Holy Week In Macau: Amazing Ways To Celebrate

It’s the Holy Week. It is part of Filipinos strong religious culture. Holy Week is one of the most anticipated event each year. And you can celebrate it in various ways.

So, in this article, we would like to remind you to take a break. We will also suggest some of the amazing ways that you can celebrate the Holy Week in Macau.

Churches.

Awesome Catholics as we are, we’ll never trade the magical leap we get every time we attend a holy mass. There are a number of churches in Macau that celebrates Holy Week. Some of which celebrates the holy ceremony in English and Filipino.

  • St. Augustine Church
  • San Lorenzo Church
  • St. Anthony Church

OFWs Community Events.

Filipinos love to socialize, especially the OFWs. It’s theirway of coping up with stress and longing to their loved ones back in the Philippines. The Philippines’ consulate in Macau organize different activities. There are also different events from different groups. You can check postings at our FB pages.

Solemn Time With Friends, Family and Self.

While some would love to just spend the Holy Week with their ‘close’ circles. Maybe with friends or family in Macau. You can setup a little gathering at the park near the Ruins of St. Pauls. The Dr. Sun Yat Sen park near the border gate is also a good choice. And for some, a little stroll through the hotels at the Cotai is a perfect plan.

You can also plan a day-getaway to Hong Kong.

Recollection by the beach.

And there’s nothing more satisfying than an unwind with the nature. You maybe alone or with your friends. Regardless, Hacsa offers you different options to choose from.

You can have a little hike. Or set a barbecue party by the beach. The Holy Week is a special occasion for us Filipinos.

You can celebrate it whatever you want.

You can even choose not to celebrate it, right?

What’s important is that the spirit of HIS holiness be with you and your family. Make the most out of it. Make it worthwhile.

Travel Abroad: Cases You Should Read To Avoid “Offloading”

Are you ready to travel abroad? Have you secured all the requirement? Have you checked all the guidelines? Confident enough to dwell with the immigration officer?

All of this and still got rejected. Sometimes, completing all the necessary documents needed is not enough to ensure approval to travel abroad (see “Fast Facts about the “Offloading Policy” in the Philippines“). You also need to anticipate possible situations where officers will disapprove your exit the country. Know it. Avoid it.

Here are some of the scenarios that will designate you in a less ideal spot of the probing eyes of the Immigration Officers – and mostly leads to being “offloaded” from your departure abroad.

Ready to travel abroad?

If you belong to the following below, you will be more likely subjected to a secondary inspection:

  1. A financially incapable traveler who is travelling or is escorted by a foreigner with no civil relations
  2. An unaccompanied minor without due travel documents or clearance from the Philippines’ Department of Social Welfare and Development (DWSD)minor
  3. Repatriated workers which does not carry a designated clearance from the International Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT)
  4. Unmarried partners and spouses of foreign nationals due for a marital bond but have not secured the Guidance and Counseling Certificate from the Commission on Filipino Overseas (CFO)
  5. The point of destination have existing deployment bans, are on high alert or on a derogatory travel advisory, or those in possessions of visas from those locations
  6. Previous tourist travelers who stayed more than a year in their destination as a tourist and are subsequently travelling again

 

bans

If you ever find yourself in the situations above, you may very well take all the necessary measure to affirm the validity of your travel (see “Boarding and Offloading Policies of the Philippine Immigration Bureau – What They Do and Don’t Tell You”).

safe-trip

Macau Weather

Macau weather should be on your pre-departure checklist. If you want to get the most of Macau, then you should prepare yourself well.

Before traveling, we do our research about hotels, itineraries, tickets and places to eat. And one more essential factor to take note is the weather. You want to make sure that you are traveling in the best season. So, that you can enjoy scenes that are dependent to weathers. And more importantly, avoid getting stranded at the ferry terminals or airports.

Macau weather has 4 seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Though Macau is only a small country, a one or two day tour to Macau is enough. Yet, you have to make sure that the weather cooperates to enjoy the rest of it.

Spring

Spring in Macau is from March to April and sometimes extends until May. The average temperature during this season is around 18 to 23 degree Celcius. It is sunny most of the time with occasional rains. Macau also experiences foggy days which is a common reason for a delay in ferry operations.

Summer





Late in May until August is the long summer season in Macau. It sometimes extends until September. This is the hottest season in Macau. The temperature average from 23 to 29 degree Celcius. This is also the “typhoon” season in Macau. So, for travelers, this is one of the seasons that you must avoid if you are planning a trip to Macau. Still, this is a perfect season for outdoor activities like swimming at Hac Sa beach or Cheoc Van beach.

Autumn

For me, this is the best time to visit Macau. The autumn season usually starts from October to December. It is perfectly cooler than summer and a little warmer than winter. The lovely weather is perfect visit famous landmarks like Ruins of St. Pauls, and the Senado Square

Winter

From late December until the Chinese New Year’s month is the winter season. Macau’s weather temperature can sometimes drop below zero degrees Celcius. It is the time of the year when the streets of Macau are less crowded. There is no snow in Macau. But the temperature might drop too low, making it hard to roam around Macau. Thick winter clothes are advised to be worn during this season.

Hong Kong To Macau: One Day Tour Macau Attractions And Travel Guide For 2016

ruins of st pauls

Macau (“Makao“) is a small peninsula at the bottom side of China which is known for its rich culture – a blend of Portuguese and Chinese. It is only an hour away from Hong Kong if you take a ferry, so most of the Hong Kong tourists tend to insert a one-day tour to Macau. And this article will help you get the most of Macau attractions in just a day of tour.

Hong Kong to Macau ferries operate for almost 24 hours. By the way, Macau has two ferry terminals: Macau Ferry Terminal and Taipa Temporary Ferry Terminal. Macau ferry terminal is solely operated by the TurboJet while the Taipa Temporary Ferry Terminal is dominated by the CotaiJet.

If you want to experience the beauty of Hong Kong and Macau skyline, we recommend that you take a 16-minute helicopter ride through Sky Shuttle, the only company that operates this kind of service from Hongkong to Macau. The Sky Shuttle operates from 10am to 11pm and the price starts from $4,800 HKD.

Macau is so small that a one-day tour is more than enough for most visitors. However, due to a very small number of people who speak English in the area and too many tiny streets that lead to almost nowhere, most tourists in Macau easily gets lost and would spend the rest of the day finding their way back to the ferry terminal to catch their ferry bound to Hong Kong. For this reason, we decided to create this article to help those who are planning to take a little side trip and experience Macau at its finest.

And here it is – your one day Macau Travel Guide.

Take a free shuttle bus to Wynn Hotel.

Upon arrival at Macau Ferry Terminal or Taipa Temporary Ferry Terminal, various hotels and casinos in Macau offer a free bus transport to their establishment. Most shuttle buses operate from 10am to 11pm. If you have your own itineraries and travel guides, you can use these services for your convenience.

wynn resorts hotel macau
wynn macau

But for the purpose of this article, let us take a free shuttle bus to Wynn Hotel. It has an international reputation for great customer service and luxurious casino and hotel facilities. Wynn Macau is also visited by tourists for its 10-minute Dragon and Golden Tree Show which starts from 10am to 12mn at 30-minutes interval.  As you have seen it in many Macau tourism promotions, Wynn Hotel’s very famous dancing water show is also a must-see. The synchronized water and light show starts from 10am to 10pm, every 15 minutes. These shows have informally become one of the celebrated attractions in Macau.

Beside Wynn Macau, there are also other casinos and hotels around the area like Starworld Casino, L’Arc Hotel and Casino, MGM Macau, Hotel Lisboa and Grand Lisboa. You can also conveniently take a quick tour around these hotels and casinos. Each of them offers various attractions for tourists, too. There is this grandiose aquarium of beautiful fishes at MGM; the beautiful sculptures of angels, horses and all other creatures at the facade of the L’Arc Hotel and Casino; and the collection of beautiful jades and antiques by Mr. Stanley Ho at Hotel Lisboa.

A stroll along Macau City road and a taste of Macau’s famous Portuguese Egg Tart.

After those gigantic hotels and casinos, our next stop is going to be Macau’s busiest and very well-known street – Infante Henrique. This is like a miniature of the Hong Kong’s streets but unlike any other ordinary street, this one is magical. I personally did not imagine that I can find beauty in a busy street amidst a traffic jam. You can stand at an intersection of the highway, close your eyes, and you can imagine the fast moving world mysteriously change its pace in a slow-motion. Could anybody explain that?

As we move along, let us drop by a small store which is listed in every “Must Go Place in Macau” articles – the very renowned Margaret’s Cafe e Nata. If ever you are wondering what is in this store, it is the best seller delicacy – Macau’s Portuguese Egg Tart. I assure you, this delectable Portuguese egg tart is worth the long wait in queue.

Aside from that oh-so-good egg tart, you can also explore other restaurants around the vicinity. You can see different kinds of chinese food here and there. There is a well-known diner just opposite Maragaret’s Cafe e Nata, across the ICBC bank, and that’s Chan Kong Kei. They offer their famous gastronomic delight – pork, duck and chicken cooked in Chinese style. Sik Fahn La! (Cantonese for “Let’s Eat”).

Senado Square, Leal Senado Building, Macau Postal Office and legendary Macau Baroque Buildings

Our next destination is one of Macau’s pride – the crowded and bustling Senado Square. This Heritage Site is also known as San Malou. Back in the old days, Senado Square serves as a meeting place for the residents in Macau, like a plaza. In this area, you can notice stunning Portuguese architectures – a proof of how a place will look like when the West meets the East.

While you are at the Senado Square, you can conveniently swing by Leal Senado Building and Macau Postal Office.

Leal Senado building used to be the seat of Portuguese Macau Government during the Portuguese sovereignty over Macau. The entrance is for free. Inside the establishment, you will see a small library of collection of books of Macau’s laws and statutes. On the second floor, you can sit, relax and enjoy a small peaceful garden. On a personal note, sitting on a bench therein while watching a small water fountain highlighted by gorgeous flowers is a perfect escape from the busy streets of Macau.

leal senado building macau
leal senado building

Macau Post Office is almost a century old, thus this magnificently designed building is worth a photograph. Great news for those who love to collect stamps! There is variety of collection of stamps inside the post office! There is so much beauty in this building, but the only thing that took my breath away is this striking view of a clock that seems to guard the rapidly growing City of Macau.

macau postal office
macau postal office

 

Churches in Macau

Just near Senado Square, there are churches that you can visit: the St. Augustine Church, St. Dominic’s Church, and the Cathedral.

St. Augustine Church is considered to be the parochial church of a number of Filipinos who live in Macau. It is located at the top of the hill behind the Leal Senado building. The church is usually jam-packed during Saturdays and Sundays masses because of the growing Filipino community in the city. Around the St. Augustine Church, you can also drop by a library, which houses the sweet smell of leather-bound tomes of Macau’s literary antiques. Book lovers just got to love that ‘oh so good’ mysterious library scent while rummaging through the stacks.

st augustine simbang gabi
st augustine simbang gabi

St Dominic’s Church is not your just-another-church-around-the-corner. It was included as one of the cultural heritage sites here in Macau. Aside from its enigmatic church design, it also has a museum of relics and paintings.

Read More: St. Dominic’s Church: A Must Visit in Macau

Lastly, the Macau Cathedral Church has a typical neoclassical style and is one of the architectural statement in Macau. It is exquisitely located at the top of a hill when you pass through a small street beside McDonald’s in the Senado Square.

macau cathedral church
macau cathedral church

 

Macau Shopping Avenue, the Free Taste of Macau’s Delicacies and The Ruin’s of St. Pauls

If you are looking for something to bring home for your folks, from souvenirs, branded clothes and latest gadgets, you can find a very active shopping avenue right at the juncture of Senado Square and Ruins of St Pauls. My favourite spot is a little crowded street where every stall offers a free taste of their specialties! From meat jerkies to cookies, you cannot just pass this street without having one!

If there is only one reason why people visit Macau, it is because they want to see the iconic Ruins of St. Paul’s. This over-a-hundred-year-old facade has become the famous tourist attraction in Macau. If you ask some locals, the walls of this church mirror a thousand stories of faith and valour and how it stood the test of time. It has also become the symbol of Macau. So when you visit, you can forget everything else in your itinerary except the Ruins of St Paul’s. Don’t forget to take your best selfie!

ruins of st pauls
ruins of st pauls

 

The Ruins of St Pauls is more than just an attraction. It serves as a museum of the rich culture and history of Macau. Inside the Ruins, is a small museum that is open to public. At the left side of the facade, you will be able to see a small temple. At the right side of the Ruins of St Pauls, across the park, are the Macau Museum and the great Macau Fortress which offers a 360-degree-view of Macau City. So, that’s Portuguese culture, Chinese Culture and Macau History in one place! For some, a visit at Ruin’s of St. Paul’s is enough for the day, but let me tell you, we’re just half way of our Macau experience.

Read More: Attraction Nearby Ruin’s of St. Pauls

Ama Temple and A Glimpse of Macau Tower

Now, from the Senado Square, let us leisurely walk back to Grand Lisboa. Opposite that, you will find a series of bus stations. Look for the colour “blue” station or the “B” station. Then, take either bus number 32 or 9A. The fare is $3.20 MOP, and get off to our next destination, the stately Macau Tower!

Macau Tower is one of the highest bungee jumping station all-over-the-world. If you don’t have enough courage to jump, then the 360 degree viewing is more than enough. The entrance is $30 HKD.

After the breathtaking view of the city from Macau Tower, our next and final stop will be the historical Ama Temple. This is initially where Macau took its name. This place is where the original port was located. It is also included in the list as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ama Temple was built in 1488 and is one of the oldest Taoist Temples in China. In getting to Ama Temple from Macau Tower, we take bus number 18 and get off at the last station (Barra Bus Terminal) and just across the street, there lies the Ama Temple. The fare is $3.20 MOP (HKD is also accepted).

Entering through a gateway, you will experience a creeping sense of transformation of faith. Though it is usually crowded and takes a long queue for picture taking, Ama Temple is worth a stopover. Some believed that this temple brings good luck in health, wealth and relationships. My mother even believed that I got a job here in Macau because it was revealed by the fate reader at the temple.

There are series of pavilions at the Ama Temple. The upper part of the temple has a big stone with a Chinese Character engraved on it. Outside the temple, there is a museum of ancient maritime culture of Macau. There is a dragon boat and a man-made river which is like a miniature of those scenes that you can see in the Chinese movies.

By now, you should have almost toured Macau in just a couple of hours. These are just recommendation that we think you should consider and prioritize in your very short trip to this amazing city. Apart from the list above, some tourist attractions in Macau like the Guia Hill, Lou Lim Ioc garden, the Fisherman’s Wharf, the hotel and casinos in the Taipa side (Venetian Hotel, Galaxy Hotel, Hard Rock, City of Dreams), Taipa Village and many more are also must-sees. Don’t be limited by the list and recommendations that every travel guide would provide you. Always remember that the most wonderful thing about travelling is discovering and immersing yourself in the place. Perhaps go beyond the checklist on the brochures and bring home as much good memories as you can!

Cebu Pacific Air: Do It Yourself Booking

Cebu Pacific Airlines is one of most fled budget airlines that is based in Philippines. It is known for its famous ticket promos popularly known as “piso-fares”, where the ticket would only cost a peso (Philippines peso). And it has helped a lot of travel enthusiast to achieve their dream of traveling from one place to another, especially those who are on a tight budget. Cebu Pacific Airlines also offers daily flight schedule Macau-Manila route, so it is really convenient to book your next vacation with this airlines.

How To Book and Save Money From Extra Fees

  1. You need to access the Cebu Pacific Air site by typing “cebu pacific air” on your web browser. And click on the link as shown in the picture below.

    cebupacific

  2. You need to fill in your itinerary or desired date of departure and return (if you are planning to purchase a round-trip ticket), and then click “Find It” button.

    cebupacific2

  3. On this page, you will need to choose your desired flight schedule on the option listed. You can also choose a package you want: with a 20kg luggage, 20kg luggage with meal

    cebupacific3

  4. This page is where you enter your personal information. It is also in this page that you can choose to add a luggage and a meal. If you are traveling light, you can deselect a luggage option. On international flights, every ticket includes a meal, deselecting this can save you some bucks (as shown in the picture below).

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  5. You also have the liberty to choose your preferred seat location. But if this does not bother you that much, you can simply choose “remove seat” and save some money from it. Anyway, once you have a ticket, you already are guaranteed a seat

    cebupacific5

  6. Every flight is also covered by a travel insurance. If you want to feel insured with your travel, you can simply leave this option checked, but if you want to cut your ticket cost, you can also un-check this option. In this page, don’t forget to check the terms and condition box to be able to proceed to the next step.

    cebupacific6

  7. The next step would be the checkout. If you don’t have a credit card, you can choose the option “Payment Centers” (as highlighted in the picture below). There will be a list of payment centers where you can pay for your booking. If you are in Macau, you can pay your ticket at BDO remittance center.

    cebupacific7

  8. This is going to be your itinerary receipt. You will need to print this page. This what you are going to present when you pay it in BDO remittance center in Macau together with your passport and blue card.

    cebupacific8

Ruins Of St Pauls: Attractions Nearby

ruins of st pauls

Ruins of St Pauls is located right at the heart of Macau’s Peninsula. So, you can expect to do a lot of things while spending your hour visit to the famous tourist spot.

The Senado Square

Before you ever get a glimpse of the Ruins of St Pauls, you need to go through one of the famous tourist destinations in Macau – the Senado Square or famously known as San Malo. You can take a picture of the amazing Portuguese architecture inspired buildings or buy something as San Malo was also known as one of the shopping area in Macau, from cookies to jewelries.

FREE Pork Jerky and Almond Cookies

In the middle of San Malo and the Ruins of St. Pauls, is a small crowded street clustered by stores selling almond cookies and sweet pork jerky. What’s the catch? You grab some and taste it for FREE! Yes. Free! So, how did it became an attraction? Almond Cookies and Sweet Pork Jerky is one of Macau’s famous delicacies. Being located between two iconic spots in Macau has made this street a compulsory attraction. And the “free taste” has just made it arguable.

Monte Fort or Mount Fortress

Another historical place that you can visit near Ruins of St Pauls is the Monte Fort. Built in 1616, it is the oldest of all forts in Macau. This is where you can find Macau Museum. You can also enjoy a good view of Macau Peninsula and take a selfie with the cannons located at each bastions of the fortress.

Na Tcha Temple

Na Tcha temple is a small, simple Taoist Temple built more than 400 years ago. It is located left of Ruins of St Pauls.

Most of the travelers on a tight budget would only spend just a few hours to go around Macau. And one of the secret so that you can maximize your time and enjoy attractions in Macau to the fullest, is to strategically visit many places at one point.