Friday, September 10, 2010

Macau Adventures

As mentioned last week, we did a little road trip by plane for Labor Day to Macau.

I always love visiting China from Japan. Let me tell you why.

In Japan, I often feel there's a thin veil between me and the Japanese culture. I've certainly learned a great deal about customs and mannerisms over the last two years, but even so, I sense a boundary.
When I go to China, it's like that veil gets ripped off and thrown away. The noises, the smells, the traffic, the people, they're all right there in your face. It's rowdy and gritty. People aren't ultra-polite, and somehow I feel relaxed by it.

Macau was the first and last European colony in China, its history tightly entwined with the Portuguese. The result these days is that you can observe an interesting mix of cultures. Street signs are written in Chinese and Portuguese languages, there are Catholic churches, and city center squares that look like they dropped out of Europe.
More recently, the city has also overtaken Las Vegas as the gambling capitol of the world. Interestingly, though, you can find Vegas casinos there including the Wynn, MGM, the Sands, and the Venetian.

We stayed at the Softel Macau at Pointe 16, and it was a great experience. We only paid about $133 a night (booked through Expedia) and upgraded to "club level" so that we could get breakfast and cocktails.

The hotel is excellently located within walking distance to the main square and casinos. It has its own casino, too, though we didn't recognize some of the games.

On a funny side note, the hotel boasts a collection of celebrity paraphernalia. They have an outfit that Elvis wore, a Batman costume Val Kilmer version, and a dress supposedly worn by Princess Di. Their big claim to fame is the white glove worn by Michael Jackson during the famous first ever moonwalk dance. I told my husband I didn't think it was real... I mean, come on, why would that be at a hotel in Macau?

Getting to Macau: You can take the ferry directly to Macau from the Hong Kong International Airport. There's no need to go through HK customs, just look for signs inside the terminal.

So, what does your critical mind think about the Michael Jackson glove? Is it authentic? I was curious, so I did a little research and wrote about it for my travel writing blog. I also posted more pictures and details. Please click here to check that out.


shopgirl said...

Looks like a great place to visit. It reminds me I once had a roommate from Macau during my University dorm days.

Anonymous said...

Macau is one of the destinations in my wishlist. I've always been curious about what portuguese stuff I can find there and always wondered why we hear so little of it in Portugal considering it only went to chinese administration in 1999-2000.


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