A month ago we were in Macau for the weekend to celebrate our anniversary. As usual our plane tickets were booked in advance. Approximately nine months before the scheduled trip during one of Philippine Airlines (www.philippineairlines.com) seat sale. Bought an all-in round trip ticket for only USD 109 per person. At that time, the exchange rate to the dollar was still low so I saved quite a bit of money. 😄 If only I had known through a crystal ball that we were also bound for Hong Kong a week prior to the Macau trip, I could have save more money because we could have taken the ferry instead of flying in.
All I wanted to visit in the country was the Ruins of St. Paul’s since I’m not fond of the casinos except maybe for their interiors and entertainment. I was curious with Macau because of friends travel photos with the nice ruins in the background. I had to secretly buy the airline tickets and surprised the hubby after I got them. He wasn’t interested at all with Macau as a travel destination! 😅 We booked a room at Sofitel Hotel at Ponte 16 (www.sofitel.com) which was in the Macau Peninsula and far away from Taipa/Cotai strip with its new casinos. Although a bit old but the hotel was in a good location and I guess they recently renovated as the room was nice and the bed was comfortable. It was only about 5-10 minutes walk to the Senado Square and another 5 minutes to the Ruins of St. Paul. I was happy I stayed in that area. 😊
I can’t say I fell in love with Macau but surprisingly I liked the place. I wouldn’t mind going back and probably in the next trip I’ll bring along the kids and we’ll watch the dancing water show in City of Dreams. What is nice in Macau is you can save transportation money by riding the free shuttle buses of the hotels in Cotai strip like City of Dreams, Parisian, The Venetian, Galaxy etc. It was like a hop on, hop off thing but all for free! 😄 Too bad, Sofitel doesn’t offer free shuttle service from the airport and back. Instead of taking the taxi which will cost around MOP 70, we opted to ride the bus to Sofitel for MOP 4.20. Anyway, there’s a map and directions on what stop you’ll get off. I suggest taking this route if your hotel doesn’t have a free shuttle. Will also allow you to have a bit of a city tour since the bus has many stops around Cotai/Taipa and Macau Peninsula. On the way home, we further saved money by taking the free shuttle bus at the ferry terminal to Cotai strip then we took the free shuttle of City of Dreams to the airport. Sofitel only have free shuttle for guests arriving via the ferry.
When we were exploring, I thought I was in Manila. Most of the hotel staff, security guards, sales person at the stores and even airport security personnel were Filipinos! 😂 While walking around Senado Square, you can hear the chatter in my native language. It was like I’m in Manila’s China Town. 😄 If you’re hungry, don’t be shy and just grab the freebies of the pork jerky and biscuits along the way. Many shops will offer free taste of their product. By the time you find a restaurant you’re full already and will probably just order coffee! Maybe you can buy the egg tart for MOP 9 per piece to go with the coffee since I didn’t find a store that offered free taste of the egg tart. 😜
The weather was nice in early December. Just the right temperature to go walking around town. Some parts around the city center is hilly. I was happy I wore rubber shoes for a comfortable walk and the feet did not die. 😊 The two day trip was enough to explore Macau and their casinos. The Venetian was the most popular among the hotel casinos based on the number of people or visitors roaming around. It was suffocating actually. I enjoyed Studio City better. Just the right number of people and not too crowded.
I saw a lot of tourists shopping in the shops inside the hotel casinos. But, Senado Square area has many shops too. There was an Esprit outlet shop and numerous stores selling shoes, bags, make ups etc. Of course Baleno, Bossini and Giordano shops are present. 😊 You can’t miss them since you’ll pass it on the way to the Ruins of St. Paul’s.
Macau has a charm of it’s own. I enjoyed my short stay. I didn’t plan to visit again after our trip but someday I will probably go back with the younglings.
Pardon with the low quality photos. All of them were taken from my iPhone 6…
the traveling KANGaroo