Tuesday, August 29, 2023

I finally had the chance to go back to Macau, and have a real itinerary. The last time I went there about a decade ago, my friends and I just took pictures and shopped at The Venetian. 😅 I was also finally able to try traveling from Hong Kong to Macau by bus! This trip was short, but packed with new experiences. Sharing here our Macau day trip from Hong Kong by bus, and our itinerary!

Macau, often referred to as the "Las Vegas of Asia," is a vibrant and culturally diverse region located on the southern coast of China. A day trip to Macau can be a fantastic experience, as this special administrative region of China is known for its blend of Portuguese and Chinese cultures, historic architecture, vibrant casinos, and delicious cuisine.

Hong Kong to Macau by Bus

We were supposed to take a ferry, but even though we've already paid for our roundtrip tickets via Klook, we got last minute cancellations. I took it as a sign that we have to try the Hong Kong to Macau bus transfers option, which is also available in Klook.

The Jordan terminal is near our Airbnb, so our early call-time was okay. It was a bit of a walk from the train station, so make sure to consider this when allotting your travel time.

We saw the office right away, in all its glorious, popping green color. Process was seamless, we got our roundtrip tickets right away. 

The office and our bus tickets:

Bus is comfortable and spacious for the long ride:

A disadvantage (?) in taking the bus to Macau is we had to disembark the bus to go through the immigration, and board the bus again on the other side. We had to be fast, they only waited for us in 20 minutes. Also, we had to do this TWICE, one upon exiting Hong Kong, and then another one when entering Macau. 

➡ TIP: Make sure you have your green sticker visible on your clothing, it's so easy to get lost but we were often directed by the bus staff to the right door. Make sure to also bring all your things with you, I am not sure if we boarded the same bus again. And lastly, bring your travel documents such as a valid passport, any necessary visas, and any health-related documents that might be required.

Hong Kong to Macau travel time by bus is about 2 hours, including the immigration stops. I watched the dot on my Google Maps as we passed through the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB).

Meanwhile, advantages of taking the bus to Macau is it's a bit cheaper than taking the ferry at that time (we paid around PHP 1400 one way). I also like that they have several time slots, and we were also free to choose our drop off and pick-up from Parisian, Venetian, and Sands--and had the liberty to change our minds even though I clicked a different location during booking. Bus is also on time and clean. Recommended IF the ferry option is not available. Otherwise, I think taking the ferry is still the smoother and faster option.

Macau Day Trip from Hong Kong Itinerary

Macau is a vibrant and unique destination that offers a blend of Chinese and Portuguese cultures, along with a mix of modern and traditional attractions. Here are some things you can do in Macau:

Parisian Macau 

Parisian Macau is a luxury hotel and casino resort known for its Eiffel Tower replica and French-themed architecture. You can take an elevator ride to the observation deck for panoramic views of the Cotai Strip and beyond. Would have been nice to try this during sunset and at night when the lights come on!

The architecture and design of The Parisian Macau provide numerous opportunities for great photos. The Eiffel Tower replica, the Le Château de Paris area, and the grand lobby are all picturesque spots. We also had lunch at the hotel's food court. It was a nice first stop after the long bus ride.

Walking Tour in Macau

After lunch and exploring the Parisian, Cea and I decided to go to the UNESCO World Heritage Site areas of Macau. We tried to commute since the bus stop is just in front of the hotel, but all the buses were full. No time to waste, we just got a taxi to the St. Paul Ruins (Php 500).

St. Paul Ruins

One of Macau's most famous landmarks, the facade of this 16th-century church is all that remains after a fire in the 19th century. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers a glimpse into Macau's history.

St. Dominic's Church

Visit the beautiful St. Dominic's Church, located near Senado Square. This church showcases Macau's unique blend of European and Chinese architectural styles.

Photos at the St. Paul Ruins and St. Dominic's Church

Had to try their famous egg tart!

Senado Square

A historic square surrounded by colonial-style buildings. It's a UNESCO World Heritage site and a hub of local culture. It's a lively square surrounded by pastel-colored buildings and is a great place to stroll, shop, and people-watch.

Other Places to Visit and Things to Do in Macau 

Museum of Macau

Provides insights into the region's history, culture, and development. It's housed in the Fortaleza do Monte, a historic fortress.

A-Ma Temple

Visit the A-Ma Temple, one of Macau's oldest and most revered temples. A-Ma Temple is dedicated to the goddess of seafarers and is a beautiful example of traditional Chinese architecture.

Macau Tower

Head to the Macau Tower, an iconic landmark that offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city and beyond. For thrill-seekers, the tower also offers activities like bungee jumping and skywalking.

Cotai Strip 

This entertainment district is home to numerous casinos, luxury hotels, and entertainment shows, making it Macau's version of the Las Vegas Strip.

Coloane Village

This is one of the more tranquil areas of Macau, known for its charming streets, colorful houses, and local eateries. Don't miss Lord Stow's Bakery for their famous egg tarts.

Guia Fortress

This historic fortress offers panoramic views of Macau from its vantage point. It's also home to the Guia Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse on the China coast.

Taipa Village

This area is known for its Portuguese influence and offers a mix of cultural attractions, colonial architecture, and a variety of dining options.

Try Macanese Cuisine

Macau's culinary scene is a fusion of Chinese and Portuguese flavors. Try dishes like Portuguese egg tarts, African chicken, and Macanese seafood rice.

Fisherman's Wharf

This themed entertainment complex features various sections representing different parts of the world. It's a unique spot for shopping, dining, and entertainment.

Remember that Macau is a small region, so you can easily explore many of these attractions within a short period of time. Whether you're interested in history, culture, cuisine, or entertainment, Macau has something for everyone.

Macau Travel Tips:

1) The best time to visit Macau is during the fall (October to December) when the weather is pleasant and the skies are clear. Spring (March to May) is also a good time to visit. Avoid the hot and humid summer months (June to August) and the typhoon season (July to September).

2) The currency used in Macau is the Macau Pataca (MOP), but Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) are widely accepted.

3) Cantonese and Portuguese are the official languages, but English is also widely spoken in tourist areas.

4) Macau is a small place, making it easy to navigate. Public buses, taxis, and shuttle buses provided by casinos are the main modes of transportation. Walking is also a great way to explore the historic areas.

5) Take note, I bought a sim card that works on both Hong Kong and Macau to avoid hassles especially with navigating. But many public areas such as the hotels offer free Wi-Fi. This can be useful for staying connected while exploring. 

6) If you can only go to a few places, enjoy Macau's rich history. Don't miss the historic center, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with the iconic landmarks like Senado Square and St. Paul's Ruins. Enjoy Macau cuisine, including the iconic Portuguese egg tarts, almond cookies, and Macanese-style dishes.

7) But if you can, stay for a night in one of Macau's famous hotels. Enjoy the nightlife, and also have a more slow-paced tour of the city for 2 days. 

8) Macau is generally safe for tourists, but like any destination, be cautious of your belongings, especially in crowded areas.

Macau's blend of history, culture, and entertainment options makes it a unique travel destination. Whether you're interested in exploring its UNESCO-listed sites, trying your luck at the casinos, or indulging in its culinary delights, Macau has something for everyone. Just remember to plan your trip according to the weather and your interests for the best experience. Enjoy! :)

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