Day 9. A Day in Macau

From North Point station we took the MTR to Sheung Wan as we wished to take the Turbojet ferry to Macau.  Ferries depart at 15 minute intervals on hydrofoil boats, the journey taking only one hour.  A single fare is HK$164 and there is no discount offered if you buy a return.  We just purchased outbound tickets so that we had the flexibility to return when we wanted.  Remember to take passports as these are required when visiting Macau.  Allocated seats are provided and these are very comfortable – so comfy that I fell asleep for most of the crossing.

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Senado Square, Macau
The historic centre of Macau is quite a long walk from the ferry terminal but there is no need to call a taxi, just cross the road to the bus station.  Here you will find dozens of coaches offering free transfers to the casinos both in the town centre and out on the Cotai strip,  anyone can take advantage of the free buses irrespective of whether you wish to use the casino hotel facilities or not.   As we wished to start our sightseeing in the historic quarter we boarded the ‘Lisboa’ bus which saved us a good deal of walking.  We did take a quick look round this casino hotel, one of the oldest on the island.

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The historical centre of Macau
Leaving the hotel, Senado Square was just a short walk away.  This UNESCO World Heritage square forms part of the historical centre of Macau.  With its Portuguese architecture and mosaic tiled pavements it is reminiscent of Lisbon.  After a welcome cup of coffee we climbed the steps to the Ruins of St. Paul’s – the most treasured icon in Macau (see main photo).  Only the staircase and facade remain today of the 16h century church of St Paul.  To preserve the facade it has been reinforced at the rear with steel girders.

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Coloane Village
Retracing our steps we bought some Pasteis de Nata (Portuguese custard tarts) which tasted delicious.  Hong Kong dollars are widely accepted in Macau but change is often given in Macau Pataca.  We wandered along the narrow streets filled with locals and tourists then caught a bus from near Senado Square to Coloane Village in the south of the island.  The fare was $6.40 and no change is given so we overpaid slightly as we did not have  enough small change.

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Village square, Coloane
Coloane Village is a remarkably unspoilt village with a colonial centre featuring some fine examples of Portuguese architecture. One of the reasons for our visit was to have lunch in Lord Stow’s Cafe.  Andrew Stow was an Englishman who opened a bakery in Coloane in 1989, he wasn’t a Lord but used this title for his bakery and later in the same year devised his own recipe for egg tarts which have since become an icon in Macau, there are now three cafes in the village.   Our lunch , in an elegant dining room, was served in a quintessentially English style, the menu included both English and local specialities.  The waiters were very friendly, chatting to us and lunch was of a high standard.

Strolling through the village, we came to the waterfront where we could see mainland China just a short distance across the bay.   It was very peaceful here, a  contrast to the hustle and bustle of central Macau.

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The Venetian, Cotai Strip, Macau
From the village square we took a bus to the Cotai Strip (think Las Vegas), this journey only took ten minutes and cost $5 each.  The newer casinos are clustered together in Cotai and extensive building work is underway of more themed casinos.  A replica Eiffel Tower was nearing completion, part of the soon to be opened ‘Parisian’ casino and a monorail is also being built.

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Opulent interior of the Venetian
We headed to the ‘Venetian’ with its replica Bridge of Sighs, Grand Canal and St Mark’s Square.  Stepping indoors it’s opulent interior creates the impression that you are actually in Venice.  Visitors can take gondola rides and be serenaded by a gondolier as they float along.  The complex is lined with high end designer stores and, of course gaming rooms with their card tables, roulette wheels and slot machines.

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Gondola rides on the replica Grand Canal
When we were ready to return we followed signs to the shuttle bus area and took advantage of the free shuttle bus back to the ferry terminal.  After purchasing tickets for the next available ferry back to Hong Kong we welcomed the ferry ride after a busy day of sightseeing.

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Turbojet ferry between Hong Kong and Macau
There was time for a rest back at the hotel before eating dinner in a pleasant local restaurant nearby.

 

 

 

 

 

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42 thoughts on “Day 9. A Day in Macau

  1. Pingback: Day 9. A Day in Macau | Blogging about all things

  2. Pingback: Day 9. A Day in Macau | Blogging about all things

  3. You became an expert in Macau!You visited 1/3 of it. Nowadays when we go there, we tend to go to the middle island more often as it has more historical and local food (rather than casino area). Hope you can come again.

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  4. Thanks very much for a look at historic Macau. One hears so much about the place as a casino, I’m glad to learn more about the other aspects. As at least one of your commenters remarked, THEIR Venetian looks identical to the Vegas one, and neither look anything like the real one.

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  5. Never been to Macau but sure sounds interesting but I take your point about one day perhaps being enough. Makes me feel what a small world it is really, so many influences from other places in Macau, for example. Lovely pictures!

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    1. Macau is certainly interesting for a day trip from Hong Kong but I wouldn’t want more than a day there – unlike Hong Kong where I could stay for weeks! You are right, the ‘old town’ is rather like a small scale Lisbon transported to Asia.

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  6. Macau seems like an interesting place, kind of like Las Vegas? I’ve been there but I’m sure it was very different in the 80’s, LOL! I really should dig out the old photos to have a look. The cafe sounds lovely.

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    1. A return on the Turbojet ferry costs approx £30 each then our other costs were minimal. A bus to Coloane and the return to the Cotai Strip (casino area) cost about £1.50. Otherwise we travelled on the free casino buses. Other expenses were just food and drinks which didn’t cost so much. Lord Stow’s cafe being our most expensive but by UK standards good value. Make sure you have several of those delicious Portuguese custard tarts about 80p each. Enjoy your trip !

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        1. Yes, we didn’t rush round. Macau old town is quite compact so you can take in all the sights at a leisurely pace without using up too much time. The Venetian and other big casinos are about a 20 minute bus ride out of town. We took a ferry after breakfast from HK and returned early evening. Let me know if I can help further.

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          1. Okay one last question! We arrive in HK on Sunday lunch time and will leave early on the following Wednesday? Only 2 full days! Do you think we can cram in the main things in HK as well as the trip to Macua? Thanks a lot

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            1. It’s possible but I don’t think I would have done that on a first visit as HK has so much to offer and if you spend a whole day n Macau you won’t really have enough time to absorb yourself in the local atmosphere. I suggest you go up the Peak Tram, go on the Cable Car and visit Tai O (for these two arrive early in the morning otherwise you’ll waste too much time in queues. You also need to go on the Star Ferry ideally both day and night and watch the laser show one evening. Then I suggest fitting in other places round that, but of course it’s your choice and you can always make a return visit sometime in the future. Whatever you decide to do, I hope, and I’m certain, you will have a splendid time and I’ll look forward to reading about it hopefully too!

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