Day 1: One more queue, one more immigration, and one more stamp later, we were officially in Macau. By the time we reached our hotel at 5 pm, we were starving. Luckily, we found a nice quaint café next to our hotel which had a separate vegetarian menu. 😀
The beautiful cafe whose name I can’t recall 😦
After filling ourselves with pizza and lasagna we walked our way to Senado square, which had the most gorgeous Christmas decoration I had ever seen. Senado square is a pedestrian only zone with cobbled streets & old protected European style monuments. For a moment, I ceased to remember that I was in China – instead, I was happily roaming around in a small European town.
Most gorgeous Christmas celebration ever.
We wandered aimlessly till 11, absorbing the festive vibe of the city, and used its dependable bus service back to our hotel. Buses are the best way to see Macau – they’re extremely cheap and convenient. You can find all information related to bus services by downloading the Macau bus guide app.
Day 2: Our first destination was Coloane village which was around 45 min away from our hotel by bus. It’s a pity too many people leave Macau without setting their feet in this quaint village. Coloane village was a welcome break from madness of Hong Kong and glamour of Cotai strip. It’s as non-touristy as any place could be – plan to spend 2-3 hours there, you won’t regret it.
Walking around you see Pastel-coloured Chapels and old Chinese temples co-existing in Coloane, giving colour and character to the place. One such temple was Tin Hau Temple dedicated to Tin Hau, the Goddess of Sea.
Tin Hau Temple in Coloane
A visit to this sleepy village is incomplete without tasting the scrumptious, melting-in-your-mouth, gorgeous Portuguese egg tarts found in Lord Stow’s bakery. I can go to Macau again just to have those tarts again. My mouth is watering just thinking about them!
I was so busy enjoying tarts that I forgot to click their picture!
It was already past 2 when we decided to move on to our next stop, Taipa Village. Taipa is a more upscale, touristy version of Coloane village. It is right in front of the Galaxy Casino and therefore is always brimming with people.
Does it really look like a village?
I really liked the Taipa museum and its lovely interiors. Other than that, I found Taipa village quite ordinary after visiting Coloane.
Museum of Taipa and Coloane History
Wandering around, we stumbled upon a unique well-groomed garden with beetles and pandas. Look below for yourself! 😀
As the day was inching towards dusk, it was time to check out the Casinos and their shopping malls. The Casinos in Macau are huge beyond imagination and reminded me of the formidable structures depicted in Lord of the rings. We decided to visit the Venetian Macau, the biggest and the most popular Casino in the world.
Venetian shopping area, as the name suggests, is themed after Venice. Here you can enjoy a gondola ride on the canal with the gondolier singing Italian opera style melodies. Or better, you can shop to your heart’s content with every possible brand under the same roof. We picked up some stuff from Bath & Body works, Bershka, H & M, Uniqlo, Zara etc. Dead tired after all the shopping, Aloo Paratha and Paneer curry came to our rescue. Don’t we all crave for comfort food after a long, tiring day?
Time had come to finally enter the Casino area. My only exposure to Casinos was through James Bond movies – so standing in front of it, we were behaving like school kids, anxious to enter the big bad world of gambling. After fumbling our way through one slot machine, we raised the stakes and put 60 HKD in spin-the-money-wheel. Alas, no luck here too! We headed back to our hotel past midnight and took the ferry back to Hong Kong at 10 am next day.
- Remember to bring your ids along when visiting a Casino.
- Casinos deal in HKD and not Patacas. But they have a currency converter counter inside for this purpose.
- Casinos are open 24*7, but bus service usually stops after 11 pm. Metered taxis can easily be taken from the Casinos reception area.
How to reach
We took the ferry to reach Macau, which is the cheapest and the most popular way to travel from Hong Kong. We took the Turbojet Ferry from Sheung Wan MTR in Hong Kong. The ferry terminal has plenty of eating and shopping options to spend time.
Macau has an international airport also; so if you are travelling only to Macau, you might want to take a direct flight.
- Book your to & fro tickets online especially in peak season.
- Avoid going on weekends/Holidays as the place is crowded with Mainland Chinese tourists.
We stayed at Ole London in Macau peninsula near the historic center of Macau (the history buff in me said Yay!). As we first entered our spacious hotel room, we could not stop grinning from ear to ear. After all, we were coming from Hong Kong , where rooms end as soon as they start and one extra person in the room makes you claustrophobic.
- Stay at least one night in Macau. A day trip will be touch and go & won’t do justice to Macau. Also, evening trips back to Hong Kong/China are very busy.
- Choose your accommodation based on your interest. If you are a luxury traveller, staying near Cotai strip makes sense.
Hope you liked reading about Macau as much as I enjoyed visiting it. Have a good day, Adeus!