Pack your bags! Plan a Macau trip under Rs 1 lakh - Here is your complete guide to save big
As tiny as Macau may look on the map of China, it has enough for anyone visiting the city. Known for its massive casinos, Macau is a paradise for gamblers and shoppers, but offers more to tourists in form of its rich history, sightseeing, shopping and foodie delights. The city is divided into separate parts: Historic city centre in the Macau peninsula and the islands of Taipa and Coloane, with a strip of reclaimed land in between these two islands known as Cotai. The latter part is where all major casinos are located, though there are a few in Macau peninsula too. This is also where most luxury hotels are to be found along with the shopping malls.
How to reach Macau?
Travel enthusiast Shilpi Agarwal told Zee Business Online that the best way to reach Macau is via a ferry from Hong Kong. She said that the ferry can be taken directly without having to go through the immigration process. This would cost around 270 HKD per person one way. The return airfare from India is Rs 35,000 and return ferry cost is Rs 5,000 approx.
"The frequency of these ferries is quite less and in order to save time, depending on the arrival time of the flight, one can take a ferry from the Hong Kong ferry terminal in city (in this case, you will have to go through immigration and should have the necessary visa or pre arrival authorisation). The cost for this is around 186 HKD (Rs 1,690 approx) per person one way but you need to add the cost of travel from the airport to the ferry terminal in Hong Kong, which is around 150 HKD (Rs 1,363 approx) by taxi and 40 HKD by bus," she said.
The other way is to take a bus from the airport but it would again require you to clear immigration.
Where to Stay?
This certainly depends on the budget and preferences of the tourist. Shilpi said that you would want to stroll in the historic centre and do some sightseeing, then Macau Peninsula is the perfect place. "The hotels in Macau Peninsula cater to all kinds of budget from hostels to 5 stars like Lisboa Hotel and casino. These are in the range of 300 HKD (Rs 2,726) to 2500 HKD (Rs 22,720 approx) per night," she explained.
If you want to try your luck in casinos and shops, Cotai with mostly luxurious hotels is the ideal stay option. Any luxury hotel in Cotai would give similar experience in terms of rooms, service, food, shopping etc. "We stayed at the Sheraton and were more than satisfied. The room rate was 1500 HKD (Rs 1,362) per night inclusive of breakfast. The rates for these luxury hotels are in the range of 1200 HKD (Rs 10,905 approx) to 4000 HKD (Rs 36352 approx) per night depending on the Hotel and category of the room," Shilpi said.
What to see and do?
- Ruins of Saint Paul: One of the most picturesque tourist spots in Macau, it is a century old church with a stairway in front of the facade. A selfie on the steps with the ruins in the background is a must. The entry here is free.
- Senado Square: You can simply walk to the happening Senado Square from Saint Paul. The place has many restaurants and shops. The walk in between the Senado Sqaure and Ruins of Saint Paul is an experience in itself. The narrow street has bakeries and shops on both sides and is filled to the brim with people.
- Macau Tower: This is a landmark of the city. It has an observation desk at the top, from where one can have the spectacular views of the city. This is also where a tourist can fulfil his adventurous streak. It has the world’s highest bunjee jump. "We were literally in tears with fear when my brother jumped from that much height. There are also other adventure activities like walking on the edge of the tower, climbing the tower and sky jump (which is a slow drop from the tower as opposed to bungee jump)," she added.
The observation desk admission fee is 165 HKD (Rs 1499). The charges for the other adventure activities ranges from approximately 900 HKD (Rs 8,179 approx) to 3600 HKD (Rs 32,716).
- A-Ma temple: This ancient temple, which is also a major tourist attraction, is devoted to the Chinese Gods. It was soothing to pray in accordance with the Chinese traditions here. The entry here is free.
- Rua du Cunha: Right called the eat street of Macau, this narrow pedestrian lane houses all the local delicious food. The vendors promote their products by offering the goodies for tasting first.
How to get around?
Macau has a great public transport system with buses running quite frequently. The one way fare is fixed at HKD 6 and some major attractions are just walking distance away from each other. There are also free shuttles running from the casino hotels to various spots including the ferry terminal and airport.
The public transport does get confusing sometimes, in that case there are taxis available throughout the city. Though this is an expensive mode and costs at least HKD 50 (Rs 454 approx).
Where to eat?
A major part of your expenses go towards food on any trip. When in Macau, Portuguese tarts are a must have. Lord Stow’s Bakery and Café are famous for these tarts.
Food lovers must also visit this 'eat street' - Rua du Cunha. If looking for fresh fruit juices or a smoothies then the best option is Oops Warehouse just behind the Ruins of Saint Paul. For a person not much into the local food, there are Macdonalds, Pizza huts and Starbucks all around.
Overall trip cost
A 3-day trip to Macau should cost you around Rs 65,000 including all expenses. In case you decided to stay at a luxury resort, the cost would go up to around Rs 1,00,000. This of course, doesn't include shopping and other costs.
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