Saturday, November 17, 2012

Macau: the Chinese Las Vegas

For a non-gambler like myself, going to Macau would seem meaningless if not hitting the jackpot or baccarat tables. Au contraire my friends, Macau is still full of traditional Portuguese culture and architecture.

Only Tiger Airways flies direct to Macau from Singapore or 1 can consider flying to Hong Kong and taking a ferry (45-60 mins) over. This is however very time consuming in my opinion, especially when flying out.

To put it mildly, Macau is all about the hotel shuttle buses and Portuguese egg tarts.

  • Cotai Strip: Walk the City of Dreams (Hyatt, Hard Rock, Crown Hotel), Sands Cotai (huge Zara) and The Venetian (largest shopping mall in Macau)
  • Taipa Village: Take a free shuttle from Galaxy Hotel to the Old Taipa Village. Buy their famous almond biscuits here as gifts
  • Fisherman's Wharf: Take free shuttle bus from The Venetian to Sands Macau and walk from there. MGM Macau's free Lights and Sounds show is within walking distance from The Sands
  • Senado Square: Old town square that is now the gathering point for many on weekends. Take the shuttle bus from Galaxy Hotel to San Mo Lo road and walk 5-10mins to Senado Square
  • Leal Senado Building: Old administrative building built with Portuguese influence just across from Senado Square
  • Ruins of St Paul: About a 10-15min walk from Senado Square and signs are aplenty so no worries about getting lost. Do take the time to check out the Crypt and the Museum of Sacred Art. Admission is free. If you have the time and energy, Mount Fortress is just next to the Ruins of St Paul but the climb is steep. 
  • Wynn Macau: Free fountain show similar to that of the Bellagio in Las Vegas and do check out the free Tree of Prosperity show at the Rotunda

City of Dreams and The Venetian

Crown Hotel, Hyatt and Old Taipa Village

Grand Lisboa and The Wynn

Leal Senado Building and Senado Square

  • Lord Stow's Portuguese Egg tarts are a must for their crispy crust and uber soft filling. Do venture to the original store, else there is always a Lord Stow inside The Venetian Macau (Shop 2119A Level 2 Shoppes Grand Canal). 8 MOP per egg tart
  • Almond biscuits and other snacks from their biscuit shops all over Macau
  • Porkchop Bun

  • Take the hotel shuttle buses everywhere. There is really no need to take cab or their public bus. Check each hotel for their bus schedules. Bus bays are usually at the back or side of the hotel. Just ask the concierge for directions. Most hotels have buses that will get you to the airport, Taipa Ferry Terminal, Macau Ferry Terminal, Border points etc
  • Most shuttle rides will take 15min max

Going to Hong Kong - an option
  • If you're interested in going to Hong Kong from Macau, there are 2 ferry options. The Cotai Jet  (blue ferry) or Turbo Jet (red ferry). The ride is about 60 mins and 150+ - 200 MOP for First Class
  • Cotai Jet is run by The Venetian so you can get tickets from the Cotai Travel shop inside The Venetian or at the hotel concierge. This ferry drops at the Macau-China Ferry Terminal at Sheung Wan
  • Turbo Jet has more frequent drops at the China Ferry Terminal at Tsim Sha Tsui
  • The million dollar question as to which jet is less bumpy a ride; my opinion is go for Cotai Jet. Slightly more expensive to get the First class but so much more comfortable and first to get on and off. 

Hotel: The Venetian Macau
Hotel Review: Spacious and huge toilet even for the Royal Suite. Rooms are directly linked to the Grand Canal Shoppes by North and West Wing.
Weather: chilly in the morning and 22c in the afternoon

Posted by fongie on 11/17/2012 11:14:00 PM in , , , , , ,