Hong Kong/Macao itinerary

Feb 1st, 2004, 07:15 AM
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Hong Kong/Macao itinerary

We are flying into Hong Kong in early March, arriving Tuesday at 8:20 pm and departing Wednesday of the next week at 12:15 pm.

The books I am reading say we should see Macao, and preferably stay there a night, but I'm not certain if the local transportation would allow us to get there immediately upon arrival, or to depart from there in time to catch our return flight, allowing for the contingencies of the plane being late, or my getting lost. We are going to Macao for the scenery and food, not the gambling, so perhaps the overnight stay is not necessary.

Please offer advice on how best to arrange this. Thanks.
clevelandbrown is offline  
Feb 1st, 2004, 10:14 AM
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The TurboJet Ferry will takes approx 1 hour to reach Macau see www.turbojet.com.hk for details. Macau is mainland China so you'll need a Visa (depends on your Nationality, but US needs once).

Macau is interesting, but IMHO not the "must see" that its made out to be in some of the tour books. The good news is that you can easily make your plans once you're in HK and that will allow you to visit Macau if you feel you've exhausted the best of HK, without having to go if you want more time in HK.
cjbryant is offline  
Feb 1st, 2004, 03:38 PM
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The overnight stay in Macau is really not necessary. I wouldn't overnight there on arrival day or the night before departure from Hong Kong: it would just make for a very long day.

Macau is a Special Administrative Region like Hong Kong. I made a day trip there on Dec. 13 with my U.S. passport and no visa (i.e. no China visa required). I went for the gambling (Macau Jockey Club) which was great. The place didn't look too scenic.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2004, 01:06 AM
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To spend 6 days in Hong Kong is a bit long. Macau or Shengzhen are another option. Both can be done on a day return. Macau - 45 minutes to 1 hour journey by turbojet (approx HK$150 one way Shengzhen - 30 minutes train from Hunghom Kowloon Station (HK$33 one way). You can try the traditional Portugeese food in Macau, but not much to see - if you are looking for scenery you may be disappointed. Shengzhen is like a hugh sunday market full of all kinds of imitated products. You must bargain and watch your pocket carefully.

llee is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2004, 06:09 AM
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A few thoughts on your post;

1. Macau is not hard to get to. It is not necessary to stay for the night, as the ferries run all night, and you could have dinner on Macau quite late and still get hydrofoil back to HK. However, if you wanted to stay the night, there is a nice Westin on the water on one of the quieter, greener islands, and a very nice hotel in town in an old Portuguese fort. See below.

2. Macau tends to be very crowded on weekends (for racing and gambling) so I would suggest maybe going on Thursday, Friday or Monday.

3. If you are US citizen, you do not need a visa to visit Macau unless your visit is for MORE than 30 days. See the Macau Government home page at http://www.macau.gov.mo.

4. Macau consists of the city on the peninsula and two islands (Taipa and Coloane) linked by a causeway. The ferry piers are in the city, this is also where most of the casinos are. There are some interesting parts of the old Portuguese town to see in the city, including the famous steps of the cathedral. There are several temples worth a visit as well. You can do a self-guided walking tour of the various areas, take a look at http://www.cityguide.gov.mo/tg/walk/macau_list_e.htm There are some good antique shops in the city as well.

5. On Taipa and Coloane (esp Coloane), there is much less of a city feel, and there are some nice beaches and parks. A lot of people don't see these green and quiet parts of Macau when they come to the city for the day or go right to the racetrack on Taipa. There is a Westin on the beach on Colane which is where I would stay if I were going for a night. Take a look at starwood.com.
The Westin Resort Macau
1918 Estrada De Hac Sa

6. There are also several good Portuguese restaurants in Macau, including Fernando's, (9 Hac Sa Beach, Hac Sa, Coloane, Phone: (853)-882-531) and Os Gatos (Avenida da Republica, Phone: 853-378-111 Fax: 853-552-170.) These two restaurants are the reason many Hong Kong expats go to Macau for a day of antique shopping and then a great dinner or lunch. The Os Gatos has a lovely ambience and is located in the Pousada De Sao Tiago Macau, a 5 star hotel which would be another good choice if you stayed overnight.

7. A fun way to explore Macau, esp Taipa and Coloane is to rent a "moke", which is like a motorized golf cart. You can rent them near the ferry piers. Getting out of the city is not difficult, and there are very few roads on Taipa and Coloane so you can't really get lost. You can rent them at the Avis car rental office in Macau, take a look at avis.com.

8. I think you will find plenty to do in Hong Kong in 6 days, you will have time to go to some of the outlying islands (Lamma, Lantau) even if you don't decide to go to Macau. March is a great time of year weather-wise as the real heat and humidity have not arrived. If you like hiking (easy or strenuous) there are many great trails on the island and the mainland. Run a search here, or write back if you are interested and I can suggest hikes and websites, guides.

9. I am not a fan of Shenzhen at all. Unless you want to buy copy Prada bags, there is no reason to go there, IMO, as there is little of cultural interest there; it was farmer's fields until about 10-15 years ago when it became a manufacturing center as part of an incentive program by the PRC.
Cicerone is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2004, 07:09 AM
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Cicerone, great post on Macau! As you may remember, I'm taking a friend to Hong Kong for a week in April. I haven't decided whether to take a day trip to Macau, but I'm printing out your info in case we decide to go.
Kathie is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2004, 07:41 AM
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I was in Macao last year and would agree that the overnight is not necessary. But I want to add that I wish I had had more time in the old "antique" section scrounging around the shops. A step back in time. I regret I didn't buy the beautiful birdcages I saw in one shop or splurge and have that rosewood chest shipped back (with goodies inside...)I did go to a nice Portugese restaurant and apologize I don't remember the name. Order a pitcher of sangria for a relaxing afternoon.(It is quite poplular and someone I bet on this site will know it. You drive past the famous egg tart bakery...) We had a car and driver who took us there as it is a way out of town. It was pretty to take a drive and see outside the city. The casinos are not what you might expect if you have been to Las Vegas. Personally 5 minutes checking them out was good enough for me. The smoke is unbearable. I did love the local ginger pudding!
kismet is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2004, 08:04 AM
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I believe Kismit is referring to Fernando's.
Cicerone is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2004, 08:08 AM
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Shenzhen is China and would require a visa. Five minutes in the Lisboa Casino was good enough for me too.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2004, 05:07 PM
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I knew someone would remember for me. Fernando's, exactly. Thanks Cicerone.
kismet is offline  
Feb 9th, 2004, 04:57 PM
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Currently living in Las Vegas and considering a move to Zhuhai. It is my understanding one can live quite well in Zhuhai on $2,000 USD monthly, plus the benefit of a soon to be a very large Macau. Any comments?
bronson is offline  
Feb 9th, 2004, 05:31 PM
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US passport holders DO NOT need a visa as long as they don't stay over 30 days.


I will be in Hong Kong from FEB29-MAR07. If you are around at the same time and if you are interested in having a mini Fodor get-together, let me know.

AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Feb 9th, 2004, 07:18 PM
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No visa for Macau & HK, I know, but I was referring Shenzhen in Guangdong province as requiring a Chinese visa. Similarly, Zhuhai is China, not the Macau SAR, and would require a visa, no?

Funny to see Zhuhai mentioned here today, since just the other day I sent the following article to a friend from Taiwan:
mrwunrfl is offline  
Feb 9th, 2004, 07:23 PM
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Sorry mrwunrfl, a brain fart.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Feb 10th, 2004, 07:17 AM
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AAFF: Thanks, but we won't arrive until the evenine of March 2, and I have such a long list of things to see and do that I am having a hard time fitting it into a week, so I think I'll pass on the GTG this time.
clevelandbrown is offline  
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