Sunday, 29 August 2010

A Day in Macau

Landmark Grand Lisboa Casino looms large over old colonial buildings of Central Macau

From Hong Kong we took the almost mandatory one-day ferry trip to the former Portuguese colony of Macau, which is filled with culture and charm but primarily known for its status as Asia premier gambling destination - if not the world's. In recent years Macau has reportedly bested Las Vegas in total gambling revenue.

We had a chance to sample both history and gambling. We arrived very early in the morning and for most of the day we walked the streets taking in various sights and museums. But in the evening we visited a couple of the many foreign casinos, which have established themselves in Macau, which is seen as a much more promising avenue towards increasing gambling revenues than Las Vegas. Most impressive - but also extremely tacky - was The Venetian, which shares it's name with it's sister casino in Las Vegas (which I also visited back in 2003). We even gambled a bit of money, with neither any winnings nor losses.

Colonial buildings in Macau's Largo do Senado

Old man doing some people watching in the square

In Macau the signs are written on porcelain tiles in Portuguese and Chinese (I assume Cantonese, but not sure)

The famous ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral - the principal historical landmark of Macau

Building beautifully decorated with chines lamps - home to a Pawnshop museum

Nitoli playing the role as pawn shop cashier inside the museum

Nice little alley with a very Chinese feel

Nitoli at Monte Fort, which is also home to a good Macau Museum

Nitoli in front of a row of replica Macau houses in Macau Museum

Scale model showing what Macau's waterfront would have looked like in the 19th century

I spotted this old rusty gate while walking. Although it's not very peculiar to Macau, I liked the motif enough to share it with my blog visitors

As dark descended we shifted our focus to the casino. The foreign owned "Sands", placed strategically near the ferry docks to lure in the many visitors just arriving in Macau or those looking to kill some time before departure

The grand central lobby of the Venetian, which connects the gambling floor downstairs to the shops and restaurants upstairs. This picture doesn't really do justice to the cheesy grandeur of the place, though.

It may be dark outside, but inside The Venetian the sky is always blue. It can be tricky keeping a proper sense of time in here, and I think that's not accidental

(The events in this post took place on 10 April 2009)


Bryan said...

It was a sweet surprise as i randomly bumped onto ur blog. I must admit the pictures are pretty Impressive. :)

Damn!! I miss home!

Esben said...

Thanks Bryan - appreciate it. You're from Macau?