An expensive geography lesson
The trip to Macau from Hong Kong took us just under an hour with a speedboat, but our Macau adventure didn’t start here. Our trip to the Vegas of the Orient started approximately an hour before we had to dock the ferry when we realized we may have booked the wrong hotel. How wrong? The initial hotel was located only 2 km from Macau city centre (walkable right?),
… it’s no longer in Macau. It’s in mainland China. The issue was we only had a 2-time entry visa into mainland China with a still planned trip to Shenzhen and Beijing. While sitting and drinking overpriced coffee at Starbucks, only one to have free wife, we were able to find the first and last available hotel, 5-star of course . Just what we needed on a budget. Enter a $250 a night territory. Ouch! The good news, we were there for only two nights and truly enjoyed our stay:)!
Macau is the other special administrative section of PRC People’s Republic of China with the Portuguese colonial past rather than the British one in Hong Kong. As the Portugese government in Macau needed much needed revenues, it decided to open up the gambling trade. Today, Macau is the Mecca for gamblers and a tax haven for the rich! Over 50 percent of its GDP comes from gambling revenues. Macau is only a fraction of the geographical size of Vegas Nevada yet recently it exceed its gambling revenues. Every year over 20 million visitors mainly from mainland China and Hong Kong come here to beat the odds! Macau is officially the most densely populated place on the planet and we could feel it!
With over 50 percent of Macau’s population born in China very few Portuguese influences remain, except for the colonial architecture
and its Cantonese-Portugese cuisine (even-though I did like their beef jerky served at every corner). It is also the second wealthiest nation in the world based on GDP (PPP) but you would not guess it by looking at dirty and rundown buildings surrounding its 5-star hotels and casinos.
Natasza was not too fond of the Macanese, Cantonese cuisine with the Portuguese flare … and YES we found ourselves in the comfort of our own crappy cuisine called MacDonald’s … on a couple of occasions … We picked the devil we know:)
Overall, a very interesting and luxurious 2-day trip with a $20 loss at the casino!