23rd September 2014, Tuesday
Since Macau was an hour away from Hong Kong (by ferry), we happily devoted a day to the gorgeous region. The not so gorgeous part was the actual ferry ride– check that; the ungracious people we were sharing the ride with. There were heaps of tourists (mostly from the mainland) who needed a huge dose of the ‘chill pill’. They were so anxious and ill-mannered. They pushed and they elbowed. They ran. Yes, they were literally running towards the ferry, dragging their luggage. This sight was actually quite incredulous, because seats were already allocated. And once the Macau ferry terminal was in sight, a whole bunch of them got up and hurriedly gathered at the exits. We were beyond perplexed. Everything was a competition. And don’t even get me started on the Immigration lines. That’s another ordeal by itself.
Macau Tower + Bungy Jump
It was past 11am after clearing immigration. Our return ticket was also issued for a different ferry terminal than what was planned, so we had to reshuffle our itinerary around. The first destination was to the landmark Macau Tower – to grab lunch, but primarily because I had a bungy jump booking at 1pm.
After lunch, we paid the entrance fee of $135MOP to the observation decks. Hong Kong currency is widely accepted in Macau, so thank god for that.
We then took the lift to the 61st floor for the outdoor observation deck– also where I bought my bungy ticket. The package costed me a bomb. After being entitled to a 20% discount (for having jumped with AJ Hackett previously), I paid about $3018MOP (US$420 or S$503). Nevertheless, it was worth every cent.
I survived the jump from the 61st floor (233 metres), the highest of its kind, in the world, hitherto. I wish I could describe to you the feeling. You know what? I’ll just show it to you instead.
We grabbed a cab to Senado Square. And my oh my, the architecture was beautiful. The whole city had Portuguese overtones in their architecture (due to colonial history).
We followed the signs that pointed towards another historic landmark – the Ruins of St. Paul. It was quite a bit of a walk, but the route was nicely accompanied by rows of shophouses.
Villa Da Taipa
We arrived in Taipa Village slightly after 6pm. It was a rather rustic area. Unfortunately, most shops (less dining establishments) were closed by then. Nevertheless, we still enjoyed a tranquil and crowd-less stroll around the village.
The Casinos / Hotels
If you don’t already know, Macau is popular for their Casino establishments. And with great casinos, comes greater hotels. Even if you are not a gambler, you must spend some time visiting the Cotai Strip. Hotel-hopping is an attraction all on its own.
We only had time for 3 hotels. The first hotel we visited was MGM (much earlier in the day). It had a whole mermaid thing going on. There was a huge aquarium right smack in the centre. With mermaids and other underwater embellishments.
The second was the Galaxy Hotel. I can’t really describe the theme of the hotel, but it was really colourful and there were many crystal-like structures. This hotel is also a must visit for their wonderful free shuttle bus service to several key destinations in Macau.
The last yet the best hotel was The Venetian. The entire hotel was Venice-themed. Even the bell-boys were dressed for the part. Make your way to the Grand Canal Shoppes and be blown away.
Yes, the ceiling is an artificial sky. You will never see the night of day in The Venetian. Truly awe-striking and the best way to end the day in Macau.
Download: Jefferson's HK + Macau Itinerary