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How to Get Around Macau for Free

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Related Posts to this Story:
Day 1 - Have you been OUTSIDE Disneyland?
Day 2 - Ocean Park: See Hong Kong's National Treasures!
Day 3 - Get Up Close and Personal with the Giant Buddha at Ngong Ping
Day 4 - Shopping Galore at Sham Shui Po and Temple Street
Day 5 - How to Get to Victoria's Peak and Avenue of the Stars
Day 6 - Fast Passes: The Secret to Disneyland
Day 7 - How to Get Around Macau for Free
Day 8 - Party the Night Away in Lan Kwai Fong

This was the day we visited Macau, and now that I'm writing about it, I think I finally remember what we did the morning of our fifth day, before we headed to Victoria's Peak. We looked for the Hong Kong Ferry Terminal to Macau so that when the day arrived that we were to go there, we wouldn't get lost and waste time.

The main Hong Kong Ferry terminal was in Shun Tak Centre, and to get there, we got off at Sheung Wan MTR station. Shun Tak Centre was a mall, so when we headed for the terminal, we passed several shops and fast food stores. We had also already bought our tickets then so that all we had to do was board the ferry. For a list of Turbojet schedules and fares, click here.

We got there a little earlier than the time stamped on our ticket but we were allowed to ride the earlier trip since the Turbojet departed every 15 minutes. The ride to Macau took approximately an hour and a half and when we finally arrived, we didn't know where to go first.. Hehe..

Unlike in Hong Kong, where we had Tata to guide us, we didn't know how to get anywhere in Macau. Fortunately, a Filipina approached us and asked if we were tourists. She offered to tour us around Macau for HK$100 each. We were wary at first because it might be a scam, but in the end, we agreed. It turned out to be a good decision, after all.

First, our tour guide, whose name was Melody, took us to Fisherman's Wharf, which was only 5-min walk from the Ferry Terminal. We took photos of the Tang Dynasty Fortress and Vulcania but didn't go inside the amusement park itself. We were already hungry and wanted to leave our things in the hotel first.

When Melody found out we were booked at the Metropole Hotel, she took us back to the ferry Terminal to wait for the shuttle of the Grand Emperor Hotel because it was very near the Metropole. This was our first taste of how we would actually be doing our tour of Macau, through hotel shuttle services.

Gold Bars in the Grand Emperor Hotel

We arrived at the Grand Emperor and Melody pointed to the floor where a dozen gold bars were displayed. We walked around the lobby for a bit before heading for the Metropole.

Our room was small but still comfortable, with two double beds, a TV, a bathroom and some furniture. It suited us just fine for an overnight stay.

We headed out again to tour with Melody. She took us to see the Sands casino, where Diw tried her hand at the slot machines. She didn't win, though and in my opinion, it was boring. She was just pressing one button again and again. I don't know why some people enjoyed gambling so much. 

Sands Casino
Melody showed us how we could get free drinks and even become a member at the casino! We each got our Sands cards after we filled up a form.

After lunch at a nearby KFC, we went to the Lotus Square to see the sculpture of a golden "Lotus in Full Bloom". This lotus was actually made of bronze.

The Golden Lotus
Then, we planned to go to the Macau Tower but first Melody made us ride the hotel shuttle of the Emperor Hotel back to the Ferry terminal, where we would catch a bus (take bus 9A, 18 or 21) to the Macau Tower. Hong Kong currency was accepted in Macau.

When we arrived at the Macau Tower, Melody told us she would just wait for us and we agreed that she would be back after an hour. The admission fee to the observation deck (levels 58 and 61) in the Macau Tower cost HK$90. It was open from 10am-9pm on weekdays and 9am to 9pm on weekends and public holidays.

The Macau Tower
It was possible to bungee jump from the tower and while we were there, we witnessed several gutsy individuals make the jump. The cost to jump (to your death.. just kidding), was around HK$2000++ and even if you pay me twice that, I still wouldn't do it. I was amused by an ad I read there: "Why live on the edge when you can jump from it?"

For the less daring, but who still want to experience the thrill, you could sky walk around the tower with a harness and a guide. Or, you could also do the mast climb and climb the tower from the outside. We still didn't do wither because it was expensive and I figured I could try the sky walk in Cebu some other time.

View from Macau Tower
We still enjoyed our time at the tower because the view was great and some areas had glass floors. I got vertigo just looking all the way down.

I guess, the view would be better at night, like in the Hong Kong Sky Terrace, but on the other hand, we also wanted to see the casinos in the evening when they're all lighted up.

When it was time to go, we waited for yet another shuttle bus to go back to the ferry terminal to visit The City of Dreams. By now, we were getting used to this mode of traveling and the best thing about it was it was free!

At the terminal, we boarded the shuttle bus to the City of Dreams and as we did, a guy handed us tickets to the Bubble Show. This was what Melody wanted us to see. When we got there, the lobby had a huge virtual "aquarium" with a holographic-like projection of a mermaid who appeared and disappeared randomly. We didn't get to observe her for long because Melody was urging us to go see the Bubble Show first because it had a scheduled time.

Dragon's Treasure at the Bubble
We were led inside a huge dome, called The Bubble, where the show, entitled the Dragon's Treasure, would be held and when it started, it became filled with the same holographic-like images as the mermaid. Only this time, they were huge and all around us. We saw the four Dragon Kings, a scene that looked like Atlantis, complete with merfolk, ruins and large undersea creatures, and several other dreamscapes. The dragons were majestic and I thought this would be the closest I would ever be to a lifelike one. It was a spectacular 10-minute experience, one that I will never forget.

Dragon Kings
According to the City of Dreams site, the Bubble Theatre is the world's largest special effects projection dome and cost nearly USD 40 million to create.

We exited the Bubble only to go back to where the mermaid was to get a photo of her. However, by then there were lots of tourists doing the same thing and we couldn't take a photo without having many other people in the shot as well. So I gave up and just asked Diw to take a shot of me against the watery background. Without warning, the mermaid appeared right beside me and Diw took the shot just in time. That was pretty lucky.

Mermaid at the City of Dreams
Our next stop was The Venetian which was the honestly the largest hotel I had ever seen. It was more like a small city. It was modeled after the original The Venetian in Las Vegas and also houses a casino.

The theme of The Venetian is obviously Venice, with its system of canals and gondoliers. We strolled along the Venetian shoppes beside the canals and marveled at the artificial sky above us.

Artificial Sky at the Venetian
Unfortunately, we couldn't stay long as we still needed to go and visit the facade of St. Paul's Cathedral. So once again, we were making our way back to the ferry terminal in a hotel shuttle.

I couldn't remember exactly how we got to St. Paul's because it seemed to me we did a lot of walking and the final street leading to St. Paul's was slanted several degrees, so I was almost breathless when we finally got to the top. By this time, it was already late afternoon and we were taking advantage of what little light was left to take our photos.

Ruins of St. Paul
We took our time walking back downhill and browsed the various food shops along the street. This was where we decided to buy omiyage (in Japan it means candies or other food to be shared with co-workers) for our teams back in the office. We also bought and tasted the highly recommended egg tarts from Macau. It was really delicious and I would have brought some back if I could, but we had been advised that egg tarts would be spoiled by the time we came home. They are also best eaten hot.

It was now evening and time to see the casinos! But before that, we still had to see one other attraction at the Wynn Hotel, or rather two attractions because outside the Wynn was the Dancing Fountain, where the water performance was timed to the music. However, we didn't really take the time to view the entire performance but instead hurried to see the Dragon of Fortune and the Prosperity Tree.

Dancing Fountain
We found ourselves at the atrium of the Wynn Hotel where a large circular panel with carved Chinese zodiac creatures was still closed. The performance was scheduled to start every 30 mins. It began as fog started to seep into the atrium from the center. And then the Dragon of Fortune emerged from the fog with glowing red eyes and smoke coming out of its nostrils. This dragon symbolized vitality, good fortune and well-being. It then disappeared back into the abyss it came from but after a few moments, the Tree of Prosperity rose from below. In my opinion, the Tree was more magnificent than the dragon and as it rotated, it's leaves shimmered in a myriad of colors depicting the four seasons. Some guests tossed coins at the Tree for good luck.

Wynn Hotel Prosperity Tree
We then went outside to see the casinos. The one that frequently caught my eye was the Grand Lisboa with its unique architectural design. back then, I wondered if this was what it was like to be in Vegas.

Tired from the day's activities, we finally opted to go back to Metropole. We thanked Melody profusely for showing us around. We never would have seen some of the best attractions we hadn't even heard about without her.

Macau Casinos
 Her one final tip was that in the third floor of the Grand Emperor, they served a bowl of noodles for only HK$10 if we wanted to save money. Oh and if haven't figured out yet what the answer to my blog title is.. it's ride hotel shuttles to and from your destinations!


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