Macau is a uniquely beautiful city located about 60 kilometers from Hong Kong. With its Portuguese architectural and cultural influences mixing with traditional Chinese influences, it’s a very fun and exciting place to visit. Whether you’re going for the history of the city, or if you’re looking to try your luck gambling at a casino, you should definitely plan a weekend in Macau very soon.
Before you go, read up on these safety tips to make sure you have a fun and responsible time!
When is the Best Time to Visit?
Macau would be a perfect fall getaway! Visit the city between October and December for comfortable temperatures and better forecasts. In the summer, many people hide with their air conditioning because of how hot and humid outside can get. And from May to September, typhoons are possible so again, many people stay indoors. You should also avoid weekends that align with public holidays. Macau is only 11 square miles, so it’s easy for the city to start feeling cramped. Popular tourist sites will be almost impossible to access with a clear view and photo shot.
Overall, How Safe is Macau?
You will rarely find an issue or safety concern here that isn’t the same in every other metropolitan area. Of course, you want to be mindful of your purses and bags in case pickpockets try to snatch something while you’re not looking. Be wary of carrying your passport, especially through the busy squares and tourist spots, and make sure you have a photocopy readily available in case anything happens to your original. The official languages of Macau are Cantonese and Portuguese, but many people also speak English especially at the more touristy locations. And while you probably should convert some cash into the city’s currency pataca, all of the shops and restaurants will also accept Hong Kong dollars.
Where Should You Stay?
A lot of people visiting Macau don’t necessarily plan ahead and book a hotel until the day they leave. If you’re coming over from Hong Kong, you’ll notice hotel agents selling rooms at the ferry pier. This can be cheaper than booking a room once you get into the city. However, you are selecting a room that you won’t see beforehand and thus you won’t know the quality of the hotel or location. If you must do this, be wary of two-star hotels, pensions, or saunas since these tend to be where sex workers conduct their business. Once you’re in your room, either use the safe or hide you important documents out of sight. While not an everyday occurrence, there has been reported thefts from hotel rooms which would really ruin your trip!
Also, never visit a seedy looking part of town or street. Macau is a very tourist friendly city and thousands of people visit every day with no issues. However, Macanese gangs do exist, and you don’t want to purposefully put yourself in a situation or place that can turn dangerous.
How to Get Around the City
Since Macau is only 11 square miles, you don’t have to worry too much about rent a car or something else for your trip. Taxis are not always the most reliable form of transportation and drivers don’t always speak English so you may want to avoid them. Most of the hotels and resorts have wonderful bus services that will take you around to all the touristy locations in a safe and effective way! They’ll also take you to and from the airport and ferry, so that’s one less thing to worry about.
Visiting the Famous Casinos
Since Macau isn’t technically apart of China, gambling and casinos are allowed in the city. You must be 21 or older to entire and participate in the activities, but if you are they are a lot of fun and worth spending even an hour or two just to have the experience. Funny enough, more money is used in gambling in Macau than in Los Vegas! Macau is on a transition plan to become a part of China by 2050, and while new casinos do keep being built, make sure you visit the city before you lose your chance to experience this fun gambling atmosphere!
Macau is definitely worth a visit, whether you’re already in Hong Kong or not. A visit to the city is a lot of fun, whether you participate in gambling, want to visit the historic buildings and temples, or want to see the pretty beaches. Make Macau your next trip next time you’re in China!