Macau is interesting to say the least. Although it has casinos that will rival those found in Vegas, it also has a rich history that makes is a popular vacation spot for the non-gambling crowd. Here is a quick guide to getting to and around Macau.
Getting to Macau is easy since a ferry from Hong Kong o Macau leaves every 15 minutes. Once at the ferry terminal, you can buy your ticket for the next available ferry. You’ll need to make sure you bring your passport since you’ll have to go through immigration.
The ferry ride takes an hour and once you arrive in Macau, you’ll have a few options to get into town. You’ll be approached by multiple people trying to sell you tours of the city or you can go via taxis or buses. However, if you want to go the free route, you can take the multiple free casino shuttles that will pick you up from the ferry terminal and drop you off at their respective casinos.
I took the Venetian shuttle first since it was the furthest and I wanted to eat at Lord Stowe’s café so I could try one of their famous Portuguese egg tarts. From there, I took the shuttle back to the ferry terminal and took a separate shuttle to the Wynn so I could walk over to the major sites. I’d say it was about a 10 min walk from the casino over to St. Paul’s ruins.
Look. like it or not, this is a huge tourist site full of tourist buses. Being there during the day means you’re going to battle all the tourist who come visit the same sites you’re trying to see. My only advice would be to come either before or after the buses do but you’ll also run into the problem of either the free shuttles not running or paying extra for the night ferry that also runs less frequently at night (I think every 30 mins).
If you’re a gambler, one thing to note is that the games are drastically different from the ones you’ll find in Vegas or any casino in the US. Here, you’ll see that baccarat is the main table game. It’s also heavily featured in the slots area as well as a hybrid slots/dealer game where a dealer deals the cards but players are sitting at a slot like kiosk and placing bets while watching the cards being dealt from a screen. I would estimate that 90% of the gaming was strictly baccarat and I didn’t see a single blackjack or craps table. I MAY have seen a roulette table but that would be about it. I did see a poker room in the back if that’s more your style, but I didn’t see a sportsbook either.
I will say I’m glad I went to see and walk around Macau. However, I don’t think I’d have any reason to go back. At the risk of sounding like a big baby, I really dislike crowds and I didn’t find that too enjoyable. However your experience might be different and it’s certainly a nice way to spend a day away from Hong Kong if you’re in the mood.