The Vegas of Asia: A Day-Tour Guide to Macau

Continuing from our 3-day trip to Hong Kong, we capped our adventure with a day-trip to Macau!

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About Macau
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Macau is another Special Administrative Region of China, and since it’s very near to Hong Kong, we decided to visit the “Las Vegas of Asia”. We only planned to have a short visit since our return flight to Manila in the evening was via this city’s international airport.

We booked a day-trip to Macau via a travel agency. I attempted to do a DIY but got lazy even before I started, hahaha! The agency included visits to top-attractions only, but we’re fine with that. We already loved and enjoyed Hong Kong, so I wasn’t expecting a more spectacular experience in this city.

But if you love casinos, you’ll definitely enjoy your stay here. For me, it was just okay.

Foreign Exchange
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The official currency of Macau is Macanese Pataca (MOP). As of January 21, 2018:

  • 1 Macanese Pataca (MOP) = 0.97 Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
  • 1 Macanese Pataca (MOP) = 6.27 Philippine Peso (PHP)

The good thing is, you can use your HKD in Macau. So you don’t need to exchange your money to MOP. Whew! We used up the remaining Hong Kong Dollars we had and since the tour was planned and paid beforehand, our expense had been for souvenirs and other miscellaneous expenses only.

But I think if you’re staying longer, you can find money changers in the city. Again, I am recommending that you call your banks and/or credit card companies for a travel advisory so you won’t encounter any issues when using your ATMs and credit cards abroad. Making a travel advisory also prevents fraudulent transactions since the bank will be monitoring your account activities.

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As I mentioned in my Hong Kong blog post, taking the ferry to Macau is the easiest and most convenient. Our one-way trip lasted for 45-60 minutes, including passing the immigration in Hong Kong and Macau.

From the Macau ferry terminal, we met our tour guide along with an Indian couple. We boarded the tourist bus and started the tour by visiting an old Macau shop where you can buy souvenirs and beef jerkies! Yummy!

◊ Explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Ruins of St. Paul.

I wasn’t expecting anything but I was taken aback upon seeing the architecture inspired by Chinese and Portuguese cultures. The Ruins of St. Paul was indeed Macau’s most iconic attraction. I loved the pastel-colored buildings and cobblestone streets! You’ll get full by just eating all those goodies and treats, e.g. bread, drinks, street foods and meat jerkies. Burp! Hahaha!

And expect a lot of tourists here! You’ll just have to find a good spot where to take your pictures.

◊ Utter a prayer at A-Ma Temple.

Our tourist guide mentioned that the A-Ma Temple is the oldest temple in Macau. The Portuguese invaders landed near the temple and asked the locals the name of the land but gave the temple name “Ma Ge” instead. It translated to “Macau” and was used to refer to the land from then on.

You have to observe silence inside the temple since most visitors come to light sticks and say a prayer. We would have tried to light the sticks and do the prayer bow, but we were afraid that we might offend some people if we can’t do it right. Hence, we just uttered our prayers silently.

◊ Visit Macau Tower.

The Macau Tower is one of the tallest towers in the world. You can do several activities in the tower, but we decided not to do or pay for anything since it’s pricey!

  • Bungy Jump – ranging from MOP 2,688 to MOP 3,388
  • SkyJump – ranging from MOP 1,888 to MOP 3,488
  • SkyWalk – MOP 688
  • Tower Climb – MOP 1,888

◊ Have dinner at Venetian Macao / Parisian / Galaxy.

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Lord Stow’s egg tarts are good! Silky smooth custard with a buttery and flaky crust.

The Venetian Macao is like your Venice Piazza in BGC, but much more BIGGER! By bigger, I meant housing around 3000+ hotel rooms and an entire floor of casino. Since it is inspired by Venice, you can expect to see the architecture and design as how it is seen in Italy. Even the Grand Canal is replicated, where guests can enjoy a gondola ride while the gondoliers sing a song for the entire ride.

You can also find plenty of shops, mostly branded and high-end boutiques. We weren’t able to see the House of Dancing Water since it was really expensive, and we need to catch the free hotel bus to the airport before 7 PM.

Summary of Expenses
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Here are the total expenses of our 4D/3N trip to Hong-Kong and Macau:

Activity Expenses
Round-trip Airfare (MNL-HKG, MFM-MNL) P15,095.76
Hotel Accommodation (4D/3N) P33,000.00
Miscellaneous (WiFi Router) P2398.00
Day 1 Expenses P10,381.74
Day 2 Expenses P6,700.00
Day 3 Expenses P11,000.00
Day 4 Expenses (Macau) P3,000.00
Total Expenses for Two (2) Persons P81,647.50

Overall, our Hong Kong-Macau trip is nothing but amazing! It was our first travel abroad as a married couple and this trip really tested our patience with each other. Hehehe!

You can definitely save more if you plan DIY instead of relying on travel agencies. It’s more exciting but needs a lot of work! So if you have longer time preparing, I suggest you plan out your trip super ahead of time. I started our itinerary around August and worked on it for 2 months. Research is very important, especially on the accuracy of directions. But hey! It’s exhilarating to get lost once in a while. 🙂

I hope you got something from this post. Let me know how your trip goes! Enjoy! 🙂

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