My brother took me to Macau as a birthday treat! We stayed for the whole weekend, however, we only took a day to visit the tourist attractions around Macau. Travel Tip: There’s a lot of free things to do in Macau. 😉
How to get to Macau?
We woke up early to catch a boat ride to Macau. From TST station, we transferred at Hong Kong Central interchange to Island Line. We alight at Sheung Wan Station and took exit D which led us to Hong Kong – Macau Ferry Terminal inside the Shun Tak Centre. It took us a while to realise that we are already at the Shun Tak Centre and had to take several escalators up.
We bought the next boat ride of TurboJet. Since it was a weekend, ticket prices are much higher than on a weekday. We passed through the immigration and waited for boarding. It started to pour before we got on the boat which made our ride a little bumpy. The boat ride took longer than the usual because of the weather conditions.
How to get around Macau?
When we arrived at the Outer Macau Ferry Terminal, we cross to the bus terminal through the underground passage. There are a lot of free shuttle buses that can you take anywhere around Macau. We rode the Hotel Royal free shuttle bus which is the nearest hotel for our first destination.
From Hotel Royal, we walked towards the Guia Fortress. On the way, we didn’t realize that we had to go uphill and weren’t prepared for it. We wore the wrong the shoes, but the trip must go on. At the base of the fortress, we were greeted by runners since there were Fitness Trail around the fortress.
The way to the top was a steep slope. When we reached the lighthouse, you get a panoramic view of downtown Macau and the bay.
The Guia Fortress was built after an unsuccessful attempt by the Netherlands to capture colonial Portuguese Macau from Portugal. Fun Fact: Macau was colonized by the Portuguese Empire from 1557 – 1999.
The Guia Fortress houses the Chapel of Our Lady of Guia (Capela de Nossa Senhora da Guia) and the lighthouse.
The inside of the Chapel is quite fragile; the administration allocated a walkway and barriers for the people not to get too close on the walls. Photo taking was also prohibited.
After that, our next stop was the Monte fort. The only way we know how to get there cheap was to walk. It took us a while to find it and study the map, well, my brother did cause I suck at directions. Haha. On the way to the Fort, we took a lot of stairs and ramp going up since the Fort is on top of another hill. We weren’t able to get around the fort cause we were already drained from almost getting lost and it was hot that day.
Monte Fort a.k.a Mount Fortress was a restricted military facility until 1965 when the barracks were converted into a weather observatory. It opened as an attraction site in 1996 when the observatory moved their operations to Taipa.
The Museu de Macau could be found on top of Monte Fort. We went inside to get more details, but unfortunately, there was an admission fee and we weren’t able to budget for it.
We decided to skip and move on to the Ruins of St. Paul. The Ruins of St. Paul could be found at the bottom of the Monte Fort on the other side.
The place was beautiful and insanely popular with the tourist. There were a lot of people; it almost looked like the Sinulog Festival held here in Cebu. After taking a few photos, we left and went looking for the Senado square.
On the way, we found a lot of food shops and some street food but we didn’t have enough time to get a taste of them. We were already tired and really want to get some rest. The humidity in the city and crowd was draining us.
Before we reached the Senado Square, we stopped by at the St. Dominic’s church to give thanks for all the blessings we have received.
The Senado square is surrounded by colourful vintage colonial buildings.
After hours of walking around Macau, we took a break and tried to figure out how to get to our hotel. It took us half an hour to find where the free shuttle bus stop. For anyone going to Senado Square from Galaxy Macau and vice versa, take the San Ma Lo – Galaxy Macau bus. San Ma Lo Bldg. is located at 62 Av. de Dom João IV, Macau.
After a long day around Macau, we were ready to check-in at our hotel room. We stayed at one of Galaxy Macau’s five-star hotel and casino, the Galaxy Hotel. We got the deluxe room with the pool view.
Our room had the view of the other hotels and the grand resort deck and just below us was the skytop wave pool. The bathroom had a huge bath tub.
We had complimentary foods and drinks. We marveled at our view for awhile before trying out the King Size bed. The bed was so comfy and inviting that we couldn’t resist slept for a bit before we our dinner!
Later that night, we walked across to the Venetian Hotel.
The interior was majestic; they replicated the famous canal and architectural icons of Venice, Italy. The place was so bright, it felt like it was still daytime. We didn’t try the gondola ride though, which was okay with us. After taking some photos, I wanted to go to the mini eiffel tower, which was just right beside the Venetian Hotel, but we didn’t. We were tired and had a very long day, so we went back to the hotel room.
We woke up early and ate our breakfast. (We brought some cup noodles from Hong Kong.) After breakfast, we took a swim at the Skytop rapids and the wave pool. By noon, we checked-out and left our bags at the baggage counter so we can go to our last stop before we leave Macau.
We went to the highest tower in Macau, the Macau Tower. There wasn’t any free shuttle bus from Galaxy Macau that could take us back and forth to Macau Tower, we took a cab instead which costs roughly around 50 MOP (one way).
The Macau Tower has a staggering height of 338m and is mostly known for its daring tower adventures such as the bungy jump, the highest commercial bungy jump in the world according to the Guinness World Records. Aside from their tower adventures, they have a number of shopping stores and dining experience at the tower.
Before we had our lunch, we went to the observation deck.
Since it was my brother who planned everything for our Macau trip, I wasn’t able to research about the Macau tower. I was a bit surprised when we step into the glass-fronted elevator and watched Macau below me. (As I mentioned in the previous blog, I have an irrational fear of heights so I had to keep my cool because there were a lot of us inside the elevator.)
We were actually looking for the 360° Café and we thought we can go to the restaurant afterwards. We roamed around the observation deck and the adventure deck where we watched the risk-takers jumped off from the edge.
We went back to the observation deck to figure out which elevator would get us to the 360° Café. It turns out, we need to go back down at the basement and exit then take another elevator which was on the first floor which will take us to 360° Café.
Part two of my brother’s birthday treat is a lunch buffet at 360° Café. It is Macau’s highest and only 360° revolving restaurant. It gave us a 360° view of Macau while we were enjoying our lunch. *Sorry for the lack of photos, I was too hungry to even bother taking photos. ✌️
After our lunch, we went back to the hotel to grab our bags and head to the ferry terminal for our trip back to Hong Kong.
Macau was wonderful, it still amazes me how they built the city around their beautiful rock formations and hills, but more especially because it was my brother’s gift for me. So a huge thank you, brother! For an awesome birthday gift. 🙂