Tuesday, July 20, 2010

ASOCIO Multilateral Trade Visit to Macao and then some

In July, I had the opportunity to participate in a trade visit to Macao organised by the Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry Organization (ASOCIO). ASOCIO is "a group of IT industry associations coming from economies in the Asia and Oceania region. ASOCIO is established in 1984 with the objective is to promote, encourage and foster relationships and trade between its members, and to develop the computing industry in the region."

The trade program was organised to coincide with Communic Macao 2010 & Digital Life Carnival which was held at Macau Fisherman's Wharf Exhibition Centre from 16th to 18th July 2010.

My colleague (Tiensoon) and I were first timer to Macao. Our aim was to promote an open source workflow software called Joget Workflow, which both of us are ardently involved in. The program was well organised and we had many opportunities to meet up with delegates from Hong Kong, Macao, Thailand, Singapore, China and even from Malaysia :-)

On the first night after our meetings, all delegates were invited to dine in a first-class restaurant (Bambu) in The Venetian. After dinner, we had the opportunity to explore the hotel and casino at leisure.

After the exhibitions and seminars on the second day, Tiensoon and I took the opportunity to explore Macao as pedestrians. Our approach was to take a bus to a single destination and then explore all the alley ways not accessible by cars... :-)

Our first destination was the famous Senado Square. We tried the yummy steamed milk pudding and the pork sandwich in Leitaria I Son dessert shop. After that, we basically wandered all the interconnecting streets and alley ways. From what I could see, Tiensoon was in photography heaven. It was dusk and the street lighting had just came on... if you had a DSLR, it was a moment of graphic pleasure... LOL.

Since I did not have a proper camera with me, I decided that I might as well use my trusty Dopod D810 phone camera to capture the photographer capturing the moment... LOL. I think I only took one usable photo at Senado Square... hahah. (http://goo.gl/maps/VIpj)

At about 11:30pm, after conquering Senado Square, we took the bus back to the hotel (I had a chore I needed to do... LOL). It was still very early and it did not feel right to be back at the hotel. And so at around midnight, we decided to head out again and walk the streets of Macao.... LOL.

We started from out our hotel (Golden Dragon Hotel) and headed out into the night, Tiensoon with his DLSR and me with my trusty Dopod... LOL. The following are some of the "visible" photos I took... LOL.

The Wynn Casino and Hotel.

The MGM Grand.

The Ponte Governador Nobre de Carvalho (Governador Nobre de Carvalho Bridge).

Hotel Lisboa. (http://goo.gl/maps/2XKA)

Tiensoon looking for that perfect shot!

Crystal Palace Casino.

Wynn Hotel. (http://goo.gl/maps/gv87)

During the course of the morning, Tiensoon took some really remarkable photos of the casinos and their beautiful surroundings. You can check out his photo streams here... :-) We were done about about 4:00am in the morning. We ate some instant noodles and drank a couple of local beers at a 7-Eleven outlet before we walked all the way back to the hotel. It was a great and fantastic experience!

The third day, before my flight back to KL, we decided to visit the famous St. Paul's Ruins. Again, we took a bus to Senado Square and made our way through a maze of narrow streets. The following photos basically documented our walk up to the church ruins and inside crypt.

All in all, this trip to Macao was a very nice experience. Generally, the night streets of Macao are VERY safe to walk in. There are probably many more things to be done in Macao, like heading to the borders gateway to China... LOL. Maybe that will be reason enough for a return visit to Macao. But will I make a return trip back to Macao in the very near future? Lets just say... maybe... LOL.

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