Macau accepts Hong Kong currency readily. So there is no need to exchange your money to Macau patacas. The locals offer the exchange rate of 1:1. However, in reality HK$1 = MOP1.03. So, if you are spending a lot in Macau, it is worthwhile to exchange them into Patacas.
Macau does not accept HK$10, be it the coin or the paper bill. Many merchants do not accept HK$ coins with the old Queen Elizabeth head.
If China is the empire of bicyles, Vietnam the haven of the moterbikes, then Macau is surely the land of the scooters. I did not realise it till my second trip when I realised that virtually every "bike" parked along the lots are actually scooters.
Scooter lovers would love Macau.
Fondest memory: Scooters, scooters everywhere.
The official currency in Macau is the Patacas (and the coins Centavos). The Patacas is not available on the open market, but you can certainly use the Hong Kong Dollar in Macau. The rate is almost 1:1 so virtually every tourist is using the Hong Kong Dollar for transactions. It is possibly one (if not, the only) place on Earth where an external currency is more widely used than the local currency.
Do note: The Patacas CANNOT be used at all in Hong Kong.
Favorite thing: You should visit Macau from October to May. It does get a little colder in Macau during the winter months of December-January (with temperature going as low as 0C but generally hovering around 10C-15C). The months of June -September is not favourable due to the many hurricanes and cyclones that are forming in the South China Sea and Macau usually gets the perfunctory bump one or two.
Favorite thing: Macao adopted a flag upon its re-integration into China on 20 December 1999. The flag is light green with a white lotus above a stylized bridge and water and beneath an arc of five stars: one large and four smaller as on the flag of China.
Macao is the perfect getaway from Hong Kong.
Such experts as China Travel Services propose week-end package deals (ferry + hotel) at interesting rates (starting 500 HKD pax).
Hotels include Hyatt hotel, Lisboa hotel, Ritz and many more prestigious places !
Fondest memory: Macao is definitely the place to go in Asia if you want to have some typical european (portuguese) cuisine.
Check out the Restaurant " A Petisqueira", located in Taipa Village, on Taipa island.
MET Card is a bonus point loyalty program. To accompany spending paid by credit card or cash at participating merchants, MET Card is used as a medium to register bonus points earned and redeemed. You can apply for the card at Hong Kong's Shun Tak Centre and Macau's Maritime Ferry Terminal.
Money in Macau is similar to Money in Hong Kong for multiple reasons. First, despite the fact that Macau (and Hong Kong) has been reunited with mainland China, they maintain their own unique currency. Second, the Macau currency is valued at almost exactly the same rate as the Hong Kong Dollar (1 Macau Pataca = 1 Hong Kong Dollar). And finally, Macau Pataca and Hong Kong Dollars are both legal currency in Macau (but not in Hong Kong!).
Unfortunately, Patacas are somewhat difficult to come by in Macau. Many ATMs will not distribute them and stores will often not give them as change for your Hong Kong money. Luckily it doesn't matter if you use Patacas because HK$ are accepted everywhere, and they are even distributed at all Macau ATMs. I received a 10 Pataca note and a few one Pataca coins as change from a taxi ride.
The only place Patacas are REQUIRED in Macau is at the slot machines in the casinos! They will not take HK$ (but the cashiers will exchange your HK$ for Patacas!).
Of Macau's 450,000 residents today, only 20,000 are Macanese (Portuguese/Chinese mix) and a minuscule 1,000 are full-blooded Portuguese. Macau was a Portuguese colony from 1513 until 1999, so the influence of Portugal here is still very strong. The food has an interesting blend of eastern and Portuguese, and there are still two official languages: Portuguese and Chinese. The money is of course the Pataca, which is printed under the authority of the Chinese government.
The people here seem to be more laid-back and friendly than their neighbors in big-city Hong Kong. The culture seems more rich and unique, the architecture more diverse, and the food more tasty.
Favorite thing: Situated on the South coast of China, Macao really is something special, since it has a heritage of Chinese and Portuguese influences. The current population of Macao is estimated at around 450,000 inhabitants, mostly Chinese (93%) followed by the Portuguese community (5%) and other residents of different origins like Filipino’s and Thai’s. It is wonderful to experience this mix of cultures - even if you visit just for a day!
Favorite thing: Probably if you have limited time in Macau ? as in a one day trip from Hong Kong, then it would be better to take a tour to really get around the Island. If you just want to go and shop, then it is easy enough to do on your own. Museums are generally closed Mondays or Tuesdays. Its very easy to loose your bearings in the shopping area of Macau so if you can get yourself a map, this will help.
This is the main border overland route into nearby mainland China (Gongbei district). Apparently you can get a Chinese visa at the customs desk if you intend to visit only Zhuhai. However, I got my visa ahead of time, so I don't know if it is true or not. Many local Macanese go into Gongbei to buy their groceries as the costs are even cheaper!
Fondest memory: The customs area is a lot less chaotic than Hong Kong's overland routes at both Lo Wu and Huanggang. Many buses terminate at the bus terminal adjacent to the border.
Favorite thing: This is a picture that I believe was taken by my dad up at Penha Hill. My dad's secretary, Sylvia is on the left and then there's my sister, my mom (looking like a hippy!) and me showing off my six pack abs on the right.
The central area of the peninsula is hilly, but it's worth to walk up and down to forts, temples and churches.
Fondest memory: As I was walking down from Fort Monte on this street (Caminho dos Artilheiros), it was very hot, I was thirsty and hungry, and at the end of the street, I found the THS cafe, a nice place with air conditioning and good coffee! It was very pleasant to sit there for a while and read my book.
Favorite thing: Incense originates from the tropical areas of South-East Asia and is used to purify the air, to calm the mind, to strengthen one's health. The scent of burning incense sticks and coils fills all the temples in Macau (it reminds me of lighting candles and the smell of frankincense in Catholic churches).
Rua do Visconde Paco de Arcos, Macau, Macau Region, China
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