Macau is a former Portuguese colony and now a haven for gambling and prostitution. Some call it the Los Vegas of the east, I would not say that. I would say that it is a great place to visit on a long weekend.
Macau was probably the easiest country I have ever entered. In fact, transferring flights in Shanghai is harder. Also as a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China it has normal internet. A quick scan of my passport and a slip of paper and I was free to wander around Macau visa-free for 30 days. Both Macanese Pataca (MOP) and Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) are used in Macau. Some restaurants and shops will also take Renminbi (CNY). MOP and HKD are generally treated as interchangeable in Macau except in the casinos where they seem to only take HKD
This is where I stayed; it is connected to the mainland of China. On the northern border is a wall and there are many historical sites along with older casinos. I stayed at Macau Masters Hotel.
Island to the south of the Peninsula, the airport is here, as are some interesting historical sites, but it is primarily residential. The university is also there and it is quite hilly.
A strip of reclaimed land where the largest casinos are. It connects what use to be the separate islands of Taipa and Coloane. It’s name is a really inventive fusion of the two islands it connects. It is basically the strip and crowded with huge new casinos.
I did not travel here, it is the southernmost part of Macau. It is the least developed part of Macau and had pirates operating out of it until 1910
Prostitution is common in Macca, very common. At night you will see prostitutes around the casinos, convenience stores, on the street corners, well everywhere. You even find their calling cards all over the street. Just like anywhere else with lots of prostitutes the Lady Boy ones are the most aggressive. However, if you are going for cheap prostitutes, Thailand is probably a better option. From what I understood it generally runs over 200 USD.
Most of the prostitutes came from China and South East Asia. Most of the prostitution market is aimed at tourists from China. If you want girls that are not professionals, turn to Tinder or other online dating apps. Local girls don’t take well to being approached on the street, as they will assume you think they are a prostitute.
Gambling brings 50% of the revenue for the SAR. It makes more revenue than Las Vegas. Gambling was legalized in 1850 and western casino games were introduced in the 20th century. At the Casinos, you can find slot machines, keno, blackjack, roulette, and poker. You will also find Chinese games like Fan-Tan, Pai Gow, and Sic bo. Most tables have a minimum between 50 and 100 HKD. Just like the prostitution market, it is aimed at tourist from the Chinese mainland.
I am not a big gambler so I just played a little roulette and chatted.
The Lisboa to the right has bird cage shape for Fung Shui reasons, to keep the gamblers money inside of it.
So What else is there?
Macau has a long history. It was a Portuguese colony for 400 years and was a trade center between east and west. A
lot of old Portugues streets and buildings still exist on the Peninsula and Taipa. The Jesuits were very active in Macau and used it as a base for activities around Asia.
On the Peninsula, you can find St. Paul’s ruins (right). After the third time the church burnt down they gave up on rebuilding it. You can also find St. Joseph’s Church and seminary were new Jesuits were trained (left).
Macau Peninsula also has Macau Tower to the south. From here you can go on the tallest bungee jump in the world. It costs 3,488 MOP/HKD (449 USD). If jumping off buildings is not your thing there is lots of shopping
To the north, there use to be a wall. The Portuguese built it to kept out the
Chinese, but now it’s just a border checkpoint. Even though Macau is now part of China, as an SAR there is a border and different visa rules. Also, Macau drives on the left but china drives on the right, so it creates an interesting crossing.
Taipa is connected by bridges to the mainland. It is hilly and has some neat parks, to go with the university and historical sites. On the southern edge of Taipa is Our Lady of Carmel Church and Taipa Houses museum. They use to overlook the ocean but because of land reclamation now look at Cotai. Our Lady of Carmel Church is still and active church. Taipa Houses museum are a group of restored houses of wealthy Portuguese in the early 20th century.
In front of both of them is a lake and a series of gardens. The gardens feature a lot of Bonsai Trees.
Cotai is like a smaller version of Las Vegas’ strip. It is Casino after Casino. Honestly, it was not an area that interested me. I did not travel to Coloane but it sounds like an interesting place
Almost Everything on Macau is in walking distance, the Only time I took a taxi was to get to my hotel from the airport. I actually walked the airport to leave.