#2 of my best travel experiences over the last year has got to be Macau. Often described as Asia’s ‘Las Vegas’ it is definitely a must place to visit if you are in Hong Kong.
Now part of China, Macau was a Portuguese colony up until 1999. There are many Portuguese influences noticeable today especially in their food and architecture.
Getting there and where to stay
If you are thinking of visiting then keep an eye out for offers and discounts on hotels. Before flying out to meet us in Hong Kong for Christmas, my Brothers had found a great deal for a one night stay at the Macau Royal. The offer also included our return express boat and afternoon tea upon arrival. The total cost came to around £60 each.
The Hotel Royal is beautiful. Martin and I have experienced nearly the entire spectrum of chic and shabby hostels so it was a real treat to stay here. I made sure to squeeze in two baths plus a swim in the pool before I left.
What to do with only 24 hours
Once we had checked into our hotel and filled up on our afternoon tea we headed into town. Macau is a great place to simply wonder around, take in the sights of the beautiful buildings and sample the delights of the local delicasies. There is actually a street dedicated to handing out samples of various sweets and meats giving you a chance to try before you buy. Rua do S. Paulo, also known as Food Street. Amazing!
Gambling has been legal in Macau since the 1850’s so as you can imagine, many are attracted to its casinos. We attempted to gamble, and you can probably guess, we didn’t make our millions. The drinks are pricey and the gamblers are serious but it is still worth a visit.
The hotels which house the casinos are also very beautiful. We visited Macau’s largest Casino, The Venetian. Based on the Las Vegas Venetian but SO much bigger. It even comes with its own canal!
And one last thing for the brave folk out there, Macau is the proud owner of the worlds highest Bungee Jump. No thanks.
Is it worth it?
Absolutely! Macau is a beautiful place. My only slight confusion/frustration is with the currency. Before arriving, I had been told that Macau accept Hong Kong dollars and MOP (Macau Pataca). However, when trying to pay at our hotel, the hotel exclaimed that they only accept MOP. Fair, enough, we are in Macau after all. Yet when visiting the casino’s, they would only accept Hong Kong dollars.
So as you can imagine, this left me flummoxed. Why wouldn’t a Macau casino accept their own currency? I never did find out why.
But asides from the hiccup over currency, I had a fantastic 24 hours!
One last thing, make sure you try a Portuguese tart.