A Day In Macau

Most people, who visit Hong Kong, make it a point to spend at least a day in Macau. Macau, today a special administered region of the People’s Republic of China, was a Portuguese territory until 1999. Therefore, the island sees influence of a mixed culture. Signboards are in both Cantonese and Portuguese. However, these days, Macau is popular for its casinos. It is therefore today a resort city and a top destination for gambling tourism.

Getting There

You could either fly in directly to Macau international airport or ride a ferry from Hong Kong. At Hong Kong Island, you will have to catch a ferry from the Macau ferry terminal, which is different from the central piers. You could choose to take a helicopter ride to reach sooner or simply ride with one of the ferry operators. Turbojet seems to be a popular option among tourists. However, it is important to note that the terminal is always crowded. Therefore, you will have to make it to the terminal ahead of time to get the ride at your preferred times. It is also recommended that you buy a return ticket at Hong Kong Island itself as they get sold out rapidly. Ferries run until midnight.

If your accommodation at Hong Kong Island is at a walking distance from the ferry station, you could choose to ride the last ferry. Otherwise, ensure to be back before the last metro or bus.

The Formalities

While you leave Hong Kong, you will have to return the immigration form. At Macau you get a fresh permit. While you re-enter Hong Kong, you get an extra 14 day permit.

Hong Kong dollars are accepted in Macau but it is advisable to carry some Macanese Patacas. You could withdraw the same from an ATM.

At the ferry terminal you could ride any of the free buses operated by casinos and get to the city.

Macau Attractions

At Macau Historic center we see a successful blend of Europe and Asia. Today, it houses several world heritage sites such as the ruins of St Paul, St Augustine’s Square, Senado Sqaure, A-Ma Temple and Monte Fort.

Ruins of St Paul – This is undoubtedly the most popular site in Macau. An accidental fire destroyed the cathedral. Today, only the impressive main facade and staircase remains representing a glorious and magnificent past. 

St Augustine (Igreja de Santo Agostinho) – This striking yellow building was built by the Spanish priests of Mexico in 1587.

Fortaleza do Monte (Monte Fort)– The fort overlooks the city.  Signboards will direct you to the various attractions in this location. 

Casinos – Venetian is a casino not to be missed. It is on the other side of the island and takes a 20 minute ride to reach there. But you could ride the casino buses for free to get there. The interiors of casino is built to resemble Venice. The cafĂ© on the top has a false roofing to represent sky. Enjoy a laser light show displayed here. Also, many other casinos have interesting shows at designated times. 

Macau Tower – This tallest tower in Macau has an observation deck on the top. The brave hearts could attempt a bungee jump here.

A-Ma & Na Tcha Temple – A-Ma Taoist temple is dedicated to goddess A-ma. Na Tcha temple is believed to have built to end a plague that affected this region.

Macau Grand Prix – The Grand Prix held in November every year, is one of the biggest events here that sees the streets of Macau turn racetrack.

Ensure to fit in a day to explore Macau while you travel to Hong Kong. It would be interesting to see a completely different influence here from what you would see in Hong Kong.