Macau, Ruins of St Paul, A Ma Temple & Venetian Casino 3D2N free and easy October 2018

Day 1

We arrived at Macau International Airport at around 8.00 pm after an approximately 4 hour flight from KLIA2 by AirAsia. We had a 4 hour transit at KLIA2. In order to kill time, we went to Plaza Premium Lounge at the International departure gate.

Plaza Premium Lounge, KLIA2 International Departure

A small lounge with not much choice of food

The flight to Macau was not very smooth as we encountered a few turbulences when passing by Vietnam. I was fortunate to have a window seat and got to enjoy some sunset when flying over the mountains of Vietnam.

Bird’s view of Vietnam coastal line

Sunset over the mountains of Vietnam

Arrival hall of Macau Airport

 Immediately we walked to the Public Bus station on the left side of the arrival hall to catch the public bus MT4 to Sofitel Hotel at Ponte 16. As this was our first trip to Macau, we asked the bus driver to inform us when reaching Ponte 16. However we didn’t get any response from him. Apparently, he was not very friendly and helpful. So we just listened to the announcement when the bus was stopping at every bus-stop. Fare was MOP6 for any distance you travelled.  If by taxi, the fare is around 100MOP. In Macau, they accept all 3 currencies that is 1 MOP = 1CNY = 1HKD.

[1 MOP = 0.51 MYR  = 0.86 CNY = 0.97HKD] 

Sofitel Hotel at Ponte 16

Grand Majestic hotel lobby

Sofitel Hotel Casino next to  the hotel lobby

View of Zhuhai from our hotel room

We checked-in the hotel at around 10.00 pm and immediately we went to the 168 Chinese Restaurant inside the casino for our dinner. This restaurant was recommended by the front desk receptionist when we enquired where to eat around the hotel at this hour.  

Casino at Sofitel Hotel, not very crowded

Then we chilled out at The Rendezvous Lounge on the ground floor of the hotel to try out the Tsingtao beer. We retired to bed early.

Rendezvous Lounge at Hotel Lobby

Famous Tsingtao beer

Day 2

After breakfast, we enquired at the front office about how to move around Macau. Hotel front desk staff Mr Gary was very kind and helpful. He suggested how and where to go in Macau. So we started our expedition of Macau by taking a walk to Senado Square which is about 10-15 minute walk. Actually before going to Macau, we had already checked the weather forecast online. It was supposed to be raining for Monday and Tuesday. So we brought along umbrella as well as rain-coat. Thank goodness,  it was sunny the whole day except a bit of drizzling in the evening! 

The roads in Macau are not congested

The famous tourist spot, The Ruins of St Paul was just a few minute walk from the Square. When we reached there, there were a lot of tourists taking pictures. In fact, the Ruins of St Paul is the icon of Macau. It is a must visit destination in Macau for all tourists arriving Macau.

Senado Square

One of the alleyways at Senado Square

The Ruins of St Paul

Back view of Ruin of St Paul

Then we walked up the Monte Forte to have a panoramic view of the Macau town. They are all old buildings in this part of the town. This area is designated as the UNESCO HERITAGE. There is a museum at the forte but it was closed on Monday. So we didn’t get to enter the museum.

On the way up Monte Forte

Century old tree at the base of Monte Forte

The museum. Closed on Monday

At the entrance to Monte Forte

Cannon at the Monte Forte

Ruins of St Paul viewed from the steps down Monte Forte

We then had pork burger which is very famous in Macau for lunch at Tai Lei Loi restaurant also at the Senado Square. We also tried the famous Portuguese egg tart. We also didn’t forget to visit the St Dominic Church at Senado Square.

1 pork burger costs MOP55

Famous Portuguese egg tart

Famous  Koi Kee Portuguese egg tart outlet. You can see this outlet almost everywhere you go in Macau!

St Dominic Church

We then continued our walking trail to Lisboa Hotel and also Grand Lisboa Hotel & Casino.  This hotel and casino was operated by the Macau tycoon Stanly Ho. It was more vibrant and noisy compared to Sofitel Hotel.

Lisboa Hotel & Casino

Newer Grand Lisboa Hotel & Casino

Wynn Hotel & Resort nearby

We then took a public bus to A Ma’s temple, also known as Mazu, the Goddess of seafarers and fishermen, which is another UNESCO HERITAGE. This temple is not very big. It was built in 1488 during the Ming Dynasty and is the oldest temple in Macau. It became popular more due to history. The temple itself is just like any Chinese temple you can find in any part of Asia.

A Ma temple

Of course mom didn’t want to miss the chance to seek good fortune, good health and prosperity from Mazu

UNESCO Heritage signboard at A Ma temple

A selfie while waiting for the bus to go back to hotel

We then took the public bus back to our hotel. After a brief rest, we set out again. This time our destination is Venetian Hotel and Casino, the largest casino in the world, operated by Las Vegas Sands. It boasts of having 3000 rooms, 800 gambling tables and 3,400 slot machines.

Venetian Hotel & Casino

Beautifully crafted ceiling at Venetian Hotel

Everything looks golden at this hotel & casino

The casino is full of patrons

 In Macau, most of the hotels offer free shuttle bus to 3 destinations, namely the airport, the ferry terminal to Hong Kong and the border gate to Zhuhai. The free shuttle is not solely for hotel guests only. Anyone can just hop in. We took the hotel free shuttle to the Ferry terminal which is next to Hotel Jai Alai then switched to the Venetian Hotel shuttle bus to go the hotel which is situated at Taipa Island. The casino is an eye opener to many as it was crowded with so many people, mostly Mainland Chinese trying out their luck at the casino. We walked around the casino and also the canal to explore. The canal is quite similar to the one you see in Marina Bay Sand in Singapore.

Water canal at Venetian

Food court at Venetian with sky roof .

We had Vietnamese pho for dinner at the food court in the Hotel & Casino before taking the bus back to our hotel. At night, I checked my pedometer installed in my hand phone. Wow, we had walked altogether a whopping 19,000 steps which is equivalent to 14 km! That’s a great achievement! The previous record was about 10 km.

 

Day 3

Well, this was our final day at Macau. After breakfast, we went to the hotel swimming pool to take picutures. However, we didn’t have time to enjoy the facility.

The not very big pool at the 6th floor of the hotel

Then we decided to take the hotel free shuttle to the border gate of Zhuhai to see for ourselves one of the busiest border gate in the world. Of course there was not much to see, only people plying between the two border towns. We took some pictures and left.

Queing up for the free shuttle to border gate of Zhuhai

The arch at the border gate

In Macau, I noticed that besides casinos, there are a lot of jewelry shops probably to cater to the large influx of mainland Chinese. There are also a lot of Rolex and Omega watch outlets. But unlike in Malaysia, all the outlets do not have security guards standing at the entrance, meaning that the security in Macau is very good. For your information, Macau is not jam at all. There are a lot of buses, public as well as hotel shuttles. People here are friendly and helpful, but not the bus drivers! [Maybe it’s isolated case] The main dialect here is Cantonese. But as an island, it’s ironic that there isn’t any sandy beach which is suitable for swimming!

Jewelry shop like this can be seen everywhere you go in Macau

At 12.00 pm, we checked out the hotel and took the free shuttle again to go to the airport to catch our return flight by Scoot to Singapore. Of course we need to change at the Ferry Terminal and also at Venetian Hotel ending our 3D2N free and easy tour of Macau.

 

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About HP Lim

An experienced Form 5 chemistry teacher from Johor Bahru.