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Visiting Hong Kong and Macau; visit another city instead of Macau?

Visiting Hong Kong and Macau; visit another city instead of Macau?

Old Feb 18, 16, 2:03 pm
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Visiting Hong Kong and Macau; visit another city instead of Macau?

I'll be visiting Hong Kong in November and will be staying there for 7 nights with the wife. I was planning on visiting Macau for 2 of those night so it would be 4 nights in Hong Kong, 2 nights in Macau and then come back for 1 night. I'm having doubts after reading alot of folks comments regarding the lack of things to do other than gambling. The wife and I are the adventurous type who like to explore, take in the sights and will find things to do. Now I'm contemplating whether it's worth flying to mainland China like Beijing or Shanghai and even considered flying to Osaka and staying there for 2 nights. I notice the flights aren't too long and around $300 roundtrip which isn't too bad.

Any thoughts? Is it not worth the hassle and time lost to travel via air to another city? Am I being too crazy? Just getting worried that Macau might be a waste of time and don't want to feel regret after being there for 2 nights. We don't travel on that side of the world too often so trying to take advantage of it as best as I can.

By the way, booked my Cathay biz class trip LAX to HKG and HKG to LAX. Get into HKG at 6am and leave back home at 10:15am
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Old Feb 18, 16, 4:21 pm
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I would not consider Macau a waste of time if you have never been there. Yes, there are newly developed areas that house casinos, restaurants, and shows. There's also a historic part that has ruins, churches, and temples. I think it's a really fun and diverse way to spend 2 nights. I think you would be short on time if you spend 2-3 nights elsewhere like Japan or China - which will cut into your Hong Kong time and not allow you to see much of the other country either.
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Old Feb 18, 16, 8:11 pm
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First off, I would always recommend visiting Beijing over Shanghai if you haven't been to either city. Having said that, getting to/from the airport, especially in those places, plus the standard delay will add up to at least 6 hours, each way. That's a lot of time spent on the road for a 7 night trip. Considering you're flying out at 10am, you would have to come back the night before, too. Wouldn't do it.

Macao is easily done in two days / one night though. But agree with AtomicLush, it is most certainly not a waste of time. Both old towns are well worth visiting, and so are some of the Casino areas.

There will be plenty for you guys to explore in Hong Kong for the remainder of the 5/6 nights, too, including day trips to some of the islands that a lot of visitors can't fit into their schedules.

And if you really want to go see another city, there's always Shenzhen across the border: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/china...hong-kong.html

Great place for an "explorer type"
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Old Feb 18, 16, 8:45 pm
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Originally Posted by gpia View Post
First off, I would always recommend visiting Beijing over Shanghai if you haven't been to either city. Having said that, getting to/from the airport, especially in those places, plus the standard delay will add up to at least 6 hours, each way. That's a lot of time spent on the road for a 7 night trip. Considering you're flying out at 10am, you would have to come back the night before, too. Wouldn't do it.
I agree. The only way I'd ever do HK and BJ/SH (or pretty much anywhere else) in the same 7-day trip is with an open jaw (so no backtracking). Going up and back wastes 2 of the 7 days.
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Old Feb 19, 16, 12:43 am
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Tonnes of worthy historical sites to visit in Macau. Those who say there's nothing to do besides gambling are totally ignorant.
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Old Feb 19, 16, 8:08 am
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I agree with the above comments - there are lots of cultural and historical sights to visit in Macau if you don't want to go there for the casinos. The cuisine (with Portuguese influences) is also worth trying.

You mentioned that you and your wife are quite adventurous. If Macau still doesn't appeal to you, perhaps you could consider visiting the Kaiping Dialou (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaiping_Diaolou). From Hong Kong, you can take the hydrofoil to Zhongshan (around 1.5 hr journey), followed by another 1.5 hr journey by road. Or perhaps you could visit Xiamen + 'Tulou' or Guilin + Yangshuo (you'd have to fly from HK to Xiamen/Guilin).
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Old Feb 19, 16, 11:46 am
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Valid points! I appreciate the responses and recommendations. I'm feeling better about just sticking with Macau.
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Old Feb 19, 16, 11:51 am
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I'd say 4 / 2 nights for HKG and Macao respectively are a good mix. Macao really IS small, and you can do the historic sites in one full day, plus two nights for gambling should be fine. HKG has obviously more to see, so 4 nights there should be absolutely fine too. I'd say save Mainland China for another time being. Squeezing too much can be the opposite of fun.
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Old Feb 19, 16, 12:57 pm
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Asking the experts about this? How about going directly to Macau on arrival, since you can take the ferry at the airport and not enter the country. Then go to Shenzhen for a night and go to Hong Kong from there. Or do it in reverse, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Macau, Airport. Would the OP be able to get a transit visa for China, since he would be there for under 48 hours?

This itinerary would give more diversity to the trip.
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Old Feb 19, 16, 3:19 pm
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
Asking the experts about this? How about going directly to Macau on arrival, since you can take the ferry at the airport and not enter the country. Then go to Shenzhen for a night and go to Hong Kong from there. Or do it in reverse, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Macau, Airport. Would the OP be able to get a transit visa for China, since he would be there for under 48 hours?

This itinerary would give more diversity to the trip.
Your plan is good, but the Shenzhen part requires a PRC visa (and, assuming you're traveling on a US passport, VOA is not an option; non-US citizens should also confirm VOA at Shekou logistics before putting things in motion).
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Old Feb 19, 16, 4:09 pm
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Was just in Macau two weeks ago- it was a lot of fun and lots of interesting things to see. We took the ferry from Hong Kong, took a free casino shuttle to the Grand Lisboa and walked to the Ruins of St. Paul via the standard tourist route (which is interesting). Then walked to check out the Red Market (a historic market) and then back to Senado square. Had a quick lunch break and then walked over to A-ma temple (the walk takes you through the neighborhoods where the 1% live) and then back to the casino area via some historic neighborhoods. It was a lot of walking, but quite worthwhile, and did not feel bad about sampling the local specialties (pork chop sandwich, Portuguese egg tarts, almond cookies, cherries (not really local, but imported from Tasmania)).

I think we spent a grand total of 3 minutes inside the casinos. And a quick tip- the line for the shuttle back to the ferry terminal at the Grand Lisboa can be huge. Walk across the street to the Wynn hotel/casino- they also have a shuttle back to the ferry terminal and there was no line at all.
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