Macau, a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, is located across the Pearl River estuary from Hong Kong and is Asia’s largest destination for gambling. A colonial old city makes it a charming destination even for those who don’t plan to spend any money gambling.
How to get to Macau
The traditional way to get to Macau is via ferry from Hong Kong. So, basically travelers would fly into Hong Kong first.
Lately, Macau International Airport (MFM) has been growing into a low-cost hub in the area. It is located off Taipa island and has basic facilities. It’s not as well served as Hong Kong’s airport but there are plenty of low-cost flights from various countries in Asia (Singapore, Thailand, Philippines).
From China, you can cross to Macau on foot, using the Portas do Cerco (Barrier Gate). It is a very busy border crossing, though, so expect long waiting times. Alternatively, you can use one of the ferries from mainland China to Macau.
Macau has a subtropical climate, with hot summers and mild winters. Typhoons can be a problem from mid-summer to autumn and they often stop activities.
Jan avg temp 14C
May avg temp 26C
Jul , Aug avg temp 28C
Nov avg temp 20C
Where to stay
Hotels in Macau range from 3 stars to 5 stars and there are plenty of choices within the resorts. Should you prefer to stay further from the hustle and bustle of the gambling area, you can always find a budget hotel to cater for your needs. Alternatively , look for hostels but there aren’t too many of those, so book in advance, no matter when you visit.
What to do
Until 1999, Macau was a Portuguese territory, making it the last European colony in Asia. As a result, the colonial architecture is more visible and walking in the old city center can surely feel like walking in Europe. So put on your walking shoes and explore the architecture.
Macau Tower is the place to visit if you plan to see the city from above. Or you can try bungee jumping from the same tower.
Of course, gambling is the reason why most visitors come to Macau. Most casinos are located along the waterfront on the southern side of Macau Peninsula, but the newly developed Cotai Strip is home to the biggest casino in the world, Venetian Macao.
Don’t feel lucky in the casinos? No problem, try greyhound racing. There’s an admission fee, but if you get the winner right, you are in for a big treat.