macau

Ferry ride to Macau

 

So today I braved my alarm clock and headed off to Macau. I had an 8am ticket and I still do not know why I did that to myself.

I will do a write-up about why I needed to go to Macau and other useful things you may need to know at a later date.

First and foremost though, you can buy a ticket one of two ways; online or in person. I bought mine online before I left SA. Have a look here for more information on schedules and prices for TurboJet :TURBOJET FERRY

Needless to say I arrived late after having gone to the wrong ticket area because I was rushed and asleep. Being my first month in Hong Kong I seemed to be doing a lot of silly things,like being late for things when I rarely am and leaving behind my credit card when I know I will need it. I bought my ticket to Macau online as was suggested so of course I would need it. Somehow as I grabbed my stuff this morning, looked at my cards and decided that I would not need either one and best to keep them safe at home. Great thinking. 

So eventually, after heading to the wrong ticket counter because I wast paying attention, I made it to the correct counter and tried to get my ticket. I was late, I didn’t have my CC and I had no hope. Thankfully here the are a lot more understanding than back home! The guy behind the counter listened to me explain that I got lost and oh no I dd not  have my CC with me to claim my ticket and I was really really sorry, I just knew I would have to pay for a second ticket so I wasnt even going to argue.  was after all completely in the wrong. The next thing I knew they were refunding me on my CC and saying I could get a new ticket if i had the cash on me, I did yes, so within 5 minutes I was sorted and told to head down to immigration and the ferry. Can I just say wow, I definitely have someone watching over me!

From the ticket counter it is a relatively simple path to immigration, you follow the signs and head on through. It is really painless! Once you are through immigration you can go down to the boarding gate and wait in line for your ferry. Make sure  that you go to the counter at the gate if everyone has already started going through the door! Otherwise you wont have  a seat number oopsi! Luckily I had a super helpful official who told me to quickly grab a  sticker.

Of course being my trip there was some poor guy who lost his breakfast, before we got onto the ferry!

We boarded the ferry and it was not at all what I had expected. from the way others had been talking I had expected that the economy class we were told to buy would be super icky. It was actually rather nice, I sat at the window and we had comfy seats. The boat does obviously take forever to undock and head out of the bay into open water. There is a lot of bobbing about and a few people were definitely feeling queasy. Out we went and we got to see the stunning ocean. Most of the trip is pretty boring so be prepared with some music or  a book or even have a nap, you will see some boats and as you get closer to Macau it will start to look great. You will see the Macau skyline and it really is rather lovely.

After about an hour you will have arrived in Macau, well you still need to go through immigration that is.Immigration was so easy again though so other than waiting in line if it is busy it isn’t too bad. Once through immigration follow the people to find your way out. now here it get tricky. If you don’t have a map of Macau handy or know where you want to go you could feel a little lost. So once you go down towards the exit you will see a tourist center at one door as well as information desk. I went to the tourist center and grabbed a bunch of pamphlets and one or two mini maps. They were really helpful. I semi planned my way out and left the building, as far as the free wi-fi would take me that is. I had to try figure out which bus I wanted and what stop I would then need. When you exit you will see the road, taxi’s a bus stop and a second further bus stop (you can casino hop with these). I used the closer bus stop because I didnt want to go to the casino’s. While their command of English is not great do ask for help, I got a really helpful old guy that showed me which buses and how much to pay.

More on Macau here Macau 🙂 

On a last note, in Macau your HK Sim Card wont work, so you can ether buy a new one when you get there or just spend the day unreachable 🙂

 

 

Buses in Macau

 

Ok So before I go into what I did in Macau let us have a look at the different buses and the routes. 

I got most of this information from http://www.chinatouristmaps.com.

Macau Bus lines cover almost all the attractions and hotels on the Macau Peninsular and the main tourist spots. The bus routes operate on a one-way circuit around the city. You must have the exact coins before getting on a bus. For the trip within the Macau Peninsular, the fare is 2.5 MOP$.

Bus Nos. 21, 21A, 25, 26 and 26A run between the Macau Peninsular and islands of Taipa and Coloane
Bus Nos. 11, 22, 28A, 33 and 34 run between the Macau Peninsular and island of Taipa.
API is a special line plying between the Macau International Airport on the island of Taipa and the Macau Peninsular

For detailed bus route info of TRANSMAC, please click busroute

Have a look at the map,it highlights the locations of all tourist attractions with pictures and hotels, streets.

For a larger version click:maps

Bus-Routes-of-Macao-City

 

 

Macau

Well here we go.

After getting onto the bus I had to keep an eye out for the correct stop, as usual I didn’t know what that was. Luckily I had a kind old lady who spoke English sitting next to me and she saw me checking out the map trying to figure out my stop and told me which one to get off at 🙂

I headed to Senado Square and started my touristy trek. I took a few pics here but there were a lot of mainland tourists so it was really tricky. Actually that was a problem all day. They literally stand and take like 15 minutes just to take a photo at one place. It was super annoying trying to get photo’s of everything but having other people shoving or walking in front of the camera as you take a shot.

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Random apple in the square…. The apple got a lot of selfie attention….

I meandered around the different streets here and found a cute little fountain on my way to Cathedral square. Before finding the fountain I walked passed an old house with a sign on it and decided to look through it. It was the Mandarin house and I found it full of character, and history. The house is full of antiques such as wooden Chinese screens, I also saw a lot of street food, but I was not willing to try it. They have far too many spices on most of their food. I did however go for a yummy Portuguese egg tart.

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Up from the fountain I walked up the little hill and found a nice spot by a larger fountain by Cathedral square. I can tell you that at this stage I was so hot and already getting sunburnt. I wish I had been smart enough to take a hat with me! I wanted to go look at a church I found but they were in service so it was not open to the public. So instead I just took a few pics and headed towards St Paul’s Cathedral, I headed back the way I had come and walked towards the next spot.

I continued my touristy trek and went up to St Paul’s Cathedral which was lovely.

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Friendship statue

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I decided not to walk up the steps but took the hill instead.Behind this there is also a crypt where you can cool down a little and see some old bones. Not to  far from the Cathedral you will see a hill and a lot of green trees just inviting you to enjoy their shade. I went that way and saw a set of steep stairs that ascends to the interior of the old Portuguese fort. I took that route the second time because I wanted to see where it went.My first time up I wasn’t sure where I was going, I was just following the signs for the Museum and then kept walking to see what else there was.

Monte Forte (Fortaleza do Monte)

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I walked around the canons and looked at the view for a bit and went to see a few more areas.

After the Fortress I went all the way back down to the Cathedral and had a look around for a temple I had found on the map.The Na Tcha Temple is next to the Cathedral, when you walk up the steps towards the ruins  and go to the left of it. The Temple was built in  1888, making it one of Macau’s younger temples and is in use at the moment. While it was ok to take pics of the outside, they do not like one taking pics inside. It really is very small though. Next to the temple is a tiny sort of museum that is super air-conditioned and has some antiques in glass cases.

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A few other places that are good to see are:

St Dominic’s Church,Old Protestant graveyard and A Ma Temple.Have a look around the entrance to the graveyard and you will see a lovely garden as well. I went through that and it had people dancing in it, once you go deeper into the shade and the hills.

Macau is lovely, the architecture and the ruins are stunning to see. I was there for several hours and I really enjoyed myself. I wont write all about the places I visited as I did go to about 30 different ones 🙂

For those of you who have been,what was your favourite thing to see in Macau?