Taking the fast ferry to Macau gives Hong Kong visitors a wonderfully diverse view of a traditional lifestyle mixed with a huge measure of glitz.
There are 2 alterntive ferries, one from the China ferry terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, and the turbo ferry from Sheung Wan. Both have many daily services, are well organised and prompt, and everyone gets a designated seat. It is better to arrive early at busy times and at weekends.
In just over an hour you are whisked to a different world, with its own strong identity. From the terminal take either the bus or a taxi to Senado Square, the heart of old Macau. It is an entrancing open air space with lovely black and white wave pattern mosiac, and beautiful old Portuguese colonial building all around. From the top of the square, winding St Paul street leads towards the ruins of St Paul's cathedral. The street is lined with fascinating shops, many busily selling traditional local delicacies, of which the local soft nutty candy is a must buy. You are offered many samples by the various shops, so get the chance to find the one you like best. Popular snacks are the squares of compressed meats sold by many shops,and again, many shops freely offer samples.There are delightful small shops selling all manner of goods, and plenty of cafes to refresh visitors. At the top of the street you are faced by the monumental facade of the ruined Cathedral, fronted by a magnificent stairway, and lovely greenery. Beyond the ruins are grottoes, remains of the old Portuguese fort and further interesting remains of the Portugues administration.
The big draw for many visitors is the oppotrunity to gamble. Older casinos are in the heart of the city, and a Strip of very glitzy, themed, newer casinos are to be found towards the south of the Peninsula, many resembling the originals in Las Vegas, but with much more glitz and huge amounts of money being gambled. Even if you are not a gambler, the interiors of the casinos offer a chance to see and admire a complete fantasy world.
For a taste of an older Macau, take the bridge over to Taipa where the Portuguese museum has wonderful old Houses now all showing traditional handicrafts and old lifestyles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.