Macau is known not only to be the City of Dreams but also the gambling Mecca of Asia. Gambling is Macau’s biggest industry as great masses arrive daily to try their luck. In fact, most of their “tourist attractions” are their casinos and hotels.
How to get there:
There are a number of ways to get to Macau from Hongkong. However, riding a ferry is the only practical way to travel between the two cities. Not unless you have plenty of money, then you can opt to ride a private helicopter. 🙂
- Go to Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal located at the 3rd Floor of Shun Tak centre, 200 Connaught Road Central, Sheung Wan. You have wide array of transportation networks in getting to this port: MTR, bus, minibus or taxi. Choose whatever is convenient to you. For us, we chose to ride the MTR going to the Shueng Wan Station.
- Buy your tickets in their ticketing office or via self-service ticketing kiosk. No need to buy your tickets in advance, as ferries are rarely full and ferries depart every 30 minutes. However, if you plan for a late night return ticket, be sure to book it in advance as this is considered as peak hours. Upon intensive research, we chose TurboJet as our ferry line. We bought a superclass ferry ticket going to Macau and an economy return ticket. Advantages of the Super Class tickets are complimentary meal, adjustable contoured seats, priority disembarkation and exclusive use of Superclass waiting lounge.
- Pass through the immigration for some clearance and wait for your ferry to depart. The ride normally takes an hour. If you have seasickness, better take your medicines in advance. 🙂
- Macau has a separate immigration from Hong Kong. Hence upon arrival, you will have to pass through Macau’s immigration and customs check. Filipinos need no visa upon entering Macau; hence your passport is your key pass. Just a gentle reminder, ALWAYS BRING YOUR PASSPORT WHEN TRAVELLING. It is the most vital document aside from your airline tickets. So voila! Welcome to Macau.
Getting around Macau is easy as free casino buses line up at the port. We planned to have some DIY Trip to Macau, however a man approached us at the port and offered us a tour around Macau for a day. We refused at first but when he told us that it would only cost us HKD200, we then accepted his offer. However, do not be easily tempted especially when you are in a foreign country. Always be meticulous. Safety first, okay?
Our private tour started at Lotus Square, Kun Iam Statue, MGM Grand, Our Lady of Penha Church, A-Ma Temple, Senado Square, St. Paul Ruins, Wynn Hotel, Grand Emperor Hotel and lastly Venetian Macau. We actually had a list of all attractions we want to visit in Macau but we let our guide to decide the most convenient route. What made our guide advantageous is that he knows the best time to visit a place. Just like in Wynn Hotel wherein there are waterworks show and presentation of the Tree of Prosperity. Without him, we might not witness such breathtaking shows. I can just imagine the scene! Aaaaa! Take me back to Macau please. 🙂
The tour ended at Venetian Macau wherein our guide dropped us there. After we roamed around the place and tried the romantic gondola, we rode a free shuttle going back to the port then back to Hong Kong. So here are some of my photos taken in Macau.
The lotus flower said to be symbolizes the everlasting prosperity of Macau.
Kun Iam Statue
This 20-meter-statue which is made of bronze is dedicated to Goddess of Mercy. According to our guide, you have to stand to a specific point and look directly to her eye then make a wish. Well, there’s no harm in trying, so we did! 🙂
Here found the MGM Water Aurora wherein a breathtaking underwater palace can be found. Aside from the overhanging corals and swerving fishes into the horizon in Grande Praça, we were also stunned by the Water-sky aquarium.
Our Lady of Penha Church
Our Lady of Penha Church is known to be the first chapel in Macau which was founded in 1622.
Did you know that Macau’s name is derived from A-Ma-Gau or Place of A-Ma? According to a legend, A-Ma is a poor girl looking for passage to Canton. Refused by the wealthy junk owners, a lowly fisherman took her on board. However, a storm blew up and wrecked all but the boat carrying the A-Ma. On arrival in Macau she vanished, to reappear as a goddess, on the spot where the fishermen built her temple.
Senado Square, a Portuguese-inspired architecture, has been Macau’s urban center and a popular venue for celebrations.
St. Paul Ruins
One of the landmarks in Macau is St. Paul Ruins. Hence, travelling to Macau will make no sense if you have not take your selfies with this magnificent façade of the Church & St. Paul College.
We have not enlisted Wynn in our itinerary but our guide insisted us to take a tour in this hotel. Thanks to him because we were enthralled by their waterworks display in their Performance Lake and the exquisitely designed Tree of Prosperity show. Be amaze with the Tree of Prosperity wherein the gold cupola on the ceilings which features the twelve animals from Chinese zodiac will open as a sparkling chandelier will be shown. As the chandelier goes down, the floor will open and a tree of prosperity, which transforms its color into the vibrant colors of the four seasons, will rise. The Tree of Prosperity performance is a choreographic masterpiece of shimmering, sculptural patterns, music, video and light.
Grand Emperor Hotel
This is absolutely one the hotels listed in my bucket lists as the hotel is inspired by European royal palaces. Their guards absolutely look like the royal guards in London. What amazed us was the so called Golden Pathway in the lobby, which is literally composed of 78 bars of pure gold (999.9 fine).
The world’s largest casino is found in Macau. As the name suggests, you will be dazzled by the street performers and the Venetian gondola just like what can be found in Venice.
Well, of course, we did not miss the chance to have a romantic gondola ride down the canals of Venice and be serenaded by an Italian Gondolier. Luckily our Gondolier, Nello, also knows how to sing Filipino song. Hence, he serenaded us with the song, “Ikaw”. The lyrics goes like this, “Ikaw ang tanglaw ng Maykapal. Tugon sa aking dasal. Upang sa lahat ng panahon. Bawat pagkakataon. Ang ibigin ko’y ikaw.”
Tickets are available at the Boutique di Gondola and Emporio de Gondola, located inside the Venetian Macao.
Complimetary Venetian Shuttle Bus to Venetian Macau from :
- Macau International Airport
- Gongbei border gate
- Ferry terminal