A Taste of Europe in Macau

Macau can give Las Vegas a run for its money. Literally. Macau's gambling industry is seven times bigger than Vegas. Hard to imagine right?

What's also unique about the area is that up until 1999, Macau belonged to Portugal. Today, it consists of three islands and a peninsula. It's also one of the two Special Administrative Regions of China and the only place in the country where gambling is legal.

With the dream of winning a jackpot, Marc and I left Hong Kong for the day and sailed to Macau. From the ferry terminal, complimentary hotel shuttles wait for eager gamblers and drive them to their luxurious resorts. If you're going to Macau, don't bother taking a taxi. Get on one of these free shuttles and it will take you directly to hotels and other attractions in town.

We hopped on the Venetian shuttle bus and arrived in an Italian fantasyland.




The decor is the exact same as the Venetian in Las Vegas but I couldn't believe how big the entire hotel was. I later found out that the Venetian Macau is the largest casino in the world.


We took a stroll through the marble hallways and pretended we were exploring the alleyways and canals of Venice.



After jester performances and watching people on romantic gondola rides, we headed to the casino floor. We couldn't help it! The blinking bright lights and sounds of clinking chips were calling our names.


I raced to the blackjack table. Thankfully, lady luck was on my side. In a matter of minutes, I turned a nice profit and decided to quit while I was ahead.



Winner, winner chicken dinner!


Unfortunately, Marc wasn't so lucky. :(

Once our gambling escapade came to a close, we headed to the old part of Macau. I loved the fusion of ancient Portuguese architecture with modern Chinese culture.





The streets were packed to the max with tourists from mainland China. I couldn't believe how busy this place was on a Monday afternoon!


We hiked uphill and battled the endless sea of crowds. Finally, we made it to the famous ruins of the Church of St. Paul.



Built in the 16th century, the church was once an elaborate monument to Christianity. However, in 1835, it was destroyed by a fire during a typhoon. Today, only the southern stone facade still stands.



Macau not only holds its Portuguese roots through architecture, but also through food. You can be sure to find a variety of popular Portuguese dishes such as arroz de pato (rice with duck confit) and roast suckling pig here.

We couldn't resist snacking on the warm and flaky Portuguese egg tarts.



Before we knew it, it was time to return to the ferry terminal and sail back to Hong Kong. On our walk back, we were bombarded with more dazzling casinos and massive resorts.





It was such a strange feeling. One minute, you're walking through the old European streets of Portugal and the next, you're transported to Las Vegas. Macau really is a funny place. 

Melissa Li

I’m a Canadian girl on a quest to step foot in every continent before I’m 30. You’ll most likely find me chowing down on Japanese ramen, partying at a music festival, hiking to the top of a scenic lookout, cuddling with cats, or chilling out at the beach. I’ve visited over 60 countries so far and hope to inspire you to do the same.

1 comment:

  1. This is just gorgeous !*love* it all as the messages, the pictures and the quality of the writing. Thanks !

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