There is always something happening on Macau, a vibrant island just a stone’s throw from Hong Kong. Often touted as the “Vegas of China”, it’s a buzzing place at any time but in 2019 the calendar is jam packed with a mix of festivals and events to commemorate its 20th anniversary as a special administrative region (SAR).
Chinese New Year is where it all starts. Held over 15 days in January or February of each year, this lunar holiday is a spectacular event of dazzling fireworks and colourful street parades. The island’s 650,000 population doubles at this time so be prepared for the masses. 2019 is Year of the Pig.
China loves a good fireworks display and for one month, starting early September, Macau will be celebrating its 30th Fireworks Display Contest, attracting twelve countries from across the world.
Macau has recently joined the elite UNESCO Creative Cities for Gastronomy. It’s an accolade that celebrates its incredibly varied and delicious cuisine, reflecting influences from its Portuguese history. There’ll be plenty of culinary events held throughout the year to help you dive in.
There are lots more events on the calendar, including music, martial arts and seasonal celebrations, so check the schedule before you hit the island.
Fly Cathay Pacific, Virgin Australia or Qantas to Hong Kong with connecting TurboJetSea Express swift ferry service from either HKIA or from Hong Island or Kowloon to Macao (takes 1hr). Alternatively, shuttle bus across the new over-the-sea bridge linking Hong Kong with Macao (around 35 minutes).
Also, fly via other Asian hubs into Macao International Airport (eg Xiamen Airlines via Xiamen from Sydney or Melbourne). Integrated Macao resorts and hotels offer free shuttle services from Macao or Taipa ferry terminals as well as Macao International Airport.
Hotel prices start from around US$40 per room per night for something basic, up to US$200+ per night for a palatial abode. Street festivals and fireworks are free. Some events attract a fee.
Your main challenge will be tackling the crowds
This tip was provided by Macao Government Tourism Office but we’re sharing it with you because we think it’s great.