Actual date of Travel: June 3, 2013

Just disregard the date of this post (May 2013) as I deleted the original post related to that date to insert this entry. I separated this Macau post from my Hongkong travel blog 😄

SECOND DAY: JUNE 3, 2013, Monday
Destination: Macau
Travel time via Ferry: approximately 1 hour

With Sir Dante and Ma'am Emma

This is our quick sojourn to the gambling mecca of Asia - Macau, last June 3, 2013

Joining the LA and Education deans and faculty members for this foreign trip 

Macau, a former Portuguese colony which was ceded back to China in 1999, is just an hour away from Hongkong via Cotai Jet or Turbo Jet. 

With Sir Rene Babiera

For a more convenient travel, choose the open time schedule because it will allow you to leave Macau anytime without paying additional charges on ferry rides. Ferry ticket is a bit expensive during night time sailing.

We left Delta hotel at 9:30 in the morning and began our little adventure. We crossed the street and went to the subway but could not figure out which way to follow 😄

We did not hire a tour guide so we're on our own, discovering stuff and relying on our instincts where to go. 

At the Senado square

Finally, after going back to where we got in and took the opposite road we finally got on the Hongkong China Ferry terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui. We exchanged our vouchers for ferry tickets and waited for the 11:00 0'clock sailing schedule of Cotai Jet.

Senado square

It was approaching afternoon, which was not an ideal time to start the Macau adventure if you're only visiting the place for one day.

Although we left the hotel early, we got lost trying to figure out our way to the ferry terminal lol! Which delayed our departure further.

Venice Sands hotel and casino

There are two ferry terminals in Hongkong going to Macau. One at Sheung Wan and the other at Tsim Sha Tsui. We chose the latter because it’s a bit nearer to our hotel and we're traveling via Cotai Jet. 

Galaxy Macau!

Turbo Jet usually docks at Macau Ferry Terminal, closer to the city proper, and Cotai Jet normally docks at Taipa Ferry Terminal closer to Cotai Strip where elegant Casinos are located.

We arrived at Taipa at 12:00 noon and after presenting our passport to the immigration officers, we proceeded to the departure section where lots of on-the-spot tour guides are waiting. 

Once we disembarked, we found several Filipino city guides offering their services at a cheaper rate of HK$50 each visitor. Since we want to enjoy our day in Macau with less pressure, we decided to get one Filipino city guide.

Important tip: Macau immigration has a long queue due to the surge of tourists visiting this elegant Chinese special administrative region, so better plan your visit here, if possible leave early in the morning from Hongkong to make the most of your time in Macau.

Outside the terminal, free shuttle buses operated by Casino resorts along Cotai Strip lined up to take travelers to anywhere in the city depending on the scheduled destination.

First destination: City of Dreams Casino resort

At the huge 3D screen in the lobby of City of Dreams

City of Dreams has a tight security, taking pictures on the area near the entrance of casino is strictly prohibited, so during our visit, we just posed for souvenirs near the huge 3D screen with underwater scenes. After staying for 30 minutes we left the area.

Second destination: Grand Emperor Hotel

Grand Emperor hotel follows a British royalty theme with a guard in full 
royal livery

Very elegant interior! So thrilled with the opulent structure of the building. This hotel follows a Windsor theme where security guards wore red scarlet and bearskin hat, similar to the royal livery of the Queen's Guards posted at Buckingham Palace.

  Tea lunch in Macau

Third destination: Senado Square and St. Paul Cathedral

Senado Square

We visited two of Macau’s most famous tourist attractions, Senado Square, which is very European in architecture and the center of its government offices, and the ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral. 
     In front of the Ruins of St. Paul Cathedral. One of the largest Catholic churches   in Asia during the 16th century but it was destroyed by fire leaving only the exterior of the church

Once the largest Catholic cathedrals in Asia, St. Paul, was destroyed during the 16th century fire leaving only its exterior, now being preserved as a tourist attraction. Its ground is conducive for relaxation after a long walking escapade.

Food tasting along the food stall market near the ruins of St. Paul Cathedral

Between Senado Square and St. Paul Cathedral, you can visit St. Dominic church, another Catholic structure which has an influence of a Portuguese architecture. Around this area, you can pass by at the food stall market where free food tasting is offered by different vendors.

Fourth destination: Galaxy Mall

So impressed with this casino resort and hotel, luxury at its finest! The moment you enter the place, you will be greeted with a sophisticated scent as if some expensive perfume has been splashed off. 

At the crystal displays near the entrance area of Galaxy mall

A dreamy place with all areas covered in shiny shimmering crystals, opulent embellishments. The mall has high-end boutiques and restaurants. 

No moment is wasted visiting at this luxurious landmark. I was in awe marveling at its grandeur and elegance. 

Looks like a royalty presentation

One of the highlights of visiting Galaxy Mall is the cosplay shows, where presentation changes every hour. During our visit, they cosplayed a royalty.

Fifth destination: The Venetian

At the Venetian Casino near the Grand Staircase

Owned by Las Vegas and Sands Casino, the Venetian follows an Italian theme, very European in structure and there's also a grand canal within the building, similar to the famous canal in Venice, Italy.

The Grand Staircase

Our tour ended at the Venetian Casino since it was already night time and we still have to catch a free shuttle ride back to the ferry terminal. We failed to witness a free bubble presentation show at Wynn's Resort. 

We left Macau at 8:00 in the evening and arrived in Hongkong at 9:00 PM. We spent our dinner at KFC near Chungking Mansion.

At the grand canal of the Venetian

Macau is just so fascinating to visit. I was in awe marveling at its grandeur especially along Cotai Strip due to the presence of many elegant boutiques and luxurious casino resorts.

The city proper is not really wide, in fact, tourists can explore the city in just one day, but the surrounding is so incredibly magnificent. European influence through its architecture is still very much alive. 

Unlike Hongkong, some of the streets in Macau are still under construction and under development but you can find fabulous shopping items at its department stores, equally chic and stylish as those found in Hongkong's shops.

Hong Kong and Macau are ideal destinations for first timers. You can explore these places even without a tour guide.  As long as you prepare ahead of the trip and make a research, you will never get lost. Hong Kong and Macau are relatively safe for foreigners.

I did not regret the fact that I was not able to visit Disneyland and Ngong Ping despite my intention to go there, circumstances intervened you know hehe! Maybe in the future. 

Traveling under a tight budget is not bad, all you have to do is safe guard your finances. Plan ahead of time, list down everything you need, set a specific budget for the expenses and pray to God for guidance.

Ask me if I would still love to go back to Hongkong and Macau? My answer is YES!! 


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