Macau undoubtedly takes the cake as my favorite aspect of my trip to Hong Kong. As an ex colony of Portugal, the two official languages are Portuguese and Chinese. If you speak any romance language in Asia, you will be excited because for once, you won’t be illiterate. Wrong. Despite Portuguese being an “official” language, most people speak Chinese.
Since Macau is technically a country (even though it’s an SAR of the People’s Republic of China) you must bring your passport and go through immigration. Fun fact: Hong Kong and Macau don’t stamp your passport—instead, they print out slips. On the bright side, at least your travels are digitally recorded? I know it’s a bit sad, but your spirits will be lifted quickly after you set foot on a new territory.
Macau is the Vegas of Asia and if I say so myself, better than Vegas. Check out six awesome things to do in Macau besides gamble.
Check out the Venetian
After immigration from the ferry port, take a free shuttle to the Venetian—a hotel, shopping mall, and casino. Seriously, the one in Vegas has got nothing on this one This massive shopping mall sections a canal where people can take gondola rides through a Venice style street… and of course have Dean Martin romantic ballads accompany their boat ride by the gondola driver. (Is that what a person who steers a gondola is called?)
Never having been to Venice this was a phenomenal Italy away from Italy. While everything is duty free, it is still expensive. Being a modest civil servant of the government and making a modest salary, everything was way out of my price range, but window shopping is always fun.
If you’re a sucker for Shakespeare, you’ll feel whisked away by the Venetian masqueraders outside the hotel. As if out of a movie I was almost stolen away by… What’s that? A hunky Italian?
Walk down the Cotai Strip
The Cotai strip is where all the casinos, hotels, and malls are, therefore it makes a playground for the rich and famous. If you’re a fan of the Korean drama version of Boys Over Flowers, you’ll quickly notice three episodes were filmed there.
Winter wonderland on the Cotai strip are impressive because they have everything like a Venice style carnival. There are fire twisters, building dancers hanging from a rope, elegant clowns on stilts, opera singers, dance performances, and even a projector show on the back of the castle.
Eat an egg tart
Original recipe coming from Europe, the people of Macau have made it into their own delicacy. Yum, yum, you know you want to nom on this.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
On the more historic part of Macau, you’ll see St. Paul’s Cathedral (well, what’s left of it) and you’ll learn it was built by Japanese Christians in exile. Although the church burned down in 1835, the front remains, as do the beautiful carvings and statues.
The Guia Fortress
I also went to the Guia Fortress which is the highest point in Macau. The Fortress offers a fantastic view of the bay and city. Since the European and Asian cultures intertwine, there were also shrines with historic characters.
Walk around the down town
If you’ve never been to Europe (like I have) then you can definitely get the feel for a European settlement. Many of the buildings are older and give a glimpse into the past.
This small SAR is awesome and amazing. I loved the Portuguese cultured intertwined with the culture of Macau and China. I loved eating the egg tart and being blown away by the Vegas of Asia. Even though you don’t get another stamp on your passport, Macau will leave a stamp on your mind. Would you make the hop over to Macau?