Macau: The Las Vegas of Asia

Monday in Macau

Getting pretty bored with the scene in Hong Kong, we decided to take a ferry to Macau. Luckily for us, the Causeway Bay station isn’t too far from one of the main ferry terminals. We got there in about 15 minutes and only had to wait an hour for our ferry. One word of advice, make sure you go about 20 minutes before your departure time because the immigration lines can get pretty long. 

During the hour long ferry, the man sitting across the aisle from us was grooming… Like, full out picking his chin hairs, clipping all his nails (and probably his neighbors too I’d guess from all the noises?!), and washing his face with… Hand sanitizer…. I’ve pretty much seen it all now folks.

I was pretty relieved when we landed and I’d never thought I would be so happy to see Korean writing. Finally! I could actually read the signs in 3 different languages! Portuguese, English, and Korean!

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We booked our return tickets for the 10:30pm ferry, thinking that we would spend 8 hours in Macau. Despite my protests, it was 2 to 1 and the boys wanted to stay late. (They later regretted not listening to me 😉 )

A tip from my friend John, the travel guru, is to avoid paying for buses by just using the Casino buses that offer free transportation into and out of the city.

The closest casino to where you want to go would be the Casino Lisbon, but the others often have shorter lines so if you’re feeling impatient you can use any of them. They also come quite frequently and take about 5~10 minutes to get into the main part of the city.

Small alleys filled with hidden treasures

Our first stop was to find some Dim Sum, since usually most restaurants stop serving it at around 2pm. We weren’t too hungry but I was stubborn and wanted to try it even if I had to go without them. While walking on the Main Street towards the Ruin’s of St.Paul, I spotted a small restaurant in an alley that was calling my name. It didn’t disappoint. Those dumplings were the best I’ve ever tasted! In Korea I’m quite used to eating mandu (aka dumplings), but it is utter shit in comparison to what I just ate in this hole in the wall restaurant.

Not far from that area, we stumbled upon this super hip area filled with trendy food and drink creations. It’s too bad that I didn’t have the stamina to stay there all night, because this area would be right up my aisle for a chill night out. I did however find a cute gift shop with tons of postcards and souvenirs. I decided to buy some post cards and magnets to send home to my family. Although I’m not too consistent with “collecting” things from travels, I decided that Macau was worth a little reminder. Especially since I have no intention of going back.

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Ruins of St. Paul

One word. CROWDED. If you want a good picture, you better go EARLY! The best picture I managed to steal I did by pointing the camera above all of the peoples’ heads.

15966578_10208258729401296_472838506_oJust to the right of the ruins there’s a pathway and some stairs that you can follow to get a nice small “hike”. You can follow the crowd up the stairs and eventually find yourself next to some cool cannons and at a good vantage point for taking cityscape photos up high.

After we reached the top of this castle (?) thing we all decided that we’d seen everything we wanted to see and decided to change our ferry tickets to an earlier time. At this point I was happy to say “I told you so” to my crew for not believing me when I told them the island was small. Okay, it’s not THAT small if you consider the other side Taipa which we didn’t want to see.

Casino madness

After exchanging our tickets we hit the casinos. You can’t go to Macau and not go to a casino! And the most infamous casino on the “strip” is the Lisboa. Our first impression of this casino can be put into just one word. HUGE. No, really! You can go up 6 flights of escalators and you will still be in the Casino portion of the building (it’s also a hotel). I only know that it seemed never-ending when we had to go up and down them twice to get the bus ticket to return to the ferry terminal. It’s free, but you need that little ticket.

As far as gaming goes, the minimum bets were a bit high if you compare it to Las Vegas. My BF and I played blackjack at one table that had a minimum of 200$ HK per bet. I’m not a gambler and I actually think it’s a waste of money and a terrible addiction, so despite my protests my BF put down 600$ for playing… And this is something I’ll never understand. Even when you’re up and you’ve made a profit, people still play to lose everything! I mean, I did a slot machine and only spent 20$ and lost it all and that was enough for me to stop. But not for Kevin or for my BF, no, they both allotted an amount to play and lose! Example: Kevin had put in 200$ and had made 250 from the slot machine. When it was time to leave, instead of cashing it out he put the maximum bets until he lost it all… IN JUST 2 MINUTES. POOF!

Walking out empty handed and physically drained, we headed to the ferry terminal. On our bus I heard the couple in front of me speaking in a southern American accent and I couldn’t help but strike up a conversation with them. We chatted for a bit, but as soon as we arrived they said they were running late to the helicopter they booked to get back to Hong Kong. It was then that I laughed a little at the thought I’d had earlier about someone winning the jackpot at the casino and taking the helicopter back.

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Mexican food back in Wan Chai

After returning to Hong Kong we took the subway to Wan Chai since there are so many great restaurants in that area. We settled on a Mexican restaurant called Coyote Bar & Grill as it had many great reviews online. It didn’t disappoint! I shared a mountain of nachos with Kevin and then we split some pulled pork sliders. I was in heaven. I can’t think of a better way to end a great day than with a happy stomach and a super soft hotel bed to pass out on. Which is exactly what I did.~

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