January 18, 2019

Macau Travel Tips: 10 Things to Know Before You Go

– Ten things to know before you go to Macau I'm Chris, this is Topher and this is Yellow Productions

We do travel guides that are fun, informative and entertaining This is part of our series on Hong Kong and the areas around it If you want to see more information about Hong Kong, find links in the description below or at the end of this video, even more videos on Macau too But still, let's talk about Macau Some general information first, Macau has been a Portuguese Colony, it was for about 400 years, from the 1500's until 1999

Which now, it's a special administrative region of China Macau, it is very small It is like 11 square miles, but 640,000 people live here Every year though, in 2017, 30 million visitors came to visit Macau Most of them from Mainland China

Macau is famous for two things, One, the old Portuguese square, being this old Portuguese colony, that's one of the major reasons to come here Also, for gambling This is the only place in China where gambling is legal And so, the visitors from China who come here, they primarily come to gamble In fact, gambling is so popular in Macau, that the gambling in the casinos in Macau have generated seven times what the Las Vegas strip generates in gambling revenue

That's pretty crazy If you are coming from Hong Kong, it's definitely worth a day trip, maybe even an overnight trip if you want to spend some time in Cotai We will talk about getting in in a moment, but you should know Macau has like four areas There is the Macau Peninsula which has the main Portuguese village here with the Ruins of St Paul

Going down south there is Taipa, the Cotai strip where the casinos are, and on the end is Coloane Before you go to Macau, you will need to know about getting into Macau Chances are, the way you will be getting into Macau is via a ferry I am standing at one of the Macau ferry terminals There are two ferry terminals in Macau

This main one here and there is a second one in Taipa, which is more convenient if you're going to the Cotai strip Most people come from Hong Kong and come to Macau as a day trip There are four ferry terminals in Hong Kong and two ferry operators, TurboJet, the red one, and the Cotai WaterJet, the blue one The offer pretty similar services It takes about an hour from Hong Kong, or either way

And I will recommend if you get prone to sea sickness or motion sickness, you might want to buy a ticket for the upper deck It is about twice the price of the lower deck, but it moves a lot less There are a couple other options to come into Macau You can fly, there is an airport You can cross the border from China by land, or you can take helicopters from Hong Kong

It is only 15 minutes by helicopter Before you go to Macau, you need to know about getting around Macau And so there's basically three options for getting around Macau Well, four if you count your feet, you can certainly walk But of those three, there are taxis, there are a lot of taxis in Macau

When you come into the ferry stations, there will be taxi drivers waiting there There's buses, Macau operates a public bus that runs around The service is pretty good But third, something you should get familiar with are the free shuttles that the hotels provide Like the Venetian, the Sands, a lot of these provided these free shuttles

so if that is going where you want to go, learn to use the free shuttles I'll point out, no ride share companies operate here, Uber, Lyft, Grab, none of those things are available in Macau So if you are looking for a taxi there might be a bit of a wait We have experienced some wait while we were waiting in a casino for a taxi If you come in the ferry terminals, you'll see there will be a lot of people offering like tours and things like that to take you around they will offer and come up to you for taxis

Take the official ones out of the official taxi rank And they will charge you in Macanese pataca, but they are pretty cheap We will talk about currency in a little bit The fourth thing to know is that the number four is unlucky The number four in Chinese sounds like death So you will not see fourth floors in any of these hotel room buildings

So onto number five, speaking of luck, Let's talk about casinos You need to know about casinos before you come to Macau I mentioned earlier the Cotai Strip, right here, this is where all the big casino hotels are The City of Dreams, the Wynn, the Venetian, which I'm standing at right now But you should know if you are going into the casinos here they're a little bit paranoid, actually, ultra paranoid

Going into every single casino here, you will go through metal detectors and they do not allow cameras, even to be shown in the casinos We were walking into a casino and this girl had a camera around her neck, and they said you got to put it in the bag before you come into the casino It's actually gotten a lot better now than it used to be When I came here 10 years ago, they actually put a sticker over my camera with a no-camera sign over it, really keep your cameras away when you're in the casinos here In the casino hotels its okay to take photos and videos in the common areas

But here, at the Venetian, if you go past that point, with the white screens, then no cameras after that Before you come to Macau you need to know about the money The currency in Macau is the Macanese pataca MOP is how it's abbreviated The Macanese pataca is basically equivalent to the Hong Kong dollar

Actually, they will except both currencies here, Hong Kong dollar and Macau patacas But you might use Macau patacas – actually, you might use Hong Kong dollars, and they may give you Macau patacas in change The big restaurants, and things like that, the casinos they will all take credit cards, but the little places around the Portuguese village, you will want some money, but probably make sure to spend all your patacas while you in Macau, before you go back to Hong Kong, because they won't know what to do with your Macanese pataca By the way, the official exchange rate is one Hong Kong dollar is equivalent to 103 Macanese pataca

But you will find many stores have signs that they accept it one to one to one The next thing you will need to know before you go to Macau is about the language So, there's two official languages in Macau, one is Portuguese, being a former portuguese colony, the second one is Chinese spoken Cantonese English is not one of the official languages, though they do speak a little bit of English You will see everything, pretty much signed in Chinese and Portuguese, maybe in English

But by the way, the Portuguese, if you've learned portuguese in school, they have a special dialect here called Macanese Portuguese Before you go to Macau, you should know about shopping The best shopping in Macau, its in the Cotai strip In these big casino hotels Right now, I am in the Venetian Grand Canal Shops

This is probably my favorite place for shopping in Macau Why? Because you can shop and walk along the Grand Canal and see gondoliers, that sing, sometimes, she must be tired The other one is singing right now though Around the Portuguese square, there's a lot of, like, souvenir shops, things like that But if you want luxury shopping, Cotai Strip

Something you should know about Macau, is that lots of Macau, outside of the casinos and the commercial, like, Portuguese district, kinda feel a little empty Like, this is the Fisherman's Wharf Shopping Mall This was like a very ambitious project They've, like, created different scenes around the world Walking around here at 1pm on a Monday, it is empty

And a lot of the shopping areas in Macau kinda feel that way This one maybe in particular cause it is just off the beaten casino path But where is everybody? They are either seeing the Portuguese sights or they are coming here for intense sessions of gambling If most of the visitors to Macau come from mainland China, and they come almost only to gamble, so that's where they'll be When you come to Macau, if all you do is go to the casinos and go to the Portuguese center, you will think that it's either really cute or really ritzy in the whole thing, I would encourage you, if you want to see the real Macau, get off on some of the side streets

Like, take a look at some of these wires I mean when this was a Portuguese Colony, it feels a bit like its a little bit of a place that the land time forgot or governing forgot And it is all within the shadows, take a look up there, of the casinos, that's the Grand Lisboa casino And just two blocks from it are these really unpainted apartment buildings Hmm

To continue your exploration of the real Macau, just there from the shadows of the casino Lisboa as you're walking around, make sure to check out the city's churches This is the ruins of St Paul You can't go inside, but most of the city's churches you can still go inside during daylight hours But Macau's a really interesting cross between Christianity and Buddhism

And so there's many temples in this city too Check out the churches and the temples Its a pretty interesting walk to do the church and temples walk through Macau Boy, and let me tell you, if you like incense, (inhales) the smell of incense, the look of incense, or pictures of incense you will love the inside of some of these temples So when I said you can't go in this church, I mean you can go in the ruins, this is the ruins of St

Paul, there used to be a church here It burned down three times and that's all that's left That's all that's left This is a classic sight in Macau The best place to take that Instagram photo, or if your getting engaged to take your engagement photos here too

Before you go to Macau you should know about the food Traditional Macanese food a fusion between Portuguese food and Cantonese food Dating back over 400 years of history, it is often considered the world's first fusion food Of course you will find a lot of good high-end Chinese food here as well You will find those in the casinos

Mmmm, I am drinking Hong Kong milk tea, a lot of influence from Hong Kong but definitely when you are in the old city center, the old portuguese part, check out some of the Portuguese-Cantonese fusion restaurants Something super popular to get in Macau is the pork chop bun If you were getting this in Portugal, it would be called a bifana We have had them in Portugal, but here is how they taste here, there is a bunch of little stalls that sell these, the one we are at is called Tai Lei Loi Kei and it is right in front of the Ruins of St Paul

This one is on a regular Portuguese-style bun They can also do it on a croissant, right here, or they can do it on a pineapple bun, which is a Hong Kong specialty, but they were sold out of those, so lets give this a go! Mmmm That's pretty good Its a thin slice of pork chop, the pork chop is lightly breaded Its a nice fluffy bun, it's hot

Pretty delicious A good afternoon pick-me up Around a bunch of super touristy things around St Paul's Check this place out

When you come to Macau you need to get an egg tart, or known as a Nata A Pastei de Nata, it is a portuguese colony after all! And these are Portuguese egg tarts If you have been to dim sum restaurants in Hong Kong, or dim sum restaurants in the world you will see egg tarts sometimes referred to as dan tat, egg tart But they came from here, they came from Macau This is what popularized it

There's two stores that made it popular, Lord Stow's which is the original, and right now I am at Margaret's Cafe e Nata Husband and wife team The wife runs this store now And you get these egg tarts, they are hot, they form a long line, this is a busy popular place Don't come on Wednesdays, because they are closed on Wednesdays, And you can, mm, get a fresh flakey egg tart out on the street

Mm See how flakey it is, its fresh And if you have egg tarts that aren't fresh they kinda all stick together, but mmm, a hot fresh one, mmm, kinda taste like an egg custard in a crispy croissant Definitely worth your time And the wait? We only waited, mm, five, seven minutes in line, but just know how many you want to order when you get to the front, they really want to keep that line moving

10 Hong Kong dollars of Macau pataca each, which is about $125 US To taste some of the original original egg tarts in Macau, visit Lord Stow's Bakery, its right there That's the original location We are not there, we are at the Venetian Hotel where they have a location with the egg tarts

These cost a little more than at the other place, these were 12 Macau patacas There's Lord Stow right there, he looks like a pretty friendly guy doesn't he With a lot of egg tarts So lets give these a try and see how they compare Warm, buttery, flakey

I feel like this one might be a little bit more buttery than the other one Its a little warmer, but if you blindfolded me and gave me a taste test, I am not sure that I could tell the difference I will give Lord Stow's a plus because the location is nicer And if you take a look over there, it's in the Venetian, and you can actually see the Venetian shops off in the distance A little bit nicer than that middle of Macau weird, apartment complex eating area

Before you go to Macau, you should know about spitting because many of the visitors will be here from Mainland China you will here a regular (spits) You might hear that right into your neck, you might see that right into a trash can, But if you hear (hacks) it's a sound you will here quite a bit cause they're just spitting, it's okay It happens all the time in Macau In Hong Kong they're not to happy if you do that on the street, but you will hear it here And the last thing to know is that we've got more videos if your coming to Macau or Hong Kong, you'll find links in the description below

Or you can click this one or this one to watch some more of our videos from this series Are you still rolling? Are you still rolling? I think we're done We're done

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