When a close friend of yours says he will be traveling to Macau-you might have second thoughts about it. Not because the place is unsafe but because Macau has this reputation of being an EXPENSIVE place to backpack. But for a experienced backpacker we will always find ways how to travel CHEAP. Macau is the second administrative region of CHINA the first being is Hong Kong. Dubbed as the SIN CITY of ASIA for it’s trail of casinos stretching over the small land mass of Macau. Macau can be an expensive destination depending on your profile and how you want to spend your vacation treat in Macau. To give you an idea on how to stretch your budget for day trip in Macau I have listed down 5 ways to trim down expenses.
1) Maximize the use of the free shuttle bus provided by hotel casinos.
Macau is one the tourist friendly place to explore with its major hotels providing free shuttle bus access free shuttle buses from their hotels to the airport (or ferry terminals) and so, do check with your hotel if they do provide such a service. This is where I saves alot of in terms of budget. With Macau being my last stop after my 3 day stay in HK so my funds are really about to run out. Whether you are arriving in the airport or at the Macau Ferry Terminal you will be greeted by this shuttle buses for free. You can simply HOP ON AND OFF with no questions ask by the driver. It is a way of the hotel casinos to invite tourist to come visit their hotel and and sit on the casino table to gamble. Although for distant attractions like Coloane or A-Ma Temple you need to take a cab or public bus as there are no free shuttle buses going those route. All in all I didn’t spend anything for transportation in Macau from the time I arrived in the Macau Ferry Terminal until I got on the plane on my way back to KL. Research is the KEY to making this day trip successful.
2) Get everything that is FREE in the casino.
Another budget saver is the freebies and you can get inside the casino. Get as many as bottled water you can bring with you.In my case I took 4 bottled water from the Venetian Hotel Casino which saves me atleast 30-40 HKD. Those bottles of water replenishes me from the unbearable heat while exploring the heritage site in Senado Square.Some casino also provide starter voucher if you sign up for membership for free-like a friend of mine sign up in 1 casino and he get a 50 HKD voucher he can use to play the KACHING KACHING-and who knows maybe you can WIN BIGTIME and go home as a MILLIONAIRE.
NOTE: Don’t be afraid to get those bottles of water for as long as you don’t shows your putting it inside your bag.
3) Book your accommodation early or stay in hotel guest house.
Macau may have alot of hotels you can choose from but these hotels are way out of your budget. I was supposed to stay 1 night in Macau so I can fully explore the place most especially at night when all lights are on-but I did some last minute change of plans because the guesthouse I emailed for 1 night stay has quoted me a price of HKD/MOP290. The guest house will not even pass to my standards based on the images from TripAdvisor and some reviews online.There is no scarcity of accommodation in Macau but the prices can be unreasonable and the budget ones get filled up easy so you really need to make some reservation or even secure your bed for the night.Try to avoid traveling to Macau during holidays and weekends as the prices of accommodation not only gets doubled but sometimes gets tripled. The date I arrive in Macau there was a holiday that’s why the from the regular price of 190 HKD for a 1 night stay in San Va Hotel, the price soars to 290 HKD.
NOTE: If you have to call the hotel/guesthouse to confirm your booing or reservation PLEASE DO SO-that way you can be at ease you will not end up sleeping in the street.
4) Free taste of Beef Jerky and Macau Egg Tart.
If you are traveling to Macau on a day trip then you can get by for the day by just eating the free taste of beef jerky and macau egg tart in Senado Square. These are the 2 Macau food treats you cant afford to miss during your trip in Macau- this is where Macau is famous as well. Arriving in Senado Square you will be seeing food stalls selling these treats and allows to get a free taste. Like for the beef jerky where it comes in different flavors (sweet,spicy,salty). Before you take a hike to reach St. Paul Ruins Church it is recommended that you get yourself full first by eating the free taste so that way you will have energy once you reach St. Paul Ruins and Monte Forte which is a bit of a hike. I actually got full without even noticing. Don’t forget to try out the different brands of Macau Egg Tart. Just around the Senado Square you can find cheap eats perfect for Macanese food tasting test.
5) Say YES to DIY trip and NO to tour guide.
Forgot about engaging yourself for a private tour during your stay in Macau. The touts will be pestering you once you arrived in the ferry terminal or at the airport for you to hire them as your tour guide for the day- they will usually tell you there is no bus or the shuttle going to this location is not available at this time but all are just false statements. Getting around in Macau is very easy and you can do a DIY trip regardless if you are solo or traveling with family. It will save around 100-300 HKD but usual charge is 100 HKD for a whole day plus the tip and so on.
So there you have the TOP 5 ways on how to travel cheaply in Macau. If you follow these tips and you will be able to save around 200-400 HKD which is worth of 1 night stay in hostel.