Hey, fellow Explorers! Our week-long trip between Shanghai and Hong Kong continues with our “in-between” trip report to Hong Kong and Macau. These next two parts aren’t Disney related, but I figured it’s good to share what we did outside Hong Kong Disneyland. It may give you some ideas on other activities for your trip.
Before we went to Hong Kong Disneyland, we paid a visit to Macau for a night then spent one night in Hong Kong itself. Where we went to Ocean Park for half a day and Victoria Peak. So, this part of the trip report talks about our flight from Shanghai and how to get to Macau from Hong Kong. I’ll provide tips, advice, and my recommendations for Macau and Hong Kong.
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Leaving Shanghai Disneyland
Our flight to Hong Kong was at 09:30 from the Shanghai Pudong International Airport. The Cast Members at the luggage area in the Toy Story Hotel called a taxi for us and we were on our way — cost was about $HK 260 or ~$33 USD. We left the hotel at around 07:00 to make sure we got to the airport on time.
The four of us were on separate flights — Spring Airlines and Cathay Pacific — and all of them were delayed due to congestion on the runway. So, we sat there for an hour while the plane waited its turn to take off. I’ve read that flights out of Shanghai are delayed quite often. So keep this in mind if you are making a tight connection or have plans at a specific time. Leave yourself a couple of hours of wiggle room.
Ferry to Macau
Once we finally took off it was a 3.5-hour flight to the Hong Kong International Airport. The original plan was to take the ferry in the early afternoon, but due to the delay in Shanghai we missed the ferry and had to wait an extra 2 hours for the next one.
If you’re going right from the Hong Kong International Airport to Macau, you don’t have to clear customs (you’ll clear customs in Macau). It’s important to remember that, otherwise if you leave customs in Hong Kong you’ll have to take a bus to the other ferry in Hong Kong itself and that is a hassle. Bryson made this mistake on his first visit to Macau, and I don’t want you to make the same mistake. Follow the signs to where the ferries are, it’s hard to miss.
We took the Cotai Water Jet and opted for the first class seats for a cost of $HK 392 (~$50 USD) per person. There was a 25% off deal if we paid with our MasterCard (any chance to save money I’ll take). First class meant we got priority boarding, more comfortable seats, and complimentary snacks and drinks during the ferry ride. I recommend the first class, even if it’s a bit more.
Read up on what the visa requirements are for Macau. In most cases (depending on what country you hold a passport for) you’ll be given a visa when you arrive at Macau (like Hong Kong). If you hold a passport from Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand, or the UK, you’re given a visa when you arrive (this is also called visa-free access). Refer to China Highlights for the full list of countries.
Arrival to Macau
This was my first time on a ferry, so I wasn’t sure how I would fair with motion sickness. The ride wasn’t too rough but I still got a little motion sick (thankfully never had my lunch come back up). The free flow of drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) helped. The ferry was only about 65-minutes, so the time went by rather quick.
After Immigration in Macau, we caught a free shuttle to the Broadway Macau Hotel. This was my first time in Macau (Bryson has been here once before) and didn’t know what to expect. The hotel was just over $100 USD a night, which I thought wasn’t too bad. Overall the hotel itself was comfortable, clean, and affordable. Since it was only a single night, splurging for a nicer hotel didn’t make sense (saved that for Hong Kong Disneyland).
Michelin-Starred Dinner in Macau
We had two things planned for the evening: The House of Magic and dinner at the Terrazza Italian Restaurant. Our dinner was one of the best dining experiences I’ve had in a long time. For the most part, when I am on a trip I don’t opt for fancy dining — let alone a Michelin starred restaurant — but Bryson ate here before and insisted we went. We changed out of our jeans and t-shirts and threw on nice sweaters and button up shirts.
Not only was the service exceptional, the food was some of the best Italian I’ve put in my mouth. The Margherita Pizza was simple but full of flavour. If you go, order the caesar salad they prepare it inside a wheel of cheese.
The manager even remembered Bryson from his last trip and recalled what he ate. All the servers tended to our every need and made the entire experience memorable. While it’s a bit out-of-the-way inside the Galaxy Hotel Macau, but I would eat here again in a heartbeat.
The House of Magic
After dinner, we had plans to see The House of Magic over in another hotel. The House of Magic is a series of magic shows performed by various magicians. You’re shuffled from stage to stage for each performance. The first two magicians were on smaller stages and I this made the performances feel intimate. The tricks were rather impressive too — doesn’t take much to impress me I am simple that way.
The third and last act was on a huge stage with an over-the-top performance. It was a mixture of motorcycles, flames, projections, cute girls, cliché tricks, and loud dubstep music. The entire experience is sensory overload and leaves you wondering “What just happened?”. Which isn’t a bad thing, it was good mindless entertainment — which we all need once in a while.
I don’t want to give too much away, but some of the “tricks” left me perplexed on how they were done. If you’re a fan of magic or want a family friendly show then I recommend checking out The House of Magic. Klook has discount tickets to save yourself 41% (use our coupon code on our travel resources page to save off your first order).
Everyone was spent after the show, so we took a taxi back to our hotel. Lucas and Troy decided to do some gambling in our hotel (not my thing), and Bryson and I called it a night.
Since it was only a single night in Macau, we didn’t get to explore much of it. I would love to return for a weekend trip, but I couldn’t see myself spending any more time than that. The Golden Reel Ferris Wheel (it’s a figure 8 shape) in Studio City Macau was closed when we were there, and I would have loved to have done that. There’s always next time.
Off to Hong Kong & Ocean Park
The next morning we headed to Hong Kong to start our day at Ocean Park and Victoria Peak. In the next part of our trip report, I’ll talk about where we stayed and how we got to Ocean Park. Don’t worry, I’ll give my thoughts and tips for Ocean Park too!