Macau

Vegas of the East

With a total land area of only 30 square kilometers, Macau (also spelled Macao) may be small in size but it packs a punch with its world-famous casinos and attractions. Within a decade, this tiny city has managed to surpass Las Vegas, Nevada in terms of casino earnings, which now makes it the top gambling city in the world.

 

Fast Facts

Senado Square Macau

  • Language: The official language is Cantonese, but some locals can also speak Portuguese
  • Currency: Macanese Pataca (1 MOP = 6.52 PHP)
  • Payment Options: Credit cards are widely used in China. Digital payment platforms, like Alipay and WeChat Pay, are also available.
  • Plug: China’s voltage is 220v, 50 Hz and is not acceptable for US purchased appliances (you will need a converter for this). The electrical current in China is 220 volts, 50 cycles (AC).

 

What to Know Before Visiting Macau

  • Learning basic Cantonese words and phrases would be a good thing to put on your to-do list before you head to Macau.
  • Philippine passport holders won’t need a visa for a 30-day stay in Macau.
  • Travelers can also use Hong Kong Dollars in Macau.
  • Macau is a small city, but there’s a wide variety of sights and activities you can visit and do.
  • Try to steer clear of visiting famous attractions in Macau on the weekends and public holidays because they can get crowded. Sites like the Ruins of St. Paul’s, Senado Square, and the Historic Centre of Macao are highly recommended during the weekdays.

 

Money Exchange

Macau Money

Because of strict regulations, tourists visiting Macau are recommended to exchange currencies at Chinese banks. A friendly reminder: make sure to bring your valid ID when exchanging money.

 

Connectivity in Macau

Macau offers WiFi Go, a free wireless Internet connectivity service that’s available in the entire region. Service hours: Daily from 8:00 AM to 1:00 AM.
Check the website for more details: Wifi Go

 

Getting Around Macau

Transportation Macau

1. Buses

Tourists can get around Macau via TCM- and Transmac-operated buses that run daily from 6:00 AM to midnight. All routes charge a standardized fare of MOP$6 which is dropped into a box upon entry. (Pay the exact amount!)

You can also purchase a Macau Pass from supermarkets or convenience stores. The smartcard provides a discount of MOP$3 to MOP$4 per trip. It costs MOP$130 at first purchase and includes a refundable deposit of MOP$30 (a minimum of MOP$50 is required to add to the card each time).

2. Taxis

Another convenient way to travel around the city is through riding taxis. To book one, you may inquire at your hotel or you may use the Macau Taxi Fare app.
The first 1.6 kilometers of a journey costs MOP$19. Afterwards, for every 240 meters, you’d have to pay MOP$2. If you’re heading to Macau International Airport, Taipa Ferry Terminal, the University of Macau, or to Coloane, there is a surcharge that costs MOP$5.

 

Things to do in Macau

Venetian Macau Gondola

 

Tourist Spots in Macau

Skywalk Macau Tower

  • Macau Tower: Standing 1,108 feet above ground, Macau Tower offers a 360° view of the city through the three-storey windows of its Observation Lounge. From this point, you’ll see the entire Macau Peninsula, Taipa, Coloane, as well as a good view of China. For extreme thrill seekers, head to the Adventure Deck, the highest accessible public space on the tower where you can sky walk, sky jump, bungy jump, and even tower climb!
  • The Parisian Macau Eiffel Tower: The Parisian Macau Eiffel Tower is a half-scale replica of the famous landmark located in front of the grandiose Parisian Macau Hotel. It’s a wonderful spot to visit, more so when you’re on the observation decks on the 7th and 37th floors where you can see the whole city and catch a spectacular light show that runs throughout evenings.
  • The Venetian Macau Gondola: Just like in the movies, you’ll be serenaded by your gondolier during the ride, which will take you through San Luca, Marco Polo, or the Grand Canals.

 

What to Eat in Macau

Egg Tart

  • Portuguese Egg Tart: Portuguese egg tarts are not like the renowned egg tarts of Hong Kong. They are sweeter and denser, as they are made with egg yolks and heavy cream.
  • Pork Chop Bun: Macau’s most popular snack, the pork chop bun is a Portuguese bread roll bun filled with seasoned pork chop. It’s crispy on the outside but juicy on the inside, which makes it so addicting and delectable.
  • Minchi: Minchi is one of Macau’s local dishes that combines Macanese and Chinese influences. The name originally comes from the English word 'mince,' given that minced meat is the main ingredient of the dish. You can choose to add either minced pork or minced beef.

 

Where to Stay in Macau

Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel, Cotai Central

One of the best luxury hotels in Macau. Looking over the Cotai Strip, Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel features three outdoor pools, spa treatments, and an all-day fitness center. This eco-friendly hotel also offers seven dining options and a shuttle service for several routes. The drive to Macau International Airport from the hotel only takes about 10 minutes. Plus, there’s free WiFi available within the entire establishment.

Ole London Hotel

Ole London Hotel is just a 5-minute walk from the famous Senado Square and is near other popular attractions. This hotel offers value-for-money accommodations with free access to WiFi, buffet breakfast, and tour services for guests. Moreover, it’s only a 20-minute drive away from Macau International Airport. You’re guaranteed to enjoy a comfortable and relaxing stay in this beautifully appointed hotel.

Macau Masters Hotel

Macau Masters Hotel has what every traveler needs–free WiFi access, bathtubs, and clean well-stocked rooms. What makes it special is its location: along the river banks of the historic Inner Harbour and a 5-minute walk away from Macau’s commercial and cultural center.

Grandview Hotel Macau

The Grandview Hotel Macau provides 4-star accommodations that feature breathtaking views of downtown Taipa. The establishment also houses a casino and spa, and offers free transportation to Macau Ferry Terminal.

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