I was waiting to visit Macau for a long time. My first time in China, I did not make it to Hong Kong and Macau. In March this year my first trip to Hong Kong was too short to visit. Finally this time out of my 9 days of vacation, two we decided to use to travel Macau.
Getting to Macau from Hong Kong is very easy – all you need is to take a ferry (every 30 minutes), take a nap for an hour and you are there! Great thing is that Casino and Hotel want you to be happy so they offer free shuttles and transportations, and you are keeping your money.
The hotels are all in the proximity of the main casinos. Yep, Macau is all about it so I will use the word “Casino” many times today.
I liked Macau. It seemed very pleasant and friendly. We got a shuttle to our hotel, checked in and we were ready for an adventure to start.
Exploring Macau Day 1.
On the first day as we lived next to The Venetian, we went there to have a look around and have a lunch. Surprise-surprise, it felt like we were back to the Mainland again. Tour groups and tourists were everywhere, shouting and pushing each other around.
After that we decided that it was a good idea to head to Taipa Village and the Ancient Street for a walk. The architecture was pretty unusual for Asia, but combined with Chinese elements had a unique look. We went around without really focusing on destination but just enjoying the walk.
We visited the Taipa houses museum, which was a pretty interesting place to see. When Asia meets Europe, the creation are quite special… The food, the religion, the art – all of it was not just western or asian, it was really a fusion…
After the day of exploring and a dip in a hotel swimming pool, it was a time to see The Venetian. We did not plan on gambling, just walked around. The minimum bet everywhere is around MD300-500. So in some of the tables you can’t buy in with less than 2000… So if you are not planning to spend a bit of money in the casino, then it is surely just for you to watch. The casinos are half smoking and half non-smoking, the food is not allowed but the drinks are. For me, it did not seem to be happening there. It was another tourist attraction but not a luxurious privilege place.
Exploring Macau Day 2.
On day 2 after a pretty big breakfast and a short swim we headed to the other side – Macau peninsula to see the main historic and cultural attractions – St. Paul’s Ruins, Macau Museum and the old streets.
We managed to take a free shuttle bus from Taipa to Peninsula, which left us next to Lisboa Hotel & Casino. From there it is easy to take a 15 minutes walk to the center. You will not be mistaken – all the tourists are going to hit West, where it is all located.
Macau Museum and Fortress.
We decided to take a walk up to the Fortress to get the greatest pictures of Macau, which surely was worthy. 360-view is amazing and it shows all sides of Macao – of filthy casino and local hard labor at the same time.
The entrance to the museum is right there too (MKD15) so it is easy, cheap and a great escape from the heat of the day. It is very interesting and interactive. You will not spend a minute being bored. Parts of the museum feature local architecture, so you will see miniature of houses; food culture – how and what women used to set up for their husbands; silk road and maritime ways of getting to Europe and many other things. I was personally impressed and happy as a child.
St. Paul’s Ruins.
St. Paul’s Ruins are easily reachable from the museum – it is just down the staircase. The Square is filled with people so if you want to take really nice pictures, you should really consider going there in early morning. Otherwise, you get people chewing their pork rib bun on your romantic photo. However, the place itself is pretty and a must-do when you reach Macau.
After that you can walk around the streets, exploring local corners with some food stalls, souvenir and art shops and just the local decor.
Finding a place to eat turned out to be a challenge, so we ended up returning to the Venetian for late lunch. That was the “Good bye to Macau”, Maybe I will see you again.
So, to summarize, I think Macau does worth a visit, however, do not get your expectations too high. I liked it in a way, but also didn’t for some reason. It is a nice place to walk around and just chill. Maybe some day, I will come back, but it surely will not be in summer!