Macau? Tell Me More…
On my recent trip to China, Macau was one of the places I had a one-day stop over in. Macau is located at the South-Eastern part of Asia, just below and across the river (Pearl River Delta) from Hong Kong on the Map. The three easiest ways to access Macau are:
- Walking across and accessing the border crossing at Zhuhai
- Taking a ferry ride from Hong Kong or
- Arriving by plane
If you are arriving by plane, you will go through normal customs and immigration before entering the country. If you are in either Zhuhai or Hong Kong, you will also have to go through this process.
You will need both your passport and Chinese Visa to enter Macau. It is formerly a Portuguese colony but now is under the rule of China. Even though Macau is part of China, it has its own currency, passports, legal system and government (Capitalism instead of Communism).
For currency, you can take out Macanese Pataca (MOP) dollars at your bank, or you can convert over Chinese money (Yuans) or American Money (USD). There are bank machines available, but I would advise taking out money before-hand as the bank is going to give you the best exchange rate on the dollar.
1 USD = 8 MOP dollar (approximately)
1 CAN = 6 MOP dollar (approximately)
How To Get There
From Zhuhai: The border crossing at Zhuhai is open 24 hours a day. The customs and immigration process will take up to an hour, if crossing, as the lines are quite long and split up into locals and foreigners. A foreigner is anyone not holding a Macau passport. You’d think they could have said tourists or something more friendly than “foreigners.” The border crossing will take up to 2 hours of your travel time so budget appropriately.
From Hong Kong:
If you are traveling by ferry from Hong Kong, you will need to arrive early to buy your ferry ticket and to wait for the boat. Arrive an hour before the ferry crossing time. The ferry ride itself is an hour long, while the loading and unloading takes approximately 30 minutes each way, and the customs and immigration another hour. Total transportation time for your day will be 5 hours. Consider staying overnight to maximize your time and trip itinerary.
What Makes Macau So Unique
Macau is a mixture of Chinese and Portuguese cultures with the added elements of the gambling industry. With a population just over half a million, covering such a small geographic area, Macau has the most densely populated area in the world. As the countries wealth is dependent upon tourism and gambling, it houses some of the most wealthy individuals as well. Prior to visiting, I had always heard Macau referred to as the Las Vegas of China. Having been to both places, Macau cannot hold a candle to Las Vegas in terms of gambling, nightlife, entertainment and amenities; however, the cultural elements are one-of-a-kind in Macau. Imagine going into a casino for some cards or slots and then popping out into the streets for some market food, followed by some high-end shopping or some bargain basement shopping a block over. It’s unreal.
Here are the attractions I would recommend for a one-day itinerary:
- Visit the St. Paul’s ruins
- Sample the pork and beef street meat (Free samples, and Yum!)
- Eat at a local restaurant
- Visit the high end shops to do some brand name shopping
- Try to roll some dice or play the slots in the Casino
- Attend mass at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church
- Visit A-Ma Temple
- Walk around and explore (My favorite of course, with lots of pictures)
How Long To Spend in Macau
For me – one day was enough. I was able to cover all of the tourist attractions in about 5 hours.
Would I Go Back?
Yes. But I would only go for another day trip. I would like another opportunity to catch a shot of the St. Paul’s Ruins in the daylight. I must admit that after browsing online, my night picture is starting to grow on me.
Like This? PIN IT!
Latest posts by Carolynne (see all)
- On Life, Love & Loss: Is Long-Term #Travel Selfish? - May 12, 2017
- Tax Time Tips: Maximize Your Return So You Can Travel! - April 27, 2017
- Read It Or Leave It Part 7: A House In The Sky - April 17, 2017