Jardim Luis de Camoes, Macau
Shame on you if you think all Macau has to offer is casinos and prostitutes. There are loads of places of interest in Macau. For me, I am always impressed by old buildings, and really when compared to Hong Kong and the Govt’s total lack of concern for buildings of historical value (regardless of current use), Macau is really like a breath of fresh air (although its air quality is probably worse than HK).
But anyway, more about the buildings (or at least some of them) in some later posts. This one is with regards to a garden situated in the central to North part of the Macau Peninsula.
Jardim Luis de Camoes is named after a 16th Century poet warrior, who is supposed (though there seems to be a lack of concrete evidence) to have visited Macau and written some of his epic tale “Os Lusias” whilst living here. The garden itself, other than a small grotto containing a bust of the main man himself, really doesn’t seem to have much to do with him beyond the name as the rest of the park is taken up by some really nice landscaped gardens, fountains, small ponds and children’s (dilapidated) playground in the Eastern border.
The one thing to note though for fans (like me) of the chop socky/kung fu film genre, is that the main gate to the park will be immediately recognisable to anyone who has watched Bruce Lee’s “Fist of Fury” (US: The Chinese Connection). These are the gates where Bruce tries to enter the park but is stopped by a gruff looking fat Indian guard (played by a Chinese guy with dodgy/fake looking henna stained beard and turban), who proceeds to point to a nearby sign which says “No Dogs or Chinese“. OK, suffice to say the scene develops into one where Bruce is bullied into action by a group of Japanese (the main one played by his oft-used acrobatic stunt double: Yuen Wah), who then feel the full force of his anger as he takes them out in front of the gates. The scene ends with him kicking the sign in the air and shattering it into pieces with a well timed flying kick…waaaaaaaaaaaaaaakaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!.
It’s a real shame that this location hasn’t really made it onto any official tourist guide, especially considering the impact his films had on the region (don’t forget Macau is only about 50km from HK).
Anyway, I digress, the park also (at the far end) contains a statues commemorating the first Korean priest in Macau. The legend on the statue base reads …” St Andrew Kim, first Korean priest, born on 21/08/1821 at Solmoe of Choongcheung Province, Korea. Arrived at the procuration of M.E.P in Macau on 07/06/1837 and started studying Theology. Ordained Priest in Shanghai on 17/08/1845. Back to Korea arriving at Hwangsanpo (Choongcheung Province) on 12/10/1845. Arrested in Soonwi Island, Hwanghae Province (doesn’t say why?) on 05/06/1846. Martyred at Saenamtuh in Seoul on 15/09/1846. Canonized in Seoul by Pope John Paul 2 on 06/05/1984…“
One final point to mention is that the main sculpture/fountain piece by the main entrance, has mosaic ‘cantos’ fixed in the ground (see attached pictures. Unfortunately I have to admit my ignorance as to what this is about as the signs (like all other ones in Macau) are in Portuguese and Chinese only, so I won’t be able to provide a translation for a while. If anyone knows then please feel free to save me the task and enlighten my ignorance.
Anyway, its a lovely place and I hope you will visit it for the fauna if not for the Bruce Lee History.