower at the Parisian Macau is special because of its claim as “the tallest and most realistic” half-scale duplicate, and “has been superbly reproduced with every possible detail intact”.

    More than 4,500 design drawings were made for the tower, to ensure a creation that was as authentic as possible.

    How closely does the Eiffel Tower Macau resemble the one in Paris? Like Toots, I also teased my FB friends with a photo of me looking really pooped with the tower in the background griping about the 16 hour flight from Macau to Paris, just to see how many of them actually bought that yarn or fact checked the photo.

    Well, I am still getting likes and comments on that photo relating to the Paris Eiffel Tower to this  day! For the information of interested visitors to Macau, there are only two flights from Europe that actually link Macau International Airport to the Old World.

    Both are by the seasonal Russian charter airline Royal Flight airlines  based in Abakan, Russia that operates charter services between  Pulkovo Airport an international airport serving St. Petersburg, Russia and Sheremetyevo Alexander S. Pushkin International Airport one of four international airports that serves the city of Moscow, and is the busiest airport in Russia. 

    Macau’s Eiffel Tower remains a faithful representation of its progenitor in Paris, but utilizes more modern construction advances in its design with a steel structure instead of the original’s wrought iron, and is engineered to withstand the high winds of Macau’s annual typhoon season and the high traffic of Macao’s bustling tourism industry.

    The tower features many of the ornamental touches of its counterpart in Paris, including ornate detailing such as with over 850,000 decorative rivets (to resemble the functional rivets on the Paris one), cornice scrolls, balustrades, gusset plates, lattices, staircases, and mesh screens around the observation decks. Also like its elder sibling, a light show will spectacularly light up the tower each night.

    The views from the Observation Decks at Levels 7 and 37 of the half-scale 525-foot Eiffel Tower offers magnificent vistas of famous adjacent hotels like The Venetian® Macao; The Plaza™ Macao, featuring Four Seasons Hotel Macao; and Sands® Cotai Central, and Studio City. You can also get a view of mainland China in the distance.

    With your ticket, you can climb up to the 7th and 37th floor observation deck and take in the spectacular sights of the city.

    Stay for the night and catch the light and music show that runs every 20 minutes from 7:30 PM to midnight featuring 6,600 blinking LED lights with bolts of fire shooting from its tip in a staccato rhythm as its backdrop is bathed in an electrifying display of fireworks and pyrotechnics.

    For bookings and further inquiries, call +853 8111 2768 / +853 8111 2763

    The Eiffel Tower at The Parisian Macau is open from 10am to 10pm. Tickets from level 5 at the Eiffel Tower Souvenir Shop. Call +853 8111 2768 or +853 8111 2763. For more information and prices, visit www.parisianmacao.com or read more at https://www.todayonline.com/lifestyle/travel/paris-macau.

    Macau is a great destination for a weekend getaway–easy to fly there as well for us Mindanaoans via Cebu Pacific.

    Cebu Pacific has the most number of flights between the Philippines and Macau, with direct connections from Clark, Manila and Cebu. It's a seamless connection from Cagayan de Oro/Laguindingan to Cebu (or Manila, if one prefers) then on to Macau.

    You can opt take a day trip or exit via Hong Kong, which is an easy ferry trip or bus trip through the new Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau bridge, the world's longest sea bridge. Or you can fly direct to Hong Kong from Cebu or Manila, take the ferry or bus to Macau, then fly back from there to the Philippines.

    Viagem Alegre!


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