With over 50 casinos and nicknamed the Las Vegas of Asia, Macau is the gambling capital of the world. However, Macau actually brings in more than double of what Las Vegas makes, so technically Las Vegas is the Macau of USA. Anyways, living in Korea has a lot of perks, mostly travel related. There are so many red eye flights that easily allow for weekend trips to be possible. So, if you are an English teacher in Korea, or anything else, take advantage of the weekends to travel to the countries close by. Remember, when you travel to Macau you do not need a Chinese visa which makes travelling so much easier.
Although rather small, Macau actually has a lot of attractions to see and do. Check them out below.
The Casinos and Entertainment
Macau casinos are split into two different areas on the islands, Macau City and Cotai strip. Don't worry both islands have a great amount of casinos. From experience it seems that most foreigners flock to the island of Taipa for the casino experience. Macau City seems to be more Chinese with little sprinkles of foreigners. If you are a seasoned gambler then be prepared to pay a minimum of 300HKD for a seat at the tables. If you are new to gambling then slots would be the best place for you to start. They are very low risk as you don't need to put a large bet on them, from what I remember you can pay 5HKD which is not even $1 CAD. They also have other low risk electronic game tables with roulette and more! If you want to visit the casino make sure you are at least 18 with your passport on hand, as you will most likely get carded, as I was. There is also shuttle buses that can take you from one casino to another because the distance is quite far considering how large these casinos are.
The most popular casino seems to be the Venetian on Taipa. It is actually the largest in the world with a premier shopping mall, 3000 rooms, and actual canals with gondola rides in the mall. Outside of the hotel there is a City of Dreams is another popular casino. Nothing short of luxury, this casino has Michelin star restaurants, luxury shopping and is actually the best place to see shows. Also, if you've heard of Din Tai Fung the famous Xiaolongbao (steamed dumplings) restaurant, it is also in this hotel. There are multiple luxury spas to choose from. If you are in the mood to go out at night, there is also a nightclub called Club Cubic. Galaxy was actually my favourite hotel. It has 6 world class hotels in one building, think about how large that is. Of course there is luxury shopping! If you are into afternoon tea or desserts then you need to visit Cha Bei! It's a very cute restaurant with lots of pink but the desserts are amazing. They also have a live pianist and a musical water show in their Diamond Lobby every 20 mins. There is also a white sand waterpark which guests can use for free!
The Wynn is another great hotel. They actually have a Skycab which offers a great view of the performance lake with it's dancing fountains. The Skycab is free and a great way to go from the MGM up to the Wynn without having to do the long walk around to the entrance. Make sure you stay around at night to see the illuminated water show! This hotel also has beautiful flower features everywhere and the hallways spell opulence! Studio City reminds me of Universal Studios, even though I've never been there. It's very lights, camera, action and is very kid friendly unlike the other hotels. They have a 4D Batman ride, a Warner Bros fun zone, the Golden Reel, etc. The Golden Reel is actually the world's highest Ferris wheel in the shape of an 8 and costs 200HKD.
The Grand Lisboa is one of the hotels that will be in both downtown Macau and the Cotai strip. However, it has not opened on the Cotai strip as of yet. The Lisboa's exterior is quite gorgeous with their colourful glass dome and tower. The tower is actually the tallest structure in Macau. The Parisian on the Cotai strip and is another huge complex with a casino, shopping and entertainment. It wouldn't be the Parisian if they didn't have an Eiffel Tower. The tower has an observation deck for a fee. I'm not sure if it's because of Christmas but it also plays music and has a light show.
Macau has a mixture of Chinese and Portuguese cuisines that are equally popular because of the Portuguese colonization. The most popular Portuguese food that everyone tends to try are the egg tarts. They are filled with egg custard and have a flaky crust and are cheap and delicious! Make sure to buy them when they are fresh! Portuguese seafood rice is another popular dish. It's kind of like Paella but more soupy. You'll notice long line-ups in the downtown area. It is probably for the pork chop buns. It sounds a little strange having a big honk of meat in-between bread but it looks amazing! Dim Sum is obviously a popular Chinese delicacy. Din Tai Fung has great dim sum and xiaolongbao. Pork jerky is another famous snack. It's super cheap and literally everywhere and SO delicious!
Downtown Macau is where most tourist go to experience Macanese culture. I already mentioned about Macau having a Portuguese/Chinese fusion so a lot of the tourist attractions are Portuguese influenced. In the Portuguese quarter you'll notice a lot of the architecture is very European. Be sure to walk around Senado Square which is covered in cobblestone. The Ruins of St. Paul is probably the most popular sight. You'll see a ton of people taking selfies on the steps leading to the Ruins. It's best to go at night as it isn't as crowded. Monte Forte is another historic site and is located right beside the Ruins. There is also a museum at the top of the fort and you can learn more about the history of Macau.
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