cleanvacation.com

Macau travel is our passion

Macau Travel Guide

Macau Hotels

Online Travel Resource
For Global Travellers

Macau travel
macao travel

Macau

Introduction

Macau Tower

The city of Macau is built on a peninsula one hour or 60 km southwest of Hong Kong and connected to the islands of Macau Taipa and Coloane by bridges.

During the 16th Century, China gave Portugal the right to establish the first European settlement in the Far East on the Macao peninsula. Macao was administered by Portugal as an overseas province until 1999 when control was handed back to China, ending over 400 years of Portuguese administration.

Macau is a now a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. As with Hong Kong, China's socialist economic system will not be implemented in Macau for at least fifty years (if ever) after the transfer of sovereignty and Macau will enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign and defense affairs. Like Hong Kong, Macau has its own government, passports, visas, postal system and currency.

Macau is packed with history and culture with many museums and places of historical, cultural and architectural significance. Many of the culturally and architecturally significant buildings such as fortresses and churches have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. The best way to discover the sights is to walk the Macau Heritage circuit.

Macau also has one of the highest population densities of any region in the world.

Click here to book your Macau hotels


Macau Holiday
3 Days / 2 Nights from US$60 per personPer person US$
TwinSingle

Taipa Hotel Macau

60115taipa hotel macau

Golden Dragon Hotel Macau

72145dragon hotel macau

The Venetian Resort Macau

250500the venetian macau

Hong Kong Escape
4 Days / 3 Nights from US$80 per personPer person US$
TwinSingle

Hotel Ibis Hong Kong North Point

80160Hotel Ibis Hong Kong

Empire Hotel Kowloon

110210Empire Hotel Kowloon

Royal Plaza Hotel Hong Kong

190370Royal Plaza Hong Kong


Travel to Macau

Visa Most passport holders of Western countries do not need a visa in advance as a 30 or 90 day tourist visa is issued on entry to visit Macau for a Macau holiday.

Macau International Airport (MFM) Macau travel is located off Macau Taipa Island close to the Macau city centre and is an alternative to arriving or departing through Hong Kong Airport. Often it is less expensive to fly from Macau airport than Hong Kong Airport. Macau International Airport is easily reached by ferry from Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and Hong Kong International Airport. Before completing immigration formalities at the ferry terminal in Macau, one can take a direct bus to Macau Airport without going through Macao immigration. Air Asia has a hub at Macau and flies to most destinations in South-east Asia.

Airport Bus services are operated by Transmac and TCM to and from the airport. Bus no. AP1 travels between the Border Gate and the airport. Its route passes through several points on Macau Taipa Island, Macau Tower, Hotel Lisboa, the Macau Art Museum, the Sands and the Ferry Terminal on the way to the airport. [Adult fare MOP3.30]

Coach services are available from China to Macau. A coach from Guangzhou takes around 2 hours and costs around CNY70 to visit Macau.

Travel from Hong Kong to Macau

Ferries If you are in Hong Kong you must see macau. Many visitors arrive in Hong Kong and take the ferry across to visit Macau for a Macau holiday. Ferries from Hong Kong's Macau Ferry Terminal in Sheung Wan on Hong Kong Island operate 24 hours a day at frequencies of every 30 minutes by day and every hour at night. The Macau Ferry Terminal (Terminal Maritimo) at the Outer Harbour (Porto Exterior) handles most of the sea traffic between Macao, Hong Kong and Shenzhen International Airports. The journey between Hong Kong and Macau takes one hour.

TurboJet operate safe, fast and comfortable high-speed ferry services in the Pearl River Delta region between Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Macau. All ferries have air-conditioned cabin interiors with spacious luggage areas, TV and modern amenities. [Hong Kong to Macau every 15 mins, Adult fare from HK$134] TurboJet operates ferries from Hong Kong International Airport to Macau. These are less frequent but they bypass Hong Kong immigration and customs by transferring directly to the ferry in the airport's transfer hall. Your airline may be able to check your luggage all the way to Macau for you. [Fares from HK$180]

Cotai Jet operates directly to Macau Taipa from Hong Kong, and there are free shuttle buses to The Venetian from the Ferry Terminal, for quick and easy access to Macau Taipa & Coloane. [Hong Kong to Macau every 30 mins, Adult fare from HK$134]

New World First Ferries operate ferries from Kowloon to Macau, from the China (HK) Ferry Terminal on Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon. Ferries are less frequent compared with from Hong Kong Island. [Fares from HK$133, trip takes about 90 minutes]

Helicopter flights between Macao and Hong Kong are operated by Sky Shuttle [every half hour, takes 15 mins, HK$2200]

Macau Transport

Walking is the best way to explore the Macau highlights as it is a small city with most Macau attractions close to the port. However, Macau is hilly in parts with some steep lanes and many steps. Tourists may find the city streets difficult to navigate due to the unstructured layout of the streets and poor street signage.

Bus services are inexpensive with fares between MOP2.50 and MOP5. However, drivers usually only speak Cantonese with very little understanding of English so have your destination written in Cantonese for the driver.

Taxis are plentiful but it is advisable to have your destination written in Cantonese as most taxi drivers do not read or speak other languages. As in Hong Kong, every bag placed in the boot of the taxi will have an additional surcharge.

Free shuttle buses are offered by many hotels/casinos to/from the airport, ferry terminals, border gate and other Macau attractions.

Car rental is not recommended a Macau holiday as the territory's size is small and the streets are narrow and difficult to navigate. Motor Vehicles are driven on the right in mainland China. Macau drives on the left.

Macau Weather

Cool and humid in winter, hot and rainy from spring through summer. The typhoon season is between July and September. Typhoon warnings are issued by the Macao Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau and are broadcast widely on television and radio stations. The typhoon warning system is the same as Hong Kong.

Economy

The economy is based primarily on Macau tourism, Macau travel, including gambling, and some textile and garment manufacturing. Macau is becoming a regional center for gaming, tourism, conventions and corporate incentive travel; foreign and local investors have massively expanded the casino, hotel and restaurant sectors.

Macau depends on China for most of its food, fresh water, and energy imports.

Language

English is spoken by people in the tourism business. Many staff at hotels, casinos, shops, restaurants and museums will speak English which makes your Macau holiday easy.

Money

The currency of Macau is the Pataca (MOP) which is pegged to the Hong Kong dollar (HKD) so Hong Kong dollars (but not coins) are accepted by most businesses on a 1:1 basis with the Pataca. The Pataca is divided into 100 avos. Chinese Yuan (RMB/CNY) are also frequently accepted by many businesses.

Currently, the exchange rate is about MOP 8 to USD 1.

The casinos are the best place to withdraw funds from ATMs or exchange foreign currency.

Macau Attractions & Highlights

Macau Tower Convention & Entertainment Centre macau tower is a well known Macau tourist attraction fronts onto the Pearl River and the Nam Van Lake development. The tower is 5 minutes from the Macau Ferry Terminal and 15 minutes away from Macau International Airport. The Tower dominates the skyline and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Macau city skyline, China, the Pearl River and even some islands of Hong Kong on a clear day. There is a convention centre, theatre, exhibition hall, observation decks and even bungy-jumping. There are several restaurants onsite including the fabulous 360 Caf (revolving buffet restaurant, dinner MOP288, lunch MOP198) and the 180 Lounge & Grill a must-do for everyone visiting Macau.

Macau Fisherman's Wharf is a themed entertainment, shopping, accommodation, convention & exhibition centre located in Macaus outer harbour which takes just a 5-minute walk from the Macau Ferry Terminal. The complex houses a casino, theme park, Roman Amphitheatre(venue for outdoor performances and variety shows), convention & exhibition centre, restaurants, bars and the Rocks Hotel which has a stylish Sky Lounge situated on the roof.

Macau Grand Prix one of Macau's highlights is a group of car and motorcycle races in a city street circuit held in November every year.

St Paul's Macau macau tourist attractions church was built in 1602 next to the Jesuit College of St. Paul's Macau, the first Western college in Asia where missionaries studied Chinese before serving at the Ming Court in Beijing as astronomers and mathematicians. In 1835, a fire destroyed both the college and the St Paul's Macau church, leaving only the stone faade and grand staircase which is a unique blend of European Renaissance and Asian architecture. Musical performances are held on the stairs as a dramatic and natural stage.

Museum of Sacred Art and Crypt is within the precincts of Ruins of St. Paul's. The Museum exhibits religious paintings, statues and sacred objects from Churches in Macau while in the crypt adjacent to the Museum the visitor can observe the relics of martyrs from Japan and Vietnam. [open 9am-6pm,free]

Na Tcha Temple is a small temple founded over 400 years ago. It is adjacent to the Ruins of St. Paul's and both form part of the Historic Centre of Macau but reflect profoundly different cultures.

The Historic Centre of Macau is an urban area within the old city of Macau spanning 8 squares and 22 historic buildings. The centre is the product of cultural exchange between East and West spanning over 400 years and is a World Heritage Site.

Senado square macau senado square in the heart of the city, is paved with a wave-patterned mosaic of coloured stones and is a must-see for visitors. The pavement extends from the ruins of St. Paul's to the main road to the church of St. Dominic.

Mount Fortress, built in 1617-26, occupies a hilltop to the east of the ruins of St. Paul' s. It was constructed by the Jesuits as part of a complex which also included the college and church of St. Paul' s. The canons were used only once, when the Dutch invaded Macau in 1622. This was also the first residence of the governors of Macau. In 1998 the three-level Macau Museum, focusing on the history of Macau, was built into the fortress hill.

Monte Fort Corridor is located at the foot of Monte Fort hill and is a convenient way for visitors to reach Monte Fort. The well-located Monte Fort Corridor is ten metres high and is equipped with elevators and links St. Lazarus Church, Monte Fort, and Macao Museum [open 7am-7pm, free]

Macau Museum has 3 floors of exhibits built into the Mount Fortress hill. [Macau Museum opens 10am to 6pm, closed Mondays, Admission MOP15]

Museum Pass may be purchased which entitles entry, within a period of 5 days to each of the following museums: Grand Prix Museum, Wine Museum, Macau Maritime Museum, Lin Zexu Museum, Museum of Art and Museum of Macau. [MOP25 for adults, MOP12 for children under 18 years old and seniors over 60]

Nam Van Lake Cybernetic Fountain Macau tourism A Macau highlight is a spectacular show of cascading water (jets reaches 80 meters high) and light can be seen on Nam Van Lake opposite the Headquarters of the Government of Macau. Laser Performances are nightly at 20:30-21:00, 21:30-22:00. There are musical performances every 2 hours throughout the day.

Lou Kao Mansion was one of the residences of the wealthy Lou Wa Sio family was built in 1889. Constructed in grey brick, the two-storey xiguan-style building is one of the best-preserved traditional Chinese houses in Macau, reflecting a combination of Chinese and Western architecture. [Openweekends and public holidays, 9am to 6pm, Free Admission, No. 7 Travessa da S (near the Cathedral)]

A-Ma Cultural Village (Tian Hou Palace) is a cultural complex celebrating the goddess A-Ma who has long been revered in Macau as the protector of people who make their living on the sea. The complex is located on a hilltop on Macau's Coloane Island [open daily 8am-6pm].

Flora Garden tsim sha tsui macau is a European-style garden, situated at the base of Guia Hill. It was formerly the grounds of the Flora Palace, an aristocratic Portuguese mansion, which is now occupied by an aviary, a small zoo, and a tree-shaded refreshment patio. The garden also features formal flowerbeds and a stone pathway that winds upward to the top of Guia Hill, the highest point in Macau. An easier route to the top of Guia Hill is via the cable car near the park gate. [MOP3 one way, MOP5 return, Avenida do Sidnio Pais

Nightlife and Entertainment

Macau is famous for its nightlifeand is a city that never sleeps, with plenty of bars, shops and restaurants, as well as the Macau casinos, open 24 hours. Visitors can eat a delicious meal or go dancing in the middle of the night.

The music about Macau is cosmopolitan, with bars throbbing to the rhythms of Brazil, Portugal, England, Africa and every part of Asia. Many bars and pubs are located along the Avenida Sun Yat Sen close to the Kum Iam Statue and the Cultural Centre. This is a picturesque location facing the Outer Harbour and Pearl River. For the most popular trendy discos in town head for NAPE and Avenida do Infante D. Henrique. There are also some popular pubs on Macau Taipa Island opposite the Macau Jockey Club and on Coloane you can drink under the stars on the terrace of the Pousada de Coloane.

Macau has become a regional center for gaming, tourism and corporate conventions. Foreign and local investors have greatly increased the number of casinos, hotels and restaurants making casino gaming and tourism Macau's biggest industry.

Everyday tourists arrive from all over Asia with many arriving from China and Hong Kong on weekends to gamble at the Macau casinos. Most Macau casinos are located along the waterfront on the southern side of the Macau Peninsula. The Casino Lisboa was the most famous and largest of the casinos until the newer casinos opened eg MGM Grand Macau, Wynn Macau and Sands Macau. The newest casinos are now being built on Macau Taipa and the reclaimed land at Cotai Macau. There are several new casinos on Macau Taipa, including the impressive Crown Macau.

The Cotai Macau reclaimed land area is being transformed into the "Las Vegas Strip of the East" and hosts the largest casino in the world, the Venetian Macau (similar to Venetian Las Vegas) including Venice-styled canals with gondolas running through a shopping mall.

North of the Lisboa casino is the older part of town where there are many smaller casinos, hotels, restaurants and girly bars.

Macau Casinos

There are about 30 Casinos in Macau of which the biggest is the The Venetian Macau.

The largest, most popular and new hotels in Macau are:

Babylon Casino Fisherman's Wharf

City of Dreams, Cotai Macau

Crown Casino , Macau Taipa

Casino Lisboa

Emperor Hotel Macau Casino

Galaxy Waldo Hotel and Casino

Galaxy Starworld

Galaxy Rio Casino

Golden Dragon Casino

Greek Mythology Casino

MGM Grand Macau

Pharaoh's Palace Casino

Ponte 16

Sands Macau

The Venetian Macao, Cotai (best hotel Macau)

Wynn Macau

Dining

One of the Macau highlights is its cuisine. Over the centuries Macau developed a unique cuisine that combined elements of Portuguese, Chinese, Indian, and even Malay cooking. Known as Macanese cuisine, it is served in restaurants close to the A-Ma Temple along Rua Almirante Srgio, on the Praia Grande, in the city centre on Rua Central and Travessa de S.Domingos, in the NAPE area and on Taipa. Among the most popular dishes are African Chicken, Tacho (a hearty stew of Chinese vegetables and different meats), Galinha Portuguesa (Chicken cooked in the oven together with potatoes, onions, egg and saffron), Minchi (minced beef with fried potatoes, soy, onions and a fried egg), Linguado Macau (Sole fried and usually served with green salad) and Porco balicho (Pork).

International cuisine is also available about Macau and there are plenty of excellent restaurants serving Italian, French, American, Brazilian, Japanese, Korean cuisine as well as dishes from Southeast Asia, such as Thailand, Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

For seafood go to Rua Almirante Srgio and Rua das Lorchas along the Inner Harbour where the morning's catch, from the bountiful water of the South China Sea, is served in restaurants that have outdoor dining.

Yum Cha, a favourite of foreigners, is a meal which is served early in many Chinese restaurants and it lasts till about midday. It is small amounts of food served in small round bamboo baskets or in porcelain plates, which are circulated around the restaurant on trolleys. To order all you have to do is to stop the trolley and choose.

Macau has a fine selection of coffee shops, in Portuguese, Italian and American style especially in Largo do Senado, Travessa de S. Domingos and Rua Pedro Jos Lobo, in the city centre, and Rua de Nagasaki.

When on a Macau vacation visitors must sample the egg-tart, a Macau highlight, which is available at all bakeries and is claimed to be first created in Macau at the famous Lord Stow's Bakery.

Shopping

One can purchase almost anything on a Macau vacation. Luxury items are less expensive here than in other cities in the region. Jewellery (particularly 24-carat gold), cameras, porcelain, electronic items, mobile phones, watches, cashmere sweaters and silk clothing are available at very reasonable prices. As Macau has many functioning garment factories, overruns and seconds are to be found in shops and market stalls, at prices a fraction of what they are in the world's leading boutiques.

Avenida Horta e Costa is a long shopping street that begins at the Red Market and extends as far as the Flora Gardens beneath Guia Hill. The avenue has several up-market shops specializing in, among other things, clothing and shoes, electronic items and cameras. But the best bargains are found in the streets surrounding the avenue.

Duty free shops are at the Macau Ferry Terminal, Macau International Airport, and on the mainland side of the Barrier Gate.

Beyond Macau

Many visitors combine their Macau vacation with a visit to Hong Kong. Hong Kong highlights include world-class shopping, exciting nightlife and delicious cuisine.

Macau is also the perfect gateway to visit China