Macau is the only place I’ve been to in Asia that can pass as both North America and Europe.
Macau is one of two Special Administrative Regions in China (the other being Hong Kong). Like Hong Kong, Macau is made up of parts of the mainland as well as some islands. The Macau Peninsula is connected to China, and then there are two islands, Taipa and Coloane. These two islands are now connected by reclaimed land called Cotai.
Cotai is Asia’s version of Las Vegas. The Cotai strip is not as long as Vegas’, but the hotels are still super swanky and the malls are enormous! And there are casinos. We spent most of our day hanging out at the Venetian. We walked around and got lost many, many times — my dad was certain that the terrible signage was just a way to lure people back to the casinos.
We also went on a gondola ride! Our guide sang at least four songs for us in at least three different languages as he took us back and forth along the canal. His voice was really rich and operatic, and he wasn’t shy about being heard! My grandpa and father sang along as well … they weren’t shy either, but their voices are not as nice. It was a bit embarrassing. My dad’s voice cracked a lot.
After our wonderful gondola ride, we walked across the street to another megamall/hotel to watch a show, The House of Dancing Water. It was a dance and water show. Much like the productions in Vegas, the story didn’t make much sense, but the theatrics were ridiculously over the top and so the weakish plot line didn’t matter. I thought the show would just feature people dancing in water, but there were also fountain tricks, people hanging from cloth dangling from the ceiling, divers, jumping tumbler people, and even motorcycles! It was an entertaining show. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take any pictures (that were good) during the show, but here is a very dark photo of the intense stage/pool!
The Cotai strip was a lot of fun; the extravagance of it was a welcome change from squishy, crowded Hong Kong. However, considering the fact that I’m not a huge shopper and I don’t like gambling, I think this visit was enough to last me a few years.