Posts Tagged ‘macau’

Macau Sojourn

So it was that on a peaceful Monday we headed off to the little enclave of Macau to experience it for the first time…

No wait, I can’t do this. I have to admit something and in my anal, obsessive holiday planning brain this is hard to get out in public…

I messed up…

It was on a crazy, stressful Monday night that I realised we should have left about 10 hours earlier on a boat to Macau and our trip to Macau should have started already. I got the dates mixed up. Hey, there’s a first time for everything! Although similarly related, I have lost/forgotten my passport on two occasions but this was before my jet setting ways had begone. I thought I was invincible.

So we made a short trip on the MTR  to the ferry terminal to catch the 10pm ferry to Macau to spend our first night in The Venetian resort. If you go to Macau you just have to stay there for the sheer craziness of it all. It’s huge, it’s a casino, an event arena, a theatre and a 3000 bedroom hotel. It’s got a small golf course on the 3rd floor and it goes without saying that on the 16th floor there is a replica of Venice; canals, gondoliers and all. I’m thinking it would be even more expensive to get a gondola ride there than the real Venezia.

Our room was bigger than our apartment and we wanted to stay. I put 100Hkd in to a slot machine and won 300HKD. I wanted to stay even more. But we had one night there and one night in another hotel on the main Macau peninsula (The Venetian is on another little island connected by roller-coaster  bridges)

So, some pics of The Venetian.

One small part of The Venetian. Deceivingly small looking, it goes far back beyond this wing.

A replica of St. Marks Tower and the numerous other casinos/hotels being built around the Cotai Strip in Macau. As seen from our room.

The lil golf course. Only putters were being used though sadly.

Our glorious room!

The fake Venice with fake clouds in a fake sky with fake canals and real shops. Quite confusing.

Good authentic voice on the gondolier though. I pity the passengers. How embarrassing.

Ok, onwards to the main peninsula the next day where we stayed at The Star Hotel. It was described as tacky by the Lonely Planet. It wasn’t. Maybe the few 7 foot tall ladies in short skirts welcoming you is tacky in one person’s eyes. We had to walk around downtown for a while until our room was ready with our bags on our backs so we were not in the mood to do any serious sight seeing. We did however notice that Macau still looks a “bit” European in “some” parts. It just looks like Vegas around the casinos especially when the lights go on and the sun goes down.We ended up all tired and hungry at a Lebanese restaurant ingeniously called Beirut where we had a lovely lunch of non local delicacies. Recommended. Back to the hotel happier.

Even more happier when the receptionist said we were upgraded to a suite! Yippee! And what a suite!

And the view was nothing to be sneezed at from the 33rd floor. Looking down at the Wynn, Royal Lisboa and the President Casinos. And also the Pearl Delta going all the way to the mainland. Which is not really a way aways at all.

Seemingly that tower is the 10th tallest free standing building in the world. So not that impressive really. One of our friends decided it would be fun to jump off it face first a few months ago. Thankfully she wasn’t a manic depressive and it was all in the spirit of extreme sports. I was gonna do it but I had to do a casino crawl.

The Wynn Casino has a nice choreographed fountain show going on outside it’s joint. Nice!

So what are the casinos like then, Colin? I’m glad you asked. I have a lot to say on the subject. They are huge but somehow retain all the smoke from the hundreds of gamblers expel from their wheezing mouths. They are full of Chinese mainlanders who come across daily in their thousands on free buses  run by the casinos from the nearby border crossing. There is not the air of frivolity and fun that you would expect; instead you get angry shouts and fists thumped loudly on the baccarat tables. They stare zombie like at the slots and there is a sense of machine like formality about it all. They are not in it for the fun. I could not help but wonder what business these people were in to over the border. If they had the money to come here and stay and quite probably lose a fortune I don’t think I want to know.
There are no cameras allowed in casinos, so no shots. Let’s jsut say I broke about even thanks to a 900Hkd win in our last casino of the night The MGM Grand which I think is the place to be. Massive, good selection of games and it has a smoke-free section. I don’t think I knew when that started and ended though; there seemed to be a constant haze.

The Vegas like sights of Royal Lisboa  and Casino Lisboa. No relation. Or probably there is.

The cleaner more modern looking MGM Grand. My fav.

We ended our night and our time in Macau in our hotel bar listening to a Philipino band demolish a few 80s numbers.
I don’t know what the below song is but Sharyn does and could not believe her American ears. You see one of the 7-foot tall “Welcomers” at the start! Camera work by Sharyn. Wine was had.

Good night Macau, you’re a strange looking city with an evil but child-like streak running through you but I like you. Not sure about the people who visit you though.

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I saw that we had 76 unique visitors to our blog yesterday. And for what? A terribly irregular updated blog.

I feel ashamed….

But enough with the shame, I can live with that. Let me fill you in on a few things. Just a few.

The weather has cooled here! Yay! Enough to warrant a light top or hoodie for our morning walk to the school bus. The locals are dressed like they are about to hike Mount Everest and look at us as if we were about to take all our clothes off.

I have meticulously planned our Christmas trip to Vietnam. We leave the Friday night school ends (19th December) and fly to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon, comrades). We stay there for 3 nights and take a 3-4 hour bus journey north, north west to Phan Thiet. Which is a coastal resort area where lots of people go kite surfing and the like. A couple from school will be in that area so we will more than likely meet up with them. We stay there until the 29, then grab a bus back to Ho Chi Minh for an overnight stay in a hotel close to the airport so we can get to our early flight back to Honkers.
That will give us a nice little relaxing few days until we get back to the grindstone. Work.

What else..? Oh we are going to a Murder Mystery night in a hotel in Tsim Tsa Tsui. Should be embarrassing. You pay for a slap up meal and God knows what else.
I’m also going with a couple of dudes to a Masters Football Tournament in Macau on December 5th. All the old wiley pros from English football will be out to impress. Should be fun.

Speaking of masters and football, Hamsap FC are doing ok. I’m up to 9 goals for the season, having scored my best and latest one last Saturday waaaay up in the New Territories. Ball over my shoulder, one bounce on the knee and a chipped volley in to the far corner. Was happy with that one. Testing game on Saturday with a team above us. Will see how we go.

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