Macau : Las Vegas of the East

Trip Start May 30, 2012
Trip End Jun 12, 2012

Flag of China  , Macau,
Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Macau, off the west coast of HK was the destination. Caution: Passports are a must. We took the tube to Sheung Wan Station and walked right above the tube station to the Sheung Wan Macau Ferry Terminal. We purchased tickets (nearly HK $1,000 for the three of us round trip) and walked through HK emigration and customs. Yep. Macau is another Special Administrative Region of China which was earlier governed by Portugal.

We walked through the terminal and down to the passenger boarding dock to a huge high-speed turbojet ferry bobbing at the Sheung Wan Docks. This beast rumbles into motion and soon we're jetting at nearly 80~100 kmph across the Victoria Harbour, though the Lamma Channel and across the Zhujiang River Estuarine tip of the South China Sea to reach the Macau Taipa Ferry Terminal after an hour and 15 min sail.

Macau is divided into two distinct land parcels - Cotai island to the South and the Macau peninsula to the North which is connected to Mainland China. We alight from the Turbojet, go through Macau Immigration and customs. Most countries, including India, are provided visa on arrival for a period of 21 days. We fill out forms which are marked in English and Spanish (or Portugese ?).

We step out of the terminal and onto a tarmac filled with free shuttle buses from several Casinos. We selected the Venetian Macau (reportedly the world's largest casino that had opened anew) bus and we're on the road across the Zhujiang river bridge to the southern island of Cotai where The Strip is located - Las Vegas of the East, here we come.

Venetian Macau is grand indeed. They have a small but neat canal water-way within the casino where you can get a ride on a gondola capped off with an opera serenade. That's a slice of Venice in Asia.

We saunter in and out of Casinos in the Strip, try our luck in the slots and hop a bus ride back in the afternoon to the Macau/Taipa side to visit the Portugese area. We stop off at Largo Senado (Senado Square), walk through several by-lanes and market areas to the Ruins of St.Paul and a host of medieval buildings which are reminiscent of the Portugese rule. The present day story is however a classic run-over of the area by the Mainland Chinese.

We visit the Fisherman's Wharf later in the day and then ride the ferry back to Hong Kong Island.

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