Father. Geek. Foodie. Entrepreneur.

Checking Out Macau

It's been over 18 years since I set foot in Macau. I visited there with my parents when I was younger, and only remember getting the flu. A lot has changed since then...

The Hydrofoil is the most popular means of getting to Macao

The Hydrofoil is the preferred method of transportation, but you can get there via slow ass ferry or you can even get there in plane or by helicopter. The trip takes about an hour on the Hydrofoil. The boat rocks quite a bit when docked, but once it gets up to speed, it is very smooth. You need to pass through immigration from both sides as Macau or Macao as the Portugese call it is a former Portugese colony that was recently released back to China. However, like Hong Kong, China will leave the place alone for a while though China can be seen from any tall building. It's that close to Macau. Macau is also popular for expats that want to renew their Hong Kong Visa Status as a trip to Macau and back will give you another 90 days stay.

The first thing I did when I got there was to sample the local Portugese Cuisine. Here are a few pics of some of the dishes...

Cabbage and SausageShredded Cuttlefish and PotatoPork Chops and French Fries are Not So PortugesePortugese Egg Tarts

The cuisine is unique, but it has a very "Chinese" flavour. Probably due to the heavy Chinese influence from the neighbouring China and Hong Kong. We have cabbage and Portugese Sausage which looks very much like a standard Chinese Dish, a dish that looks like noodles, but is actually a mixture of cuttlefish and potato finely sliced then fried and some pork chops with the clearly Un-Portugese french fries. Finally, the meal was finished off with some Portugese egg tarts. It was quite good but rather oily so if you're watching your figure, it might not be the best thing for you.

Vegas or Macau?

Macau pretty much only has two main industries: Casinos and Tourism. Unofficially, the sex trade is also quite prevalent as it is in any city that is supported by Casinos. The industry is so hot in Macau that the Sands and the Wynn (shown above) have also put up Casinos in little Macau. What's interesting is that the Sands made 60% of their total revenue from their Macau property. The massive Venetian Hotel will also be joining the other two US properties shortly.

The Venetian Macau

I did go into a few Casinos and found the US ones to be very stale without much excitement while the local casinos like the Mega Galaxy and the Lisboa has a very festive atmosphere. In fact, my Uncle Tai who was my tour guide, lost about 10K HKD at the Wynn, but won it all back at the Mega Galaxy due to the exciting atmosphere and the fact that the dealer was totally helping him out to win while the Wynn dealer just stayed tight lipped. The only problem with the local Casinos is that not all the machines are in English. I won $600 HKD on a slot but because I couldn't read the buttons, I gambled it instead of cashing out and lost. Oh well. It was only about $80 US dollars.

The Ruins of St. Pauls in Macau.

The large casino developments have pushed out a lot of the old buildings but there is still a lot of older historic buildings around like the Ruins of St. Pauls Church and the old Fort at Mount Fortress.

Need to go shopping? You won’t be able to avoid it!

The city is riddled with lots of shops through the main streets but the best ones are in the back alleys where you can find some really unique local arts and crafts. However, if you want name brands, you'll find pretty much anything you can think of. Just don't buy Medicines as indicated by the sign below...

Medicine - No Fakes!=)

If you HAVE to tell people that they are not fake, they probably are. Other things you can do in Macau is check out the Go Kart track or if you're there to relax, you can check out the many lavish massage parlors that put some casinos to shame in terms of cheesy decor. One of them even had a golf cart that drove you around. Just don't forget to do the Clean Massage Test, if that's what you are looking for though most of the parlors have an "Enhanced Menu" upon request.

Read previous post:
Localized Drinks Gone Wrong at Starbucks

I was feeling a little home sick, so I decided to hit a Starbucks. I noticed that they had this...