Going there in a few weeks, anything else beside casinos? anyone been there in the past can tell me what is the easiest/fastest way to get a casino? do they operate 24 hours?
The Lorcha - next to the Maritime Museum. Be prepared for a food coma. Other than that, prepare to be bored.
Can I go?
Yes, there are things besides casinos:
Ruins of Sao Paulo Cathedral
Fortaleza do Monte
Old Protestant Cemetery
Macau Tower - you can “bungee” jump off it (not a real bungee, but a controlled fall)
Oh, and the food!
Macau is worth a visit for sure, but the best part of it may be that HK is only an hours boat ride away (and the turbocat is cool)>
Enjoyable quasi-European atmosphere in Old-town Taipa (across the bridge) and in spots listed above. If you’re not a history buff, skip the museums, but I enjoyed most.
The main “strip” is more hideous than Vegas, but lacks the sophistication & charm I’ve never seen an uglier gigantic, gleaming pineapple anywhere! My impression of the scene from the old lighthouse hill: “This would be a much nicer place without all the fucking ugly shacks & casinos ruining the view.”
The Venetian is huge & impressive (also on the Taipa side, and is actually sinking! Hah!), but for the most part the other casinos are all the same inside. They’re also expensive!! $100HK ($12 US) was the minimum bet at a lot of tables! If you’re flush enough to go beyond the nickel slots, that might not matter to you. Some interesting different games to play as well.
Cirque du Soleil @ Venetian was strange, but kinda cool. It’s a unique show only performed in Macau, and costs less than $50US (1/2 the cost of any show in Vegas). It was about 1/4 full on a Friday night - ask around for further discounted tix, as I think they just need butts in the seats.
Macanese food was a cool blend of Indian, Mediterranean, SE Asian & Chinese - a welcome change from oily, flavorless Taiwanese food (though they have those dishes too). There was a good variety of international stuff to try as well.
There’s a decent rooftop bar above “Crown” casino on the Taipa side. The casino itself is ratty & staffed w/a bunch of shady tattooed guys - the music kinda sucked, but the view & atmosphere were nice. Casinos as well as the few other “clubs” & bars we visited were full of hookers & old white guys, if that’s your scene. I wasn’t impressed, but it was fun to watch the ladies scatter when casino security made their rounds Circle K (convenience store chain) had Belgian beer available much cheaper than any of the bars.
- you can use $HK in Macau, but can only use Macau $$ in Macau!
- need your passport if going between HK & Macau.
- Mandarin was heavily accented, English fairly poor & Portuguese only exists on road signs, so hopefully you speak Cantonese
Thanks for the replies, I am heading there tomorrow night, just wondering since Macau is such a small country, would it only take about 10-15 minutes from the airport to downtown Macau Peninsula? What kind of transportation service do they have?
Also, since I have never been into a casino before, will they allow visitors to take photographs? Any place in Macau that is 24 hours other than Casinos?
All respect gone in an instant!
Buses and taxis.
And yes, it’s a short ride, especially the taxi (and a cab ride downtown would not be very expensive). The bus may require a wait, plus the route may be more twisty-and-turny. So it all depends on your time and budget.
You can get bus info at the tourist information center in the airport.
If you’re really on a budget, grab the free casino shuttle buses. Actually it’s worth knowing their routes because taxis can be hard to find at certain hours.
Places like the famous Fernando’s have a shuttle service, but you need to ask.
If you’ve not been, but lived in Taiwan, I’d suggest at least a day and overnight in China. Zhuhai is a MOP20 taxi to the border from the ferry pier, and you can, if not American, get a visa at the border within 15 minutes. Most people in Macau are in Zhuhai when they’re off work. Go get a legit massage, some DVDs, yack away in crap mandarin.
Also, since I have never been into a casino before, will they allow visitors to take photographs? [/quote]
No casino in the world will allow you to take photographs.