So my previous Blog, 6 Things to See in Hong Kong on a short trip! went through all the sites we saw in Hong Kong. During this stop we also spent a day in Macau, China! Known as the Vegas of the East, the Monte Carlo of the Orient and a gambling Mecca.
It’s an hour boat ride away from Hong Kong. We took the boat from Central and bought our tickets there that day. It’s a set price with multiple crossings a day. Be careful though, there’s more crossings in the first half of the day than there is in the second. Wouldn’t wanna get stuck over there 🙂
It is apart of China which means borders, so do check if your ok for a visa with the passport you hold. You can google this. They also ask for your passport in the terminal, don’t forget to bring it with you. They give you visa slips to complete and its all checked again on the other side!
Macau was a Portuguese colony until 1999. It is best known for it’s casinos and luxury hotels. It’s also has some world heritage sites. A day here was enough for us but we aren’t gamblers and covered the casino in an hour. We only went into one too so if this is your thing you may want to a lot more time for this!
We arrived in Macau around 11am – we missed the earlier crossing…. We got talking to another couple of travellers and yeeee we both like to chat 🙂
When we exited the terminal there are a number of shuttle buses that will bring you to their hotels free of charge. All the hotels have them. They don’t bring you to the sites, just there casinos! It is a cheap option to get up to the town though!!
We met a driver named Steven (connected to a tour guild company) who for an agreed price would drive us all around the sites, in an air-conditioned car and drop us off at a casino to finish our day. In the Macau humid heat the air con was the deal breaker! In GBP£ it cost us £40. The best money spent that day we both agreed. We would never have covered this alone.
Do note we had not planned to meet Steven. We arrived with no set plan and he was in the terminal awaiting the arriving ferry. There was a number of drivers like him. Another handy thing to note is in Macau they do accept HK Dollars so you don’t need to change any cash. ATM’s are also all around especially on the strip with near the casinos.
Our first stop on the day was the Ruins of St Paul’s. To get here we walked through the Senado square and saw all the old colonial buildings. Wow where these pretty! There is also a number of vendors here selling sweet treats and cured meats. TRY the pastéis de nata. They sell them freshly baked and warm!!!!! ••swoons
The Ruins are an official World Heritage site with a crypt and numerous relics on display for you to see. The steps up to the ruins are also very impressive. Steven was great he gave us 2 hours here to roam around and a meeting point to find him after. Not gonna lie, as we paid up front we were dubious if we’d ever see him again. He did give us his number though so we thought that’s something….. Nothing to fear, he was patiently waiting for us and ready to go onto our next spot.
Fisherman’s Wharf…. an entertainment complex with roman ruins. Not much here so we spent 15 minutes walking around and getting some cool pictures!
Next was Macau Tower. Seeing as neither of us where jumping off it (which can be done) few pics and off we went…. (Bare in mind we had a return ferry to catch at 7.15pm)
Next up we saw A-Ma Temple. Macau’s oldest Taoist’s Temple. This was super cool and we really enjoyed walking around here. We made some wishes, said some prayers and took some pictures. All was fine to do and seemed to have a number of tourists doing the same. We dropped some pennies in the well, something I love doing when away!
After that we got back into the car and headed up into the hills. Steven (he was so my new best friend!!) advised this was their version of the Hollywood hills and promised a view of the city. Pena Hill….. wow! We walked up a side alley and didn’t know what to expect… Ms Hazel, Ms Hazel, follow the path… Not weird or random at all!! We saw the church and then turned a corner and boom! Full 360 of the city! We would never have found this on our own and we got some amazing pictures here. I would highly recommend it. It is such a popular place for photos, when there was a bridal photo shoot and multiple cameras set up on tripods on timers taking pictures you know it’s a find! Any photography fans would LOVE this place.
We then finished our day in the casinos. We’re not gamblers now but…. When in Rome! We couldn’t not go in and have a nose. I have never been to Vegas so I can’t compare. All the big names are in Macau. MGM, Wynn, Sands and the Venetian to name but a few. Then you had Lisboa, Casino Golden Dragon and Kam Pek Casino. Something for everyone!
We went to the Wynn Hotel as it was close by to the ferry terminal. Also Steven advised us that when we finished our tour, the Wynn water show was close to starting if we wanted to catch that….. Eh yes please!!!
We hit the casino floor, got some grub and took in the atmosphere. All in all a huge tick of our bucket list and an even bigger wish to visit Las Vegas in the future! Side note, don’t take photo’s by the tables, we almost got kicked out when we got to close for there liking!
If you do visit Hong Kong in the future and have a spare day it is well worth it to check out Macau. I’m sure we didn’t see everything but on our ferry trip back, with tired feet and a whole load of memories we felt we covered a good chunk of this little mecca.
Lots of Love…..