Well good morning from Hong Kong (香港). It is seven in the morning. A little early to be out in my opinion but today we’re going to Macau (澳門 – 澳门). Special day. So we’ve got our tickets for Macau (澳門 – 澳门).
Woo! 160 Hong Kong dollars each. It is just over $20 US bucks and they give you your seats as you basically arrive. Just after you go through immigration. Yeah so we just got these little stickers.
We’re 17M and 17K and guys don’t forget to bring your passport because technically you’re going to a different special administrative region. You’re going from Hong Kong (香港) to Macau (澳門 – 澳门). So we have just sat down in the boat (TurboJET – 噴射飛航). I already feel queasy.
This is like rocking from side to side. Are you regretting your decision to have a Mcdonald’s breakfast this morning? That was his idea. Not it wasn’t.
We needed something quick. We normally don’t eat there. Oh man. Made it. And you know what?
The ride was a lot smoother than I was expecting. I think it was because we were on the second floor of the boat this time. Yeah. That and the fact you were sleeping most of the way.
I passed out. It was way too early to be traveling. In all fairness almost everyone was sleeping on that ride so. Yeah.
So yeah now we’re basically we’re going to go catch our transportation. We’re looking to find one of the free shuttle buses to the hotels we’re looking for. Yes. Possibly the Venetian bus and then we get started.
Haha. I feel so cheeky. We’re being so cheap instead of paying for a bus or for the taxi. No, that is what everyone does. Free shuttle. That is what everyone does here.
That is true. We found free transportation. Shhhh. So I’m not sure if we already mentioned this but today is just a day trip from Hong Kong (香港).
So we’re not actually staying here in Macau (澳門 – 澳门). We did that once before and it is super expensive here. Like everything is overpriced.
So we thought we would just visit for the day and yeah we’re going to be making a little guide and showing you a few of the different things that you can do here and eat here. We’re going to be sampling lots of good food. Alright, so we figured since we took the free shuttle to the Venitian we should probably visit the Venetian (澳門威尼斯人度假村酒店). What do you think? So yeah, we’ve just been checking it out here.
And it is definitely obviously not like Venice but I guess it is a casino version of Venice. It is a bit like Vegas. It is a bit like Vegas. And yeah Macao has been called the Vegas of China.
So I mean. Yeah. Yeah we’re going to go check out a few other casinos and then I think we’re going to spend the rest of the day exploring more of the historic ruins and eating. More of the cultural side. More of the cultural stuff and then eating a lot of street food as well too. I have to say walking through casinos is exhausting.
These buildings are massive. We’re currently trying to reach the Parisian (澳門巴黎人) from the Venetian. I feel like we’ve been walking for 15 or 20 minutes. Still not in sight. So we had enough of hotels and casinos for a while and we’ve walked over to Taipa (氹仔) and over here we’re going to be visiting the Taipa Houses Museum (龍環葡韻住宅式博物館 – Casas-Museu da Taipa).
There is also like a nice little park with wetlands behind us. So yeah, it is a lot quieter and more peaceful over here. I would say I prefer it. So what did you think of the museum? Yeah, it was pretty cool.
It was free to visit and there is about four different houses you can go in to. Each house had its own different kind of theme or gallery. One was a living museum, there was another where there was artwork and there was another where there was old photographs.
So yeah if you pop by here you can check out the different houses. Just pop in and it doesn’t take long to visit them at all. We have now been walking around for a few hours and I’m starting to feel the hanger vibes.
Yeah, so it is a good time to go eat. It is just before noon and it is time to scarf down on some Macanese street food. Let’s get food.
So we kind of have a list of things we want to try here in Macau (澳門 – 澳门). Yes. And this was not on here. Wasn’t on the list but we still found it interesting.
So what is this one? So this is an egg pudding but I got the chocolate egg pudding. Yeah, they also had green tea right? Yeah. Um, so yeah it is like an egg. They sliced off the top.
I don’t even know how you make this to be honest. Do you shape the egg until it is creamy? I have no idea. We have no idea what this is and that is what makes it so exciting. Mmmm. Well it does not taste like boiled eggs so that is excellent.
It is really creamy. Look at that. Is it sweet? Like how yeah. Yeah, it is literally like pudding.
Okay. Maybe it is just like pudding that has been put inside of the eggshell. Maybe that is just the preparation of it. Look. Oh wow. This is a mystery to me.
No idea how it is made but it is so delicious. Wow. And Sam doesn’t like eggs so he was like no I won’t have one. So are you going to eat it all then?
You’re missing out. Seriously this is like chocolate pudding. It is so creamy, so smooth.
Unbelievable. So it took us a while to find a place that was serving pork chops this early. But we finally found one. Yeah, some of them weren’t going to start serving them until 2pm. Until 2 pm.
And it is around noon right now so oh bummer but we finally found somewhere and this pork chop bun (豬扒包) is one of the most popular street foods you can find in Macau (澳門 – 澳门). Yeah. It is basically. Oh wow. Thank you.
Here comes our tea too. It is basically considered a Macanese specialty. Uh huh. And it is almost considered like a Macanese hamburger. Macau’s take on a hamburger.
So you’ve got your pork chop (豬扒包) in the middle. Yeah. And then you have a crispy bun. Well it is crispy on the outside and it is supposed to be soft on the inside.
So I am dripping sauce all over the place. Time for me to just take a bite. Next up we’re having Pastel de Nata (蛋撻 – 蛋挞) and this is where you start to see the Portuguese influence in Macanese cuisine. This is something that you find everywhere in Portugal. We had these when we were in Lisbon. There is a really famous shop um in Belem.
And yeah these are really tasty. I’ve had these often. I know. So let’s dig in. So excited to be having them again.
Mmmm. And the Macanese take on it is really good. Mmmm. Really good.
Look at that. It is like so custard-y inside. Wow.
And we got these from what is considered to be a famous place for them. It is called Lord Stow’s. Yeah. Yeah.
It is not from the original shop but it is from one of the branches and ah yeah we’re just really lucky to bump in to it. It is so flakey. Haha. The exterior. Look at that.
Can you see the layers these. It is like Millefeuille. So I have to say I really enjoyed visiting this area. Taipa (氹仔).
I hadn’t been here before when I was last in Macao (澳門 – 澳门) and it is pretty cool. It just feels more historic. It is colorful. Great street food.
So next up we’re going to head to Senado Square (Largo do Senado – 議事亭前地) and to get there we’re going to make use of some of the free transportation provided by the Casinos. Update. So the free shuttle that they used to have from the Galaxy Hotel to the area around Senado Square (Largo do Senado – 議事亭前地) a few years ago no longer runs. What? So we’re going to Star World. Yep.
And from there I think we’re going to be walking about 20 minutes the guy said. It is getting us halfway there and then we have to walk. We’re getting a little spoiled I’d say. We were on our way to Senado Square but then we spotted these really pretty garden so we’re taking a bit of a detour.
Yeah, it is has been nice so far and we’ve just been walking around and I think we’re probably only like five or ten minutes away from where we want to be so getting closer. Where are we at the moment? So we’re at Senado Square (Largo do Senado – 議事亭前地). This is where we’ve been trying to walk to now for a while. Yeah. We’ve just been taking some time-lapses so setting the camera up on the tripod and I think we’re going to try and go find a bite.
We’re getting a little peckish again. Again. And you know what? It is looking super Christmas-y around here. It is. Check it out.
It is only like 19 days away from Christmas. So yeah. But by the time you watch this Christmas will be long gone. Happy 2017! Haha.
This is just a little bit too crowded for me. We’re at a standstill. We’re not moving. Not going anywhere.
Ow. We’re losing steam. We’re still determined to see as much as we can in one day. Man.
Yeah, we made it to Saint Paul’s Ruins. We still haven’t found food though so we’re getting a little hangry. We have St. Paul’s Ruins (大三巴牌坊) off in the background and Sam ready to sample more food.
Yeah, so something you’re going to find in Macau (澳門 – 澳门) well just about everywhere. Especially around the Saint Paul’s Ruins (大三巴牌坊) is you get this beef jerky that is for sale. Yeah. And you buy these big slabs and they cut it up for you like there is just a huge amount here.
So I’m going to try it. I did sample this one. It is sweet. Is it beef or pork?
That is the question. It is pork. Pork. Pork jerky (豬肉乾).
Mmmm. That is really nice. It has got like a sweet glaze on it. It kind of reminds me of um if you’ve ever had a cooked ham that has been cooked in like molasses or maple syrup or something like that. Very Canadian.
Maple Syrup. Uh huh. It kind of has that glaze type of sweetness on the outside and it is nice meat. It is not unlike other jerkys that I’ve had before it is not as chewy. Um, it basically you just bite in to it and the meat basically disintegrates in your mouth so it is nice.
We’ve got a lot. Look at that. Man. We’re going to be here for a while. So we’re still trying to eat our way around the city here and it is starting to rain.
Today was supposed to be zero percent chance of precipitation and look at what is happening. With all of these clouds I’m actually surprised it didn’t rain earlier. Anyways we found our next snack and we’re having almond cakes (杏仁餅). So check those out. It looks really powdery and it actually has chunks of almond in it.
Wow. And we saw these being freshly made. So it is pretty amazing. That is how we decided on the store. We’re like oh they’re making them right outside so.
How are those? Good. It is quite dry.
It is almost like a chalky like powdery texture so if you’re planning on having a few you probably want tea or like some kind of beverage nearby. A bubble tea (波霸奶茶). Have a bubble tea nearby.
We didn’t get a bubble tea (波霸奶茶) actually. Hahaha. That is next.
But yeah it is really nice. Really tasty. Kind of a nice Christmas treat. Almond for some reason it seems like a Christmas-y ingredient. Alright so Sam is now rocking a purple drink in his hand. Yeah.
What could that possibly be? So we’ve had bubble tea (波霸奶茶) in both Taiwan and in Hong Kong (香港). Yeah, but we haven’t had it in Macao (澳門 – 澳门) and we haven’t had Taro before. So this is a purple color. And you can see it still has the tapioca jellies at the bottom.
Yeah but time to try it. Alright, so taro milk. Mmmm. What does taro milk taste like?
It is really sweet. It has a bit of a creamy taste and you can definitely can taste the taro. It is strong.
Does it taste like potato. Like potato milk. A little bit. It still tastes a bit like tea though too. It is really good.
So next we’re heading into Museu de Macau (澳門博物館). We have not decided whether or not we actually want to go in to the museum. Still debating that. We’ve been walking around a lot and visiting the museum involves more walking. I’d be pretty happy to just enjoy the view maybe eat some more. So Sam what is the one determining factor on whether you want to visit a museum or not?
What do you always ask? Can we take photos? I thought you were going to say is it free? Oh is free too. Yeah those things. If it doesn’t meet those criteria then sometimes I just do not go in.
So that was made easy. The exhibit was actually closed so we can only enjoy the terrace but the terrace has some pretty cool views so we’re here. So Sam last attraction of the day. Where are we? So we are at Monte Fort.
Monte Fort (Fortaleza do Monte – 大炮台). And yeah it is starting to rain quite a bit. It is starting to rain and it has been a long day so we’re going to head back and leave you with these magnificent views. We should probably say thank you to the Wynn Hotel for that private transfer to the ferry terminal.
We were the only people on the shuttle bus. Literally. And we didn’t even stay at their hotel. Well welcome to a nondescript hotel room somewhere in Asia. Today we’re going to be talking Macau travel tips because we recently traveled there on a day trip from Hong Kong and actually we’ve also been there.
We went there maybe like 3 years ago. Yeah. And we stayed overnight. So we thought why not share some of the tips, some of the things we’ve learned for anywhere out there planning a trip there. And because we’ve done both of those types of trips we think we can offer something for just about everyone.
So yeah, you can do it by day from Hong Kong and you can also stay overnight too. So as usual we’ve got our notes in front of us on the computer so you’re going to see us staring down but that is just so we give you accurate information and we’re not making stuff up. Yeah. Yeah. So how a lot of people describe Macau (澳門 – 澳门) is they call it the Vegas of China. But you know what that is not really fair because Macao actually generates seven times the amount of revenue as the strip on Vegas.
Cha chingy chang. So if anything Vegas should be called you know the it should be the Vegas should be the Macau of the United States. America! Yeah.
All of America. So that is how much gambling is a part of Macau (澳門 – 澳门). But Macao (澳門 – 澳门) is also way more than just gambling. It also has a lot of colonial history and you can really see that when you’re walking around in the Old Town. It is just very Portuguese.
Like buildings, the floor tiles, even the cuisine. So even if you’re not in to gambling it is really worth visiting. Right.
And there is also a lot of really fascinating street foods as well. That is called Macanese cuisine. It is a combination of Portuguese and Southern Chinese with a lot of Southeast Asian ingredients. Oh la lah. Quite fascinating stuff. So the local currency is the Macau Pataca.
I had no idea so I was calling it Macau dollars or Macanese dollar the whole time I was there which is pretty embarrassing. That is. Anyway the exchange is $1 USD = 8 MOP Patacas. Yeah, and it is basically almost identical to the Hong Kong Dollar. And that leads into our next point where if you’re coming from Hong Kong you can use Hong Kong Dollars in Macau (澳門 – 澳门). Yes.
It is widely accepted. Yep. But here is the catch. If you do take out the Macau Patacas. If you have quite a bit of them you’re going to want to especially exchange your coins before you go back to Hong Kong because those coins are not accepted in Hong Kong.
Yeah. So yeah, it is kind of a bit of a double standard. I’m not sure why that is but yeah if you do have Hong Kong extra Hong Kong dollars do bring them in and spend them in Macau. It is possible to do that. So our next point is transportation. How do you get to Macau (澳門 – 澳门) and there are actually lots of different ways.
Right. I would say probably the most popular if you’re coming from Hong Kong would be the ferry. Right. And you can take the ferry from Hong Kong Island, Kowloon or from Hong Kong International Airport. Yeah, so you have those different options and so that is arriving from the let’s say arriving from Hong Kong but you can also arrive from Mainland China.
There are buses from like Guangzhou and other places. Shenzhen. Different types of places. They also have ferries too. Uh huh. And then of course there is the airport.
And something to keep in mind even if you’re going to visit Hong Kong not just Macau is that uh the Macau airport has some really good budget flights. Yes. So you may actually be able to fly into Macau cheaper than Hong Kong. So if you’re thinking of flying into Hong Kong especially somewhere from Southeast Asia consider also Macau (澳門 – 澳门). Because you may get a much better deal.
I remember the one time we flew in from Chiang Mai we got a really good price from Air Asia. So yeah, do consider that. And you know what?
Speaking of flights we should also mention you can come to Macau by helicopter. Haha. Fancy. Yeah, if you want to arrive like a boss. If you want to arrive in style. I think it is like about $500 dollars one way.
Yeah, it is about $500 US dollars but it is only 16 minutes from Hong Kong. So if you’re in a rush and you want to start gambling you know take the helicopter and you’ll be there in no time. So speaking of the ferry you’re going to save a little bit of money if you go on a weekday as opposed to the weekend. It is just slightly cheaper. Um, you’re looking at around just over $20 US dollars for an economy class.
Yeah. And that is perfectly adequate. I mean uh it is only an hour ride so and there is departures leaving every like. Very frequently.
Yeah. Like 15 to 30 minutes. Right. And you can go anytime of day. You can leave really early in the morning and you can come back late at night.
Or vice versa. So it is really easy. We’ve always just shown up and bought our ticket. Um, like right from the stands.
Right when we wanted to go and that is probably fine on weekdays but if there is like a really big event going on in Macau or it is on a weekend during a busy time of year I’d recommend booking in advance and you can do that on the TurboJET’s website. I’ve also once booked it online. It was really easy. They accept credit cards and stuff like that. Of course.
Super easy. So next let’s talk about accommodations in Macau and we’ve got to tell you just like Hong Kong it is not cheap. I would go as far as saying that it can be more expensive than staying in Hong Kong. Yeah, it is. Hong Kong does have budget options.
You can stay in dorms. In Macau that is basically nonexistent. Yeah.
Uh, I remember even the first time I visited Macau which is before I met you they didn’t really have many dorm options or hostel options and that is true even to today. And I guess when most people are going over there to gamble um yeah. They’ve got the cash. They’ve got money.
And there isn’t even a lot of very good mid-range options to be honest. Yeah. So there are some sort of more like dingy hotels which are not located by the casinos not located by the main attractions. And you can probably find something for under $100 US dollars but don’t expect a lot at that price which is kind of why we recommend doing it by day. If you’re visiting Macau more for the culture and the food then you can definitely make a day trip from Hong Kong. But if you do want to gamble and do some of the more entertainment.
The shows at night and stuff then you probably will just have to cough up the money stay in a casino or like famous hotel and pay a bit more. And we have notes on that here. So a 2 to 3 star is going to be between $88 to 160 USD and if you’re looking for 4 to 5 stars a $150 all the way up to $600 US bucks. So yeah, bring your money.
Hahaha. So there are AirBNB options. We noticed some places where you can get a shared room for $40 to $60 dollars a night. So that is actually not bad.
Well not a shared room. Like your own private room in someone’s house. Right. But you won’t have the whole apartment to yourself.
Yeah, sorry. That is what I meant. And I noticed that those places weren’t like right in the core the city. So again more on the outskirts. And if you’re wanting to get your own place you’re looking at $80 to $200 dollars plus. Yeah.
So yeah, again not very cheap. Um but it is available. So next up let’s talking about transportation around Macau (澳門 – 澳门). And one thing we really enjoy is that all of the casinos and hotels offer free shuttles from the terminal because obviously they want to lure guests. Like come gamble at our place.
Yep. So they offer free transportation which is great for visitor’s on a budget I would say. It really is. So you can literally arrive at one of the ferry terminals and then hop on one of these free shuttle buses and they will take you to all of the major casinos and also to some major attractions as well. Yeah.
So it is actually a really good way to get around the city and it is absolutely free. So you can that is our favorite way to get around Macao. Hands down. So aside from free transportation also just walk around Macau on foot. I mean a lot of places once you arrive in a certain area like if you’re in Taipa or you’re near Senado Square or Saint Paul’s Ruins for example.
A lot of the places that you can just reach by foot and it is just a really pleasant way to just walk around in Macau. So it is very pedestrian friendly and we definitely recommend it. That being said we would not recommend walking from the strip where all of the casinos are all the way to Senado Square because you’re not going to make it. Take a bus to get there. And then you can walk around once you’re there.
That would be really pushing it. Yes. Haha.
Uh, another option is you can take also public buses which are fairly cheap and also taxis. So a taxi shouldn’t cost more than about $5 US dollars for short rides and yeah if you’re in a hurry that would probably be your best bet because you do sometimes have to wait around for the shuttle buses. They leave at designated times for example. And if something is too far to walk then consider taking the taxi or one of the public buses. So for all of you budget travelers out there next up we’re going to talk about free attractions you can visit around Macau.
And number 1 I would say the area around Senado Square which is kind of like the main plaza the main square. You have lots of Portuguese architecture and tiles. Yeah. You can get some street food while you’re there.
Yeah, it is nearby a lot of other major attractions and it is just a very central area and it is a great place to people watch as well. Yeah, and once you’re at Senado Square you can walk all the way to the ruins of Saint Paul which is basically the facade of a church. Like the building is no longer there so all you see is the facade and the stepz leading up to it. But I would say that is a pretty cool walk from those two points. It is a major landmark and you’re going to see tonnes of people taking photos there.
It is quite photogenic and it is also you pass from Senado Square all the way to the ruins that you’re going to see probably where you can most of your street food too. Yes, free samples of food guys. Food!
That was another one of our free things. Yeah, a lot of these stores they lure people in by offering free samples. You can get free samples of almond cookies, free samples of like the pork jerky with glazed honey. So yeah there is a lot of different free samples so hit those up before you actually purchase something.