June 3, 2019

DIY Macau 3 Day 2 Night Itinerary

John and I have been to Hong Kong several times but never made a short trip to nearby Macau. For our recent trip we've decided DIY Macau,3 Day 2 Night Itinerary, since it is so close to Hong Kong.

If you're considering to visit Macau soon you might want to read our DIY Macau trip. You’ll also find our travel expenses just to give you tip on how much to spend.

Macau was just a translation by the Portuguese. When the Portuguese landed on the shore near A-ma Temple over 400 years ago, they asked the locals what the name of the land was. To which they replied “A-ma-gao,”. It means Bay of A-ma, named after the goddess revered at the nearby temple.

Today, Macau is formally known as Macao Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.  It is an autonomous territory, so even though it is officially part of China, it has its own currency and immigration policy, separate from that of mainland China or Hong Kong. In fact, even visitors from the mainland and HK will have to pass through immigration and customs check upon entering Macau.  Cantonese and Portuguese are the official languages. Currency: Macanese pataca (MOP). MOP 100 is around USD 1.3, EUR 10, PHP 645, SGD 16.2 (as of April 2018). Hong Kong dollar (HKD) is often accepted at 1:1 rate. Most establishments prefer cash payment, but they also accept credit card transactions. Electricity Info: 220V, 50Hz. Types D, M, G, and F are used. Macau is a very walkable city, and most interesting sites are within walking distance of each other. 

Macau is composed of four districts:

1. Macau peninsula, where the historical core of Macau is located. Most of the tourist spots are here. It’s also the most populated district.
2. Taipa Island. Although the airport is here, it is mostly a residential island.
3. Coloane Island. The least developed of the four areas. For tourists, places of interest here include hiking trails, old temples, and a couple of beaches.
4. Cotai Strip. The reclaimed land between Taipa and Coloane, occupied mostly by hotels and gaming buildings.

The best time to visit Macau is October to December for fine weather, comfortable temperatures, and no threats of typhoons. January and February are generally dry, too! But it can get chillier. April is when the level of rainfall starts to rise, peaking in June and slowly subsiding in September. If you are on a budget, avoid November, because that’s when the Macau Grand Prix happens, and that means rates of hotels goes higher.

Filipinos can temporarily stay in Macau without a visa for 30 days. For other countries, Hong Kong (1 year), Indonesia (30 days), Malaysia (30 days), Thailand (30 days), Singapore (30 days), United Kingdom (6 months), United States (30 days), European Union states (90 days).

I originally planned to ride a ferry going to Macau but I watched somewhere the  beautiful sea bridge
so we went the bus way. Here’s how:

Take the MTR to Sunny Bay Station.
Board B5 Bus to HZMB in Lantau Island. Fare: HK$ 5.8.
Go through Immigration and Customs inspection.

Ride shuttle bus to Macau. The ticket office is within the restricted area, after the Immigration. Fare: HK$ 65 (regular times), HK$70 (midnight to 5-59am).

Places We Visited
The Historic Center of Macau, the most popular attractions. This includes the Ruins of St. Paul’s, the Senado Square, and A-ma Temple. The Venetian: Gondola Ride, The Parisian Macao: Eiffel Tower,
Studio City: Golden Reel Ferris Wheel, Macau Museum.

Where We Stayed in Macau
Macau is best known for its 5-star hotels but it also has cheaper forms of accommodations. These options are concentrated in the Macau peninsula, around the city center. We stayed at Ole London, a budget hotel.

By Free Hotel Shuttles. You can board any of the free shuttles provided by hotels to get to the city center. You don’t need to have a reservation at that hotel to be let in. Even if you have no plan on staying there, you can get on. Just pick the hotel closest to your destination. For example, here are the bus schedules for the Venetian, Wynn Hotel, and City of Dreams.

By Free Airport Shuttle. The airport has its own free shuttle service. At the Arrival Hall, find the north exit and travel on foot to the parking lot, where you’ll find the buses. There’s a bus every 15-20 minutes. Available from 11am-9pm.

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