My husband and I are both in love with travel, discovering new places, and going for new experiences. So, on birthdays and anniversaries, we try our very best to fly off to somewhere, our way to celebrate. Sometimes we explore more of the Philippine islands, at times we fly abroad.
For my birthday last year, we went for a getaway in Macau. This was after spending a few days in Hong Kong with my whole family – dad, mom, my 2 siblings, me and Titus. They returned back home while Titus and I took a side trip to Macau.
Is it Macao or Macau? I’ll be using both spellings on this blog and Parisian Macao review. 🙂
It was both our first time in Macau. Luckily, a few months before our trip, Sands Resorts Macao launched online promos for their member hotels, The Parisian Macao being one of them.
The Parisian hotel looked great and the guest feedback and reviews were also promising, plus with the discounted room rates in this Macao hotel, it didn’t take long before we finalized booking via Agoda.
Related info: Latest discounted rates of Parisian Macau via Agoda
Hong Kong to Macau via Ferry
We don’t want to chance getting lost trying to find the Hong Kong ferry terminal to Macau on the day we plan to cross islands. As our prep, a day before our plan crossing, we went on a mission to find the ferry terminal.
We thought we can only get to the Sheung Wan Hong Kong Macau ferry terminal via taxi or MTR plus walking. Thankfully our preparation paid off, we found out that there is a bus route that we can ride from Mong Kong to the ferry terminal itself.
Riding the bus is more convenient since it can be a hassle to lug luggage from one MTR station to the next and if we went via taxi, the fare can be expensive. This is BUS No. 76 with multiple stops along Nathan Road. The last stop is the terminal in the basement of the ferry building.
Since this is a bus terminal, there are other routes available going to various parts of Hong Kong and vice versa. You may want to look into that in case you also plan to cross from HK to Macau or the other way and you want to try the bus.
*Please double check the bus routes in the terminal as there maybe changes after this blog is written.
Buying Ferry Tickets
We’ve chosen to sail with Cotai Water Jet from HK to Macau Taipa Ferry Terminal. There is a Cotai waterjet ferry departing Hong Kong Sheung Wan every 30 minutes every day. First trip starts at 7 AM, the last trip is set at 11:30 PM.
Related info: Cotai Water Jet ferry schedule and ticket rates.
As to luggage, Titus and I each have one small-size suitcase and one backpack, plus I have an additional shoulder bag. We asked if we were required to check-in our baggage, but the Cotai personnel said there is no need, so we hand-carried all our bags from immigration to the ferry itself.
Important: Remember that when you entered Hong Kong, you filled-up an entry card and you submitted this to the immigration officer in the airport? The IO will keep the original and the duplicate will be given to you. Well, do not lose that entry card, because you will surrender it to the Immigration Officer in the ferry terminal when you leave Hong Kong for Macau.
Some say it is not needed that some IOs will not ask for it. But to be on the safe side, please take care of it. Do not lose the entry card.
Passing immigration to cross Hong Kong to Macau was a breeze. We were not asked any question, just showed our passport, gave our entry cards, showed ferry tickets, and we were on our way to the waiting area for ferry boarding.
*Philippine passport holders are not required to get Visa to enter Macau. It’s Visa free entry for us.
Arriving in Taipa Macau Ferry Terminal
We again passed immigration when we got to Macau, processing was fast. We exited the terminal and went straight ahead to the bus station.
There are tons of Filipinos in Macau, which is handy in case you need to ask for directions.
There are free hotel buses that you can ride-on to get to different hotels in the territory. We boarded a Sands Cotai bus. This is free of charge for everyone who wishes to ride the bus, even if one doesn’t have hotel reservation.
The bus brought us to the doors of The Parisian Macao and just two words, utterly impressive! It blew us, from the hotel’s façade, the miniature Eiffel Tower, the check-out room, the concierge room, the connecting halls to Venetian Macao, their malls, WOW! Just WOW!
My birthday falls on December 12 so Christmas decors were in full swings in the hotels and malls that time. It was magical to be in the Cotai strip during the festive season! I want to experience Macau again, hopefully, the next time will be with the whole family.
Our original plan was to also explore Senado Square and other Macau tourist spots 3D/2N we were there, but we just can’t leave the Sands Cotai strip haha.
The Parisian Macao Experience
Have I mentioned that The Parisian Macao hotel is beautiful? I must have hehe. I really can’t get over it, it feels and looks opulent, luxurious!
Morning, night, this hotel and the mall is stunning!
The lighting in the mall, halls, hotels makes one looks pretty and handsome so di na namin pinalagpas, ang dami naming pictures hahha.
These pictures don’t do the hotel complex justice. Iba ang ganda nya, the room too! I’ve stayed in some of the 4 and 5 stars hotels and resorts in the Philippines like Shangri-la Mactan, JPark Cebu, Sofitel in Manila, Manila Hotel, and more, pero yung Parisian Macao iba talaga sya.
Sobrang thankful kami that we got a good deal and got to experience this!
On the way to the Eiffel Tower of Parisian, one will pass by a love-lock bridge. Nope, di kami nag-iwan ng lock, kasi di namin alam na merong ganun dun hehe.
I really enjoyed our stay in The Parisian. I sincerely wish that there will be a next time, that we could stay there again.
Climbing The Eiffel Tower, Plus a Birthday Surprised!
Along with the discounted room rates in The Parisian Macau, we also got complimentary access to the mini Eiffel Tower, plus a free buffet lunch for 2 at their Le Buffet restaurant. Fantastic deal! Watch out for Sands Cotai promotions!!!
Wikipedia says that the height of the Parisian’s Eiffel tower is about 38 stories high. If compared with the real Eiffel Tower in France, Macau’s Eiffel is about half of it in height.
The Eiffel Tower entrance fee is 100 MOP for adults. That’s about 660 PHP.
Take the elevator and climb-up, the view from the top at night is stunning. The Cotai Strip all lighted up!
Thank you, Le Buffet!
The birthday surprised by the Le Buffet staff made my birthday more memorable.
*I didn’t know that Titus and the pastry chef of Le Buffet, Chef Nestor, struck a conversation. After learning that it was my birthday that day, they made plans for a birthday surprise.
Thank you Chef! My birthday was more awesome because of your thoughtfulness as well as that of the Le Buffet staff. Maraming Salamat sa inyo!!!
The lunch crowd was busy with the lunch buffet, all of a sudden, a singing of the birthday song in Korean filled the hall.
I looked around eager to find out who the celebrant was, like the rest of the guests. The lyrics then turned to English, little by little I realized that the singing staff were approaching our table, it was for me!
….Awwww my face burned from the many eyes trained on me, …. I was a bit embarrassed, but elated, and very happy! #lovelovelove
It was such a sweet surprise from the restaurant staff and my hubby. It was my first time to experience being sung to in a restaurant for my birthday, and in Macao pa! Ang ganda pa ng cake! Happiness swell! Thank you baby ko sa pagkonsyaba ke chef! *Mwahhh!
I have a feeling they don’t do that a lot in Macao – surprise a birthday celebrant dining with a birthday song. Oh I remember a female guest was smiling while she record what was happening haha maybe they aren’t used to seeing the scenario. Birthday song singing is quiet common in the Philippines. 🙂
The food selection in Le Buffet was also extensive!
Salmon sashimi from the sushi station was awesome, the carving station offers authentic lechon macau too aside from peking duck, roast beef, etc.
Pasta and pizza selections are also available, as well as congee and noodle station, seafood too, and of course the pastry section.
Good thing we choose to take our free vouchers there and not in the other 2 restaraunt options that comes with our hotel booking.
More Reflections and Macau Travel Guide
We made a mistake. We only booked one night in The Parisian Macao and transferred the second night to Sheraton Grand Macao, which is just across the street. We regretted it. The Sheraton pales in comparison to the newer Parisian hotel. Bakit pa kasi, lol.
The hotel itself is old, the room vibe is dated but its big. The hotel feels like it targets business travelers more than the regular tourists. But the breakfast buffet in Sheraton is a saving grace, good food, great service.
One can use the connecting walkway from Parisian Macao to Sheraton. No need to walk on the streets.
Weather in December in Macau is a bit cold, but not bone-chilling-cold. Much like Hong Kong’s climate.
There is a passage hall that can get you from Parisian to Venetian. The brightly lit fully-carpeted hall with its wallpaper on the side of the Parisian is perfect for photos. Gaganda ka talaga! Hahha.
There are statue mime artists who makes periodic appearance in the mall of Parisian hotel plus a violin / piano show near the Victorian fountain. Characters from ongoing play also roams around the fountain area like the Monkey King. Visitors can take photos with them.
Gondala rides available in the Grand Canal Shoppes complex. Here’s a little Venice in Asia.
We just walked and walked through the connected hallways of the hotels. I think we were already in the banquet and meeting halls of The Venetian when lo and behold! my dress matches the floor carpet hahaha.
Various casinos can be found in the Cotai strip. We entered the one in Parisian but just to look around, we didn’t play. We don’t have money to play haha. Free bottled water inside the casinos even if you are just looking around.
Weren’t we entice to gamble the night away? Nope; adventures, travel experiences and pictures, and yah, food trips are what pulls us and keeps us high. 🙂
There is a McDonald store, though a bit pricey than usual in the Grand Canal Shoppes in Venetian Macao.
On the top floor of the Parisian Mall there is a food court, you can have a taste of lechon macau there! There is also a food court in the mall connected to the Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel.
You may want to also watch special plays and entertainment shows in the hotels. Look out for deals which include room with free breakfast and complimentary show tickets.
Airport and Flying Tips
If you are doing Hong Kong and Macau in one go, I strongly suggest that you enter one and exit from the other. Like flying Manila to Hong Kong, then your flight back home will be departing from Macau.Or the vice versa, fly from the Philippines to Macau, take ferry to HK, then fly out from Hong Kong back to the Philippines.
Also, consider getting travel insurance for international trips.
You can take the free shuttle bus of the hotels to get to and from the airport or ferry terminal.
Do not go early to the airport, 2 hours before the flight is okay but seriously, do not go there like several hours early. The airport is too small and the check-in counters will only open one hour and a half before the flight. If I remember correctly there are only 3 restaurants in the pre-check-in area of the Macau International Airport and limited seats for those waiting for the check-in counters to open.
Visit Macao Next!
If you are still debating on where to go for your next trip abroad, why not consider flying to Macao? The Manila to Macau route and back are being offered on promo fares from time to time in Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, and Air Asia.
Plus, no visa is needed to enter this territory.
If you are going or if you have airplane tickets already and is now looking for a hotel, these are the Agoda recommended hotels for Macau and their current rates.
There are hotels, hostels, backpacker’s inn scattered all over Macao catering to all types of budget. If you can spot a good deal, snatch it right away.
This was a birthday trip to remember. Someday, hope very soon, we will visit you again Macau!