“The Las Vegas of Asia”
Macau (澳門) was once administered by the Portuguese Empire from the mid-16th century till 1999. It was transferred over to China in 1999, but they operate their own governmental policies (apart from military defense). Macau has since transformed it’s city to a gambling and tourism destination in Asia.
How to get there: I took the Cotai Water Jet ferry from Tsim Sha Tsui to Macau, which only took about an hour to get there. It was about $355 HKD (~$45 USD) for roundtrip tickets.
Transportation: Once my friends and I went through the Macau boarders, there coach buses from different hotels at the entrance of the ferry terminal. The coach buses are completely free, since the hotels here actually want people to go to their casinos to gamble.
Where did we stay: We made reservations to stay at the beautiful Sheraton Grand Macau, located in Cotai where most of the hotels and casinos are located. It is very similar to the strip in Las Vegas, but it’s definitely not as crowded or wild. Like any of the hotels in Macau or Las Vegas, it houses some of the biggest designer brand shops. Once we checked into the hotel, we made our way to the Macau side of the island.
We took one of the hotel shuttle to the other side of the island and transferred to another bus to get us to Senado Square. As you walk through Senado Square, there is a pathway with a lot of souvenir shops with pork/beef jerky and almond cookies you can sample as you make your way to the Ruins of St. Paul’s.
For the rest of the day, we walked around the streets of Macau. We walked past Casino Lisboa, the casino that started it all in Macau. We made our way to the Macau Tower and hung around there for a while before heading back to our hotel.
The next day, we hung around Taipa. We went to the Venetian, a popular hotel/casino in Taipa. There is also one in Las Vegas, which I’ve been to. There is a gondola ride which takes you through the main square of the hotel. It’s suppose to be an imitation of the gondola rides in Venice. After walking around the Venetian, we headed over to Old Taipa Village, where there is a lot of souvenir shops. Of course, we had to make a stop at Lord Stow’s for their famous Portuguese Egg Tarts.