I insist that all of us should let the little kid in our heart live! It is perfectly fine if you want to run through a meadow for no apparent reason… or count the stars during a dark summer night. The little kid in my heart is truly fascinated by fireworks and wants to clap out loud and jump up and down each time there are firework sparks that fly in the sky.
Witnessing the pyro-olympics or a similar firework display was on my list since the time I have been a school going kid. I almost ticked that item off my bucketlist when I saw the grand opening of the Palm Island in Dubai. But it was almost. I was fairly distant perched on top of a building and the display seemed like en event in a land ‘far, far away’. The item continued to exist on the bucketlist until September 2014, when we planned our Hong Kong trip.
International Firework Display Contest at Macau…
It was not until I landed in Hong Kong did I realise that the International Firework Display Contest was being held in Macau in the month of September. The contest is typically held from mid September to early October. The schedule is up on the Macau tourism website as early as June. As we were there for five days in the third week of September 2013 – all that we had to do was to plan the Hong Kong to Macau visit on a day of the event.
The event is held on five separate days in the two week time frame, days being pre-decided. There are typically two firework displays held on the event days , the first one at 2100 hrs and the second one at 2140 hours. Each display lasts for 20 odd minutes – be there on time.
Best viewing spot… Sky is the playground…
Yes, its a firework display which lights up the sky. Any place would be a good viewing spot , right? Not really! Well, the entire fun of watching the firework performance is to enjoy the synchronous lights with the music that guides the show. The speakers playing the music are at the base of the Macau Tower, which is the best place to enjoy the show. There is also an option to enjoy the show while having dinner at the restaurant in Macau Tower – was overcrowded and did not seem value for money at all – not our choice!
Let the show begin… <drumroll>…
The firework display started at sharp 2100 hours with a soft and soothing music and fireworks at the horizon. Interesting – but nothing exciting at first . The show got exciting with every passing minute. Within the next few minutes the tempo doubled and so did the frequency with which the sky lit up …greens…reds….purples….and more. The crowd went ‘Ooooohhhh’ and so did we! And then, from the top of the solfege – from the ‘ti’ note, the music dipped to the ‘re’ note…and so did the fireworks – soft glowing lights shimmering at the horizon once again – that my friends, is the joy of being right next to the speakers and enjoying the firework display!
We have seen belly dance performances in Istanbul and Jordan. We have also seen a belly dance performance in Macau! After the first firework display was over, there was a group of local dancers who delivered a belly dance performance – they surely did give the native Middle Eastern women a tough competition. They had my feet tapping and I had a strong desire to break into a shimmy!
Two cents from my end…some tips…
Travel documents: Carry your passport along when you board the ferry from Hong Kong to Macau. You cannot board the ferry or clear immigration without it.
Return tickets on the ferry: If you intend to come back the same night, buy return tickets on the ferry. The tickets from Macau to are black marketed late at night and cost 3 times the regular price!
Reach in time: Getting a taxi from the ferry terminal to Macau Tower is a task – suggest that you budget at least 30 minutes to stand in the line.
Local transport: Taxis are expensive in Macau. If you want to save money, you can take the local buses, which are so crowded that you may be reduced to cheese singles (especially the buses that leave from Macau Tower after the firework displays end). Take your pick!
More entertainment: There are options of entertainment and shows in Macau as well – we could not see any as we were there for an evening only. If you want to make the most of it, suggest staying in one of the glitzy hotels for at least a night.
Photographers’ delight: If clicking pictures is high on your priority list, carry your tripod and camera remote – surely worth the trouble.
As always… Send me an e-mail if you need any further details. Glad to help!
Let the travellers’ tribe grow!