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Macau: A Quick Visit to Las Vegas of Asia

Macao

After visiting some landmarks and haggling in the night markets in HK, my friends and I were undecided where to go next. We had a whole day to ourselves, should we go to Ocean Park or should we visit Macau? Majority wins! We decided to go to Macau.

Macau is one of the closest special administrative regions of China just less than an hour away from Hong kong via ferry. Globally known as the “Las Vegas of Asia” because of the rising numbers of hotels and casinos, this small island is approximately 3o km2 and is home to over half a million people.

Macau was under the Portuguese from the mid 16th century until 1999. It was the last remaining European colony in Asia. Today, Macau is among the world’s richest regions,  with the economy highly dependent on gambling and tourism. In 2006, Macau became the world’s largest gambling center.

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So how to go to Macau from Hongkong? It’s easy, just take MTR Redline then take off at Central Station. Interchange to blue line then take off at Sheung Wan Station and take exit D. Simply follow the signage that will lead you to Ferry station. Fare from TST station to Sheung Wan station would be 10 HKD; travel time is less than 15 minutes.

 

Hk to Macau

Hk to Macau Ferry terminal

 

If you arrive at the port, there are few ticketing booths that are selling tickets near Turbojet booth. We got our ticket for only 165 HKD compared with Turbojet booth, which is 177 HKD. You’d hear people shouting “Macau ticket” so you can easily spot those who are selling discounted tickets. Grab this to save a few bucks!

Commuting around Macau and What to See?

Probably, the best thing about Macau is getting around for free. Yup! you read it right! You don’t need to spend even a single penny to pay for transportation. How is this possible? Popular casinos even the small one made it possible.

 

Casino Bus

Casino Bus Terminal outside Ferry Terminal

 

When we arrived in Macau Ferry Terminal there are a number of Free Casino Bus outside. It’s your call which Casino would you like to start. In our case, we took the Venetian bus and went straight to Venetian Macao, one of the most visited casinos in Macau because of the Grand Canal. The place has a lot of shops and other establishments. There is a long river that looks just like the river in Venice. You have the option to set on the boat and pay. Many visitors come here to buy cheap things on sale. It is a good place to take photos too.

 

 

Venetian Macau

The View of Venetian Macau

 

Most of the people however, go there to play Casino. So maybe before planning a casino trip in Macau you can practice at home to get better results in Internet casinos and also to win real money. After our visit, we moved to the city of dreams for a walk and and to take photos.

We rode another bus that took take us to The Ruins. So you can look for any hotel bus that will stop near this place. Some hotel bus that you can take are from Grand Emperor Hotel, Grand Lisboa Hotel, or Wynn Hotel.

From any of these hotels, you can walk going to Largo Do Senado or Senado Square. The majority of the buildings around the square are European styled and many are protected monuments. The entire area is covered on Portuguese pavement in the early 1990s and designated a pedestrian-only zone. We went here for Chinese new year so there was a lot of tourist in the square where many large events in Macau are held.

 

Senado Square

Expect thousands of tourist here!

 

From here you just need to follow the sign going to The Ruins. There are hundreds of shops along the way selling food, clothes, shoes, etc. You can take advantage of some free food tasting along the way.

The Ruins of St. Paul’s is one of Macau’s famous landmarks and probably, the main reason why we visited Macau. The Facade and its stairway were the remains of this 17th- century church. It is situated on a small hill with less than a hundred steps leading up to it. There are different carvings that you could discover in the Facade. Some are the dove at the most top, sun, moon, and stars. There’s also carvings for crucifixion and Virgin Mary.

As expected there are hundreds of tourist in the area so taking a perfect photo with the facade is next to impossible. Inside is a small museum called the Museum of Sacred Art you can find objects of high historical and artistic value from different churches of Macao, as well as 4 sacred paintings about St. Francis, crucifixes, religious statues, and liturgical vessels.

 

The Ruins

View of The Ruins

 

Take the same route to go back to Senado Square. Walk until you reach the main avenue (Av. De Almeida Ribeiro) where you will see the big gold building, Grand Lisboa. Across it is The Wynn Macau. They have a big fountain, which they call the Performance Lake. This vibrant performance provides fascinating entertainment. Show schedule is every 15 minutes and it’s free of charge.

 

Wynn Hotel

Water Fountain Show

 

From here you can take another casino bus back to the ferry terminal. For ferry schedule and prices please see below.

HONG KONG  MACAU (OUTER HARBOUR)

MACAU (OUTER HARBOUR)  HONG KONG

07:00 – 23:59 (departures every 15 minutes)* 07:00 – 23:59 (departures every 15 minutes)*
00:30 01:00 01:30 02:30
04:15 06:00
00:15 00:30 01:00 01:30
02:30
HONG KONG  MACAU MACAU  HONG KONG
SUPER

Class

ECONOMY

Class

SUPER

Class

ECONOMY

Class

DAY SAILING

(Weekdays)

$ 326 $ 164 $ 315 $ 153
DAY SAILING

(Weekends & Holidays)

$ 348 $ 177 $ 337 $ 166
NIGHT SAILING

(Weekdays,Weekends & Holidays)

$ 369 $ 200 $ 358 $ 189

 

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