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October 2014 M T W T F S S « Sep 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Macau and Hong Kong authorities are no longer stamping visitor passports upon entry and exit to streamline the immigration process.
Upon arrival in Hong Kong , all visitors will now receive a printed arrival card which they must retain throughout their stay in the country. Similarly in Macau , arriving visitors will receive an entry tag, which they should keep during their stay in Hong Kong. Departure stamps will not be provided in either region.
Please note that the new procedures only apply to those who are seeking visitor status and entry into/exit from Hong Kong and Macau.
After an exhaustive hunting of cheap Macau accommodation from the internet, I came into a conclusion that hostels, guesthouses and back packer revolution never really landed in this Casino Capital of Asia . Maybe because its hoteliers have their eyes fixed on the rich and the elite and concentrated their expansion on luxury hotels.
I found bargain bucket guesthouses as listed in Macau budget hotel sites but unluckily you won’t find website for each of places mentioned. I tried to Google some of them but it look liked some places has not been renovated since the ill-fated Dutch invasion of the island Four centuries ago. Guesthouse are not reputable in Macau base on reviews.
Hostel prices are expensive compared to the services it offers, so I narrowed my search to 3 to 4 star hotels. Here’s the top 3 will recommend :
1. Holiday Hotel
Estrada do Repouso, No.36-38, Macau City, Macau
Rate : $70 – $90
Ideal for fun and relaxation, Holiday Hotel is located in the Macau City area . From here, guests can enjoy easy access to all that the lively city has to offer. A well-kept environment and its proximity to Tap Seac Gallery, Monte Fort Corridor, Mount Fortress give to this hotel a special charm.
At Holiday Hotel, the excellent service and superior facilities make for an unforgettable stay. While lodging at this wonderful property, guests can enjoy room service, 24-hour room service, elevator, tours, Wi-Fi in public areas.
Pros : Near st. paul church and senado square. Near Mcdonalds and seven 7/11 store.
Cons : The Building is old. Double bedroom has no wardrobe. No wifi. No free shuttle
2. Ole London Hotel
Praca de Ponte E Horta No 4-6, Macau City, Macau
Rate : $100 – $120
Pros : Ole London Hotel offers convenience and luxury, all close to downtown and only 15 km (9 miles) away from the international airport. Senado square within walking distance . Food are easy to find and famous eatery around as well. Staff are very friendly and helpful. Hotel room are clean and size are reasonable. Near Bus stop.
Cons : No free shuttle. A bit hard to find the hotel location as it is located not on the main road. Not suitable for elderly because staircase and slope.
3. Marina Pousada Infante
Avenida Marginal Flor de Lotus, Taipa / Cotai,
Rate : $ 120 – $150
Considering the local competition, Marina Pisada Infante probably stumbles a little short of a fully fledged four star property, but with an indoor pool, a pair of decent restaurants and a fitness gym the facilities are a cut above the standard bed and bathroom you expect to find at a budget bet.
Pros : Located in-front the Galaxy Hotel, you can easily hop-in the Free shuttle going to all tourist attraction in Macau. Venetian and City of dreams are just 5 -minute bus ride. Strong wifi in each room. Free buffet breakfast ($10 fee for extra person). Free shuttle to Ferry , Venetian and Airport every 30 minutes.
Cons : None so far
( This is where we stayed during a side-trip from Hong Kong last July 2014. See my separate review HERE )
It’s always very exciting when you are flying overseas. However there are many unpredictable circumstances that may arise before you reach that foreign country. When it happens, you won’t even have a clue about what you should do next. So better be ready than to be sorry!
Below is a simple checklist on things to bring :
- Passport ( Photocopy the first and last page, in case it will be lost during travel).A passport is valid for five years, but airlines and countries require passports with validity of six months prior to the expiry date . Make sure your passport is with-in the validity period on the date of your travel. Visa for Hong Kong and Macau are no longer stamped on the passport, so make sure your passport has a jacket/cover to insert those pieces of paper small visa tickets.
- ID ( SSS , Postal or company ID )
- Plane tickets (A round ticket would show the immigration officer that you are coming back. If you can print a duplicate copy, have it save in your phone or tablet)
- Hotel and theme parks booking vouchers ( A proof that you will be staying in HK as a tourist not a job seeker)
- Permit to travel ( This is for government employees. I know a friend who was held at the immigration interrogation room because she was not able to bring a permit to travel . She was released only when the permit was sent through email )
It is necessary to check the weather of the time you will be in Hong Kong. It was summer when we had our vacation last July 2014, so I brought with me summer shirts, sleeveless tops , shorts and a pair of jeans. Choose clothing that are light so as not to exceed your baggage allowance. Visit accuweather.com too! Our last day in HK was projected to be rainy, so I brought some long-sleeved tees , jacket and bonnets. These is needed inside the plane and at the airport too where temperature is freezing.
Shoes plays an important part of our trip considering that there will be a lot of walking day and night. Please don’t bring high-heels ( except if you are in HK for a fashion show..LOL) or wedge type. Rubber shoes are too heavy, bring sneakers instead. Nring a pair of slippers in your sling bag in case your feet needs a breather.
Ocean Park and Ngong Ping are terribly humid in summer, bring caps, shawl or a scarf for sun protection ( I saw Koreans using umbrellas but most foreigners just exposed themselves to the sun).
Electronics & Chargers
- Cellphone – Keep a mobile phone with you to contact your loved-ones left at home and make sure you know what you’ll be charged as far as roaming fees. Nothing worse than arriving back home to a huge cell phone bill.
Click HERE to see where to purchase HK Sim card.
- Camera – pictures and videos during vacation are treasures to keep so bring extra camera units and batteries. Laptops are too heavy to bring, so bring extra memory cards or portable disk drive. You can request the hotel’s PC to transfer photos from memory card to disk drive.
- Chargers (laptop, camera) – Never forget to bring your charger. If you have the budget buy a universal charger which can charge 6 devices simultaneously . HK hotels have three holes outlet, you need an adapter if your device has only two.
Be sure that you have cash on hand more than enough from what you have budgeted. Bring U.S. dollar and exchange it at the airport for local currency . Some ATM and credit card does not work overseas, so make sure to visit your bank and inquire about transaction fee and other details in using your card. Click here to see my 6-day Hong Kong and Macau budget.
- Foods – I am not being frugal here but bringing foods during a vacation is practical to do specially if you have kids with you . Chocolates, candies , cookies and biscuits will surely help boost your energy .
- Medicine – Be sure to pack your medications especially if they are prescription. Keep them in your carry-on for safekeeping.
- Toiletries – check your hotel what they can provide or better yet bring your personal hygiene pack
- Ball pen ( Necessary to fill-up immigration form).
- Eye glasses /Contact Lenses