Thursday, May 10, 2012

Coloane Island, Macau: Cheoc Van Beach, Seac Pai Van Park and Giant Panda Pavilion

On our second day in Macau last year, we woke up to another hazy morn. The parking lot servicing beach goers was almost empty. We sprinted across it as we waved mom hello, she was watching us from our Pousada De Coloane Beach Hotel room's balcony. I got my fingers crossed, hoping the drizzle would cease. Hurriedly, we took the obligatory family snapshot, sans mom who refused to go down. She ain't, and never was, a beach person.

Cheoc Van Beach on a foggy Friday.

Cheoc Van Beach during weekdays and hazy days is an uncrowded cove. Its yellow ochre sand and murky water may not have enough charm to draw in busloads of tourists, but it's quite popular with locals (or so I heard) who wish to bask in the sun once in a while... And backpackers like us who sought refuge from the bustle of Macau Peninsula and Cotai.

Testing the water's temp.

We spotted a lone swimmer preoccupied with the monotony of his laps, and we quietly watched him until we realized that it has stopped raining. It was our cue to go. Mom finally joined us as we climbed up the set of steep stairs that leads to the main street. She whined all the way.

Seac Pai Van Park.

The bus stop is just a few meters away from the hotel's rear access and we all got there in no time, despite mom's breathless bickers and countless rest stops. A No. 25 bus fetched us after about five minutes of waiting, and the ride to Seac Pai Van Park took less than ten. From the entrance, we followed a stream of families with kids of all ages and ended up at the newly opened Giant Panda Pavilion's ticket booth.

Now here's something that cheered her up after all that hiking. She elbowed everyone out of the frame prior to this shot.

There's no admission fee to get in Seac Pai Van Park where you could view a few animals in cages, but the admission to the Giant Panda Pavilion costs 10 MOP for adults (children 12 and under and seniors 65 and above come in for free). Only a certain number of guests are allowed in the pavilion every hour, that means the ticket is only good for a certain schedule. We were fortunate that one panda was awake at 10:00-11:00 AM, our designated sched, which apparently is their feeding time.

Giant Panda Pavilion.

For almost the entire hour, I cried (remember Ocean Park?). And I constantly fought my way through children to get close to the glass window for the panda was amazingly walking here and there. I garnered stares of bewilderment from them little ones, and from my folks. My mom even remarked "weird" in passing. "This happened before, it's normal.", the hubby (carrying our daughter Luna who slept throughout) assured her.

Feeding time!

I stayed until the guards shooed us away. While half of the family headed to the snack bar for food, the other half scoured the souvenir shop for the cheapest items. I emerged from the store with just a plastic pocket credit card holder. The panda plushies were way beyond our budget. Thank goodness Luna was too young to grab stuff from shelves.

Waiting for the crowd to thin out to spend some time alone with the adorable panda.

If you're obsessed with pandas like me or have children who are obsessed with pandas like me, the bus trip from Macau Peninsula is definitely worth it. Otherwise, you're better off amusing yourself in one of those glitzy hotels. The Giant Panda Pavilion is closed on Mondays, and you could check the schedule here. How to get there: Take buses numbered 21A, 25, and 26A.

Prepare to battle it out with ferocious kids.

Macau Series: Meet My Backpacking Folks

Meet My Backpacking Folks
Century-Old SanVa Hospederia
Largo Do Senado: And The Family Chaos Continues
Review: Pousada De Coloane Beach Hotel
Photo Essay: The Venetian and City of Dreams, Macau

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tatess said...
June 23, 2012 at 2:52 AM

Your mom having fun with Panda photo shoot.What a lovely smile she got. My son would love to see a Panda too, he never one yet so far.

Mavin Reyes - Nurse Critic said...
June 23, 2012 at 7:31 AM

i really want to be a backpacker like my friend... i wish that before 2012 end, i'd have a new stamp on my passport.. thanks for sharing :)

Christeen said...
June 23, 2012 at 7:46 AM

ganda ng place nato - list for a macau trip.

Franc Ramon said...
June 23, 2012 at 9:13 AM

I always love seeing Panda they are such cute and lazy animals. Nice seeing a different part of Macau through your blog.

Edmaration etc said...
June 23, 2012 at 9:38 AM

I want to see baby pandas too!

Mhe-anne Ojeda said...
June 23, 2012 at 10:17 AM

I love Pandas so we stayed at Panda Hotel in Hongkong after our visit in Macau and got a Panda mom and daughter stuffed toy! Had I known about this park, I will surely visit. But oh well, now I have another reason what to do in Macau on my third visit!Thanks for the post Gay dear!

Kura said...
June 23, 2012 at 11:27 AM

ok lang. naka-jackpot ka naman kahit papano sa pandang yan. they're indeed one of the cutest creature. sino bang hindi mahahalina sa kanya no. o wag ng iiyak ha... hihihi! ^_^

btw, ang cute ng picture mo sa oceanpark. hahaha! cry baby

Maricel said...
June 23, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Those pics are simply awesome! And that panda is just so cute!

TheJonDiesta said...
June 23, 2012 at 2:20 PM

I want to see giant panda

Jovial Wanderer said...
June 23, 2012 at 2:34 PM

ang cute nung panda...awwww..I didn't know you were obsessed with pandas bff..hihi. Ako naman, I have a weird fascination with sharks. I have DVD's of shark documentaries tapos nung nakahawak ako ng shark for the first time, I could not stop beaming. It was a glorious day. :P

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
June 23, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Tess, I'm pretty sure your son will have a chance someday soon :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
June 23, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Franc, yeah they're such lazy animals. They know what "chillin'" is all about. LOL.

Ate Mhe-Anne, first time to hear about Panda Hotel! Definitely checking in there when we revisit Hongkong.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
June 23, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Maricar, hihi. Iyakin talaga ako!!!

Tin, you touched a shark?! WHERE?!

Ding | The Pinoy Explorer said...
June 23, 2012 at 3:13 PM

I would love to cuddle that panda!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
June 23, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Me too, Ding! Let's do that in Chengdu!

Ric / Life N Canvas said...
June 23, 2012 at 4:09 PM

I like the place especially the beach. Looks so peaceful! And the cute!

Ralph Marcuss said...
June 23, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Gusto ko din ng maka kita ng panda..

markpogi said...
June 23, 2012 at 5:00 PM

WOW! The place looks spotless clean. I hope I could take my family there someday. ^_^

Mai Flores said...
June 23, 2012 at 8:35 PM

Awww.. Gay! Didn't know you loved Panda's that much.. I started to think about things that can actually make me cry easily. Hmm. :/ Anyway, if I knew about this place in Macau, I would've paid it a visit then..then again, Macau's just a short, plane ride away. Would actually love to see real, live pandas soon! :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
June 23, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Yeah Mai, and tickets to there are usually on sale.

Violy Vallester said...
June 23, 2012 at 10:09 PM

that panda is huge!! would love to see one too real soon! Glad that your mom loves panda too..;)

Noks Sosa I said...
June 24, 2012 at 4:03 AM

The pandas are cute. I havent seen one in my entire life. Damn. Every time I see Pandas sa photos, they remind me of our nature. Hehe. la lang. Ang ganda nila. I hope mameet ko rin lahi nila. Thanks for posting this, you made my day. :)

Teresa Martinez said...
June 24, 2012 at 6:50 AM

I would love to have that chance to see pandas for real with my family.

Manong Iskrambol said...
June 24, 2012 at 7:58 AM

great travel.. will pandas live here in the philippines hahaha.. I hope one of the zoos here import pandas so all of us could see them in real.. travelling abroad is really expensive hahaha

Kalabasa K. Kamote said...
June 24, 2012 at 4:56 PM

The cuddly pandas are so cute, I want to go there now. :)

Ron said...
June 24, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Hope I can visit that place as well. Cutie panda! hehe.

MissGennD said...
June 24, 2012 at 11:59 PM

Pandaaaaaas!!! I wish to visit Macau too~

athena said...
June 25, 2012 at 12:37 AM

can't help but notice the architecture of the giant panda pavilion. looks so unique.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
June 25, 2012 at 12:45 AM

IKR? It looks uhm, shell inspired. Hihi.

Anonymous said...
June 25, 2012 at 12:51 PM

ang ganda naman po :)

♣ lily ♣ said...
June 25, 2012 at 2:20 PM

the panda (with your mom) is soooo cute! I love pandas too. I'd definitely go there pag napunta ako sa Macau! :)

hazel said...
June 25, 2012 at 7:53 PM

ahh.. pandas. love them!

Christeen said...
June 26, 2012 at 12:05 AM

Just noticed the Giant Panda Pavillion, such a nice place to visit.:)

msairrapingol said...
June 26, 2012 at 12:28 AM

omg! that panda looks so cute!

June 26, 2012 at 8:20 AM

i giggle whenever i see pandas! they are really adorable!! Sana ma visit ko to soon :")

Gigi Beleno said...
June 26, 2012 at 8:54 AM

I wanna see and feed a live Panda too! Must be more exciting for kids, my little boy will surely want this kind of trip.

Sumi Go said...
June 26, 2012 at 9:49 AM

Love all these photos! :D Wish I can visit Macau in the near future. Would love to see sites this beautiful and to also get to actually see a panda (my fave animal) for myself.. :D

Ian | Going Places said...
June 26, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Never thought that there's beach in Macau and surprisingly a Panda in Macau too! Pandas are extremely cute and unique endangered species in the wild.

SunnyToast said...
June 27, 2012 at 2:06 AM

pandas are adorable!

evankristine said...
June 27, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Panda's are ALWAYS adorable!!!! I would cry too if I see one!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
June 27, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Hahaha! They got that effect :)

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