Vegas of the East

Trip Start Sep 01, 2008
1
25
46
Trip End Jul 22, 2009


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Flag of Macau  ,
Monday, February 2, 2009

Our mission: To spend three days in the Las Vegas of the East and not gamble a single penny.  This should be very simple for us.  Our initial mission was not to spend any money at a casino period, but then we found out Cirque du Soleil has a show at the Venetian casino, and we have always wanted to see one of their shows.

We also had the philosophy all along this trip to splurge a little here.  Casino hotels tend to be decently priced especially for what you get and this is no different in Macau.  We read that the best deals came with the travel agents when you are leaving Hong Kong for Macau and once you get off the ferry in Macau.  We decided to hedge our bets (no pun intended) and wait to see what was available in Macau.  We found a decently priced place with an overly pushy travel agent, so we just booked one night.

After checking in we wondered around looking for a good place to eat.  Hong Kong was more expensive for food than what we were used to on Mainland, so we were looking for something both yummy and cheaper than Hong Kong.  We found a middle-eastern restaurant that was delicious.  We also found an Internet cafe.
 
Next came the wondering around the casino areas.  Casino Lisboa was boring.  The second one was better and had beautiful jade artwork on display.  The third and final destination was the Wynn Casino which was gorgeous.  They had a fountain in the front that had choreographed water and music every 15 minutes.  As we were walking over there I heard the beginning of Bonnie Tyler's Holding Out For a Hero sung as a ballad.  I figured, great, they have elevator music at this casino.  Yuck.  Then we saw fire in the fountain and we were hooked.  Afterward we wondered inside and saw the end of a little show inside.  We had no idea what it was, but we figured we would be around a bit longer and that we would return to it.

We headed back to the pier the next day to not only try a different travel agent, but a different hotel.  There was nothing really wrong with the place we stayed, but it wasn't quite what we were looking for in way of a splurge.  Let's be truthful - I haven't seen a bathtub since beginning of September that I can relax in.  This time we had a general location in mind and the Presidente Casino was the closest in our price range.  We took the shuttle bus, dropped off our stuff, and headed towards the Ruins of the Church of St. Paul.

Now the all that is left of the church is the front facade and the crypt.  It was burnt down in 1835 from an internal fire.  It was designed by an Italian Jesuit and built by Japanese refugees.  There was also museum behind it, but at the time it was too crowded, so we decided against it.

One thing might need to be explained here.  Hong Kong and Macau are two very special areas.  Hong Kong belonged to England and Macau belonged Portugal and both were 'returned' to China in 1999.  Each have separate governments and money.  If you are Chinese you need a permit to go to either of these areas.  Before entering or leaving you have to go through customs just like you do when entering or leaving another country.  For this reason there is a large presence of churches and European architecture in such a small area so close to China mainland.

Directly next to the ruins is Monte Fort and Macau Museum.  The fort was functional for many years and the Museum is amazing.  It was very well laid out (the museum).  It started out with history of the Western world and Eastern world and then how they came together (fairly well, I may add) in Macau.  It had a short film about the height of the fishing trade in the area and a little diorama.  Also various antique piece of furniture like a wedding bed and a 'wedding carriage'.  It was actually fun to wonder through.  Afterward we had a sandwich on top of the fort and got a sunburn on Groundhog Day.

We decided to make our way over to the Venetian to see if Cirque had any tickets for Tuesday or Wednesday night's performance of Zaia.  We were fortunate enough that they did and Tuesday-Thursday they have discounts.  No complaints.  We had a few hours so we stopped for drinks (2 for 1 house wine) and headed off to the theatre.  WOW!  That is all I can really say and that it was a once in a lifetime experience.  This was a good day and a delightful date night.

The other full day we had we wondered around and saw a few more churches, but Steve got a headache and went back to the hotel.  At this time he was quite happy we had a softer bed than normal and comfy pillows.  I got to wonder around and ended up finding this little Italian restaurant for dinner.  Then for desert Italian gelato.  I had also almost forgotten how much I love to wonder around by myself.  Let's face it...I am an only child of an only child and I learned to entertain myself quite well.  ONLY CHILDREN ARE THE BEST!!!
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Comments

maryfaith
maryfaith on

Hello,
Thanks for your blog it helped a lot for my comprehension about Macau.
Actually I'm on the process right now of making my itinerary for my Hongkong & Macau escape maybe for 5days.
I hope HK & Macau is more progressive these days which I think there would be more changes since you were there last 2009.
Fingers crossed that it would be a memorable and worth the money to be spent as I visit HK & Macau.

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