Photo credit: MGTO
One of Asia's most exciting destinations
Macao was a sleepy Portuguese colony on the southeast coast of China until its return to Chinese sovereignty in 1999. An hour’s ferry ride west of Hong Kong, it is now one of the fastest developing tourism destinations in Asia, transforming itself into a modern, vibrant, and cosmopolitan city that features the latest attractions for gaming and entertainment. Macau is famous for its historic center - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - as well as a new member city of UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in Gastronomy. Macao is composed of Macao peninsula and two islands, Taipa and Coloane, now connected by the Cotai strip where many of the new mega casino-resorts are located.
Getting to Macao
Macao is served by the Macao International Airport (MIA), located in Taipa. The most convenient connections to MIA are from major cities in China and Chinese Taipei. The regional budget airline AirAsia operates several flights each day between Macao and Bangkok that can serve delegates especially those coming from Europe. Taxis and airport or public buses are available from MIA to take visitors to their hotels. Many of the big casino-resorts also run shuttle to-from the airport.
Still, most visitors from abroad going to Macao can avail of numerous international flights landing at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA at Chek Lap Kok). Upon landing at HKIA, delegates can take a connecting turbocat ferry direct to Macau without having to exit Hong Kong airport immigration (an important thing to note for those taking this option). Travelers using this option must ensure that their time of arrival at HKIA gives them enough lead time to catch the next available sailing from HKIA to Macao. Delegates should check the schedule of sailings, location of the transfer desk, and ticket purchase details at the TurboJET or Cotai Water Jet websites. The journey takes a little less than an hour and passengers disembark at either Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal or Taipa Ferry Terminal from where they can conveniently take taxis, public buses or available shuttle services to their hotel in Macao.
Alternatively, upon arriving at HKIA, delegates can opt to spend some time at Hong Kong before proceeding to Macao. In this case they can take either the train, bus, or taxi to their destination in Hong Kong after exiting HKIA immigration. To proceed to Macao from any point in Hong Kong, travelers must find their way to the Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal located at Shun Tak Centre (exit Sheung Wan MTR station) where ferries embark for Macao every 15 minutes (with lesser frequencies during off-peak hours). Delegates taking this option should visit the TurboJET or Cotai Water Jet websites for sailing schedules, ticket purchase and other details. Advice: Recently, due to the increasing number of travelers, walk-in purchase at the ticket counters usually avails tickets sailing 1 or 2 hours later. Though there are a number of cafes and restaurants at Shun Tak Centre to help while away the time, one can also secure tickets for preferred sailing times in advance via online ticket purchase.