You Definitely Need to Visit Macau

You Definitely Need to Visit Macau

Being completely honest, I had never heard of Macau until about a week ago.  I haven't seen Skyfall, so I had no knowledge of this gambler's paradise.  

Macau: an autonomous region in China located next to Hong Kong that was controlled by Portugal until 1999.

Macau is situated near Hong Kong, so it makes the perfect day trip or weekend getaway for those in the area.  You can take a one hour ferry ride from Hong Kong to Macau, or if you're feeling extra luxurious, helicopter and plane options are available as well.  Since I'm a typical broke college student, the economy ferry seemed like the best option.  Note for those who get seasick: the ride was relatively smooth, but you are confined to an indoor seat, so take motion sickness pills if necessary.

Once you arrive in Macau, you'll need to take the bus to the city center.  While you can take the public bus for only $3 Hong Kong dollars, the casinos offer free shuttle services for Macau visitors.  Definitely take advantage of them!

Macau is one of the most interesting places I've visited.  Since it's been controlled by the Portuguese for hundreds of years, there is a clear European influence, which can be seen in the cobblestone streets, ornate churches, and narrow winding alleyways.  This Portuguese architecture is juxtaposed with flashing Chinese neon signs and cafes. It looks like no city I've ever seen.

If you just stroll around the streets, you'll find Chinese vendors heckling you to buy their products.  There are also plenty of "pharmacies" around, if you have any "ailments" that need attending.  But, my favorite thing was just to see the concentration of wealth and the effects of year of European influence.  I don't know how else to put it - no words can do it justice.

One of Macau's most famous historic sights is the Ruins of St. Paul's.  The Cathedral was originally built in the 1600s, but now only the facade and the crypt remain intact.  

One of the best things about traveling is the food!  When else can you get Portuguese food in China?! We ate at Boa Mesa Restaurant.  It was so good and the owner is incredibly entertaining.  I recommend eating there if you want a nice meal in Macau.

You should also visit the Fortress!  If you climb up the stairs (or you can take the escalator) to the top, the Fortress offers stunning views of the skyline!  You can look out onto the water, see the looming casinos, and get a glimpse of the numerous apartments in the city.  It makes for a great photo-op, especially if you are looking for an Instagram or new profile pic!

Perhaps Macau's claim to fame is their abundant casinos!  If you want to fulfill your James Bond fantasies, then this is the place to do it.  Each casino is lavishly decorated.  You can only imagine the amount of money that must pass through there every night.  Unfortunately, we did not have time to go do some gambling :(

I fell in love with Macau.  If you plan on visiting, you definitely can see everything in one day.  Maybe book two days if you plan on gambling the night away!  I'll leave you with some more pictures from my trip there!  Cheers!