Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Our Macau Holiday (October 2011): Day 1 (Macau Ferry Terminal, Cotai Strip: City of Dreams, Hard Rock, Venetian)

I did a lot of research prior to our trip and most of the info I got came from the Macau Thread of PinoyExchange (PEx). Thanks to commoner and rap_sd6 who created the thread and to all the PExers who contributed. :) 

We were a party of 5 adults and 1 kid (a senior at 62yrs, then 29, 26, 25, and 18 yrs old, and a 2yr-old-kid).  The promo tickets were bought in February 2011 (tagal ng paghihintay, hehe).

OCTOBER 30, 2011, Sunday (Macau Ferry Terminal & Cotai Strip: City of Dreams, Hard Rock, Venetian)
*(this portion on the ferry ride was copied from Day 4 of our HK Holiday)
Upon arriving the Hong Kong Ferry Terminal (which was around 5:00PM), I quickly went to the NWFF booth and bought tickets for the Kowloon-Macau 5:30PM trip (HKD166 each).  Ryken should have a ticket even if he's only two years old (but this wasn't checked when we boarded, sayang!).  The terminal is similar to the Batangas Port :)  Hubby and my brother went to 7-Eleven to use up the remaining credits of our octopus cards and they bought Yakult, water, and some biscuits.

After a few minutes, I heard boarding announcements in Chinese and it was a bit inaudible because of the noise of passengers in the terminal.  I was aware that we have to board at least 10 minutes before departure time.  It was around 5:25PM already and when I listened again to the announcement (now in English), it was already the last call for boarding!!  We ran from the pre-departure area all the way to the ferry as I saw some Chinese also running. Haha! Another Amazing Race episode in our holiday. :)

The fastcraft was huge and roomy and it was bigger than our local Supercat.  There were only a few passengers and the ferry left on the dot.  We sat at the middle part of the ferry.  The trip was smooth except for some portions where I almost felt like I would vomit (blame it on the Yakult I drank earlier, har!).  My sister-in-law who was a first-timer on a ferry got seasick and she forgot to bring Bonamine.  My mom hails from Victoria, Oriental Mindoro so we're used to riding fastcrafts and ro-ro ferries.  Even Ryken wasn't troubled by the waves but when we were near the Macau Ferry Terminal, he cried a bit and slept on my lap.  Baka nahilo na rin.  
Bye, HK! (view from the ferry)
Macau Friendship Bridge (view from the ferry)
as we approached the Macau Ferry Terminal
We were able to exit the ferry terminal at around past 7pm.  The trip lasted for 1hour and 10minutes and immigration was a breeze.  Don't forget to get Macau maps at the Tourism office which is by the entrance door of the terminal.  After customs, look for the sign that says Exit to Hotel Shuttle Buses and upon exit, turn left.  The shuttle of Hotel Sintra (small red van) is in the same stop as that of Grand Emperor Hotel (their bus is purple in color with a number 88 on the body).  We met a Filipino there who was holding a sign of a hotel (can't recall which one) and we chatted a bit.  It took a while for the Sintra shuttle to arrive.  Its first stop is Grand Lisboa then 2nd stop is Hotel Sintra.     
our hotel room
finally, some breathing space! hehe..

naka-peace sign kami ('di nga lang nakita)
I booked two standard non-smoking rooms directly at Hotel Sintra's website and they replied promptly to my reservation.  You don't have to pay for anything but they request for credit card details to secure your booking.  There's also a deposit of MOP1,000.00 per room upon arrival which is refundable upon check-out.  We got two standard rooms and one of us was a sneak-in.  They weren't strict at all but of course, we did it discreetly.  My hubby fetched my brother who waited in the lobby while we were all fixing our things in the room.  The security guard on duty at that time was a Filipino who was a new OFW in Macau (isang buwan pa lang siya roon).

It was cold in Macau that time, similar to Baguio or Tagaytay weather.  We were lucky it did not rain though it was cloudy at times.  Yung damit na medyo mainit suotin dito sa Pinas, sakto lang doon.  :)

We went to City of Dreams (COD) after settling our things in the room.  The COD shuttle was right outside the entrance to the hotel.  We watched the 9:00pm Dragon's Treasure show (HKD30.00 each adult).  I was a bit disappointed with this though the effects were great.  Sana free show pa rin siya, haha!  The security guard here was Filipino because we asked him for directions to The Bubble (venue for the show). :) 
I like this bridge
Macau Tower at night (see you tomorrow!)
sexy mermaid at COD

medyo masakit lang sa leeg
mermaid warrior
gold coins for good luck

Ryken got scared with the loud sound effects and menacing look of the dragons but he liked the intro of the rabbit (the show opened with a rabbit hopping around the room).   We just took a picture at the lobby of Hard Rock Hotel then off we went to Venetian by boarding the Cotai Strip shuttle which was right outside COD.  
the shuttle to Venetian
The Venetian was huge! An hour is not enough to explore the place and it was so beautiful!  Kaya lang nakakapagod lakarin. :) The security guards we met here were also Filipinos. :) We were actually disappointed because we were looking forward to the gondola ride but they only entertain passengers until 9:30pm.  We arrived late and had difficulty looking for the ticket counter (Boutique Di Gondola).  We were not able to go back the next day because of time constraint. Sayang. :( Hopefully next time.
race car (Formula 3 Race in Macau every November)

the gondola singers
secret lovers (hehe..)
main lobby
parang cathedral sa laki!
We finished exploring Venetian at 10:30pm and we planned to eat dinner at the foodcourt there but it was already late and we might miss the shuttles going back to the city so we just ordered take-out food from Mcdonald's.  The COD-Sintra shuttle was until 10:50pm only and the last trip of the Venetian shuttles was at 11:00pm kaya humabol kami sa shuttle going to the ferry terminal.  From there, we planned to take other shuttles to hotels that were near Sintra but we had problems.  

We tried Grand Emperor (which was beside Sintra) but the Chinese attendant did not allow us because we had food and drinks.  In Grand Lisboa, we weren't allowed because we had a kid with us.  There was a Pinoy attendant there from Wynn and he advised us to put the food inside our bags, try to finish off some of our drinks, and hide the other drinks from the view of the driver when we board the Wynn shuttle.  Thankfully the driver did not notice our Mcdonald's take-out. :)  It was a bonus that we were able to watch the fountain show in Wynn but we did not enter the hotel anymore to watch the other shows since we were tired and sleepy already.  We walked from Wynn to Hotel Sintra and had photo ops with the casino / hotel lights.  
Wynn's fountain show
dancing at the cowboy-themed music
Grand Lisboa's facade
Indeed, Macau was very colorful and vibrant at night!  But I liked HK's festive night mood more :)

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