THE THOUSAND SIDES OF MACAU
In a nutshell An unmissable full-day excursion dedicated to visiting Macau, the special administrative region of China separated from Hong Kong by the Pearl River estuary. A journey into the history of the city that used to be a former Portuguese territory and now characterised by a mixture of cultural influences and often described as “Las Vegas of the East” due to its many casinos. We delve into the history and tradition of Macau with its temples, cathedrals, squares and the historic city centre declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, as well as into the modern side of this glistening city of a thousand faces.
Good to know
- Transfer to the ferry terminal in Hong Kong: visa and passport check
- Ferry from Hong Kong to Macau
- Stop for photos at the statue of Kun Iam
- Stop for photos at the A-Ma Taoist temple
- Delicious buffet lunch at the Macau Tower
- Portas do Cerco: border between Macau and continental China
- Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral: UNESCO heritage
- Senado Square with mosaic floor
- Free time for shopping
- Macao casino: free time
- Transfer to the Macau ferry terminal: immigration checks
- Return to Hong Kong in the evening
- We set off for our excursion on a coach headed to the Hong Kong ferry terminal where we pass the immigration check with our passport and visa.
- After going through all the checks, we board the ferry and, after around one hour, arrive in the charming city of Macau.
- After going through another passport check, we get on a coach and set off on our tour to discover the city.
- The first stop is the statue of Kun Iam where we stop for a few photos. This bronze statue is 20 metres high and emerges, similarly to the Virgin Mary, from a 7 metre lotus flower. It is probably the only statue in the world depicting the Goddess of Mercy that does not look towards the sea.
- We make another stop for photos in front of the A-Ma Taoist temple, one of the most ancient temples with over 500 years of history declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and dedicated to A-Ma, protective deity of sailors and fishermen.
- Before continuing our tour of Macao, we reach the Macau Tower where we enjoy a delicious buffet lunch. The tower is 338 m tall and it is similar to the Sky Tower in Auckland. Its observatory at 223 metres above ground offers breathtaking 360° views over the city.
- After lunch, we move on to Portas do Cerco, built by the Portuguese in the 19th century to mark the border after a battle with the Chinese army during which the city governor died. It now marks the border separating Macau from continental China.
- We now visit another important sight: the ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral, erected in the 16th century in the former Portuguese colony and of which only the façade and grand staircase boasting 68 steps remain. These ruins, featuring many Baroque statues, suggest that the majestic cathedral, which was almost entirely destroyed by a typhoon and a fire, was the largest Christian monument to be ever erected in Asia. In 2005, the ruins were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with Macau’s entire historical city centre.
- We then reach Senado Square, also known as “Largo do Senado” and one of the main and largest squares in Macau. Its name derives from the fact that the square has been located in front of the Leal Senado Building since the Ming dynasty. It truly shows the Portuguese dominion due to the buildings but also the mosaic floor in a wave pattern that recalls the city of Sintra in Portugal.
- We have some free time available to buy some souvenirs in the area before reaching the last stop on our tour: one of the many casinos thanks to which Macau is known as “Las Vegas of the East”. Macau's casinos employ around 20% of the population, but the locals rarely visit them, in fact most of the guests come from China and Hong Kong. * Here, we have some time available to try our luck before returning to Hong Kong.
- After visiting the casino, we return by coach to the ferry terminal where we go through immigration checks again and board the ferry taking us back to Hong Kong in the evening. Once there, another coach takes us back to the ship.
Good to know
- Guests must have their passport with them in order to take part in the excursion.
- We recommend bringing local currency.