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Thread: Visiting Macau

  1. #1
    Senior Member Devoted Hubber Benny Lava's Avatar
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    Visiting Macau

    Many of you might not have heard of Macau, many might have started hearing about it more recently but the fact is that Macau is steadily gaining prominence as a must visit tourist destination in South East Asia. Macau is a Special Administrative Region of China (just like Hong Kong). It is best known as Asia's largest destination for gambling taking in even more revenue than Las Vegas.


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    More and more Indians are visiting Macau every year, especially after attracting some attention during the IIFA awards conducted here two years back. The International Indian Film Awards were held at The Venetian Macau Casino in June 2009, and received widespread media coverage within India and across the Indian diaspora. In February 2009, Macau received only 1,507 package tourists from India. Following the IIFA awards in February 2010, there were 5,194a 244% increase year on year. There are even talks of filming some Bollywood films as well in Macau Casino's in near future.

    Planning for a Visit:
    Macau is a very small country. Eventhough it is considered to be the Las Vegas of the east, the primary tourist activity is only Gambling, other entertainment options outside Gambling and Casinos are limited. They are slowly coming up but the variety is still no match for Vegas.

    So for the options available to an average tourist, it might be worth considering a 2 day trip to Macau even though one day trip (and one night, no point in coming to Macau without exploring the night life here) would also be quite sufficient. So the best option would be to club it together with a trip to Hong Kong or other destinations nearby such as below:

    Macau-Hongkong-Shenzhen
    Macau-Shenzhen-Shanghai-Beijing

    Visa Requirements:
    Macau is one of the few countries which still grant Visa on arrival to Indian passport holders. On arrival you get a Visa valid for 30 days. If you travel to Hong kong and re-enter Macau it can be extended for up to 90 days. If Hong Kong is also there on your itinerary, no worries. Hong Kong gives on arrival visa for up to 15 days. On the other hand if you want to enter Chinese cities, you will have to obtain Visa prior to arrival.

    Apart from India, Macau also grants Visa on Arrival to several country passport holders. So Visa is mostly not a concern to enter Macau.

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  3. #2
    Administrator Platinum Hubber NOV's Avatar
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    Great start Thamizh. I am planning a trip to Macau next year, mainly becos you are there!
    Never argue with a fool or he will drag you down to his level and beat you at it through sheer experience!

  4. #3
    Senior Member Devoted Hubber Benny Lava's Avatar
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    Of course you are always welcome NOV. Any time of the year, just let me know. Will be glad to take you around.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Devoted Hubber Benny Lava's Avatar
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    Arriving at Macau:
    Most airlines operating in Macau Airport are low cost carriers. There is no direct connection from India. AFAIK both Air Asia & Tiger Airways operates to Macau from KL & Singapore respectively but you need to pass through immigration for transit and hence you would require a Visa. (Last I heard it is possible for Indians to get a Transit Visa on Arrival in KL LCCT Airport but I have not verified it till date).

    For people who can transit through KL, Singapore or who come from these places, the easiest way is to take budget airlines to Macau.

    For Indians the simpler way to arrive at Macau is through Ferry Services from Hong Kong as well as from Chinese ports of Shenzen & Shekou (I suppose the last two are not an option really, come from Hong Kong guys).

    There are two options for Visitors from India.
    a) Arrive at Hong kong IA, pass through the immigration, take a tour around Hong Kong and then come to Macau for 1 or 2 day visit. In that case you can take a ferry from Macau Ferry Terminal in Sheung Wan district in Hong Kong. This ferry is quite frequent and runs 24 hours. So you can pretty much walk into ferry terminal any time you like to board to Macau.

    b) Alternately one can arrive at Hong Kong Airport and directly take Airport Ferry to Macau without passing through Hong Kong immigration. In this case be aware of the timetable for Airport ferry. They are fewer than the normal ferry. You can find the ferry timings here.

    http://www.turbojetseaexpress.com.hk...e/airport.html

    Also note that if you are carrying a check-in baggage, you can tag it through to Macau Ferry terminal directly (i.e, no need to check out the baggage and check in again). This service is available for most of the airlines operating between India & Hong Kong (Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines to name a few). You need to produce your baggage tag at the Turbojet Ticket counter. They will take care of the rest. For first hand info on the process, check the below site:

    http://www.turbojetseaexpress.com.hk...passenger.html

    IIRC The ferry ticket price is 210 HKD with extra 65 HKD for baggage. This includes an airport tax of 120 HKD which you can reclaim on your return trip via HKIA.

    There are other Ferry services too apart from Turbojet which is the most popular. You can try the other Ferries as well, they all have a counter next to each other in HKIA.

    Generally immigration in Macau is quick and hassle free, both in Airport and Ferry terminal.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Diamond Hubber Nerd's Avatar
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    Re: Visiting Macau

    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Lava
    Macau, many might have started hearing about it more recently
    True.

    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Lava
    gambling taking in even more revenue than Las Vegas.
    Read about it recently and was shocked. I have seen chips worth $100,00 in Vegas. Anyway must plan a SE Asia wEld tour sometime

  7. #6
    Senior Member Devoted Hubber Benny Lava's Avatar
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    Re: Visiting Macau

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd
    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Lava
    Macau, many might have started hearing about it more recently
    True.

    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Lava
    gambling taking in even more revenue than Las Vegas.
    Read about it recently and was shocked. I have seen chips worth $100,00 in Vegas. Anyway must plan a SE Asia wEld tour sometime
    Well Nerd, Chinese are known to be hard-core gamblers, they never back down early. So an average gambler loses more money in Macau. Add to it the factor that Macau is strategically located close to the manufacturing hub of Goungzhou & industrial hub of Shenzen means lot of Chinese millionaires pour their money here. This year so far Macau has seen gross revenue of 170,000 million HKD (1 USD ~= 8 HKD)

    The VVIP gamblers here regularly bet millions of USD. So many Chinese are filthy rich!

  8. #7
    Senior Member Devoted Hubber Benny Lava's Avatar
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    Travelling inside Macau:

    Macau is a very small country so that transportation is never a major hassle. Taxis are very easy to find here, unlike Hong Kong they will stop anywhere for hand signals :P And unlike Chennai, all taxis have meter and expect you to pay by them. Only exception is when you have any luggage in the boot, when they apply some surcharge to the meter readings. If you struggle to find any taxi on the streets, walk to the nearest casino, taxis will be queued up there.

    The biggest problem with the Taxi guys here is the language. Almost all of them do not know English. Even those places with pure english name have a chinese alternative name, so don't expect them to understand even those places. Best option is to carry a map around (a map with both English and Chinese names). You can find someone distributing those for free when you enter through Ferry terminal. Even otherwise, most Taxi drivers carry such a map around in their vehicles. Look for it in the dashboard or behind the sunguard. Most Casino names are well understood though.

    Taxi fare is very nominal compared to other places. Minimum fare is 13 MOP. Even if you travel from Macau island to Taipa island, which is kind of the longest you will ever travel, will cost about 60 - 80 MOP. The longest trip will be from Macau island to Coloane island (Coloane is kind of remote, more green and relatively less populated) which would cost under 200 MOP.


    Macau Currency:

    The currency in Macau is Patacas, in short referred to as MOP. The exchange rate is pegged and is approximately MOP$103 for HK$100. For United States dollars, to which the Hong Kong dollar is in turn loosely pegged, the exchange rate is around 8 patacas to 1 US dollar. Conversion rate for Indian rupee is around 5.7 INR per MOP.

    Hong Kong dollar is widely accepted here. HKD is infact the preferred currency in Casinos and Housing transactions. ATM's are available everywhere, it is quite easy to withdraw money anywhere if you have an international debit card. Do not leave Macau with Patacas, they are not accepted outside Macau as well as HKD.

    Like in Hong Kong, Macanese notes are not issued by a central authority. Instead they are issued by the two major local banks here BNU Bank & Bank of China. So don't be surprised to see two different bills for the same denomination.

    A 10 MOP note issued by BNU

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    A 10 MOP note issued by BOC

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  9. #8
    Senior Member Senior Hubber chevy's Avatar
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    Re: Visiting Macau

    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Lava
    Many of you might not have heard of Macau, many might have started hearing about it more recently but the fact is that Macau is steadily gaining prominence as a must visit tourist destination in South East Asia. Macau is a Special Administrative Region of China (just like Hong Kong). It is best known as Asia's largest destination for gambling taking in even more revenue than Las Vegas.


    HTML Code:
    <img src="http://i1.trekearth.com/photos/3318/cbv2-macau-fireworks-dsc_5473.jpg
    ">

    More and more Indians are visiting Macau every year, especially after attracting some attention during the IIFA awards conducted here two years back. The International Indian Film Awards were held at The Venetian Macau Casino in June 2009, and received widespread media coverage within India and across the Indian diaspora. In February 2009, Macau received only 1,507 package tourists from India. Following the IIFA awards in February 2010, there were 5,194a 244% increase year on year. There are even talks of filming some Bollywood films as well in Macau Casino's in near future.

    Planning for a Visit:
    Macau is a very small country. Eventhough it is considered to be the Las Vegas of the east, the primary tourist activity is only Gambling, other entertainment options outside Gambling and Casinos are limited. They are slowly coming up but the variety is still no match for Vegas.

    So for the options available to an average tourist, it might be worth considering a 2 day trip to Macau even though one day trip (and one night, no point in coming to Macau without exploring the night life here) would also be quite sufficient. So the best option would be to club it together with a trip to Hong Kong or other destinations nearby such as below:

    Macau-Hongkong-Shenzhen
    Macau-Shenzhen-Shanghai-Beijing

    Visa Requirements:
    Macau is one of the few countries which still grant Visa on arrival to Indian passport holders. On arrival you get a Visa valid for 30 days. If you travel to Hong kong and re-enter Macau it can be extended for up to 90 days. If Hong Kong is also there on your itinerary, no worries. Hong Kong gives on arrival visa for up to 15 days. On the other hand if you want to enter Chinese cities, you will have to obtain Visa prior to arrival.

    Apart from India, Macau also grants Visa on Arrival to several country passport holders. So Visa is mostly not a concern to enter Macau.
    was wondering who BennyLava was with Thamizh's DP. Got you!

  10. #9
    Senior Member Devoted Hubber Benny Lava's Avatar
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    Re: Visiting Macau

    Quote Originally Posted by chevy
    was wondering who BennyLava was with Thamizh's DP. Got you!
    Sabaash!

  11. #10
    Administrator Platinum Hubber NOV's Avatar
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    when is the best time to visit macau?
    what is there for the non gambler?
    is indian food easily available?
    Never argue with a fool or he will drag you down to his level and beat you at it through sheer experience!

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