Out of all the services welcoming tourists in Macau, none are more devious than taxis. Over the last few years, this once necessary transportation option has transformed into brightly colored tourist traps. Instead of honestly charging new visitors, Macau taxi drivers try to swindle clients however they can. From not running taximeters to asking for flat rates, there are plenty of techniques that taxi drivers use to scam tourists. There are many popular taxi scams.
So many punters pour into this city that there’s no shortage of new victims. Macau is the Las Vegas of Asia, which means that it attracts affluent players from all over the world. Thanks to the Portuguese colonization, it’s packed with UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This unique blend of East and West has made it one of the most vibrant tourist attractions in Asia. While this keen international interest has helped its development explode, it has also paved the way for new scams.
Thankfully, the most common form of ripping off tourists in Macau is taxi scams. While this is quite tame compared to other tourist destinations, it’s still something that should be avoided at all costs. There’s no reason to agree to overpriced fairs, no matter how much of a hurry you are in. To help our readers avoid feeding into this trap, we compiled a list of tips for taking taxis in Macau. They will ensure that you pay the fair rate, so educate yourself before traveling to this bustling attraction!
Tips for Avoiding Taxi Scams in Macau
Tip #1: Know the Rules
In Macau, there are strict guidelines that all cab drivers have to follow. Macau taxi drivers are not allowed to bargain the fair, all transactions have to be done by the taximeter. They also can’t take detours, drop patrons off at unwanted destinations or let other people board the vehicle. While these are pretty basic, a surprising number of drivers try to pull them while taking tourists.
Tip #2: Know the General Rates
As of December, 2017, taxi fares inside Macau are MOP19 for the first 1.6 kilometers. Every 240 meters afterwards is MOP2. Patrons travelling to Macau International Airport or Taipa Ferry Terminal have to pay an additional MOP5. Some drivers charge for every piece of luggage, so be prepared for a slight bump in the cost.
Traveling back and forth between tourist destinations is extremely predictable, since each one has its respected route. To avoid getting taken on a detour, we compiled a list of general rates to the major tourist spots:
- Senado Square (Ruins of St. Paul’s) to the City of Dreams Parisian or Venetian hotel costs MOP60 to MOP75.
- Venetian Hotel to Macau Airport or Taipa Ferry Terminal costs MOP40 to MOP50.
- Venetian Hotel to Border Gate costs MOP80 to MOP90.
- Senado Square to Macau Airport or Taipa Ferry Terminal costs MOP70 to MOP85.
- Senado Square to Macau Ferry Terminal costs MOP30 to MOP40.
Tip #3: Avoid Taxis Altogether
Macau isn’t a big city, but it has a bustling public transportation system. This means that tourists can get around by taking public buses and free shuttles. These amenities are available 24/7, so there’s no excuse to get ripped off. To make things even easier, most of the major hotels are clustered on the Cotai Strip. The other tourist attractions are within walking distances of each other, so take taxis only when you are in a rush!