What do you get when you merge nine mega-cities and two regions? A combined population of over 67 million and a GDP that's predicted to reach US$4.6 trillion by 2030.
The city is of course famous for it’s casinos but also for it’s Portuguese heritage. It’s a place I quite enjoy visiting, a fusion of cultures and much more. Macau is a must visit, and here’s the top 15 hotel options based on visitor reviews and overall value.
While Las Vegas goes down the gurgler apparently Macau is becoming the new gambling mecca of the world, going by the number of veteran US casino developers who are spending big bucks here, it may be true.
The Historic Centre of Macau is probably the number one tourism attraction outside of the casinos and it’s also inscribed on the World Heritage List. Its a collection of buildings and temples that reflect the history of Macau, in particular it reflects the history of east meeting west, with most of the buildings reflecting the citys Portuguese past.
The Fishermans Wharf is a feature packed area having over 70 stores and fun attractions in the one location. For me it was worth a wander just to see recreation of a roman amphitheatre, a volcano and a Portuguese style pedestrian street.
Joining the islands of Taipa and Coloane is Cotai. This little piece of reclaimed land is home to some of Macau’s newest and most opulent hotel-casino developments. This whole area is a landmark development primarily by the US Las Vegas Sands Corp. who originally planned for seven resort hotels and casinos.
Initially, I’d only booked two nights at the Pousada Marina Infante Hotel and when I got around to asking to extend for another night, the price had doubled, bugger. So it was onto the online accommodation sites again and this time cTrip had the best deal.
Taipa Island is joined to Macau by three bridges being the Sai Van Bridge, Macau Taipa Bridge and the Friendship Bridge. Tapai and Coloane where once separate islands, but the two are have been joined as one land mass due to the land reclamation and formation of Cotai.
To get my bearings, and get a feel for Macau, I jumped on a local bus, Macau isn’t that big and after a quick look at the map either bus number 26 or 15 looks to cover a fair amount of area and buses are cheap!
Accommodation in Macau is nowhere near as cheap as the mainland, and can even be on par with western hotel prices during busy periods. After searching Hotel Club, eLong and Ctrip to find the cheapest, most reasonable hotel in Macau, at the time, Hotel Club ended up having the best deal and I stayed at the Pousada Marina Infante Hotel Macau. Accommodation in Macau is a little like Hong Kong in that you need to book in advance to get really good deals.
Macau is renowned for its casinos and their massive entertainment offerings, but the city offers a host of attractions, an insight into China’s colonial history, beautiful architecture, and villages by the beach that you won’t want to leave.
UPDATE: the ferry terminal has moved to a new, nearby building, see here for updated info.
There are multiple ways to get from Shenzhen to Macau including via bus, ferry or even a helicopter. Being in Nanshan District of Shenzhen I chose to go via the ferry at the nearby Shekou Port.