Getting to Macau

Sometimes, out of the blue you get struck by a thought. Such was the case for me on Sunday evening. Terry made the flight reservations for our trip to Macau in May and in September I made reservations to see the City of Dancing Water – an extravagant show (more later). We were to fly on New Year’s Eve day. Last week it occurred to me that we were to land in Hong Kong at 4:30 and take the one hour ferry to Macau and then see the show at 8 pm. Hmmm I thought. Our experiences with flying in China is that rarely (read NEVER) do planes take off or land as scheduled. So I contacted the show and within 15 minutes they had changed our tickets to the 1st, even though the policy clearly states no exchanges, returns or changes once tickets have been issued. Incredibly generous of them, I thought – (Ed. note: or perhaps they had a waiting list for New Year’s Eve, the cynic in me thought).

However, before we get to the trip, let me tell how my morning started. Terry went off to school and Ken and I were to get a cab and pick her up at school at 11am. We packed up, and off to Starbucks we went. On the way I realized that I hadn’t brought my medicine or my inhaler. Oh Golly, I thought. Then I went to get cash and the machine kept my cash card without giving me cash. Oh Gee, I thought. I phoned Daisy at school and she contacted the bank. I can get it back on Monday, Jan. 6 – after we get back from Macau. Oh Golly, Gee. I thought. Then it was back to the apartment to pick my drugs. Oh, #$%^, I thought.

Anyway, back to the trip. Follow the timeline:

  • 11:00 – Pick up Terry
  • 11:25 – Arrive train station
  • 11:38 – Depart on time for Shanghai
  • 12:10 – Arrive on time
  • 12:20 – Subway to Terminal One
  • 12:25 – Arrive Terminal One
  • 12:40 – Check in for 2:05 flight
  • 1:50 – Board plane for 2:05 departure
  • 3:05 Depart for Hong Kong International
  • 5:35 – Arrive at Hong Kong International
  • 5:35 – 7:35 – Kill two hours sitting in airport terminal – Hong Kong-Macau ferry slip is attached to the airport – (Ed. note: no bar in the transit area)
  • 7:35 – Arrive at Hong Kong-Macau ferry slip for 7:50 departure
  • 8:05Depart for Macau
  • 9:05 – Arrive in Macau
  • 9:20 – Arrive at luggage claim area – see below
  • 9:50 – Get luggage
  • 10:00 – Get in taxi line-up
  • 1035 – Get taxi
  • 10:50 – Arrive Macau Sofitel Hotel
  • 11:10 – Meet Ken in Rendezvous Lounge
  • 11:11 – Drink Glenfarclas double
  • 11:12 – Order glass of red wine
  • 12:00 – Usher in the new year with wine and burgers in the lounge.

(Ed. note: Just did some more research. We could have flown out of Shanghai at 4:25pm and landed in Macau 2 1/2 hours later – Who knew? Live and learn.)

The luggage pick up at the Macau ferry terminal is something to behold. They bring the bags out in the large metal containers which you see being loaded on to planes. They then push the people back, open the containers and pull the bags out on to the floor where everyone is waiting in a large mass. No conveyor belt, no revolving platform –  just the floor.

We have gone on and on about the lack of lining up, pushing to the front etc. Just imagine the scene as one by one by one the eight containers were brought out and unloaded. Bedlam doesn’t begin to describe it. If ever Ken was right about carry on, this was it! When we bought our tickets for the ferry, I bought “Super Class”, which, the woman told me entitled us to:

  • a seat on the upper deck with better view (Ed. note: it was 9 at night and pitch black),
  • a meal (Ed. note: Tuna bunwich, a tofu bar and some chocolate thing), and
  • our luggage would be first off (Ed. note: How do I know there were 8 containers – yes – you are right, ours was in the 8th – so much for floating super class!).

Ken very patiently waited with his carry on…

Container 1 arrives

Container 1 arrives

Let the free for all begin

Let the free for all begin

From there it was out to get a taxi. Now it is 10:00 on New Year’s Eve. Not a lot of people coming to the ferry to go anywhere, so not a lot of cabs to take people from the ferry. Thankfully, there was only one incident where some people tried to jump the line and grab a taxi. They didn’t get it. Still took us 35 minutes to get one.

Finally we arrive at the hotel where the young woman at the reception desk tried, graciously, to up sell us to the club floor – for only an additional $90/Cdn a night. We just as graciously declined.

Ahh – but the lounge was lovely and fun. Happy New Year and our best wishes for a wonderful 2014 for all of you.

New Year's Eve in the Rendezvous Lounge, Macau Sofitel

New Year’s Eve in the Rendezvous Lounge, Macau Sofitel

5 thoughts on “Getting to Macau

  1. Barb

    Happy New Year to both of you!!!…as I read this blog, I kept thinking “life is all about the journey” and I guess some journeys are better than others. As always, with your thoughtful prose, we readers feels as though we are right there with you.
    Hugs from Barb and Alex.

  2. Peter Therrien

    Happy New Year to all of you! Also congrats to Ken on his new position. What would travelling be if not the experiences of getting to where you want to go. It would be no fun if it was easy (well it would be fun, but not an ‘experience’ in itself).We went to Palm Springs in October for my sister’s surprise 70th. Who knew that there were stops in Portland and Sacramento and that there were still prop planes in existence? Ain’t travelling fun!

  3. Lynne

    Happy new year. What’s this about your inhaler Geoff? Is this a new thing due to smog over there?

  4. pkintzinger

    Happy New Year to you all. Last “official” day of the holiday and just getting around to reading the blog with my second cup of coffee. The Sofitel lounge scene is so calm and relaxing for New Years Eve. I was reading a book in bed – also calm and relaxing! Talk soon!

  5. Joan Hendrcks

    Happy New Year to you guys! I too am catching up on the blogs with a cup of coffee! Life is busy, what can I say!


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