Macau: Chinese Las Vegas with an European Twist


I visited Macau on a day trip from Hong Kong, and, for me, one day felt like more than enough. Maybe if I had had more time to explore, I would have found more treasures in the mix. The lavish, Las Vegas-ish part was not my cup of tea, so my stop at the mega-sized City of Dreams ( on Cotai became a super short detour. It is however paradise if you have money to burn 🙂 The Historic Centre of Macau, on the other hand, was very beautiful with its old European style buildings mixed with traditional Chinese temples. It actually felt a bit funny walking among more homely looking structures. I guess it’s needless to say, but I spent most of my time in this hugely popular (plenty of tourists) area on the Macau peninsula. Coming into Macau the immigration lines are packed, so bring lots of patience. It’s also worth noticing that you can use Hong Kong Dollars, so if you’re not planning on spending heaps of money (the exchange rate was close to 1:1), you can save the hassle of exchanging.

I travelled to Macau on TurboJET (, from Hong Kong Island. The ferry was nice, but freezing (A/C on full)!



0 thoughts on “Macau: Chinese Las Vegas with an European Twist

  1. I would love to visit Macau some day to eat Portuguese Egg Tarts and visit the historical areas like the ruins in your photo. People who have enjoyed Las Vegas and then gambled in Macau tell me that it’s not as much fun. I don’t gamble but enjoy people watching, and it seems that Macau gamblers might be too serious for me.

    • Yes, it was a nice day trip out of Hong Kong. Haven’t been to Las Vegas, and have only gambled once (in Nice, France), which made me understand why people easily can get addicted to it… And that was a serious place as well. So don’t have much input in this matter.

    • Don’t know much about family-friendly as I don’t have any kids 🙂 I found it to be a mixed kind of place, so maybe that’s why you’ve heard mixed things. And then some like the mother and some like the daughter 🙂

  2. Macau was probably not quite so built up when we were there, but we walked around the old area on the main island. Then we went to one of the outlying islands that had a nice little beach and a well-known portuguese restaurant. we sat in a lovely yard and had a amazing roast pork with chinese and portuguese sides. it was an interesting cultural mash-up. We then went to the race track, bet HK$10 on a horse with 8:1 odds and won! it paid for dinner. if you don’t want to actually gamble you can bet in your head on the horses, too. maybe a few alternatives to modern Macao? But even at that 1 day is plenty there.

  3. I think I would spend most of my time on the historical center. Maybe people who are not used to visit big casinos, full of lights and buffets, the modern part of the city would be an attraction. Since, I live close to Las Vegas, I do not think I will be so interested in that part.

  4. I am sorry to say that I don’t have Macau high on my list because I am not a big gambling fan. I am not against it but it bores me. Maybe the parts where real people live and eat would be the parts that I would enjoy a lot more.

  5. I would like to visit Macau, even the glitzy Vegas style area. I love seeing how over the top they can build these hotels. I would also enjoy wondering through the more historic areas of Macau. It sounds like two towns in one.

    • I thought so… It was a mix of old and new, and it wasn’t blended together well. I wish they had gone with the old “style”, but I guess everybody wants a piece of the tourism industry, and tries to find a niche to profit from. I’m glad I decided to go for one day only.

Love to hear your comment :)