Macau is a special administrative region (SAR) in China, but it is known to many as the world’s gambling capital, a place dripping with unbelievable wealth. It is a part of China, but it operates as an independent nation without interference from Beijing.
It is often cited as one of the most advanced places on the planet as it ranks very high on all the parameters of the Human Development Index. Welcome to the Las Vegas of the East and the Monte Carlo of the Orient, a magnet that attracts almost 40 million tourists in a good year.
Best Time to Plan Macau Visit
The peak travel periods and climate of Macau are similar to the ones in Hong Kong. An ideal period of the year to visit Macau is fall, and that is from the end of September to November, then spring, which corresponds to March up to the beginning of May.
Spring is a lovely time for tourists to visit this pearly city. The weather is mild, and it will just feel like it is autumn. But that said, there can be some rain, and even thunderstorms as May ends.
The June to August period is summer, and it is the wettest and hottest time of the year, so you should not plan your trip during this period. Putting your journey in the September to November time is fantastic as that is fall, and you will enjoy the weather. You can also visit from December to February, but because of the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations, the traffic will be massive, so think twice.
The most excellent way for you to get to Macau is via the fast ferry from Hong Kong. Major airlines from different parts of the globe have direct flights to Hong Kong. It will take you about 60 minutes from Hong Kong to Macau by ferry, and the trips are available every hour of the day from the terminals at Kowloon and Hong Kong. You can get the tickets directly at the ferry terminal, or you can choose to book ahead of time online.
Changing your Money
Having sufficient and correct funds as a tourist or traveler is a lifesaver. The Macanese pataca is the currency spent in Macau even though you can still use Hong Kong dollars (HKD), so you do not need to change your money unless you want to have the same Macanese money souvenirs on your way back home. You can change your currency upon landing in Hong Kong at the famed Chungking Mansions located in Tsim Sha Tsui.
Activities in Macau
There is so much for you to do and enjoy all over Macau:
This is a picture-perfect village perched on the southern corner of the Macau Peninsula. You will be dazed with the number of Chinese restaurants and shops in the area, so get ready to purchase some of the finest souvenirs in Asia.
If you want to taste Portuguese delicacies, there is a restaurant off Rua do Cunha where you can stimulate your senses with authentic European flavors right in the heart of Asia. Try out of fried clams and local choices like the bacalhau before strolling to the set of colonial buildings called the Taipa Houses Museum.
Stroll from Senado Square down to the Ruins of Saint Paul
The Ruins of Saint Paul and the majestic Senado Square are some of the best-known landmarks in Macau. They belong to the Historic Center of Macau, which UNESCO has classified as a World Heritage Site, so they are worth visiting.
Enjoy the scenery as you waltz past restaurants and shops in the locality while you take some of the best photos ever with the imposing Macanese architecture as your background. You can do some excellent shopping here while also enjoying local dishes.
This is the southernmost point of Macau, and it was formerly on its own as an island, but it is now linked to Taipa via Cotai. It is a much serene part of Macau, and you are far from the loud casinos and glitzy parties, and all you enjoy are the calm Portuguese buildings and churches. It is also home to the best of the world-famous Portuguese egg tarts.
Glide on the waters of the Venetian
Many love to ride a gondola across Venice’s canals in Italy, but it is even a lot more fun in Macau. Here, you can ride a gondola at the Venetian. This is one of the top-rated casino hotels in Macau, and you have to be there.
The Venetian is known for its several canals right inside the hotel, and you can appreciate the wonders of this ultra-successful city as your excited gondolier powers you along. You can get the gondola ride tickets directly at the Venetian, or you can get them online.
Take a Plunge at the Macau Tower
The Macau Tower stands at an impressive height of 338 meters and is one of the most visible landmarks anywhere on the peninsula. It has an observation deck from which you can have a bird’s eye view of Macau even as far as Hong Kong!
Well, you are now at the Las Vegas of Asia and the heart of casino gambling on the planet. You can join the other fun-seeking tourists and spend time at any of the many casinos dotting Macau. You can win big, and you can also lose some fortune, but the exciting memories will be with you forever – it is a thrilling experience indeed!
Moving Around Macau
There are free shuttle buses that can take you all over the Macau peninsula, from the massive casino hotels to the ferry terminal. But for those who want to move to Coloane, a taxi or public bus will be the best option. Taxis in Macau are equipped with meters, so a driver will not overcharge you.