Visit Macau in a day from Hong Kong and discover that there is much more to this former Portuguese colony than gambling casinos. Macau has the flavor of Centuries-old Europe and Buddhist temples amost side by side.
Explore cobbled alleys, baroque churches, quiet graveyards, and Chinese temples that have survived practically unaltered since their construction hundreds of years ago. Colorful Macau is one of Asia's cleanest cities, with world-class museums, architectural treasures and memorable restaurants and caf? waiting to be discovered. You can enjoy a fascinating day without even seeing a slot machine.
Bring along your passport today as you will be going through customs (visa on arrival) to enter the former Portuguese territory of Macau, Europe's first settlement in China, pre-dating Hong Kong's colonization by a few hundred years. Your guide will meet you at in the morning and you will depart Hong Kong for an hour's ride on speedy hydrofoil to one of China's most unique cities. As you near the port, modern casino developments rise along the shore to tantalize visitors, but don't be distracted -- Macau is a jackpot of Mediterranean old world charm and exotic Asian culture, food, and lifestyle.
One day is not long enough to explore all the nooks and crannies that beckon, but we suggest that you see some of the following during your visit...
The Buddhist Kun Lam Temple, has buildings dating from 1627 (not to be confused with a similarly named smaller temple on Ave. do Coronel Mesquita). Wander freely from room to room and discover all sorts of interesting sights, from elaborate paper funerary offerings to quiet garden courtyards. The photogenic ruins of the Church of St Paul, whose facade overflows with sacred sculpture and symbolic ciphers, is a short escalator ride from Monte Fort, with fabulous views of the city below, and the excellent Macau Museum.
The hypnotically-tiled plaza of Largo do Senado is a must-see. Graced by a fountain and surrounding by heritage buildings, it's a favorite photo op for local and international visitors. Be sure to poke around the nearby shops, specialty bakeries and restaurants. The Church of Saint Dominic and Treasury of Sacred Art, a 17th century chapel and museum filled with antique liturgical objects, is also just off the plaza.
One of the most enjoyable spots to visit is the shopping street of Travessa Do Matadouro, lined with brilliantly colored old shophouses and mini-factories producing fresh Macanese snacks (and offering free samples aplenty).
Arrive back in Hong Kong early evening.
Personal guide. Not included: hydrofoil ferry transfers for you and the guide (about US$35 round trip per person depending on the class of seating you select), customs fees (if any), admissions (if any), meals and drinks. Please pay for ferry transfer and lunch for your guide.
BRING YOUR PASSPORT for this side trip