During our recent trip to Hong Kong we jumped on a ferry and spent a day taking in the sights of Macau. Macau is often considered to be the Vegas of the East and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. Here’s my list of top things to do in Macau with kids.
Macau is a one hour ferry ride from Hong Kong and is well worth the visit. I booked the Turbo Jet online 6 weeks before our trip. They only allow you to book 6 weeks prior and you are still required to pick up your tickets from the ferry terminal. I booked economy tickets for 5 and the cost was $182HKD (approx. $25AUD) and return was slightly more expensive at $194HKD ($26AUD). I did look at going super class and it was approximately double the price and as we have 5 of us I didn’t see the extra expense as justified. The kids were pretty much half of an adult ticket. Give yourself plenty of time as it can be a bit manic at the Kowloon Ferry Terminal and once you collect your tickets and then find your way it can be pretty time consuming. We cut it fine this time, thinking we knew it all as we were there last year and we ended up running for the ferry! Be mindful that ferries leave half hourly and there is no boarding call, you are either there or you are not!
The ferry is a hydrofoil and I have found it to be a smooth crossing but if you are real susceptible to sea sickness it might be worth taking a motion sickness tablet just to be sure it doesn’t ruin you day. I found that one hour in manageable and they disembark rather quickly so you don’t get much time to think about it. You will be required to go through immigration upon departure in Hong Kong and again in Macau. It does move pretty quickly though.
I had a driver organised that I met last year. I had contacted the agent via email and he also organised a greeter to meet us at the ferry terminal and take us to Mario our driver. This ensured that the day ran smoothly and we were able to usher the kids straight out of the ferry terminal and into a waiting vehicle. Mario speaks great English so conversing with him was very easy. My sister and I had a quick chat with him and outlined what we wanted to do and off we went. Simples!
From the ferry terminal we went straight to the ruins of St Pauls Cathedral, it was a Saturday and pretty busy. The weather was warm and muggy and we spent about 90 mins there. This gave us enough time to look around the ruins and go up and have a look around the fort. There are great views from the fort where you can see the other side of life away from the glitz and glamour of all the casinos, where new meets old almost. We could have done with a bit more time there as we were unable to wander down the shopping strip below the ruins which was a bit of a shame.
We then had a drive around to show the boys and the kids the Portuguese influence in the architecture and the old streets. The big boys (husbands) had then decided that they were going to do a bungy jump off Macau Tower, its the highest bungy in the world at 233m. We went straight to Macau Tower to find out if we had enough time to fit it in. They advised the cost to be close to $500AUD and this included the jump, video and photo’s and of course the complimentary t shirt. There was a surprising amount of people wishing to make the death wish so we were advised we could pay and book a time and return then so that we didn’t have to wait. So we did that to ensure we utilised our time effectively as we had to return to Hong Kong that evening.
Whilst we were waiting we headed off to Lord Stowes for a famous egg tart, its a bit of a drive away and takes you past some of the new and currently being built casino’s. There are currently 35 casinos in Macau, not in one strip like Vegas but all over the 2 islands. We went past the new Crown Casino and it looked remarkably like the one here in Melbourne. Mario said there is no indication that the construction of casinos was going to stop. Lord Stowes is on the other side of Taipa Island so we got another look at another part of the island. That side of the island reminded me very much of how Vietnam was 11 years ago when we went there. The egg tart was beautiful and luckily enough the kids didn’t like theirs so I got a couple extra! We bought one for Mario too!
We then headed back to Macau Tower for the jump. The jump was booked for 5pm so we headed back about 4pm. We were the top of the Macau Tower at 4.30pm and the boys were getting harnessed up! I’m not going to say much about it as Craig is going to do a guest post telling you all about it! Best he does as I don’t see the thrill in jumping off a perfectly stable building! And paying a motza for the opportunity!!Rant over……!! I have added a photo for you.
Thrill seeking over, we headed to Miramar for a traditional Portuguese dinner. The kids all tried snails for the first time and I was really proud of them for trying. Alannah had a bit of trouble swallowing it but she put up a stellar performance! Lets just say they didn’t go back for seconds. The restaurant is on the beach near the Grand Hyatt and the food is amazing so well worth the visit.
Mario picked us up from the restaurant and took at to The Venetian Casino. My sister and I had been there before and knew the kids would be absolutely gobsmacked then they walked in and saw the gondola and inside. True to form they stood there and said ‘how can it be daylight in here and dark outside!’ Love it. We had them going for a while until Alannah stood and had a really good look and could see the join marks in the ceiling. We didn’t have enough time for a gondola ride which was a bit of a shame but we had a look round the shops and the boys had a flutter in the casino.
We headed back to the Macau Ferry Terminal. Mario cost us $2400HKD ($350AUD) for 9 hours and there was 7 of us so approximately $50 person. Bargain. Both times I have been to Macau I think I haven’t seen enough and this time is no different! You could easily spend a few days there and not run out of things to do. The kids loved the casino’s and we could have easily visited more as they are very family friendly. I would love to return to Macau in 5 or 10 years and see how much it has changed.
Have you been to Macau? Did I miss anything you think was awesome? Add your comments in the section below.