Emily Jablon: Daraius and I celebrated Christmas in Macau and Hong Kong with his family for ~8 days. It was our 1st time to Macau and Hong Kong and we were very excited to visit!
An Asian Holiday – Trip Report Index:
- Part 1 – Using Miles and Points to Get to India And Hong Kong
- Part 2 – Etihad Lounge in Washington, DC
- Part 3 – Using Miles for Two $8,000 First Class Seats to Mumbai, India
- Part 4 – By Air and Sea – Cathay First Class to Hong Kong, Ferry to Macau
- Part 5 – A Free Stay in a ~$360 Per Night Suite at the Grand Hyatt Macau
- Part 6 – A Surprise Trip to the Panda Pavilion, Street Entertainment, and a Historic Walking Tour
- Part 7 – Historic Sites, Street Food & a Show in Macau
- Part 8 – Egg Tarts & Other Delicacies in Macau
- Part 9 – Our Free Stay at the Conrad Hong Kong
- Part 10 – Spectacular View of Hong Kong From Victoria Peak & the Amazing Symphony of Lights
- Part 11 – Hong Kong Walking Tour of Shops, Flowers, and More
- Part 12 – The Best Gnocchi Emily’s Had in Her Entire Life and Other Meals in Hong Kong
- Part 13 – From Fine Dining to Food Stalls, Eating in Hong Kong
- Part 14 – Sipping Champagne in the Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge, Hong Kong
- Part 15 – Cathay Pacific First Class from Hong Kong to the US
- Part 16 – Conclusion and Blog Giveaway
We will cover various activities in Macau including:
- Visiting the Venetian
- Seeing pandas at the Giant Panda Pavilion
- Self-guided Walk #1: Around the Macau Peninsula
Street Shows at the Venetian, Macau
The Venetian is located across the street from the City of Dreams, which includes the Grand Hyatt.
It’s only about a 5 minute walk from the Grand Hyatt.
Similar to the Venetian in Las Vegas, the Venetian in Macau
hosts nightly shows with street entertainers.
We saw various characters dressed up, including an Ice man on stilts…
…Frosty the Snowman…
…and a Princess.
There was also was a free magic show!
The crowd was mesmerized.
What I liked best was all of the people out enjoying themselves with their families.
You could really feel the festive spirit!
After enjoying the show we went to the Shoppes at the Venetian, which included lots of name brands like Zara and Hugo Boss. There were also some Asian stores.
Some of the shops were so busy that the security men enforced crowd control by only allowing a certain number of shoppers at once.
There were shops selling layers of dried pork meat…
…and shops with cute toys.
The food court was huge and very busy. There were food from virtually all of Asia represented in the food court!
We weren’t hungry so we skipped dinner. After a couple of hours of shopping we were exhausted. So we walked back to the hotel and went to sleep.
Giant Panda Pavilion
The next day Daraius had a surprise for us so we left at 10:00 am in a cab. It cost ~$5 from the Grand Hyatt to the panda park. Soon we saw a sign for the Giant Panda Pavilion!
He had taken us to a zoo for 2 giant pandas, which are an endangered species.
We paid the entrance fee of $10 HKD, or ~ $1.
We arrived at 10:40 am, so we decided to wait the 20 minutes until the 11:00 am starting time to see the pandas. They let visitors in for only ~1 hour and at fixed times.
While we were waiting, we walked around the complex.
We went into the gift shop, where there was panda everything!
I wanted to take some pandas home with me.
We went to the pavilion and were granted entry at 11:00 am. For the first 10 minutes the pandas were hidden from view. One was on the side of the building and it was a bit hard to see him.
However, we soon got lucky and saw one of them eat breakfast right in front of us!
We read that pandas can forage and eat for 10 to 16 hours a day, which is quite a lot! Daraius wishes he could be a panda for a day. 🙂
The park also had ostriches and a few other birds, but the main attraction was the pandas.
Self-Guided Walking Tour – The Penha Peninsula
The next day we decided to go on a walking tour to see sites around the Penha peninsula, which included old churches, temples, a restored mansion, and residential streets.
At the start our walk we came across a square which had the Maritime Museum and a temple.
We used the itinerary laid out in the Fodor’s Hong Kong guide book for this tour.
We quickly toured the maritime museum, which had reproductions and old artifacts from maritime life in Macau.
We went to the A-Ma temple, which was in the same plaza.
This is Macau’s oldest temple and parts of it date back to the 1500’s. You can buy incense to honor the seafarers’ goddess. Be careful not to get bitten by the dragon!
Inside there were several buildings.
Many people were lighting incense.
I liked the incense coils!
We then went to see the Moorish barracks, which were built in 1874. I loved the old architecture.
Many of the streets contained modern cement buildings, which were not particularly pretty.
I enjoyed seeing the different kinds of shops, from tailors to antique dealers.
Our next stop was the Mandarin House, which was built in 1860.
It’s a 60 room traditional Chinese mansion.
It wasn’t kept up over the years and at one point over 300 people stayed in the 60 rooms.
Inside the house you can see before and after pictures of the recent renovations. I really liked exploring this house because of its architecture and secret passageways.
Next on our walk was Dom Pedro V Theatre, which was built in 1860. It was the first Western-style theatre in China.
The inside was a bit plain though.
In tomorrow’s post, we will highlight exploring old Macau through 1 more walking tour and the House of Dancing Water show at the City of Dreams.
They are so many cheap things to do in Macau.
We had a wonderful time walking around the city and learning about its history. Watching the street performers at the Venetian is a fun activity for families and it’s free!
I really enjoyed our surprise trip to see the pandas. Watching the pandas eat and play is an experience that shouldn’t be missed!