Despite being only a short bus or ferry ride away, Macau can seem worlds apart with its own distinct architecture and culture. With the opening of the new mega bridge, which connects Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macau, it is now possible to spend a day in our sister SAR for under HK$250, making it an excellent option for a day trip! A one-way ticket across the bridge costs HK$65 and takes around 40 minutes. Plus, you don’t have to waste time waiting for your ferry.
The first thing you should do when you arrive is get yourself a Macau Pass card, which can be bought from various supermarkets and convenience stores. Similar to an Octopus card, the pass will save you a few bucks when travelling on public buses and can be used in some stores in Macau.
For breakfast, you can’t go wrong with a Macanese egg tart, which is possibly one of the best things you can have there! They are cheap at about MOP$10 (about HK$10) each, and can be found on practically every corner. Afterwards, make your way to the bottom of Guia Hill, where you can hop on a cable car to the top. It takes 80 seconds each way, and a return ticket will only set you back a mere MOP$3. Up top, you can take in a stunning panoramic view of the city, and a bird’s-eye view of Macau’s largest public park, Jardim da Flora.
When you’re ready for lunch, head to Senado Square (Senate Square), where you can appreciate the beautiful architecture and tiled pavements that showcase Portugal’s influence on the city. Around the back of the square, there is a small little alley called Travessa Da Sé, which has many little local restaurants. We were able to pick up some noodles and a drink for about MOP$40 at a local hole-in-the-wall.
Next, make your way to the Cotai Strip where you can see a different side of Macau, filled with flashing lights and modern buildings. You can look around the hundreds of shops in the Venetian, which is the world’s biggest hotel by floor area. If shopping is not your thing, head over to Studio City, where you can take photos around the New York-inspired indoor streets.
After a day of breathtaking views and walking around picturesque streets, Hac Sa Beach is the best place to go to wind down. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of bioluminescence (light produced by living organisms) in the water.
If you start to feel peckish, Fernando’s is possibly Macau’s most iconic restaurant, and is known for its home-cooked Macanese food and calm atmosphere on the beach. The best part is, Macau is so close that you don’t need to break the bank for an overnight stay at one of the city’s lavish hotels; you can easily get all these activities done in time to catch the last bus or ferry back to Hong Kong.
It’s amazing how much you can get done when you’ve got a solid plan!