Macau is well known as casino hotspot in Asia and former Portuguese colony. I always imagined that everyone was supposed to wear a nice evening dress and posh jewelry after seeing the James Bond movie. There was this picture in my head that you can only enter a casino when you wear formal clothes… but I learned in Macau (and Singapore) that nobody cares that I’m wearing a pair of old shorts and a plain top with flip-flops.
Macau is easily reachable by ferry from Hong Kong, if you consider to do a day trip. Macau is like Hong Kong as Special Administrative Region with its own currency (Macau Pataca). (short remark: don’t need to exchange money if you come from Hong Kong, you can pay in Hong Kong Dollar too)
The Portuguese influence is quite obvious, I didn’t expect to see so much of Lisbon in Asia!
I’ve seen the Venetian already in the TV but I was still keen on seeing it in real life despite that fact that I’m not a big gambler. The size is just massive! Besides the huge casino, there are also designer stores next to each other. Besides casino hopping and shop till you drop, you can check out the historical sites such as the Ruins of St Paul Cathedral are iconic for Macau, Guia Fort & Guia Chapel and so on.
Besides the casinos and the strong Portuguese architectural influence there was also something less glamorous which reminded me on Manila. Seeing this all together at one place is a bit weird. I also didn’t really expect that much of Portuguese influence like signs in Chinese and Portuguese… no I didn’t forget at this point that Macau was a former colony, but I guess I’m too used to signs in a language I don’t understand at all and the translation of it in English… or just not understanding at all what’s written or spoken around me.
And the conclusion is… ?
I don’t know but for me, Macau won’t gain a spot on my must visit in your lifetime list. It just didn’t wow me. The Portuguese food we had was amazing and it was very interesting to see a casino from inside in real life, but still I don’t think I would have considered visiting it, if it wasn’t that close to Hong Kong.
Is Macau for you a must visit?