Back in July, a couple of my friends and I traveled to Hong Kong and made a day trip to Macau. Tourists usually do this since Macau is just about an hour away from HK by ferry.
We had quite an eventful day, however, the events were not entirely pleasant. The short of it is we got lost looking for the HK-Macau ferry terminal. We almost missed our trip (we had pre-booked seats)!
I was wearing the wrong shoes and had blisters on my ankles from all the mad dash. Then, I had terrible motion sickness on board the ferry. My world was spinning already when the ferry hasn’t left the dock yet! We stayed up late the last night and this was day 3 of our trip so I was running low on energy already. Oh but after going through Customs, I sprang back to life.
Our first stop was the luxury hotel Venetian Macao. What a sight! It’s easy to get lost in there with the casinos and the shops. It was huge to say the least! We grabbed lunch at the food court where they painted the ceiling to look like a sky so it’s as if you’re dining al fresco.
You can take a ride on the Venetian gondola up there for MOP 118 (adults). After checking out the shops, we headed to the public square Largo do Senado (Senate Square). As expected, it was really crowded. I think I would appreciate it much more on a quiet early morning with the charming cobblestone streets and colonial architecture bringing you back to mid-16th century when Macau was a Portuguese colony.
We then made our way on foot to the Ruins of St. Paul, passing through Rua do Cunha – a narrow street filled with shops selling treats like Portuguese egg tarts, almond cookies, phoenix egg rolls and the popular Chinese-style jerky known as bak kwa. Vendors offer a free taste so of course we indulged! 🙂 I remember missing my husband while I was sampling all the jerky and sweets. He would absolutely love that whole stretch of road. I promised myself I would be back with him one day soon.
At the end of Rua do Cunha is St. Paul Ruins. We just sat by the grand stairs leading to it, munching on egg tarts and sipping milk tea with tapioca balls. By then, I had bought a pair of slippers to relieve my aching feet. I also had two bags of Macau food to bring home to the Philippines. It is a Filipino tradition to bring homecoming gifts to family and friends back home. We call these gifts pasalubong.
When it got dark, we thought of heading to the Macau Tower. This is the perfect place for adventure if you’re up to it. It’s the site of the world’s highest bungy jump (764 ft). Other thrills: skywalk, mast climb and sky jump. It would’ve been nice if we just got inside the Observation Deck but it was almost closing time and we didn’t want to pay the MOP 120 (P621) only to have to leave after a few minutes.
So, that was our afternoon/evening in Macau. I’m not gonna go into all the waiting and trying to figure out how to go from point A to point B. It was a failure in logistics. It sucks because I know Macau has much more to offer but we didn’t get to really enjoy the place because we did not plan enough. Not smart if you’re visiting a foreign city without a guide! I need to experience Macau properly – a perfect reason to go back with Ren!
* If you only have a day in Macau, start early so you can make the most of your visit and please do some research!
* If you have pre-ordered tickets through your hotel/guest house, make sure you know which terminal your ferry will be departing from. The HK-Macau ferries run from 2 terminals:
1.) Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal on Shun Tak Centre, 202 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong Island
2.) China Ferry Terminal on 33 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
* The “tickets” we got from our guest house were actually coupons that we had to exchange for the real tickets at the terminal. Return trip costs HK$ 295.
* Macau’s currency is Macau Pataca (MOP) but you can use HK dollars. When I paid for my purchases, the shops accepted HK$ and gave my change in HK$, too.