Macau day trip tour
Macau Day trip tour – from Hong Kong, Ferries, Visa, Attractions
Macau. You’re not alone if your first thought after reading that was CASINO MECCA. The gabling capital of the world, which brings in more $$$$ than its American counterpart (Vegas) has a lot more to offer than just fancy, high end, vibrant and electric casinos.
Macau, a former Portugese colony for over 400 years, was once the oldest European settlement in the Orient. Since 1999, when it became a part of China, it has been transforming into a beautiful mix of world class casinos, flashing lights, colourful Portugese style buildings and old cobblestone streets make this small island a fascinating, charming, exciting and very popular place to visit.
Macau is very easy to get to, taking under 1 hour by ferry, it is understandable the small Chinese island destination is so popular with Hong Kong day trippers and international travellers alike.
Most people take a day trip from Hong Kong, or a weekend trip (if they plan of staying late at night in the Casinos). I found a day trip tour from Hong Kong that allows for a hassle free, no planning and informative way to explore the city without worrying about transport, maps or finding attractions.
From the Kum Lam Goddess of Mercy to the Macau Tower, 400 year old A-Ma Temple to the famous St Paul ruins. You will find yourself not only exploring popular historic and cultural attractions, wandering the romantic cobblestone streets, in high end shopping malls, eating Chinese street foods, and in the Worlds highest revenue generating casinos among Chinas multi-billionaires and masses of tourists trying their luck.
Pick up / Ferries to Macau
China Ferry Terminal
Address: 33 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
Hong Kong – Macau Ferry Terminal
Address: Shun Tak Centre, 200 Connaught Road Central, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong.
Tuen Mun Ferry Terminal
Address: No.148 Wu Chui Road, Tuen Mun, N.T., Hong Kong.
Free Shuttle Buses
The Venetian Macau
The first stop on the tour was The Venetian Macau is, put simply, stunning. I’ve not yet visited it’s Las Vegas twin, however, The Venetian Macau is much larger than its counterpart in the states and generates a much higher revenue.
The Macau Tower
The second stop on the tour was the Macau Tower. We had the option to visit the viewing level(where you catch the lift to a very high level, and can view Macau from inside through the window, or the option to do the “sky walk” (wearing a harness and walking outside around the rim of the tower), or bungee jumping. I am extremely uncomfortable with heights so i passed and decided to view crazy people bungie jumping from ground level.
Bungy Jump Full Package (includes Bungy Jump, Certificate, Membership Card, Exclusive T-shirt + Video + Photo in USB) will cost you $3,989 HKD / MOP
Tower Climb (includes e-Certificate, Membership Card, exclusive Tower Climb T-Shirt, Video & Photos in USB) will cost you $1,888 HKD /MOP.
Skywalk (includes e-Certificate, membership card, USB & T-shirt) will cost you $788 HKD/MOP
For more information on the cost of bungee jumping or trying the “sky walk”, stores and facilities within Macau Tower, head to macautower.com.mo/
A Ma Temple
We had a quick stop before lunch at A Ma Temple, a very small UNSECO heritage temple site. The temple area and temple itself was quite small, and the guide informed us with a little information about Chinese culture, and some interesting information about the temple itself (which is over 500 years old).
Just a short 20 metre walk from the temple, down a small touristy street lined with small bakery and sweet shops, lies the most famous place in the world to purchase the best Portugese Egg Tarts ! (i did not try them as the tarts themselves contain dairy but lots of people on the tour bought them and seemed to love them.
Our next stop was at the Macau Metro Park Hotel for a late lunch. A simple Chinese buffet was offered as part of the tour, with a small salad bar, along with water or tea. Coffee, soft drinks, wine and alcohol was charged.
Ruins of St Paul
The Ruins of St Paul, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is Macau’s most famous landmark. This complex of includes the St Paul’s College and the Cathedral of St. Paul. What is rather peculiar about the site is the multiple times disaster has struck. Being rebuilt multiple times after burning down (yes, three times!) and then being devastated by a typhoon in 1835 beyond repair !
The guide allowed us 15 minutes to explore the site and take some photographs, i would have loved to visit the Old Fort again (i have previously visited the old city area of Macau in 2014) however time did not allow.
Being a Saturday, the area was crowded, not only with foreign travellers but with Hong Kong and Chinese day trippers/weekend visitors. I would suggest if you are visiting Macau and can go during the week to do so, you will enjoy you time in the old city a lot more!
The Grand Emperor Hotel
Our last stop on the tour was the Grand Emperor Hotel. When you first walk into the lobby you will notice the “Golden Pathway”, which is made from 78 pure gold bars (the size of an iPhone) in glass display cases in the floor! Yes, you actually walk on a gold pathway around the lobbies main feature, the fountain.
For more information on accommodation, gaming services, hotel facilities and location see, http://www.grandemperor.com/
The guide informed us we had 10 minutes here (unfortunately) although it was just enough time to take some photos of the lobby area, and go for a walk around one level of the casino before darting back to the lobby entrance to watch the changing of the guards (yes like the London Palace Guards) before boarding the bus for departure.
Visitors from the following 6 countries will need to apply and obtain a visa to visit Macau in advance. These countries are Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Nepal, Nigeria and Pakistan. If you are from elsewhere, you can obtain a visa on arrival or a visa waiver. I am from Australia, and was able to just flash my passport, immigration office slipped the small information token in my passport and within 20 seconds was walking through arrivals. Much the same as my experience visiting Hong Kong previous to obtaining a HKID card.
If you are from one of the 6 countries mentioned above, you can see the official immigration website to apply for a visa and further information, http://www.fsm.gov.mo/psp/eng/AfMV.html