Traveling tips for getting around in Macau:

1. Language Barriers: Don’t expect to be able to speak English to everyone in Macau, including cab drivers. They speak Cantonese in Macau and I was able to get by with my limited Mandarin, but we definitely still had a lot of language barriers. So before I headed out to the cab line at the hotel, I’d stop off at the conceirge and asked her to write my destination out in Chinese. It was much easier to hand the driver a note then to get dropped off in the middle of nowhere… which also happened.

2. Roads: Considering that the streets signs, like Rua do Almirante Sergio, were in Portuguese, I made the horribly bad mistake of assuming the cab drivers would know where I wanted to go. Wrong again! Despite having Portuguese street signs, the signs also have Chinese names, which are not as apparent to me. I’m not sure what the point of having Portuguese street names are if the cab drivers don’t use them. But that’s a mystery for another day.  After awhile, I just started telling cab drivers to drop me off big casinos, and I’d walk to wherever I needed to go.

3. Currency: Macau and HK dollars run in almost the same denomination. Example, 25 HK dollars is close to 25 Macau dollars. Yay! No need for currency conversion in your head. HK dollars is widely accepted in Macau. So if you’re coming from HK, you can use them easily. At big hotels, if you use HK dollars, you may receive your change in HK dollars. In smaller stores, you will probably receive it in Macau dollars.

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