Day trip to Macau from Hong Kong

Nature
The wow factor for nature - does it show nature at its best? Doesn't need to be the wilder-beast migration or diving with hundreds of hammerheads. Rather make you pause as you realise just how awesome the natural world can be
2
Culture
How much does this experience showcase some of the better and finer things that us humans can offer? Sure, it can be ancient ruins and renaissance churches, but it can also be festivals or soaking up some of the great modern cities of the world
7
Fun factor/activity
Very simple - was it fun? This is usually linked in with doing some kind of activity - i mean, walking along some cliffs is nice, but paragliding from them, now that is fun. Its a vastly underrated factor in a truly great experience
8
Avoid the crowds
Big tour groups and being surrounded by loud fellow tourists can sap the life out of even the greatest of travel experiences. This score is to reflect just how much you can avoid this. But. . . The score also takes into account if the crowds actually add to the experience, such as with a party town or a bustling food market
3
World famous
How world famous is the experience?
6
unique
How hard is it to have a similar experience in other places round the world?
8
Overall Score
The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
65 *What the scores mean and where do they come from
continent
Asia
country
Macau
Length of time
1 day or less
Rough cost
Obviously people have different tastes, so this will depend on those tastes, but this is a rough idea of price of the whole experience based on 2 people able to split the accommodation costs and excluding travel there and back
$ 180
Time of year visited
July
Primary Tags
Click on any of the tags to see all travel experiences with the same tag
RANKING
How this travel experience ranks compared to all the other experiences on this site
163rd/334 This travel experience's ranking compared to all the other experiences on this site
Top 50% SUMMARY RATING: Great Experience

Summary

Macau is a wonderful day trip from Hong Kong with the combination of China’s boom on display as you wander through the lavish mega casinos, plus the Portuguese culture shinning through in the architecture, food and even street signs in Portuguese in the various spots that justify its UNESCO World Heritage status

 

Top 3 tips:

#1 Experiencing the Portuguese feel – there are various places which are great for getting your fix.  Taipa Village is lovely and well located next to the main casinos.  The area around the Ruins of the Church of Saint Paul is the symbol of Macau and does feel a bit like being in Lisbon around there.  But my main tip is to head to the south of Taipa Island to either the South West for the classic restaurant of Fernando’s that is a bit of an institution in Macau, or to the South West in the area around the Chapel of Saint Francis Xavier which is far less busy and you’re able to sit having Portuguese food in the courtyard looking across the water

 

#2Enjoying the Casinos – whilst Macau sees x6 the revenue of Las Vegas passing across its tables, that doesn’t necessarily equate to the entertainment.  Its more a reflection of the Chinese love / obsession of gambling and this is the only spot in all of China to do it – for example, you’ll typically see a minimum bet of around Macau $200 (USD25) on the tables in Macau combined with little entertainment.  That being said, the entertainment that is on offer is great.  I’d particularly recommend spending time walking the canals of the Venetian and booking ahead for the world-class Cirque du Solei show “The House of Dancing Water” in the City of Dreams.  It is superb .  If you can time it right and keen for the lash / partying, the Hard Rock Pool Party is also a must

 

#3 Transport – getting to Macau from Hong Kong is super simple.  There are ferries leaving every 30mins or so from 3 spots across Hong Kong and it only takes an hour.  Most realistically, you’ll aim to leave from the Shun Tak Centre on Hong Kong island.  Just be aware though that there are two ferry spots in Macau – Macau Outer Harbour which is for the Macau Peninsular (the northern half) and Taipa (the southern half).   Getting around though is a bit harder than Hong Kong as there isn’t the subway / MTR equivalent.  Easiest to just get taxis

 

Overall, its a very easy and great experience from Hong Kong

highlights

#1 Hitting the giant mazes within the casinos and getting super lost amongst the whole mayhem of it all. Start in the Venetian

#2 Sitting for Portuguese food in the south of the island in one of the pretty courtyards such as near the Chapel of Saint Francis Xavier

#3 Hitting one of the Hard Rock Pool Parties

#4 Visiting the classic site of the facade of Saint Pauls in one of the Portuguese centres

Experiences nearby

The below map shows experiences nearby with a colour that reflect the Overall Score of those experiences

Score Detail

Background - how many times have you asked someone what a travel experience was like and the response was "amazing" or "awesome"?  That response is nice to know, but it makes it hard to differentiate that experience compared to others.  That is exactly what these scores are trying to do - differentiate the experience by giving a score out of 10 based on 6 categories and then giving an overall experience score

This overall experience score is calculated by:  take the highest of the "Culture" or "Nature" score (1-10) + "Fun factor" (1-10) + "Avoiding the crowds" (1-10) + highest of the "Unique" or "World Famous score" (1-10).  Then convert into a score out of 100

Extra detail - the logic being that I find all of the 6 individual scores important, but I don't want to mark an experience down just because it doesn't cover both "Culture" and "Nature", or because it isn't both "World Famous" and "Unique".  Take the examples of Safari in The Serengeti and walking through Rome - they both appeal at opposite ends of the nature / culture spectrum, and you can have a fantastic time without needing to appeal to both sides.  So, their overall scores aren't penalized for their lack of one or the other, and I've done the same for "World Famous" vs "Unique".  But . . . I do think that the "Fun factor" of an experience is important, irrelevant of other factors, and so is "Avoiding the Crowds" (or where there are crowds that add to the experience).  So, both of these scores are standalone