BEFORE YOU TRAVEL
Macao Tourist Visa is not required for citizens of India, holding a valid Indian Passport. All visitors must hold a passport or a valid travel document for travel to Macao.
Macao’s currency is the Pataca (MOP$). Most ATMs allow you to choose between patacas and Hong Kong dollars. Credit cards are readily accepted at Macau’s hotels, larger restaurants and casinos. You can also change cash and travellers cheques at the banks lining Avenida da Praia Grande and Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro, as well as at major hotels.
1 Macanese Pataca = 8.35 Indian Rupee (as of 25th September, 2016)
By the decision of the Government the Pataca is linked to the Hong Kong dollar (HK$). The exchange rate is MOP$103.20 = HK$100.00. There is an acceptable variation up to 10%. Roughly 8 Patacas is equivalent to 1 US Dollar.
- The duty-free quota for visitors
- 100 cigarettes, 10 cigars, 50 cigarillos and 100 gr. of tobacco products (total weight max. 125 gr.);
- 1 litre of wine and 1 litre of spirits;
- Clothing articles, jewellery and sports articles;
- One camera, one film camera, one video cassette recorder, binoculars, one portable musical instrument, one portable radio, one tape recorder, one portable computer;
- Tax free articles of a total value up to MOP 10,000.
- Pharmaceutical products (except for personal use),
- chemicals and drugs, gunpowder and explosives, pyrotechnical articles and inflammable materials,
- arms and ammunition (except if pre-authorization was obtained),
- dangerous goods,
- endangered species of animals and plants;
- radioactive substances
- irradiating apparatus and pesticides.
- All fish, shellfish,
- meat and plants (including fruit, ornamental plants, vegetables, etc.) require an import permit and must be accompanied by a valid Health Certificate issued by the appropriate government authority of the exporting country.
Tipping is not a must, but is expected. MOP$10 or MOP$20 will do for hotel porters, and tip around 10% of restaurant bills.
Best time to Visit
Macao has a pleasant weather all year round. However, October to December is preferred to avoid the summer weather.
- Mar–May Celebrate the arts, a sea goddess and a dragon as mist hangs over the harbour.
- Jun–Sep Days in the shade of temples and dragon boats; nights aglow with fireworks.
- Oct–Feb Music and grand prix in a high-octane run-up to Christmas and New Year.
Travelling with Children
Families traveling with kids will find plenty to do in Macao. Many of the newer resorts and properties are family-friendly, with indoor playgrounds and kid-approved food courts. There are also a handful of museums and activities of interest to children, notably the Macau Science Centre, Giant Panda Pavilion and Pier 16 Macao 3D World. Click here to know more.
GETTING INTO MACAO
Located on Taipa Island, Macau International Airport is only 20 minutes from the city centre. It has frequent services to destinations including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Kaohsiung, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Osaka, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo.
To & From Hong Kong
The vast majority of travellers make their way from Hong Kong to Macau by ferry. The journey takes just an hour and there are frequent departures throughout the day, with reduced service between midnight and 7am. Most ferries depart from the Hong Kong–Macau Ferry Terminal on Hong Kong Island or the China Ferry Terminal in Kowloon, and arrive at the Macau Maritime Ferry Terminal in the outer harbour or the Taipa Temporary Ferry Terminal.
TurboJet has regular departures from the Hong Kong–Macau Ferry Terminal (every 15 minutes) and the China Ferry Terminal (every 30 minutes) to Macau from 7am to midnight, and less frequent service after midnight. Fares are HK$164/326 (economy/superclass), and it costs about 10% more on weekends and 20% more for night service (6.15pm to 6.30am).
CotaiJet has high-speed catamarans connecting the Hong Kong–Macau Ferry Terminal and the Taipa Temporary Ferry Terminal every half-hour between 7.30am and midnight. Fares are HK$165/270 (Cotai class/Cotai first) and it costs about 10% more on weekends and 20% more for night service (after 6pm). Free shuttles at the ferry terminal in Taipa will take you to destinations along the Cotai Strip.
The Sky Shuttle helicopter service operates every 15-30 minutes between Macau’s Terminal Maritimo and the Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Pier in Hong Kong, as well as five times a day to/from Shenzhen airport. The trip takes just 16 minutes, but weekday/weekend tickets cost a whopping HK$3700/3900 one-way.
Macau is an easy gateway by land into mainland China. Simply take bus 3, 5 or 9 to the border gate (關閘; Portas do Cerco; open 7am to midnight) and walk across. A second – and much less busy crossing – is the Cotai Frontier Post (open 9am to 8pm) on the causeway linking Taipa and Coloane, which allows visitors to cross the Lotus Flower Bridge by shuttle bus (MOP$4) to Héngqín in Zhūhǎi. Buses 15, 21 and 26 will drop you off at the crossing.
- Mobile Cityguide – A mobile website designed especially for tourists, with local and international news, latest activities, shopping guide, restaurant & hotel information, bus routes, ferry and flight schedule, emergency and useful telephone numbers & weather information, etc., available in Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, English & Portuguese. Tourists can browse http://m.cityguide.gov.mo in Wi-Fi, 3G or GPRS enabled handheld device.
- For information on other interactive and award winning mobile apps for Macao travellers, click here.
Public buses and minibuses run by TCM (www.tcm.com.mo) and Transmac operate from 6am until shortly after midnight. Fares – MOP$3.20 on the peninsula, MOP$4.20 to Taipa Village, MOP$5 to Coloane Village and MOP$6.40 to Hác Sá beach – are dropped into a box upon entry (exact change needed), or you can pay with a Macau Pass, which can be purchased from various supermarkets and convenience stores. The card costs MOP$130 at first purchase, which includes a refundable deposit of MOP$30. A minimum of MOP$50 is required to add money to the card each time. Expect buses to be very crowded.
The Macau Tourist Map has a full list of bus company routes and it’s worth picking one up from one of the Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) outlets. You can also check the routes online. The two most useful buses on the peninsula are buses 3 and 3A, which run between the ferry terminal and the city centre, near the post office. Both continue up to the border crossing with the mainland, as does bus 5, which can be boarded along Avenida Almeida Ribeiro. Bus 12 runs from the ferry terminal, past the Lisboa Hotel and then up to Lou Lim Ioc Garden and Kun Iam Temple. The best services to Taipa and Coloane are buses 21A, 25 and 26A. Buses to the airport are AP1, 26, MT1 and MT2.
The pedicab, or tricycle rickshaw, is a leisurely and romantic form of transport around the waterfronts of Macau (it is not designed for hill climbing), and offers visitors a chance to see and photograph the sights, while chatting with the drivers. The main locations for hiring a pedicab are outside the Macau Ferry Terminal and opposite the main door of the Lisboa Hotel. They usually charge MOP$150.00 per hour. You should agree on the price before starting your trip.
The streets of Macau Peninsula are a gridlock of cars and mopeds that will cut you off at every turn.
Avis Rent A Car Hires out cars from MOP$800 to MOP$1600 per day (10% to 20% more expensive on weekends). Chauffeur-driven services start from MOP$380 per hour. Also has an office at the Grand Lapa Hotel car park (open 8am to 10pm).
Burgeon Rent A Car Hires Kia cars, with the cheapest model starting at MOP$450 for the first nine hours. The cheapest car with chauffeur costs MOP$1280 for eight hours.
The fare is MOP$17 for the first 1.6km and MOP$2 for each additional 230m. There is a MOP$5 surcharge to go to Coloane; travelling between Taipa and Coloane is MOP$2 extra. For yellow radio taxis, call 853 2851 9519 or 853 2893 9939.
Bikes can be rented in Taipa Village. You are not allowed to cross the Macau–Taipa bridges on a bicycle.
The Macau Peninsula has a range of accommodation options, from serviceable business hotels at low price points to international luxury hotel chains. Coloane is home to a handful of beachy inns and the city’s two hostels while Cotai has a wide variety of new casino hotels, many offering excellent weekday deals.
EAT & DRINK
You can eat Chinese congee for breakfast, enjoy a Portuguese lunch of caldo verde soup and bacalhau (cod) fritters, and dine on hybrid Macanese fare such as minchi (ground beef or pork, often served over rice). Other delicacies include pork chop bun, feijoada (kidney-bean stew) and the world famous pastéis de nata (egg tarts), crispy and flaky on the outside and soft and sweet on the inside.
Portuguese wines and Macao Beer are widely available while a crisp glass of vinho verde (“green wine”, but actually just a young white) goes very well with salty Macanese food. As elsewhere in China, though, locals tend to prefer cognacs and whisky. There is also a wine museum which you can have the opportunity to taste over 50 varieties of wine.
Shop worry-free in Macao. Shops are certified so you can register complaints, if any with the Consumer Council. The Consumer Council of the Macau government has launched a quality initiative program in the city by granting ‘Certified Shop’ status to those who have a record of no customer complaints since 2001. Customers who buy goods in the stores that participate in this program can obtain free arbitral service at the Customer Arbitral Center in the event of any disputes over purchases. The handy ‘Certified Shop’ App helps you scan the QR Code to verify genuineness.
Macao has a free market economy; as such, prices are set by individual retailers. The same goods may be offered at different prices by different retailers. Remember to ask for a receipt identifying the seller when you shop – and ask about terms and conditions applicable to returned goods.
Health & Safety
- Violent crime against visitors in Macao is rare, but pickpocketing and other street crime can occur in busy areas. Take extra caution with passports and valuables in crowded areas and when visiting casinos late at night.
- Possession of any kind of illicit drugs can lead to imprisonment.
- The legal age for gambling in Macao is 21.
- Tap water is regularly checked and guaranteed by the Health Bureau according to international standards.
- Hospitals with 24 hour emergency services
- Centro Hospitalar Conde Saõ Januário Southwest of Guia Fort.
- Hospital Kiang Wu Northeast of the ruins of the Church of St Paul.
- Emergency 999/110/112
- Police 28573333
- Hospital Centre S. Januário 28313731
- Kiang Wu Hospital 28371333
- University Hospital 28821838
- 24-Hour Tourism Hotline: (853) 2833 3000 The service is in Cantonese, Mandarin, English, Portuguese and Japanese.
- Consumer Council: +853 8988 9315
- Directory Enquiries: 181
- Tourist Office Address: Alameda Dr. Carlos d’Assumpção, n.os 335-341, Edifício “Hot Line”, 12º andar, Macao
Macao has excellent mobile phone coverage. Macao has both GSM 900/1800 and 3G 2100 networks. Local calls in Macao are free of charge when made from a private phone. When using a public phone, it costs MOP$1.00. Phone cards can be purchased for MOP$50.00, MOP$100.00 or MOP$150.00 and they can be used in public phones located all around the Macao peninsula, Taipa and Coloane.
If you would like to use your mobile phone while in Macao, please contact the information services below:
- 1000 (CTM)
- 1118 (Hutchison Telecom)
- 1628 (SmarTone)
Macao has extensive free wifi coverage throughout the city. It is known as the “Wifi GO”. Available daily from 8:00am to 1:00am the Username and password are ‘wifigo’, for 45 minutes per session in high density areas throughout the territory. For details, please call service hotline (853) 2828 3883 or visit: http://www.wifi.gov.mo
The tourist information offices on Largo do Senado and at the jetfoil terminal have maps, information on museums and events, helpful English-speaking staff, and free Internet access at the Largo do Senado office.
Source: Macao Govt. Tourist Office (MGTO), Lonely Planet and Wikitravel