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Monday, December 22, 2014

MACAU TRAVEL GUIDE: Day Tour + Itinerary #AirAsiaZestMacau

Many of you will surely be flying out of the country to celebrate the holiday season. Shopping in Hong Kong, city tour in Bangkok,  food indulgence in KL and perhaps casino-hopping and history tour in Macau. The latter is becoming more and more preferred destinations to Filipinos due to its proximity in the Philippines and with low cost airlines like AirAsiaZest adding cheaper options to the territory.

With all of the high end hotels, luxury shops and glittery casinos, one might think that Macau is an expensive place to go to. The thing is, it could be the cheapest place in the world for sightseeing. You can actually get around Macau without spending a penny. Yes, you heard it right, you can go around and see so much without spending a single cent. There, I just repeated myself.

Here's the trick.

Make sure your flight arrives daytime, or at least before midnight.
The reason for this is that you would like to take advantage of the 
FREE CASINO SHUTTLE BUSES in Macau.

All major casinos in Macau have their respective buses. You can hop in and hop off these buses anytime---no questions asked. Just make sure you stay in queue as there are so many other tourists and casino patrons using them. No need to worry, there are trips usually every 10 minutes to and from each pickup points.
VENETIAN

MAJOR PICKUP POINTS:

Macau International Airport,
Macau Ferry Terminal and Taipa Ferry Terminal
Gongbei Port (Macau-China Border)

No problem at all whether you will be flying in, taking the ferry or travel by land to Macau. From these major entry/exit points, you can take the free casino shuttle buses to and from;

Venetian Macau
Galaxy Macau
Sands Casino and Macau Fisherman's Wharf
Star World Casino Macau
Senado Square and Ruins of St. Paul

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SUGGESTED 
ITINERARY for the Free Tour
Start in Taipa District in the morning, then Cotai District in the afternoon till night.
More detailed Itinerary Sample
for 2D/1N >>>here

AM -Cotai
Venetian Macau
Galaxy Macau
City of Dreams

PM -Taipa
Senado Square
Ruins of St. Paul
Wynn Macau
MGM Grand

Additional Trip: MACAU TOWER (with Entrance Fee)

__________________________________________________


MORNING***
Venetian, City of Dreams and Galaxy Macau are bunched up together in Taipa, Macau.

1. VENETIAN MACAU
What To Do Here FOR FREE: Window Shopping + Sightseeing aShoppes Grand Canal

Shoppes Grand Canal - a luxuriously appointed indoor mall housing more than 330 stores featuring world renowned brands and upscale boutiques - offers fashion, jewelry, gifts, sports accessories and restaurants. In addition to shopping, and the romance and grandeur of the mall, visitors can enjoy the colorful antics of Streetmosphere performers and jugglers, ‘living statues’ and musicians as they wander the meandering Venetian streetscapes. --source

I have never been to Venice but the Grand Canal at Venetian Macau sure made me forget that I am just inside a hotel in China. This is where the sky is always bright and blue. Going around is so much fun, especially if you have extra bucks to ride the gondola. Really feels like being in Venice.

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TIP: This is where you might want to have early lunch to make sure you have enough energy for the long, exciting day ahead. Stuff yourself with carbohydrates to make those knees strong. There are a lot of restaurants to choose from and I remember there is a food court area where our friend Ro Anne treated us for a meal. 

NOTE: You have to spend your own money for this of course. The whole tour I will enumerate on this post comes with you not needed to spend a single cent but that does not include your meals and shopping.
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my wife with our friend Ro Anne



2. GALAXY MACAU
What To Do Here FOR FREEFortune Diamond

The 3-meter tall Fortune Diamond located in the hotel lobby of Galaxy Macau is based on the resplendent plumes of the peacock. Rising from behind a waterfall and slowly sinking into a roulette-design fountain, the Fortune Diamond symbolizes abounding prosperity and good fortune.

Address: Galaxy Maca, COTAI, Macau
Show Schedule: Sundays - Thursdays: 10 a.m. - 11:59 p.m. (every 30 minutes); Fridays, Saturdays and PublicHolidays: 10 a.m. - 2 a.m. (every 30 minutes)
Tel: +853 2888 0888
E-mail: gmfeedback@galaxymacau.com
For detailed information: http://www.galaxymacau.com/en/wow

3. CITY OF DREAMS
What To Do Here FOR FREE: Watch The Bubble Show: DRAGON'S TREASURE


Immerse yourself in The Bubble Show, an iconic multi-media attraction at City of Dreams. With explosive visuals and sounds as well as exciting sensory effects, the ‘Dragon's Treasure’ tells the story of the Dragon Pearl and its mysterious powers as experienced by each of the four Dragon Kings, who lead you on an amazing adventure through their magical kingdoms. --source
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The Bubble Show: DRAGON'S TREASURE
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Address: City of Dreams, Estrada do Istmo, Cotai, Macau
Duration: Approximately 15 minutes
Show Schedule: Daily from 12 noon to 6 p.m. (every 30 minutes), 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. (every 60 minutes)
Tel: +853 88686688
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Tip: Free entry but due to capacity and sheer volume of people who would like to watch the show, tickets are issued an hour before each show on first-come first-serve basis so be sure to line up the moment you get to City of Dreams and secure your tickets before you go around window shopping or whatever your whim. Just make sure to come back a few minutes before the schedule given on your tickets.

AFTERNOON***

From City of dreams, take the free shuttle to Macau Ferry Terminal or Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Pier, from there, transfer to s free shuttle to Gran Lisboa. From there, walk to Senado Square.

Shuttle Bus Schedule 
To and From Grand Lisboa
Casino Shuttle

Macau Border Gate: 9.00AM - 11.30PM (Every 5-20 minutes)
Macau Outer Harbor Ferry Terminal: 9.00AM - 11.59PM (Every 5-30 minutes)
Taipa Temporary Ferry Terminal: 10.30AM - 5.30 PM (Every 60 minutes)

Gran Lisboa

1. SENADO SQUARE
What To Do Here FOR FREE: Sightseeing

Senado Square has been Macau's urban centre for centuries, and is still the most popular venue for public events and celebrations today. Located close to the former Senate building, Sam Kai Vui Kun ( Kuan Tai Temple ) is also a reminder of the active participation of the local Chinese community in general civic affairs, providing a clear example of the multicultural dimension of the Macao community. The square is surrounded by pastel coloured neo-classical buildings, creating a consistent and harmonious Mediterranean atmosphere.

AROUND SENADO SQUARE are other famous landmarks including 'Leal Senado' Building which was Macau's first municipal chamber (Senate), Holy House of Mercy which was established by the first Bishop of Macau in 1569, this institution was modeled after one of the most prominent and oldest charitable organizations in Portugal.

Address: Senado Square
SENADO AQUARE
Senado Square
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Holy House of Mercy

Deeper in the Square on the way to The Ruins of St. Paul is a small church they call
St. Dominic's Church and a few other interesting European inspired architectures most of which were newly renovated.

Founded in 1587 by three Spanish Dominican priests who originally came from Acapulco in Mexico, this church is also connected to the Brotherhood of Our Lady of the Rosary. It was here that the first Portuguese newspaper was published on Chinese soil, A Abelha da China ("The China Bee"), on 12th September 1822. The bell tower, at the back of the building, has been modified into a small Museum of Sacred Art, now exhibiting a collection of around 300 artifacts.

Address: St. Dominic's Square
Opening hours: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
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It's a maze of mid-rise building adorned with small shops on the the way to the
2. Ruins of St. PAUL
What To Do Here FOR FREE: Sightseeing

Kinda tricky to find your way. Just follow where most people go to. I mean, observe a regular pattern of direction where tourist-looking people go to and that's where the Ruins is. The place is a little uphill.

The Ruins of St. Paul's refer to the facade of what was originally the Church of Mater Dei built in 1602-1640, destroyed by fire in 1835, and the ruins of St. Paul's College, which stood adjacent to the Church. As a whole, the old Church of Mater Dei, St. Paul's College and Mount Fortress were all Jesuit constructions and formed what can be perceived as the Macau's "acropolis".

Opening hours: 
Museum of Sacred Art: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.



TIP: At St. Paul Ruins is where you can have a light snack as many food-on-stick stalls are to be found just below the steps including small stalls selling chocolates, chips and other light snacks. Just make sure you don't stuff yourself to make way for a nice meal in Macau Tower or back in your hotel.


3. WYNN MACAU

What To Do Here FOR FREE:
A. The Performance Lake

Located in the open area in front of Wynn Macau - features lofty plumes of water and shimmering fire which dance through the air to the strains of classical and popular music plus hit show tunes from Broadway.

To present this enchanting cornucopia of water, light, colour and fire, the Lake houses over 200 water nozzles and shooters capable of projecting 800,000 gallons of water into the air. This vibrant performance expresses a symphony of moods, rhythms and emotions for joyous, fascinating entertainment.

Address: Wynn Macau, Rua Cidade de Sintra, NAPE, Macau
Show Schedule: Daily from 11 a.m. to 12 midnight (every 15 minutes)
Tel: +853 28889966
E-mailinquiries@wynnmacau.com
For detailed informationhttp://www.wynnmacau.com/en/entertainment/performance_lake.html

tree of prosperity
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What To Do Here FOR FREE:

B. GOLDEN TREE of PROSPERITY

The iconic golden Tree of Prosperity - featuring over 2,000 branches and 98,000 leaves comprising 24-karat gold leaf and brass leaf - is a stunning symbol of auspiciousness. Designed to thrill and excite guests as they enter the Rotunda Atrium of Wynn Macau, the Tree of Prosperity performance is a choreographic masterpiece of sculptural patterns, music, video and light. The centerpiece, which fills the atrium, depicts Chinese and Western astrological symbols rising from the floor in a climactic finale that transforms the tree into the vibrant colours of the four seasons. --source

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Address: Wynn Macau, Rua Cidade de Sintra, NAPE, Macau
Duration: Approximately 7 minutes
Show Schedule: Daily from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. (per hour)
Tel: +853 28889966
E-mail: inquiries@wynnmacau.com
For detailed information: http://www.wynnmacau.com/en/entertainment/tree_of_prosperity.html

3. MGM Grand Casino
What To Do Here FOR FREE: Grande Praça 

A 1,088 square meter central plaza which boasts European-inspired facades, a dramatic skylight dome and myriad terraces replete with restaurants and lounges, imbuing the whole with the look and feel of old-world Portugal. Every day at sunset the ‘Lights & Sounds’ show entrances visitors with its special theme images, incredible visuals and relaxing music. --source

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Address: MGM MACAU Avenida Dr. Sun Yat Sen, NAPE, Macau
Show Schedule: Daily from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Tel: +853 88028888
Website: http://www.mgmmacau.com/

NOTE: This Part will Require You to Pay for the Entrance Fee, everything else above this line is free (except for your lunch and snacks of course and if you want to do a little shopping.

By the time you finish Senado Square, Ruins of St. Paul, Wynn Macau and MGM Grand, your area ready to experience the Grand Finale. What about a romantic dinner at MACAU TOWER? Or if you are keen on keeping it on the budget, going up the tower at night and seeing the skyline of Macau light the night sky could be a memorable experience to conclude the whole day of fun.

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MACAU TOWER
MACAU TOWER is an observation deck with panoramic views. Not only that, it also serves as a communication and broadcasting tower.There are also restaurants, theaters, shopping malls and the Skywalk X, a thrilling walking tour around the outer rim and a convention center too. I heard that the inspiration came from the SKY TOWER of Auckland New Zealand. 

Thanks to Stanley Ho, the Macau billionaire who thought of having one in the territory. True enough, Macau Tower today is probably one of the most visited attractions in Macau.
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Address: Largo da Torre de Macau 
FREE ENTRANCE at the ground floor but you have to pay 
if you want to go up the Observation Deck.
Tel: (853) 2893 3339
Fax: (853) 2896 0103
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View of Taipa District from Macau Tower

Fly From NAIA-4 Manila
More and more flights are being mounted to Macau from the Philippines with Air Asia Zest flying from NAIA Terminal 4 in Manila. One thing I like about AirAsia is their all-year round low fares. I noticed that with the competitors, you need to book at least 6 months or even more than a year ahead to get a really low value, but if you have decided to fly a month or two weeks later, AirAsia is the way to go.

Be sure not to miss on their promo fares
by logging in to http://www.airasia.com/ph/en/home.page .

You can also download AirAsia's Mobile App
http://www.airasia.com/mobile/app-download/main_en.htm
Play Store link >>>here
and Itunes link >>>here

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Web Check-in
Never has web check in been as important as ever due to the hellish traffic condition in Metro Manila.

WEB CHECK-IN IS AVAILABLE FOR
Individuals, or group bookings with up to 50 guests.
All flights from 14 days up to 1 hour before departure for AirAsia (AK, QZ, FD, PQ, Z2, I5) flights and up to 4 hours for AirAsia X (D7, XJ) flights.

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Inflight Meal

AirAsiaZest has an exciting inflight menu which includes  Uncle Chin's chicken rice, Pak Nasser's nasi lemak, Chicken Adobo ala Mariles, Chicken Caesar Sandwich among others. A good combination if I may say.

I wanted to try nasi lemak during my recent flight but it was not available so I tried chicken rice and their sandwich instead. Uncle Chin's Chicken Rice is love. Kung ganito ang mga on-board meals, mapapagana ka talaga. 
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There are still many attractions in Macau including some old churches and temples that don't require entrance fees. Yes, you can go sightseeing in Macau without spending a single penny.

PS: I feel very thankful to our friend Ro Anne who is a Filipino expat professional in Macau. She compensated for my lack of research and she helped us go around the territory with ease. It would not have been this fun if not for her. 


______________________
Visit the Macau Tourism Website
for more information.
http://www.macautourism.gov.mo/
Visit this blog
On Free Casino Shuttle Schedules

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