Showing posts with label Macau. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Macau. Show all posts

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Day in Macau

May 06, 2013 1
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 Macau post from my Hongkong travel blog to create a different section and to make the Hongkong topic a little bit short


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

Our quick sojourn to the gambling mecca of Asia, Macau, last June 3, 2013.

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. 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 fare because 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 we 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. Finally, after going back to where we got in and took the opposite road we reached 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 of Cotai Jet.

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. Turbo Jet usually docked at Macau Ferry Terminal, closer to the city proper, and Cotai Jet normally docked 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 at the immigration, we proceeded to the departure section where lots of on-the-spot tour guides are waiting. There, you can find 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 souvenir 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 similar to the Queen's guards at Buckingham Palace 
who don this red scarlet uniform and bearskin hat.

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.

Lunch time and Macau and Tea should never be missed!

Third destination: Senado Square and St. Paul Cathedral

Senado Square
     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, now it is being preserved to attract tourists.

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. 

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 in 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

At the crystal displays near the entrance area of 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 gorgeous scent as if some expensive perfume is used as interior freshener. A dreamy place with all areas covered with crystals, opulent embellishments and composed of high-end boutiques and restaurants, no moment is really wasted visiting at this luxurious landmark. So don't miss it out when you are in Macau.
Looks like a royalty presentation

One of the highlights at the center of the lobby where the entrance to the gambling tables of the casino is located, is an entertainment show where presentation changes every hour. During our visit, we witnessed the parade of royalty presentation.

Fifth destination: The Venetian

At the Venetian Casino near the Grand Staircase
This casino follows an Italian theme. The ceiling is patterned similar to the classic painting of Michaelangelo at the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City
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 small canal within the building, similar to the famous grand canal that surrounds Venice in Italy.

At the grand canal of the Venetian

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.

Macau is just so fascinating, maybe due to its famous casino resorts located in Cotai Strip. The city proper is not really wide, in fact, tourists can explore the city in just one day, but the surrounding is simply terrific and gorgeous. 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.

Now, all I have is the memory of this unforgettable first trip abroad. Hongkong and Macau are best destinations to take for first timers especially if there's no tour guide as the areas are just small and no annoying traffic. You will never lost as long as you have a clear sense of direction, just do some research online before you hop in for the travel.

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 when time allows. 

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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