Fast Getaway: Take a day trip to Macau

BODY IMAGE: Hotel Jen Hong Kong : Fast Getaway: Take a day trip to Macau
BODY IMAGE: Hotel Jen Hong Kong : Fast Getaway: Take a day trip to Macau

Headed to Macau? There is a load to pack into a single, one-day stop from cobbled streets and European churches to gigantic casinos. If you are wondering just what to do in one day, check out my handy itinerary.

8:00 am Start early! My hotel is conveniently situated close to the ferry terminal and Macau is just an hour away by ferry. Vessels get crowded, so ask my team to make reservations a few days ahead and avoid waiting for spaces. You can travel economy or splurge on a first-class ticket for bigger seats and less bustle. Head to the Sheung Wan Ferry Pier and climb aboard.

9:30 am
Start off in Taipa, south of the Macau peninsula, for a taste of old Macanese village life. I like to rent a bicycle and pedal around, stopping at Koi Kei Bakery for one of their traditional Egg Rolls and Baked Almond Cookies.

10:30 am If you want to see Lord Stow’s Bakery, which is famous for its Portuguese-style Egg Tarts, cab over to Coloane, where you can also visit St. Francis of Xavier’s Church, a relic in bright yellow. Hac Sa Beach isn’t far and is where famous restaurant Fernando’s is located. Stay for lunch and sample its Salted Codfish, a signature dish.

11:30 am One of my favourite things to do in Macau has to be its most spectacular landmarks – the Ruins of St. Pauls back on the Peninsula. Buses or cabs can easily take you back to town. Stop at Senado Square, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and another must-see site in Macau, where architecture is largely European – but don’t expect a sleepy vibe. Tourists and locals make for bustling activity.

12 noon Make a detour to St. Domingos Church to admire the traditional colonial architecture, then venture on to the Ruins of St. Paul’s, the stone steps and impressive façade of which are all that remain of a church first built in 1580.

1:30 pm Time for lunch. One of the common reasons to come to Macau is to eat. Enjoy mouth-watering Portuguese and Macanese food to be had at Escada Restaurante, which means staircase in Portuguese, at Rua de Se No. 8, just off the Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro and by an old staircase. Order traditional dishes like Portuguese Baked Duck Rice and African Chicken, and prepare to loosen those belts!

3:00 pm Now I’ve seen Macau’s historical sites, it’s time to view those making history! Catch a cab around to the Cotai Strip, a new stretch of land devoted to towering glitzy casinos.)

4:00 pm Stop by the Wynn. Even if you don’t gamble, the shows are some kind of spectacular. Every half an hour, a golden tree seems to rise out of the ground during the Tree of Prosperity and, on the hour, during the Dragon of Fortune, an animated golden dragon appears with glowing red eyes and puffs of smoke.

6:00 pm Stop at the Venetian next and step aboard a gondola! Water gliding by will take you past the meccas of designer retail on offer at The Grand Canal Shoppes.

7:30 pm There’s just time to grab some dinner – I like Canton for Chinese, and Café Deco for international fare is a failsafe. There’s also a modern outlet serving Lord Stow’s Portuguese Egg Tarts if you bypassed Coloane earlier. Then get ready to be impressed by the mighty House of Dancing Water – a large water-based show.

10:00 pm There’s nothing like a ferry ride to lull me into a light snooze. Before you know it, you’ve docked in Hong Kong! And with that action-packed day behind you, it’s time to head back to my hotel for a well-earned nightcap at the Lobby Bar and Lounge.

Enjoy Macau! If you want to see The House of Dancing Water, ask my team to book tickets when you make your travel plans.