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Jbr - Macau

Perth, Australia
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Jbr - Macau

Monday 1st October 2012

In all our years of travelling to HK, we have never gone to Macau. So this was our first trip.

We left our hotel room by 9am. Checkout and luggage storage was done very quickly.

As we were staying in Macau for 2 nights, we left our suitcases at hotel and took what we needed in our hand luggage. So glad we did, as it just made it all, so much easier. Thanks Pegusus, I would never have thought about it, if you hadn’t mentioned it.

I had prebooked tix on Cotaijet to Taipa via their web page for 10.45am trip.

Caught a taxi to jetty where ferries departed from. We had to locate the shop where we could exchange our e-tickets (printed copy from home) to a real ticket. Bit confusing as so many travel agents around. Went through immigration quickly and sitting waiting by 9.45.

Cotaijet rep approached us and told us about the stand-by line. If next ferry leaving isn’t full and you are in the standby line, you can get on an earlier ferry. We waited maybe 5mins in this line and then they told us to go through as we would be on the ferry leaving at 10am. Quite surprised as today was a public holiday and I thought it would be very crowded.

I was looking forward to staring out of the ferry window and enjoying the sights. What a disappointment as they have signs painted on all the windows and you couldn’t see a thing out of the window. So I had a nana nap instead.

Immigration at Taipa was quick. I was glad we hadn’t taken our luggage, as it as a little bit of a walk from ferry to immigration, over not very good pathways. There is a new terminal being built, so the one they are using now is only temporary.

After immigration, there are hotel reps holding up signs saying which hotel they were from. They escorted us to the coach going to the Sheraton Hotel.

Arrived at Sheraton Hotel, just after 11am. They let us into our room early as it was available.

We booked this hotel as they were having an opening special. Told us it was a soft opening (meaning that the hotel may not be entirely finished – but it was). This hotel is so beautiful. I don’t normally stay at expensive hotels, but I must admit I did enjoy the luxury. Still having some teething problems as our room was not cleaned the next day, but as they give you 4 towels each day, it wasn’t a problem for us. The beds were so comfortable, that I could have stayed in bed all day. We had the most amazing view, especially at night looking towards the Venetian.

Walked across the road to the Venetian hotel and casino. Thought we would go on a gondola ride through the mall. Cost Mop 108 each. But decided against it as it was just a short ride, and corny, when they start singing to you and everyone else in the mall is watching. The whole ceiling of this place is painted and it looks like you are under an outdoor sky. Even the clouds move. Had a meal at the food court. Not impressed by the food. Tasteless, actually mine & hubbies meal was horrible (from 2 different outlets).

Found a McDonalds inside the shopping centre. The shopping mall is huge and I think it would be quicker to list what they don’t have compared to what they do have. As we exited Venetian, we came out of a different exit to the way we went in. Asked around, but nobody could explain to us how to get back to Sheraton. Eventually one of the coach reps pointed to a Venetian coach and told us to get on it as it goes to Sheraton. Sign on bay said “to Cotai Strip”. ( If you find yourself in this situation, catch the coach that goes back to the Taipai ferry and then change to a coach that goes to your hotel.)

The coach from the Venetian took us to the Macau Ferry Terminal, so we had to get onto another coach to get back to the Sheraton. It was an express coach, so we couldn’t get off anywhere. The Venetian doesn’t have a very good system for their coaches. Its all a bit confusing and misleading for tourists and apparently for the staff who work there. When we went to the Galaxy the next day, all their coaches have signs and allocated bays. And someone who spoke English to point you in the right direction, not that it was needed.

You can walk all the way from the Sheraton Hotel, through the Sands Hotel and into the Holiday Inn via a ground floor walkway, with shops all the way. Mostly expensive jewellery shops. Guess they want to get your casino winnings off you before you can make it back to your room and spend the money elsewhere. Lol. Once you exit the Holiday Inn, you walk past the Conrad Hotel, cross the road and you are at the the “City of Dreams” complex that has The Crown Towers, Hard Rock Hotel & the Grand Hyatt Macau.

We had tickets to the 8pm show of “The House of Dancing Water”, at the City of Dreams. This show is Fantastic, Marvellous, Exciting, Thrilling, Sensational, Spectacular (get the idea, that we really enjoyed it). I talked hubby into going as he wasn’t keen on it. Afterwards he actually asked if its on the next night, can we go again. It can be loosely described as a sort of “Cirque du soleil” show, but on steroids and much more thrilling. I had booked the tickets via their web page from home, (as I knew it was a public holiday in Macau that day). We had B reserve tickets costing mop 1360 for the two of us (approx A$170).

Whatever you do, don’t buy the cheaper tickets for the first 5 rows, as you will get very wet.

I would recommend that everyone go to this show, if they can. Suitable for all ages, including young kids. It is so quick moving, that I dared not blink, in case I missed something.

I am still wondering how they did some of the things that they did, and how the floor changed from a deep pool to a solid floor in a matter of seconds (and it wasn’t via another floor, that slid over the top of the pool, as the stage floor rose from the pool, sometimes just in sections, but then the water just disappeared). Amazing.

Walked back to the hotel along with the other excited people who had just been to the show.

Tuesday 2nd October

Walked to “City of Dreams” to watch the “Dragons Treasure” show at, The Bubble. Cost mop50 each for a 15 min show. Also another show well worth the effort, but you do get a sore neck from watching all the action take place on the dome shaped ceiling. Very well done. Can also recommend that you go to this.

Caught the free City of Dreams shuttle bus to the Sintra hotel in Macau.

Walked around Senado Square. Extremely crowded. But we found some market stalls selling souvenirs and other goodies, that were interesting. I much prefer market type stalls than shopping in a shopping centre. Did the usual sightseeing things in this area. Found a croc shop and went in to buy a pair of thongs as my shoes were killing me. Cost Mop 209.

By this time, I had frankly had enough of the crowds. The place was so crowded. I was getting bruised and sore from constantly being bumped into. Unfortuately, I had booked HK & Macau at one of the busiest times of the year. Mid-Autumn Festival, 2 public holidays and the start of the school holidays for the people from Mainland China.

Walked past Grand Lisboa & Lisboa, to get to the Wynn Hotel & Casino. Watched the “Performing Lake” and went inside to see the “Tree of Prosperity”. Walked to the MGM hotel & casino, didn’t go inside as we saw a coach going to the “Cotai Strip”, where the Sheraton, Sands & Holiday Inn are located and we wanted to get back to enjoy the pools at the Sheraton.

Well a series of pools, which gave you the feeling that you were in your very own private pool as there lots of them. Very well designed. Finally time to relax and put our feet up for a while.

That evening we caught a taxi to Taipa Village, mop32, dropped us off at Souvenir & Restaurant Street. I really wanted some chillied crabs, Portuguese style, but I couldn’t find anyone who spoke English to tell them I don’t want them too hot (as in lots of chilli). Nothing else appealed to me, so we walked towards the Galaxy Hotel and Casino. Stopped at a Portuguese Restaurant along the way. Meal was good, but pricey and very small portions.

Went to see the Crystal Lobby at the Galaxy. Caught a free shuttle bus from Galaxy to Sheraton. Well organised and sign posted directions for the buses.

Time to pack up as we go back to HK in the morning.

I loved Macau. Pity is was so crowded as we didn’t do as much touring and sightseeing as we had planned. (Seems like a good excuse to go back another day). But next time I would stay in Macau and not Taipa. Taipa is very pretty and clean. No visible shops from the street, only once you enter a hotel complex (a bit like Putrajaya in Malaysia). We are not gamblers, so casinos did not appeal to us.

I like busy & vibrant streets and shops and restaurants to walk past. Sitting near a window or outside a restaurant and people watch. I am describing exactly what Macau is like.

My highlight has to be the “The House of the Dancing Water Show”. Pity it wasn’t on the 2nd night we were in Taipa, as we would have definitely gone again.

Cheers. Danuta.

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1. Re: Jbr - Macau

Another great report Danuta. Glad you enjoyed Macau. It is very hard to compare it to HK but we wouldn't visit HK without visiting Macau as well.

We couldn't believe how busy it gets at night around the Lisboa area, compared to daytime.

The historical area in Macau is unique and I hope you do get to go back there and explore a little more.

We didn't think much of the food court at the venetian either but did enjoy the food court upstairs at the City of Dreams

Did you get to see any of the fireworks?

Perth, Australia
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2. Re: Jbr - Macau

No didnt see the fireworks as we went to the house of the dancing water that night.

That was way better than any fireworks.

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3. Re: Jbr - Macau

Another fabulous report with so much details, we went to Macau years ago but after reading your report it's definitely on the cards for a future trip and i've taken note to stay in Macau and not in Taipa.

Perth, Australia
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4. Re: Jbr - Macau

Chrella, you might like Taipa. For us it was a bit too sterile, just like Putrajaya is in Malaysia. Im not sure if you have been there.

Its all very pretty as its designed that way.

But we arnt gamblers or high end shoppers, so the biggest draw card for Taipa is the Casinos and shopping.

The casinos certainly have a lot of atmosphere, but out on the streets, its very quiet, and you see very few people.

Whatever you do, make certain you go see "the house of the dancing waters". People say its a bit pricey, but I just bought tickets for a "Pink" concert and that cost A$160 per person. We paid A$170 for the dancing water tickets, but it was for two people.

Hubby and I were just talking about it and he said that he would def want to see the show again. Its that thrilling and quick, that you miss out on some bits.

I would like to go back in a few years, as we didnt do as much sight seeing as I had planned. So I was a bit disappointed. But the upside was that we got to sit and swim in the wonderful pools at the Sheriton hotel.

I must admit I enjoy a place the 2nd time round. The 1st time you are rushed as you want to pack as much into a day as possible (esp when you are only there for 2 days). But the 2nd time, you know the basic lay-out of a place and you have seen some things on the first trip, so I find it much more relaxing.

But avoid weekends and public holidays & Mainland China school holiday time. We copped all 3.

Sending you a PM.

Cheers. Danuta.

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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5. Re: Jbr - Macau

Danuta, I don't think you actually made it to Taipa Village!! " pretty, clean and sterile" are none of the adjectives I'd apply to Taipa - "crowded, buzzy, packed with shops , restaurants & people"- yes!, I would always recommend staying in Taipa vs Cotai Strip - now that is sterile!!

Perth, Australia
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6. Re: Jbr - Macau

You are correct. We did indeed stay on the Cotai Strip.

And we did go to Taipa village to look around. I enjoyed this village very much. Ate at a portuguese restaurant. Then walked to the Galaxy hotel complex.

7. Re: Jbr - Macau

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