On our first visit to Hong Kong, we went to Shenzhen, China for a day tour. This time, it will be Macau, China. Macau is an hour away from Hong Kong and can be reached by ferry or “catamarans”. From HK Taisan Guesthouse, we walked along Haiphong Road to get to the China Ferry Terminal in TST where the First Ferry is located. The First Ferry runs from 7 am until midnight and ticket prices range from HKD 150-180 depending on the days (weekdays and holiday prices vary) and time. If you’re coming from Hong Kong island, you can ride the Turbojet from the Shun Tak in Sheung Wan. No visa is required when travelling to Macau. Hong Kong dollars are widely accepted in Macau, in fact, it has an almost 1:1 ratio. Macau casinos only accept Hong Kong dollars while shops and transportation systems like buses and taxis accept Pataca or Hong Kong dollars.
Upon arriving the ferry terminal in Macau a little past 8 am, a Filipina approached me and asked if I plan to tour Macau and I said yes. She offered to accompany us in Macau and be our free tour guide for the day. So what’s the catch? Well, the only request she wants is for us to avail of a free membership in Wynn Macau and Star World casino, and she’ll get whatever winnings in the two casinos. After making sure that she’ll be our tour guide for free, we agreed as we are completely clueless about Macau and we don’t want to waste our precious time getting lost in Macau.
Surprisingly, just near the ferry terminal are various hotel shuttle buses that takes you to different casinos for free. You can go casino-hopping without spending a dime just by riding those shuttle buses. But we walked past the shuttle buses to head to the Fisherman’s Wharf first, just a good 5-minute walk from the ferry terminal. Sands casino is also nearby.
We walked back to the ferry terminal to ride the shuttle bus going to Wynn Macau. Aside from gaming, Wynn Macau also provides entertainment for guests with the Tree of Prosperity and the Golden Dragon.
Just across the Wynn Macau is the Star World Casino, but after claiming the free coupon at the reception area, we headed to the nearest bus stop going to Senado Square. This is the only time we spent for transportation since there’s no shuttle bus going directly to Senado Square. Senado Square or Largo de Senado is a cobblestoned street teeming with tourists and locals alike. Portuguese-inspired building were preserved which added to the old-world charm of the place. Don’t forget to appreciate the Portuguese Pavement at the Senado Square, I never paid attention on it until I googled it after. Senado Square reminds me of Calle Crisologo in Vigan, Ilocos Sur.
We walked towards the north part of the square leading us to Rua de Felicidade or Happiness Street or the food street. It is a very narrow street surrounded by old buildings, but this is one of the happiest part of the tour because of lots of food tastings along the way. Sample every food you want at Pastelaria Koi Kei, Macau’s largest bakery, from dried meats, candies, cookies and egg tarts. Rua da Felicidade is the best place to buy pasalubongs, I recommend their Almond Cookies, beef jerky and Portuguese egg tarts. You will finish treading this street with a full stomach because in Macau, you get to have a free lunch, haha…
At the end of the narrow street, you’ll find the Ruins of St. Paul. What’s left of the St. Paul Cathedral or SaoPaulo Cathedral is its ornate facade after being destroyed by fire in 1835.
From Senado Square, we walked towards the Grand Lisboa to catch the shuttle bus back to the ferry terminal. From here, we transferred to the Venetian Macau shuttle and head to Cotai Strip. The Venetian Macau is a tourist attraction on its own. With its Venetian-inspired structure and canals and Renaissance-inspired paintings, one will be left in awe with the beauty of the place.
The Venetian Macau has a food court that offers affordable meals for its visitors. Dine at the food court and experience eating al fresco because of its faux Venetian sky.
The canals in Venice were also mimicked in the Venetian Macau along with its singing gondoliers.
After touring the whole Venetian Macau, you can also watch Zaia by Cirque de Soleil, a one-hour show but we skipped this due to a hefty ticket price.
At 6 pm, with our aching feet, we rode the shuttle bus from the Venetian Macau to get to the ferry terminal and catch the First Ferry going back to Hong Kong.