Getting to Macau

A busy day at Largo do Senado, Macau

I feel like this blog should be called “Misadventures in a stubborn, think she knows everything, mama traveler’s life.” Once again, my lack of planning bit me in the butt, but thankfully, the Germans came to my rescue. I’ll back up and explain.

The Ferry  On Thursday, Dek and I headed to Macau. I had already scouted out where the China Ferry Terminal was. It was right in our hotel! Just get out at level one or two from the hotel elevator ,and you are there. Easy, right?

I bought a ticket for the ferry. The price was about HK$133, which came out to be about US$18. The ticket agent asked me how old Dek was, and I told him Dek was almost two. Kids over 1 year old are supposed to have a ticket. There was some back and forth, mostly on his side, over whether Dek would need a ticket since he wasn’t actually 2 yet, but finally the agent just shrugged and basically told me to see if the boarding agents would let him through. Ok, no problem. I can always try to save some money and sneak my kid in. Thankfully no one stopped us and we were on our way.

Seating  The ferry ride was just over an hour long. When you buy your ticket, you are not given a seat number, only when you check in at boarding do they give you a sticker with a seat number on it.

  • Tip: Both on the way there and the way back, we were stuck in the middle section of seats (2 aisles down the middle, 3 groups of seats across), but on both rides, I noticed that the front window section in row 34 (no seats in front because the door was there) were free. Another man grab these seats before I could on the way to Macau, but on the way back I jumped into the window seat, and no one ever came to claim they were supposed to sit there. So keep an eye on these seats, they will give you a much better view. The leg room ain’t bad either.

Customs  Did you know that Macau is sort of another country? I didn’t until the night before we left. The concierge told me to bring our passports. We went through customs as we left, we went through customs when we arrived. There was paperwork going both ways. For such a tiny island, there sure was a lot of paperwork for a day trip.

Arrival in Macau  Once your boat has arrived, you will pass through customs and head out of the terminal. You are at the Outer Harbor Macau Ferry Terminal. Look for the No. 3 or 10 bus. It will cost you $3.20 Macau dollars to ride the bus. They also accept Hong Kong dollars. They do not give change. These buses will take you to the Largo de Senado, which is a good starting point for exploring the old Portuguese buildings and historic sights.

Where I went wrong  Do not think, like I did, that you are coming into the Inner Harbor Terminal, and you can just walk up the street to all of the main historic sights. I was so confused once we arrived, I was wandering all over the terminal, and then the bus station, looking for the main street. This did not look like a quaint little town. I couldn’t even get to the casino across the street.

Finally I asked a couple walking by if they spoke English and could help me. They were from Germany, had been traveling around China for 2 weeks, they spoke English, and they were also a bit confused as to where to go. We decided to figure it out together.

I asked a girl holding up a sign for the Venetian, and she told us we had to take a bus, but it was on the other side of the street. My lovely new German friends helped me get Dek’s stroller up the steps and onto the bus, and we all made it safely to Largo de Senado. Dek and I waved good-bye, and we went off to explore.

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