Macau is special administrative region of China. It was an overseas Portuguese territory until 1999. When it became independent, it conserved its portuguese heritage plus its Chinese influences. Lately, it became Sin City of China, the Vegas of the East. Macau is very famous for its abondant number of casinos some of which are quite exclusive or replicas of those in Las Vegas. I went to Macau for an evening from 7pm until 1am. Read more about my night out…
Right in front of its sister city Hong Kong, Macau is easily accessible from there. It took me one hour by ferry to reach Macau. And costs of visa on arrival of 100 Macau Dollars. That was a quick procedure at the immigration. I get off the port and then I’m surprised… There are far less people in Macau than Hong Kong.
So it kind of scared me… where are all the tourists? where are all the people? I felt strange to this place. I didn’t feel welcome. It felt like I was on the set of a movie. It really felt like that. I took a taxi and just told him to take me to Senado Square. But he got so upset because he did not speak English nor Portuguese. So I told him to drop me one minute after he departed. I walk for a bit and get lost around the Port, taxis are rare but I found one. He was friendly this time and took me to Senado Square.
I walk randomly around there. And it really feels like it’s Portugal. But then I see a dragon installation that reminded me it’s really is China. Those little details still made me feel in a strange place. On a movie set!
I took the opportunity to take some pictures and shoot a video for my vlog which you can view above. I looked for Grand Lisboa, the iconic tower in Macau. I just walked there. On the way, I saw Macau TV Tower which hosts he highest bungee jump in the world! I planned to do that but for someone just arriving at 7pm to Macau, it was way too late. Anyway, I made my way to the casinos.
First casino, I got rejected. Not because of my touristy look but because I was not 21 years old at that time. Second casino, this one looked fancy so I didn’t really dare to go to the door with my shorts. Third casino, I finally get in (or sneak in). And there they are… The people. They are all inside the casinos! I’ve been told that most of them are coming from Mainland China. They were all focused and concentrated that when I pass near them, I’m not there. Life goes on. I’m invisible. They were all obviously so addicted that it didn’t inspire me to dare to gamble, not even once!
I make my way out to meet some locals. I found a CouchSurfing meet up that night. So I join. The group was quite diverse, we all came from different places but they all lived there. They were from the Philippines, India, Mainland China, USA and Australia. I met a girl who was from Portuguese origins but identifies herself as Chinese while being ethnically White. She calls Macau her home. She is an evidence of the close relations between Portugal and its overseas territories, people mix up, here and there.
Overall, I was happy to be in Macau even though for a first time, it was not the best experience being alone. I wanted to spend the night but hotels were crazy expensive. So I returned back to Hong Kong at 1am. My next challenge is to return to Macau someday to do the highest bungee jump in the world!