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Getting Around Macau

April 3rd, 2009 by

TurboJet FerryMore and more people are heading to Macau for their vacations.  This is not in the bit surprising as there are a lot of wonderful things to see and experience in this former Portuguese colony.  Tourists can visit any of the sacred temples, walk around Senado Square, check out museums, or go take a dip in Macau’s beaches.  With all these exciting stops, it is important for all travelers in Macau to know the different modes of transportation to take while touring this vibrant and colorful city.

First and foremost, there are different ways to reach Macau.  If by air, there are a number of airlines that service this line headed by the flag carrier, Air Macau Company Limited or simply Air Macau.  This airline operates to a total of twelve destinations in China plus other international countries.

It is also possible to travel to Macau by sea.  At the moment, there are over 150 scheduled sea-crossing trips.  This option of entering or leaving Macau by sea are serviced by different vehicles like the ultra fast catamarans that can carry a total capacity of about 400 heads or some jetfoils that have a capacity about 260 heads maximum.  Ferry companies that service the Macau – Hong Kong – Macau line specifically include Turbo Jet, Cotai Jet, and the New World First Ferry.  Travelers who will be coming from Hong Kong usually do a day trip or spend a couple of nights in Macau.  These travelers can take Turbo Jet at Sheung Wan, New World First Ferry at Tsim Sha Tsui, or Cotai Jet at the Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal in Hong Kong.  Travel time will take about an hour.

For those who would like to have a taste of the lives of the rich and famous and who are not traveling on a limited budget can try traveling to Macau from Hong Kong on a helicopter that is operated by Heli Express.  The view would surely be fantastic and the travel time is greatly shortened.  If taking a ferry would usually mean an hour worth of travel, taking a helicopter would only take less than 30 minutes.

Sands Hotel Shuttle Buses

Upon arrival either at the airport or at the Macau Ferry Terminal, visitors can proceed to their hired vehicles or take other forms of public transport.  If we were to rank all forms of transportation available in Macau, road transportation would still be at the top of the list as it is the most available.  These forms of road transportation include buses and taxi cabs and these are considered the major modes of public transport.  There are also pedicabs or trishaws in Macau but not so many people ride on these anymore except for tourists who would like to try something different.  Unfortunately, there is no available railway system in Macau at the moment but there are plans to build one.

There are traditional means of transportation in Macau like the pedicabs are commonly known as tricycle. The pedicabs can carry two persons and has become a tourist attraction in Macau. The pedicab has one extra wheel at the back and can carry people on a sitting panel. The other name for them is trishaw.

The buses of Macau have their own service lines.  There are buses that travel until the other islands of Macau like Taipa and Coloane.  The companies behind these buses are Transmac and TCM.  It is highly suggested that visitors take buses as these are the most inexpensive.  It is important to prepare the exact change.  Aside from the private companies who are into the public transport system, the casinos of Macau offer free shuttle bus services from the Macau Ferry Terminal or from the Macau International Airport.  This also serves as their extended service not only for their guests but also to all tourists who are exploring Macau.

Wynn Macau Shuttle Buses

Another way to get around Macau is by taking the ever dependable taxi cab.  There are a lot of taxis in Macau and it should not be a problem to find one when you need one, that is, if you are not looking for a taxi during rush hours.  There are taxi stands at the airport, Macau Ferry Terminal, hotels and casinos and in all the other major tourist destinations like the Macau Tower, near the famous churches or near hotels like the Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16. One can find two kinds of taxis in Macau.  One type has a black body (also called the Big Black Taxi similar to the Big Yellow Taxi of New York) and the other one is colored yellow.  Unfortunately, not all taxi drivers in Macau understand other languages.  To solve the language barrier for English speaking or Chinese speaking guests, the Macau government (specifically the Tourism Office of Macau) started providing English and Chinese speaking guides that are stationed near the taxi stands at the airport or at the terminal.  These guides or destination guides ask the foreign passengers where they are heading and then gives directions to the taxi drivers in local tongue.  This kind of service is also offered during times when major events are being held in Macau like the Macau Grand Prix.

The important thing to remember here is that trying the different modes of transportation in the city that you are exploring is part of your adventure.  Don’t be afraid to hop on that trishaw to see the city or go island hopping on-board any of the free shuttle buses that are provided by your Macau hotels.  Planning your mode of transport can help you reach your destination in less time and in the most affordable way possible.

6 Responses to “Getting Around Macau”

  1. herbie Says:

    I was able to try the Tubo Jet when I went to Hong Kong from Macau. It’s really safe and comfy, I was asleep the whole time:). The other mode of transpo that I was able to try is the bus when I went to the Macau Tower. But most of time I use my good old fashioned legs to get me from point A to point B, so I won’t miss anything and I can stop anytime to take pictures and to look around.

  2. monmon Says:

    havent been to macau>> T_T how sad!!!!!!!! btw are there really lechon macau in macau?!

  3. lovelyn Says:

    I am impressed of the Macau’s fascinating sights and places.This is one of the
    competitive place i’ve ever known.

  4. Kitci Wong Says:

    That sure sounds fun Herbie… I also enjoyed walking around Macau.. There is always something interesting to see compared to riding public transport :)

  5. Kitci Wong Says:

    Hi MonMon! I’m sure you’ll get to visit Macau too. There’s no such thing as Lechon De Macau in Macau but there are a lot of preserved meat or what we call TAPA :)

  6. Kitci Wong Says:

    I agree Lovelyn! I would surely want to go back to Macau soon.. Thanks so much for visiting :)

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