MACAU TRAVEL

Less Than 24 Hours In: Macau

August 19, 2017

What We Did

We took the Turbojet from the Hong Kong terminal which took about an hour. I remember the journey being pretty rough (worse than turbulence on a plane. i was legit paranoid that the ferry would flip over) so i forced myself to sleep the entire way. I woke up once and saw it being really crazy outside – waves splashing furiously against the window, kids crying – so i forced myself back to sleep before i had a panic attack.

We were only visiting Macau on a day trip so we were pretty short on time. The first thing we did when we arrived was take a bus to the Ruins of St Paul (ask the Tourist Information store at the ferry terminal and they’ll provide you with exact directions to your preferred destinations). From the Outer Harbour ferry terminal, we took the bus and got off at the Almeida Ribeiro stop, which leads right to Senado Square. And here is where the eating journey begins. Every corner you turn is lined with Chinese bakeries, and the best part is they all offer free tastings. Our first stop was the Koi Kei bakery, and after satiating my hunger by nibbling on almond cookies, egg rolls with seaweed and pork floss, “rou gan”, and peanut candies, we settled on the main highlight of Macau – the Portuguese egg tart.

And it was SO. DAMN. GOOD.

When we eventually made our way to the Ruins of St Paul, it started getting really warm and there were far too many people so we didn’t bother going up close and instead found a spot at the side. We may/may not have been more interested in doing hippie dances than admiring the actual architecture haha #waxonwaxoff #noshame.

Strangely enough, there are plenty of bakeries around but not many cafes/restaurants. So for lunch we settled on the only one we could find – Wong Chi Kei – and no surprise the waiting time was extremely long. We probably waited close enough to an hour, even with people giving up their spot and leaving midway. The restaurant had a very “kopitiam” feel and the deep-fried wantons was one of their specialty. It had a different texture to the usual wantons and while the filling wasn’t that much, it was a good pair with a steaming bowl of congee.

I bought a lot of snacks as souvenirs (my favourites were Koi Kei Bakery and Pastelaria Yeng Kee) and after another round of Portuguese egg tart, we took the bus to the Venetian casino. I didn’t expect the journey to take that long that when we arrived, we only had time to quickly snap a few pictures and a toilet break before we had to make our way to the shuttle stop. We didn’t have time to properly look around the Venetian let alone explore Taipa, which is the newer part of Macau and where all the exclusive casinos/shops are. In my opinion though, i’d rather stay in the older Macau so that i can chomp my way through the trip ie. unleash the food monster.

On the ferry back to Hong Kong, i was surprisingly in such a deep sleep that i didn’t feel Melissa’s attempts in waking me up. I think she tried more than 15 minutes and i still didn’t budge lol. Eventually i woke up and was shocked to see everyone standing, waiting to exit, and all staring at me haha.

Location:
Senado Square

Ruins of St Paul
Rua de Sao Paulo, Macau

Wong Chi Kei
17 Largo do Senado, Macau

Venetian Macao
Estrada da Baia de Nossa Senhora da Esperanca, Taipa

How We Got Around

There are two ferry companies that travel to Macau from Hong Kong – Turbojet and Cotai Water Jet. We took Turbojet and paid about HKD300 for a same-day return ticket. At the boarding gate, you are required to queue to get your assigned seats, which are at random. The ferry itself was comfortable, with seat belts for safety and wifi connection. It got a bit too cold for me at one point and since i was wearing a skirt, i had to drape my coat over my legs.

In Macau, we took the public bus to both the Ruins and the Venetian casino. You get your tickets by dropping your money down a box next to the driver’s seat (they accept HKD) but be sure to have the exact change as you aren’t given any change back.

There are free shuttle buses to and from the casinos to both the Outer Harbour and Taipa ferry terminals as well, but be prepared for long queues and traffic conditions. We took the shuttle bus back to the ferry terminal but got stuck in the jam. We were pretty worried that we’d miss our ferry back but we managed to make it with half an hour to spare (even though we left the casino 2 hours in advance).

Currency

Macau has it’s own currency: the Macanese pataca (MOP). I heard previously that shopkeepers would give you your change in patacas even if you paid in Hong Kong dollars, which is practically useless because most currency converters don’t accept patacas. Fortunately that wasn’t the case cause we received all our change in HKD, making things a lot easier for us. Just note that they take HKD1 to be equivalent to MOP1 even though the market rate shows otherwise.

Pictures of me – Melissa Lee

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