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traveling to macau for first time... help!

  1. #1
    ctrbabe1 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong

    traveling to macau for first time... help!

    A friend of ours has offered to keep our kids for a couple of days so that hubby and I can get away and have some time together. We are thinknig of going to macau, but we have not been there before. What do we need to know before going there? What is the transportation like? What hotels and restaurants do you recommend? What is there to do besides casinos? (We don't gamble.)

    Thanks for any help!

    All the best,

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung

    FERNANDO'S is great! i've only been once, about 10 years ago, but i clearly remember the food was awesome!

    we got taxis everywhere, so no idea what the public transportation is like. we just enjoyed wandering around.

  3. #3
    mwong222 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    taxis are good for getting around for sightseeing. if going to the hotels then use their free buses. i always do that when i go but it does waste time and the buses only go from hotel to airport/ferry/customs to Zhuhai and vice versa. But the Venetian has a bus that goes to the Sands as well. there are tours you can take but they don;t last more than half the day. there is really not much to do in Macau except gambling.

    kind of like Vegas. there are some sights but the focus is gambling or looking around the shops. i think only the venetian has a show to watch (ZAIA). Not sure about city of dreams as it is new and haven't visited yet.

    I would not spend a coupla days in Macau if you don't gamble. i think 2 days is enough. i could be wrong though as i am not into sightseeing so much.

    For hotels, i prefer the venetian. food is not cheap but you can walk to old Taipa village for local food. you can also walk around their little mall.

    The wynn is also nice but not fond of their casino. Or you can go to Coloane (?) to stay at the Westin (?). it is more like a beach resort. no gambling at all.

  4. #4
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung

    many years ago, our planned vacation went haywire and we ended up spending a few days in macau before heading off somewhere else. we had a great time. no gambling except a few minutes at the slot machines in the hotel.

    we had enough to keep us busy. we walked around and explored a lot.

    i had an old lonely planet guide that we used to plan our days.

  5. #5
    csj is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Macau used to be a great place for a nice & quiet weekend out of HK but that was about 10 years ago... Now it's a bit too crowded with all the casinos and the gambling crowd but you can still find some enjoyment there -I was there again with BB and hubby back in May.
    I agree with Carang, Fernando's was and still is a great place to eat. It's on the Hac Sa beach of Coloane Island.
    Most taxi and bus drivers do not speak or understand English very well but if you take a cab tell 'Coloane, Fernando's', they should understand.

    Here are the (my) main places of interest:
    * to see:
    - Walk around the old city center (it's very quick though)
    - The St Paul church ruins
    - The old fort nearby that also has a museum (found it more interesting than the HK museum, so it can take a while to walk around the museum)
    - Old Taipa village and the old colonial houses on what used to be a swamp waterfront (now reclaimed i think)
    The tourist office in the ferry terminal in Macau (just outside immigration there) has good pamphlets and maps for Old macau and things to see and do in Macau.
    - go to the Cirque du Soleil show at the Venetian (sign up for the venetian VIP card, it's free and you get discount to the show)
    - not really worth it but if you're curious and have time before catching a ferry back to HK: the new fisherman's warf. To everyone their own taste but to me, it equals the new Lisboa hotel and casino in tackiness. It is often void of tourists but if you want to avoid the big crowd after a big day, it's the place to go.

    * food:
    - Fernando's
    - if you're into desserts: Lord Stowe's bakery, in the old village on Coloane: famous for its Portuguese egg tarts --think 'creme brulee without the brulee, on a crispy puff pastry', yummy ! They also have a branch in the Sheraton Hotel in TST if you can't wait.
    - other places we knew shut down. The restaurants at the Venetian are the same ones you find in Soho and LKF. There are other typical local places but never went there as neither me or hubby speak Chinese.

    That's all I can think of. Have a good trip !

  6. #6
    cesh is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Hong Kong

    MGM Grand has a nice indoor piazza with a restaurant at each corner - it is light and airy and generally quiet apart from the occasional wandering music group that comes through. French, Italian and I think Chinese, as well as a champagne lounge (I think).
    We've wandered through the streets with a simple guide book to see the old Portugese areas and places like Taipa village. Taxis have been fine - we just grab the map and point or get the hotel doorman to tell the driver where we want to go (whether it's our hotel or not).
    I really don't get much our of gambling, so our time in the casinos was limited. Also there's a lot to be said for having some time to lie by the pool with a cool drink and a book - a small luxury for parents.

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