Travel Diaries Macau: Asia’s Las Vegas

Atrium of MGM Macau
Atrium of MGM Macau

On our last day in Hong Kong, we decided to spend the morning exploring Macau. We booked round trip tickets online for the TurboJet. When we got to the Ferry Terminal, it wasn’t at all crowded. However, it gets jam-packed during holidays so it’s better to make reservations if you can. Also, we had to go through customs and immigration before we departed as Macau is a separate administrative unit from Hong Kong. US citizens can enter the country without a visa for up to 30 days.

After an hour boat ride, we arrived in the Macau Ferry Terminal in the northern Macau Peninsula region. The local currency is MOP (Macanese Patacas) however many establishments also take HKD. We exchanged some of our HKD to MOP just in case. Outside, are shuttle buses that are provided for free by the casinos to lure you into their establishments as well as local buses that go around the peninsula.

Macau Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal   Macau Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal

Our first destination was Senado Square, located in the city center. It is a large plaza surrounded by old colonial buildings with a fountain in the center. On one end of the square is a path that leads to St. Dominic’s Church.

Senado Square Macau
Senado Square
Senado Square Macau   St. Dominic's Church in Macau

Not too far from the church are the steps that lead up to the Ruins of St. Paul. The steps were packed with people taking photos but once you walk up the steps and towards the old Portuguese fort named Monte Forte, it starts to clear out. The fort overlooks the city and has some great views of Macau. A few canons were lined up on the edge of the walls, which made for some interesting photos.

Ruins of St. Paul in Macau
Ruins of St. Paul

Standing on the steps of Ruins of St. Paul facing R. de Sao Paulo.
Standing on the steps of Ruins of St. Paul facing R. de Sao Paulo. 

View of Ruins of St. Paul from Monte Forte in Macau
Ruins of St. Paul from Monte Forte
View from Monte Forte in Macau
Canon on the top of Monte Forte

On the top of Monte Forte On the top of Monte Forte

View from Monte Forte in Macau
View from Monte Forte

One thing Macau is famous for are its egg tarts. We had one from Pasteleria Koi Kei, that you could find all along the tourist paths, and another one from Margaret’s Cafe & Nata.
Koi Kei in Macau    Margaret's Cafe & Nata in Macau

                                                               Koi Kei                                                                                            Margaret’s Cafe & Nata 

Everywhere I went a giant gold leaf-shaped casino would stick out. As we drew closer to it, I could read the name “Grand Lisboa” right at the top. The interior was beautiful and had some of the biggest carvings I’ve ever seen. 
Grand Lisboa Macau
Grand Lisboa Macau

Lobby of the Grand Lisboa Macau
Lobby of the Grand Lisboa Macau

Indoor Pool Display in the Grand Lisboa Macau    Jade Carving in Grand Lisbao Macau

Ivory Carving in Grand Lisboa Macau
Ivory Carving in Grand Lisboa Macau

Carving in Grand Lisboa Macau
Carving in Grand Lisboa Macau

The Wynn Macau had the same bronze color and slight curve as the one in Las Vegas; however, it wasn’t as large. We entered inside the high-end mall filled with the typical luxury boutique shops like Versace, Gucci, and Dior. There was an inner courtyard with two decorated metal camel statues facing each other with palm trees all around. By this time, we were getting hungry so we decided to check out the next casino and grab a bite to eat. 

Wynn Macau
Wynn Macau

Interior Courtyard of Wynn Macau
Interior Courtyard of Wynn Macau

Inside of Wynn Macau
Inside of Wynn Macau
  
Right next to the Wynn, was the MGM Macau. Walking through the hallway maze, we stumbled upon the stunningly decorated atrium with glass ceilings. Giant glass monarch butterflies hung from above, while orange and red flowers shot up from seed shaped sofas. The centerpiece was a humongous circular fish tank. 
MGM Macau    Entrance Display of MGM Macau
Atrium of MGM Macau
Atrium of MGM Macau
Atrium of MGM Macau
Atrium of MGM Macau

The environment was so beautiful that we decided to try the lunch buffet at the Italian restaurant, Rossio, right next to the atrium. There was a good mix of European and Asian food as well as a seafood section with crab legs, shrimp, and sushi! And of course, I had to get some desserts and try the tiny egg tarts. 

Assorted Sushi at Rossio in MGM Macau Assorted Desserts at Rossio in MGM Macau

View from Rossio Italian Restaurant
View from Rossio Italian Restaurant

Lobby of MGM Macau   Lobby of MGM Macau

After lunch, we decided that we’ve seen enough of Macau to get a feel of the place so we didn’t go down to the southern regions where more casinos are located including the Venetian. We rode the MGM shuttle bus back to the terminal. We had to show our lunch receipt in order to ride the shuttle for free. I guess they don’t really have an incentive to take anyone away from the casino unless they’re staying or patronizing a business inside the MGM. From there, it was a short 10-minute ride to the terminal where we were able to hop on an earlier scheduled boat back to Hong Kong.

View of the Macau Tower
View of the Macau Tower

-Jamie

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