“Life Well Travelled Hong Kong” is a digital journey that brings Hong Kong to life through the eyes of two travelers seeing it for the first time. Read their story here, or download our free interactive eBook. Learn helpful tips. Even book a ticket.
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11 am | Macau

Let the good times roll

Mention the name “Macau” and most imagine a decadent gaming destination where the rich go to test their luck at high-stake tables or pamper themselves in expansive luxury. And while that’s undoubtedly true, it’s only one side of the story. A closer inspection reveals this once-expansive fishing village has quite a storied past, with the cobblestone lanes, colonial mansions and impressive art deco structures to prove it. Coupled with some significant Portuguese influence—still visible today in the blue-tiled floors and garden designs that feature prominently around the city—Macau is one of the most eclectic places in all of China. Ready to go win big?

Above: Holy House of Mercy lit up at night

You don’t need luck to get here.

One of the great secrets about getting to Macau is that if you chose to leave from the Hong Kong International Airport on Lantau Island, you can avoid the security lines and travel direct to Macau by ferry. In fact, starting this year, Cathay Pacific ticketing will have a new booking feature that will allow travellers to book both airline and ferry tickets on the same trip. Of course, if you’re already in Hong Kong on business and want to go explore, a 45-minute boat ride from Hong Kong Island is also an easy way to go, with several companies offering ferry service.

Welcome to the Cotai Strip.

Upon arrival, you’ll find yourself in a place known as the Cotai Strip, the main boulevard that’s home to many world-renowned casinos, a place that’s a bit like Las Vegas in scale and Monte Carlo in sheer wealth. The number of casinos here has increased significantly in the last 20 years with a recent count at just under 50. Because of this, over 20 percent of the local population now works in the casino industry. Like their global counterparts, all of the casinos have entertainment options on property, with lavish shows, boxing and music being popular attractions, in addition to the numerous high-end dining establishments that dot every property. With so much going on inside, you could stay at any of these spectacular places and never leave. But there’s another equally interesting side of Macau waiting to be explored.

Other adventures away from the tables.

For those with a passion for something other than gaming, taking a trip to the old city is a worthy and wonderful adventure. Once here, you’ll soon discover its many architectural delights. Stroll the grounds of Senado Square. Take in the beautiful Portuguese churches and traditional Chinese temples that exist side by side. Explore the old walls that surround the city. Or, if you have time and want to extend even further out, visit charming Coloane, an area that has remained largely untouched by modern architectural design, thanks to very stringent zoning laws. Take a stroll down the tree-lined streets as you pass well-manicured grounds. Make sure to stop for an egg tart, the world-famous sweet pastry that was born on the island. And if you’re looking to do something really unique, take a trip to Hac Sa Beach. About a mile long, it’s one of the few places on Earth with a naturally occurring black-sand beach.

However you spend your time, it will all add up to quite a full day, or a most memorable week. Macau is a truly special place. We think you’ll agree that anytime you can visit here is a win.

For a more complete experience and to read all the adventures, download our free interactive eBook, “Life Well Travelled Hong Kong“

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