I went to Macau last Saturday in order to get my visa stamped. I was pretty curious as to what it was going to be like as supposedly more money is gambled here than either Las Vegas or Atlantic city.
The ride over
I took a “jet boat” over which was actually very comfortable. It felt like a plane ride (they even had seat belts) and I got to see Hong Kong from the water as well as modern fishing boats, cruise ships, guys in what looked like row boats with a motor and even old school junks. I got to the ferry terminal and about 15 people asked me if I wanted to ride in a rickshaw which I politely declined even though it got somewhat more frustrating. My plan was to check out the casinos and I thought about walking over until I realized I didn’t know where the ferry was on the map. Kind tough to navigate where you don’t even know where you are.
As I was walking around trying to figure out where I was, I noticed the casino bus stop so I hopped on with a bunch of people and we headed on over. When the bus stopped, people RAN off the bus to get to the gambling.
I started at the Wynn and it looked and felt just like a casino in Vegas. The biggest surprises were that a) it was maybe 25% full and b) people seemed pretty reserved. At a casino in the US on a Saturday the place is usually packed and people are going nuts. Here it was exactly the opposite. Even roulette, which is generally pretty good at drawing people together, in Macau is all mechanized so there isn’t even a dealer. People just sit at a screen to make their bets even though there is a wheel. Pictures were not allowed so you’ll just have to trust my description. I did end up having lunch at one of the restaurants which was delicious.
Macau looks and feels a lot like what I would imagine Portugal to have looked like in the 1970s. There is a mix of retro 70s style building but also some obviously brand new construction. Like Hong Kong though, it’s built on a hill so there is plenty of steep streets. In my walking around I ended up in what I guessed was some kind of park so I decided to walk around it to get back to the ferry. There were all these jungle gym type machines which I at first thought were for kids till I realized there were exercise machines. They had an elliptical machine, a leg press, that gazelle thing Tony Little is always trying to sell and most of them are based on your body weight. These things were everywhere.
Overall, Macau was pretty nice but I don’t think I will go back during the day as they say the nightlife can be pretty cool.
It was also about 95 and 80% humidity the whole time so I was pretty bushed by the time I got back to the ferry. It a pretty uneventful ride back to HK so I took a nap when I got back (exciting I know).