I just returned from Macau a few days ago. It was my third trip to Macau.
The first time I visited Macau was in 2011 and I published an article about it at my Ringgit Wise Fool blog. That article was pretty long as I tried to share as much info for those who intend to visit Macau. I posted many photos in that article including the rooms I stayed at in Grand Lisboa and The Venetian. Actually, I stayed in 3 different hotels for the 3 nights I was there, hahaha. The other hotel was Best Western Sun Sun (located near Senado Square) which was clean and pretty cheap but the room was really tiny compared to Grand Lisboa and The Venetian.
The second time I went to Macau and Hong Kong was in November 2012 and I wrote a freaking long article about it. It was full of very informative stuff and I published it at genxgenygenz.blogspot BUT google deleted that blog because they claim it was generated by a non-human! This said blog is now online again but it does not belong to me!!!
For this article, I won’t be as detailed as my previous articles on Macau but will highlight to you information that may (or may not) benefit you.
This time I visited Macau with a friend who has been there many times and as such he took me to restaurants in Macau which I most likely would not have visited. However, in Hong Kong I took him to 2 famous restaurants which he has never tried.
I flew to Macau with AirAsia where I used my Maybank 2 Cards Premier AMEX Reserve to pay for my wife’s and my tickets and get to earn 1 Enrich Mile for every Ringgit spent on my AirAsia ticket 🙂 And for my hotel rooms, I will book with Agoda (most of the time) and also use my Maybank 2 Cards Premier AMEX Reserve and once again earn 1 Enrich Miles for every RM1 spent.
FREE MAKAN & DRINK AT GREEN MARKET KLIA 2 WITH CREDIT CARDS
As of January 2016, less credit cards are allowed FREE makan at the Green Market (opposite Dome in the Check In Hall) compared to the last time I was there. Last year, I still could use my RHB Visa Premier Debit Card and RHB Platinum Visa Credit Card, but it’s no longer the case. Below is a photo showing you the cards that allows you the privilege of FREE makan at the Green Market @ KLIA 2. FYI, Priority Pass Membership Card is not welcome at the Green Market but you can enter the 3 Plaza Premium Lounges in KLIA 2 with it.
HONG KONG & MACAU TRIP
We reached Macau in the evening and stayed 3 nights in Macau and took a day trip to Hong Kong. We took the TurboJet from Macau to Kong Kong and back where each trip cost about HKD160-180.
HARD ROCK HOTEL – CITY OF DREAMS MACAU
The room I stayed in was a smoking room:) But I can tell you the stench from burned tobacco was strong unlike the smoking rooms I stayed in at The Venetian and Grand Lisboa which did not have this problem. As for the room itself, it is not as luxurious as Grand Lisboa or The Venetian but for the price I paid, I have nothing to complain and I will just show you some photos.
SK II – It’s no longer cheap in Macau
My wife bought SK II products in Macau during our trips in 2011 and 2012 as she claimed it was cheaper there. Below are the SK II products she bought back in 2012 and even got a free cabin bag.
So for this trip, she intended to replenish her SK II stock. But to her surprise this time around, SK II products are no longer cheap in Macau compared to what we pay in Malaysia. The same SK II products are selling for less at KLIA and KLIA2. And with my CIMB World MasterCard or Visa Infinite, I get an additional 15% discount at KLIA/KLIA2!!!
CHANEL IN HONG KONG
What I found out about Chanel prices is Hong Kong is that the handbags cost about the same as in Melbourne. But we get about 9% Tax Rebate at Melbourne Airport and thus it may be cheaper to buy Chanel handbags in Australia than in Hong Kong or Macau. However, as you may be aware, Chanel handbags are in big demand and most outlets do not have the bags you really want. So, if you see a Chanel handbag you like, better buy it. According to the Chanel staff in Tsim Sha Tsui, there is no Classic Chanel Flap handbags in the entire Hong Kong while we were there; but, they had the Grand Shopping Tote in Gold or Silver Hardware. According to the Sales Personel who attended to me, he said Classic Chanel Handbags cost more than seasonal bags!
None of the Chanel handbags was to my liking except for one seasonal 2 tone model (available in 2 sizes) that just arrived in Hong Kong a week ago. So, I took a photo of it and sent it to my eldest daughter on the spot and then called her but she said she disliked both of them. Below are the handbags I was considering and FYI, the prices were HKD22,500 and about HKD24,000 for the mid and large size respectively. And the interior is full leather unlike another model selling for the about the same price but the interior is canvas.
One of the reasons why I was considering getting either of the 2 bags above was because, to my surprise, they were cheaper that what I paid for my wife’s Red Boy Chanel back in 2014 in Paris and Black Caviar Limited Edition Flap Handbag bought in Hong Kong back in 2012!!! And we all know that our Ringgit has weakened tremendously since 2014.
PRADA PRICES IN HONG KONG IS MORE EXPENSIVE THAN IN KL
Below is my wife’s Prada Double Zip Shopping Tote (mid size) bought in Melbourne for AUD2,070 back in 2013. And that time, the same bag was selling for RM8,500 in Malaysia.
My friend’s wife wanted to get the same mid-size Prada Double Zip but in black in Hong Kong. So when I heard the price in the Prada Boutique at Tsim Sha Tsui, I was shocked. After conversion to Ringgit, the price was close to RM1oK!!! So I called up Prada KLCC to check the price and was told that it was selling for RM9180 including 6% GST and they have the black in stock!!! However, my friend’s wife was not really bothered with the savings of close to RM800 (if she was to buy it in Malaysia) but went ahead and purchased the Prada bag.
MICHAEL KORS IN HONG KONG AND MACAU
My friend’s wife was told that Michael Kors bags are cheaper in Hong Kong than in Malaysia and she wanted to get them for her daughters . So we went to Sogo near Tsim Sha Tsui where they have a Micheal Kors outlet. Well, the 2 models she wanted was not on sale but she purchased them anyway.
And here’s the shocker, the next day while in Macau, we went to a Micheal Kors outlet located in Sheraton Hotel and they were having a Sale of up to 50% and one of the bags on sale is the same colour and model which my friend’s wife bought in Hong Kong!!!
After I returned from Macau, I went to Mid Valley as I wanted to issue a supplementary CIMB World MasterCard to my eldest daughter so that she can buy liquor for me at Eraman Duty Free and get 15% discount whenever she returns from Melbourne or overseas (she is going to Thailand for a holiday soon and just returned from Singapore). The CIMB Card Centre in Mid Valley can issue supp card within an hour. So, I dropped by Michael Kors outlet at The Gardens Mall and they too were having a Sale where many bags where being offered with 30% discount and a few selected colours were even up to 50% discount.
So, I have learned from the above that the best time to buy a Micheal Kors product is when it is on Sale!
Having said the above, I did buy a Micheal Kors handbag for my youngest daughter in Macau at ISA located at Senado Square where I only got 20% discount. Reason being it was a small black sling handbag and one of those models which you can hardly get as it was selling like hot cakes. Below is the Micheal Kors bag I bought for MOP1650.
RESTAURANTS YOU MUST TRY IN MACAU
You can google the restaurants mentioned below for more information and location.
San Tou Tou Macau
The evening before we even landed in Macau, my friend had made reservations at San Tou Tou for Shark Fins soup. This restaurant is recommended by Michelin in their Guide Book. He also ordered a claypot fish dish, lettuce and sweet & sour pork and the dinner cost us HKD2700.
Tou Tou Koi Macau
My friend took me to Tou Tou Koi near Senado Square for Dim Sum. From the outside the restaurant looks old but I tell you, the inside deco is really nice including the toilet! They had Australia lobsters too and I was told it would cost HKD3000 for one which is about the same price in Melbourne. The Dim Sum cost us just below HKD600. This restaurant is also recommended by Michelin Guide Book. Once again, my friend had to make reservations the day before we went there.
Seng Cheong Macau – Taipa Village
Don’t be fooled by the unimpressive look of this restaurant. They are famous for their mud-crab porridge (which is not really expensive) but that is not what I really enjoyed there. My friend ordered a huge crab (don’t know what’s it called but it’s not mud-crab) cooked in salted duck egg yolk and it was really fantastic. The egg yolk texture is unlike what I have tasted before and the crabs (2 Nos) were freaking good which cost him HKD1500. He also ordered the giant “hay ko” which I called “baby aliens”, hahaha. However I did not like the “hay ko” as there was too much “egg yolk” and not much “meat”, and I thought they were expensive as my friend paid HKD700 for it. He also ordered the crab porridge and 3 other dishes and the total bill came up to HKD2800 (including the giant crabs and hay ko).
RESTAURANTS YOU MUST TRY IN HONG KONG
While in Hong Kong, I took my wife, my friend and his wife to 2 restaurants which I visited the last time I was in Hong Kong back in late 2012.
Ah Yat Harbour View Restaurant – Michelin Star Restaurant at really reasonable price with excellent view on the 29th floor.
I opted for the set lunch menu with “baby” abalone than cost about HKD500 to HKD600 for two pax. There are other set menus with whole abalone which starts at HKD880 and close to HKD2000 per pax. However I did not take many photos of the dishes this time as I was too busy eating them as they were being served, haha. The lunch cost me just below HKD2000 (6 people all together).
Spring Deer Restaurant, Mody Street, Hong Kong
This restaurant is famous for their Peking Duck and Shark Fins Soup. I called them to make a reservation while I was in KLIA 2 waiting for my flight to Macau. Initially I was told they were fully booked but with my begging skills and broken Cantonese, I managed to get a table, hahaha. I ordered the set dinner (total 7 dishes) which was a mistake, because other than the Peking Duck and Shark Fins Soup, the rest of the dishes were not really to my liking. Therefore, I suggest you go with a-la-carte and maybe walk around to see what other people are ordering, haha. But the dinner was cheaper than San Tou Tou Macau as it cost me about HKD2400 and if you look at the photo of the shark fins below, you will see that the Spring Deer’s shark fins are “bigger” than the coral shark fins at San Tou Tou.
As we were walking from Tsim Sha Tsui to Sogo, we saw a Shanghai Tang outlet so we walked in. My friend bought a Shanghai Tang Limited Edition Year of The Monkey T-shirt for HKD880.
When I visited Macau back in 2011, I bought a Ralph Lauren Polo T-shirt with the words Hong Kong and my favourite number No.8.
I have so many Ralph Lauren Polo T-shirts/Sweaters and if I add them up, I think I have spent more than RM20K on Ralph Lauren products in the last 4 years. But Ralph Lauren Polo T-shirts are so common nowadays.
On the last day in Macau, we dropped by the Shanghai Tang boutique in The Venetian/Four Seasons and I saw a T-shirt with the word Hong Kong and kind of liked it. So I thought I should get a Shanghai Tang T-shirt which is more exclusive in Malaysia since their outlet in KL has closed down. I tried it and like the cutting and bought it for MOP925 using my Maybank Visa Infinite. If I were to pay in cash, it would cost me HKD925. Many of the shops in Macau quote the selling price in HKD but if you pay using credit card, you get to pay in MOP (Macau Currency).
Most of the hotels in Macau provides FREE shuttle services to almost everywhere a typical tourist needs to go in Macau. As such, one could save some pocket money going from place to place. However, sometimes we need to take a taxi, and since Macau is not that huge, the taxi fare would not add up to much per trip. For example, we wanted to take the FREE shuttle from City of Dream to the Ferry Terminal at 8am for our trip to Hong Kong; BUT the FREE bus shuttle service only starts after 9am.
Below are taxi fares that we were charged (in MOP but if you got no MOP then you got to pay in HKD):
Macau Airport to City of Dreams and back – FREE Bus Shuttle
City of Dreams to Ferry Terminal (Turbo Jet to HK) Less than MOP 50 with taxi.
From Ferry Terminal at 9.30pm back to City of Dreams we took the FREE Bus shuttle.
City of Dreams to San Tou Tou restaurant and back – Less than MOP30 per trip with taxi
City of Dreams to Tou Tou Koi restaurant (near Senoda Square) – Less than MOP80 with taxi.
From Sintra Hotel near Senoda Square, we took the FREE shuttle back to City of Dreams.
City of Dreams to Seng Cheong Restaurant at Taipa Village – Less than MOP30 with taxi.
Taipa Village to The Venetian Hotel/Galaxy – Less than MOP 30 with taxi.
FREE bus shuttle between hotels – City of Dreams/Studio City/Galaxy/The Venetian.
SPIRITS ARE EXPENSIVE IN MACAU
Generally, spirits are more expensive in Macau Airport compared to KLIA/KLIA2. However, I managed to buy a Jack Daniels’s Old Tennessee No.7 20cl at The Venetian Hotel from a shop called American Duty Free (near to the FREE bus shuttle entrance) for MOP50, that’s less than RM30!!!
If you did not know, I have another blog for Spirits (not the supernatural kind) called GenX Spirits where I have so far only basically published articles showing off my Spirits Collection in Melbourne (because I got nothing to do when I am over there, haha) and recently added photos taken of some rare Cognac and Whisky while I was in Macau. One of the is a Louis XIII Black Pearl Magnum which is selling close to USD100K!!!
15% DISCOUNT FOR LIQUOR AND SK II AT ERAMAN DUTY FREE KLIA 2
When I landed at KLIA 2, I bought a bottle of Chabot XO Superior 70cl with a FREE miniature bottle (selling for RM400 but I get 15% discount with my CIMB World MasterCard) as I have never tried an Armagnac before. I also bought a Limited Edition Hennessy VSOP Privilege 1L which was selling for the same price of RM266 (without 15% discount) as the normal VSOP.
The next day after I returned from Macau, I opened the Chabot XO Superior. A bottle of Hennessy VSOP was on standby just in case none of us like the Chabot Armagnac, hehe. The Chabot XO Superior was smooth when I took it neat but I prefer the taste of Hennessy XO (which cost 2 times more).
As mentioned earlier, my wife did not buy any SK II products in Macau this time around. However at Eraman KLIA 2 after Immigration near the Baggage Collection, most of the SK II products were out of stock and my wife only managed to get the Facial Treatment Repair C which was selling for RM409 before 15% discount with my CIMB credit card.
With our weak Ringgit, it no longer cheap to go shopping in Macau or Hong Kong. After conversion, it may be cheaper to buy the same thing in Malaysia as I have shown you in the case of SKII and Prada. Who would believe you if you had told them this 5 years ago. Even the price of spirits is more expensive in Macau Airport compared to Eraman at KLIA/KLIA2 (without 15% discount with CIMB credit cards).
However, there is one thing that is cheaper in Macau than in Malaysia, and it’s the Rolex Batman GMT Master II Blue Black!!! Back in October, the same Rolex Authorised Dealer who sold me a Rolex GMT Master II Blue Black (back in March 2015 for less than RM29K) was selling it for RM38K. I visited a Rolex Boutique located in Sheraton Hotel Macau and was surprised when I was told the price was about RM37K (HKD66,800). So, I asked if there is any discount, and to my surprise once again, they give 5% discount which is unheard off in Malaysia for Rolex sports model. So, effectively I could get it for about RM35K, that’s RM3K cheaper than what my Rolex dealer in KL quoted me back in October 2015.
I tell you, if our Ringgit strengthens versus Hong Kong Dollar in the future, say HKD/MYR below 0.5, I may even consider flying over to Macau to buy another Rolex GMT Batman and with the savings I get, it’s like I will be having a FREE holiday (where the savings could easily offset the price of the AirAsia air ticket and hotel room for 3 nights).
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An article by GenX