My Macau Getaway

Some tidbits from my Christmas getaway to Macau (SAR) from Shenzhen to Zhuhai to Macau and back the same route. Overall, Macau doesn’t standout in my mind as a place that should be on anyone’s bucket list. It’s often referred to as Asia’s Las Vegas and I’d agree that’s true. The main things to do here are shop, gamble, and party.

-Macau accepts Hong Kong dollars but not vice-versa as HKD is an international currency but MOP is not.
-Getting COVID tests is ridiculous here because you need to pay either 45MOP or 150MOP for a test. The cheaper one is tested with 5+ others tests in the same vial so if one person is positive all will get a false positive result. And that’s exactly what happened to me. I tested positive and was asked to take a RAT test, go to the hospital and take a NAT test, and then go to a hotel and paid for the 150MOP test because it is individually tested and specifically for border crossing. Very bizarre, illogical, and overly complicated.
-Going from China to Macau you need a 72-hour negative COVID test and to register for Macau’s QR health code. When you leave, you must transfer that to another QR code specifically for entering Guangdong. So, I needed three different QR codes all together.
-Getting money here is the biggest pain because all of the ATMs are KYC protected meaning you have to show a Chinese ID or you can’t use them. So if you’re a foreigner you’re out of luck. Same concept with WeChat and Alipay – you can’t pay for anything unless you have a Chinese ID. Your best options is to bring cash yourself and exchange it there or you can transfer your funds on WeChat or Alipay directly to a person at an exchange and get cash back. Some places take credit card, some don’t – so don’t rely on that option.
-Probably 80% of everything was closed during my stay due to COVID and Christmas. The cable cars, restaurants and bars, even casinos and spas. It just is what it is, but I made the most of it.
-There are a lot of spas here that are fronts for prostitution. My hotel’s elevator literally opens up to one where I asked for a back massage but instead was shown an iPad of girls in different outfits like a nurse or policewoman.
-Moreover, I got lucky and unlucky with my hotel because they were 80% understaffed and had to close their gym, pool, and casino. They even gave me a room that hadn’t been made up, but, as a result, they upgraded me for free.

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