Our tour guide Mario took as to many different places in Macau. First, we went to see the Venetian casino-hotel. If the name sounds familiar it is because the exact same casino exists in Las Vegas under the same owner. The casino is known for the fact that it contains an exact replica of Venice within its premises! All the details are there. Saint Mark’s square, the rivers and bridges and the traditional Italian architecture. You can even see gondoliers riding their gondolas filled with people that felt like it wasn’t worth traveling 7000 miles in order to experience the OG Venice. Yet, the most extreme set piece in this surreal looking environment was a gigantic fake blue sky that was covering the ceiling! What is incredible about it is the fact that the sky was not simply painted on the ceiling, but it had a dome shape without any evidence of structural support.
After catching a small glimpse of Macau Casino life, our tour guide took us to try out some local treats. Macau is known for its Portuguese-inspired egg tarts and its almond cookies. To say they are delicious would be an understatement… Next we went to see Macau’s Convention and Entertainment center Tower. The tower is known not only for its incredible view of the city, but also for providing the highest bungee jumping venue in the world! For the high price of 500 US$ you get to experience the 5 scariest second of your life, as you are jumping down nearly 1000 feet. Every jumpee is awarded with a Guinness Record approval for completing the jump at the very end – should they survive 😊. Our tour guide assured us that no accidents have taken place since the inception of the activity.
Last but not least, we went to see the main attraction in Macau, St. Paul’s church. In fact, calling it a church would be a little bit misleading. Only the front face of the church has remained standing after the catastrophic typhoon of 1835. Nevertheless, one can see a unique architecture that combines European culture with Chinese sculpting traditions (such as dragons). It is worth noting that there is at least 1 casino within a 300-foot radius from the church! I have to admit that seeing Macau during the day was a little bit underwhelming. The mixed Chinese/Portuguese vibe is very appealing, but it would be hard to compare the way Macau presents itself to the way say Las Vegas does. I am sure that going there at night is a much more vibrant experience that shows a completely different aspect of the city.