Arrived in Macao in Midnight

The flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Macau took about 3 hours and 35 minutes, a little bit shorter than originally scheduled. However, we still arrived in Macau at wee hour of the day, at 2.30 midnight.

Macau International Airport is a small airport with just limited flights and airlines servicing. Our flight was the last flight scheduled to arrive for the day – all the following inbound and outbound flights are for the next morning. So most shops, including duty-free shops and establishments were closed, and the airport was almost empty except for immigration officers, security officers, money changer and a information counter staff. Of course, outside of airport, there were taxi drivers who are waiting for expected customers.

There was no more bus services running, so we had to take taxi to the city to stay in hotel. Initially we’re thinking of sleeping in the airport – there are nice cushion chairs in the concourse, but I guess they will chase away people in a short while as there were no more flights. Another option considered is to go to casino and spend the night there. But I decided it’s better to sleep.

I quickly called up Central Hotel to check room availability. I initially thinking of having a short snap at Macau Masters Hotel . However, since a girl I met while waiting to board the airplane also recommended Central Hotel, and with the belief that Central Hotel is more centrally located, I gave Central Hotel a try.

As we had 5 persons, and the taxi drivers insisted that their taxi can only sits a maximum of 4 passengers, so we had to hire 2 taxi. Taxi in Macau charges the fare by using meter. The starting flag-down fare is MOP $10, and there is extra surcharge of MOP $5 for route originating from airport, and MOP $3 surcharge for each piece of luggage carried in the boot, though there didn’t seem to be midnight surcharge.

Our fare meter shown MOP 52 after surcharge when we reached Central Hotel, and another taxi carried my brother shown MOP 53. As we didn’t exchange any Macau Pataca, we paid the drivers in Hong Kong Dollar, HKD $100 each (MOP and HKD can be used interchangably in Macau as the exchange rate is roughly the same – MOP $100 to about HKD $101). To our surprise, my taxi driver only returned the change of MOP $40, and took the HKD $8 as his own tip himself. My brother’s taxi driver even worse, returned just the change of MOP $30. And they should paid us in HKD too, as it’s normally the practise, but opted to pay us in MOP which has lower value, albeit just a little bit. But Macau Pataca is practically useless once outside of Macau, which I don’t need. This certainly left me a bad first impression on Macau, although the rest of the journey in Macau turned out surprisingly well.

Note: There are actually two type of taxis in Macau. Normal taxis (with black with cream roof), and radio-taxi-service (yellow taxis) which can be reached at tel. (853) 939939 or (853) 519519. The one we took were yellow taxis.