Macau Two Casinos, Islands and Festivals.

Community Highlights Asia Macau Two Casinos, Islands and Festivals.

More about Macau

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Chinese New Year.

Casinos.

I am so not into gambling and you would never find me in a casino. In fact, two American guys stopped me and my husband in the street during our last Macau visit and asked where they could find some cheap tables. We both started talking about furniture much to their amusement. When we all realised we were talking at cross purposes, we explained that we did not gamble and they looked amazed and asked "Why are you here then?" I could answer that with food, history etc but even I have to admit the casinos can look attractive lit up at night and the new Grand Lisboa adds an interesting shape to Macau's skyline.

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Casinos.

The Venetian.

The Venetian Hotel is located on the Cotai Strip, Taipa. It is currently the most expensive place to stay in Macau and one of the most popular. I have not stayed there and this was my first visit. The outside of the hotel is designed to look like Venice complete with the Bridge of Sighs, gondolas and all the other sights of Venice. It is a fun place to look around and photograph. I personally did not like the inside of the hotel. It was garishly painted, crowded and noisy. Like most new Macau hotels it has a large casino. During our visit the hotel was decorated for carnival. The Venetian Macau is owned by the Las Vegas Sands Group and has a sister hotel in Las Vegas - The Venetian, Las Vegas. The Venetian has the largest casino in the world. The Venetian first opened for business in August 2007. It has four swimming pools. The Venetian cost around 2.4 billion US dollars to build.

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The Venetian.

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The Venetian.

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The Venetian.

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The Venetian.

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The Venetian.

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The Venetian.

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The Venetian.

The City Of Dreams.

The City of Dreams is located opposite the Venetian Hotel. It was built by the Melco Crown Entertainment Group. Inside there are three hotels: The Crown Towers Hotel, the Grand Hyatt Hotel and the Hard Rock Hotel. There are also many restaurants including Chinese, Japanese and Western. In addition there are many, many shops. The City of Dreams is also an entertainment complex which contains a theatre currently showing The House
of the Dancing Water and Taboo. Another show housed in The Bubble Theatre is called the Dragon's Treasure. It is also possible to visit Vquarium a virtual reality screen designed to look like a huge aquarium with fish, jelly-fish, penguins and even mermaids. Every time a mermaid appears people go crazy trying to photograph her. I liked the reception of the Hard Rock Hotel with its huge inscription on the wall "Hello, I love you, won't you tell me your name." It also had lots of guitars and rock star memorabilia on display behind a glass wall. I also liked the superhero store and the gift shop of the house of the dancing water theatre. We had a tasty meal in the restaurant in the Hard Rock Hotel.

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The City Of Dreams.

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The City Of Dreams.

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The City Of Dreams.

Sands Macau.

I am not a gambler, in fact I would go as far as to say I am fairly anti-gambling, but I decided to have a look at several Macau hotel/casino complexes this trip. One of these was Sands Macau. This was right next door to our hotel and had a very convenient free shuttle bus to the Macau Ferry Terminal and to the ferry terminal on the Cotai Strip. We had a great view of the Sands from our hotel bedroom and liked the way it was lit up at night. Inside it there are several restaurants, a casino and a 289-suite hotel. In its main lobby it has an enormous chandelier. Sands Casino opened on May 18th, 2004 and cost $240 million. It is owned and operated by the Las Vegas Sands Corporation.

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Sands, Macau.

MGM Macau.

This trip to Macau we decided to look at several of the casinos. Neither of us gamble so it really was just a nosy around rather than a gaming trip. MGM Macau is 35 stories high, has 600 rooms, a large shopping centre and a casino. It is owned by MGM Resorts International and Pansy Ho, daughter of the famous Macau casino magnate Stanley Ho. It was opened on 18th December 2007 at a cost of US$1.25 billion. The only part of it that impressed us (we don't gamble and hate shopping so are not the right people for this place) was its lion which is rather cute. Oh, and its free shuttle service to and from the Macau Ferry Terminal. If you like shopping, you will probably love its large shopping centre. It also has some restaurants.

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MGM Macau.

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MGM Macau.

Wynn Macau.

Wynn Macau is owned by Wynn Resorts. It consists of a hotel, restaurants, shops and a casino which apparently was featured in the James Bond film Skyfall. It opened on the 6th of September 2006. In the rotunda of Wynn Resorts you can watch two free shows. On the hour there is a show called The Dragon of Fortune and on the half hour The Tree of Prosperity. Shows start at 10am and continue until midnight. We watched both. The roof of the rotunda is decorated with the animals from the Chinese zodiac. Under this there is a dome decorated with the symbols of the western zodiac. In the tree of proserity show a huge chandelier descends from the roof and a tree sprouts out of the floor below. It changes colour several times. In the dragon show a long coiling dragon ascends out of the floor. These shows get very busy with mainland tourists. The Wynn also has a performing lake with musical fountains. We were told off for crossing the road near them, so did not see them properly. They would be better viewed from the further side of the lake. We saw them by day. Apparently they are lit up and colourful by night.

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Wynn Macau.

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Wynn Macau.

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Wynn Macau.

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Wynn Macau.

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Wynn Macau.

Hotel Lisboa.

The Hotel Lisboa has been around for a long time and is a well known Macau landmark. It was built in the late 1960s and was owned by Stanley Ho. Even with all the competition, the Hotel Lisboa still has the largest casino in Macau. It has an interesting lobby which is worth taking a stroll around to see several works of art such as porcelain vases, Chinese carvings, large fish tanks and the dragon wall. This hotel has several restaurants and stages shows such as the famous Crazy Paris Show.

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Hotel Lisboa.

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Hotel Lisboa.

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Hotel Lisboa.

The Parisian.

The Parisian Hotel is the latest addition to the Macau hotel and casino scene. It is owned by the Las Vegas Sands Group. The hotel is new to Macau. It officially opened on the 13th of September 2016. It is located on the Cotai Strip next door to the Venetian. The Parisian has a half-scale Eiffel Tower and a town square under a dome done up to look like an ever changing sky. It also has a fountain in the main lobby that constantly changes colour. The Parisian provides lots of photo opportunities as it is possible to pose for photos with stereotypical French characters dressed in stripy black and white tops, Pierrot and elegant Parisians from yesteryear out for a stroll. The Parisian has more than 3,000 rooms and suites, a casino, restaurants, shops and a theatre.

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The Parisian.

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The Parisian.


Catch A Show.

Macau is the Las Vegas of South East Asia. It is becoming more and more popular to come here to catch a show in one of the many hotels. We just went to our first ever Macau show. We saw the excellent 'Thriller' in the newly opened Parisian Hotel and very entertaining it was, too. The theatre in the Parisian is comfortable with good acoustics and lots of space. There is plenty of choice for live entertainment here. Google what is on before you visit.

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Catch A Show.

Old Taipa Village.

Continual land reclamation in Macau is joining the mainland and islands more and more together. One interesting area to visit in Taipa is Old Taipa Village with its beautiful old blue and green colonial houses and yellow Church of Our Lady of Carmel. Some of the old houses are now museums. Food Street with its many restaurants is nearby.

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Old Taipa Village.

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Old Taipa Village.

Coloane Island.

Coloane is the furthest away island from mainland Macau. There are several things to see here. First of all, there is Coloane Village with its fish hanging up drying in the sun, its picturesque old houses, its little Chapel of St Francis Xavier and its Lord Stow Bakery, this is the best place in Macau for the Portuguese egg tart. Delicious! Chris Patten was a regular. Then there is the statue of Tin Hau perched on its hill top. We spent a very pleasant day hiking up to the base of that. Furthermore, there are its beaches: Hac Sa with its black volcanic sands and the much quieter Cheok Van. Many people come to Coloane purely for the most famous restaurant in Macau -Fernando's. Everyone raves about it, but I am ashamed to say I have never been. Every time we arrive at its door there is queue a mile long and we go and eat elsewhere as I do not believe in queueing for anything unless I absolutely have to.

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Coloane Island.

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Coloane Island.

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Coloane Island.

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Coloane Island.

Hac Sa Beach, Coloane Island.

We recently returned to Hac Sa when I took my husband to the Hotel Westin for his birthday. Hac Sa means black sands and it is located on Coloane Island. The black sands refer to the 4KM long crescent shaped volcanic sand beach located here. As the beach erodes, the local authorities are bringing in yellow sand to replace it, so the beach is currently a mixture of the two types of sand. Behind the beach there is a village with restaurants, a park, barbeque pits and lots of marine themed statues. Hac Sa is popular with locals and is a relatively peaceful place away from the crowds and casino madness.

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Hac Sa Beach, Coloane Island.

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Hac Sa Beach, Coloane Island.

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Hac Sa Beach, Coloane Island.

Hac Sa Park, Coloane.

Just behind the main bus stop for Hac Sa there is a park which is a pleasant place to visit. In addition to flowers, greenery, drinks machines, it has a huge swimming pool (waterless during our visit), tennis courts and a basketball court.

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Hac Sa Park, Coloane.

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Hac Sa Park, Coloane.

Fernando's Restaurant. Hac Sa.

Many people travel to Hac Sa to go to Fernando's restaurant. This is a famous Portuguese restaurant in Macau. It is normally very busy and you cannot reserve a table there. We tried to get in several times in the past, but as we dislike queuing, always ended up in the Hac Sa Parque Restaurant next door. This time there was no queue at Fernando's, perhaps because it was such a miserable day, but as we have now developed a
fondness for the Hac Sa Parque Restaurant, we went straight there instead.

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Fernando's Restaurant.

The Rubber Duck.

The rubber duck Dutch designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman was in Macau when we visited in May 2016. We had come across this duck before as it has also been to Hong Kong. The duck has been sailing around the world since 2007. The duck was located near Macau Science Museum. It was generating lots of interest with lots of people photographing it. There was even a couple having their wedding photos taken with it when we visited.

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The Rubber Duck.

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The Rubber Duck.

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The Rubber Duck.

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The Rubber Duck.

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The Rubber Duck.

Rubber Duck Garden - Fisherman's Wharf.

Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman's huge floating rubber duck was in Macau when we visited. To celebrate this event Fisherman's Wharf opened a Rubber Duck Garden. Essentially this meant that Fisherman's Wharf had lots of wonderful rubber duck models to photograph or pose with. There were also rubber duck stalls and songs about rubber ducks blasting away day and night. It was all quite good fun.The Rubber Duck, Macau.

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Rubber Duck Garden - Fisherman's Wharf.

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Rubber Duck Garden - Fisherman's Wharf.

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Rubber Duck Garden - Fisherman's Wharf.

Chinese New Year.

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Chinese New Year.

Dragon Dancing.

We have been lucky enough to spend several Chinese New years in Macau. During one when we were staying at the Hyatt Hotel on Taipa, we brought the new year in with fire crackers, dragon dancing and lion dancing. Dragon Dancing started in China during the Han Dynasty. The emperors of Ancient China considered themselves to be dragons. The dragon represents supernatural power, goodness, fertility and dignity. Dragon dances are a common feature of Chinese New Year celebrations to usher in good luck.

Lion Dancing.

Lion dancing started more than a thousand years ago. The lion is seen as a protector able to drive away evil spirits. This is why many Chinese temples and palaces have lion statues guarding their entrances. A lion dance is supposed to bring good luck and prosperity, therefore, it is often performed on special occasions, such as festivals, weddings, the opening of a new business and at Chinese New Year. Performances normally involve two dancers. One is hidden under the head of the costume; the other is under the tail. The dance is accompanied by the sound of a drum, cymbals and gong. The loud noise drives away bad luck and evil spirits. Performances are often very acrobatic involving balancing on ropes or jumping from stand to stand. The dancer under the head also portrays the emotions of the lion by making its head and eyes move.

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Lion Dancing.

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Lion Dancing.

Fire Crackers.

During the lion dance and dragon dance ceremonies fire crackers are lit. These make an incredible deafening sound like multiple gun shots. They are supposed to drive away bad luck and evil spirits. Fire crackers are allowed in Macau but banned in Hong Kong (though you can still hear them from time to time). As well as being very loud, they are also a fire hazard and quite terrifying.

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Fire Crackers.

Chinese New Year.

At Chinese New Year many animal decorations will be placed around the streets, shopping malls, hotels etc representing the animal whose year it is changing to. This decoration must be from 2005 the last year of the rooster.

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Chinese New Year.

Welcoming In The Year Of The Horse 2014.

Just returned from a 3 day/2 night visit to Macau over Chinese New Year. We were impressed by the lovely year of the horse decorations we came across.We often visit Macau for Chinese New Year and always enjoying welcoming in each animal.

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Welcoming In The Year Of The Horse 2014.

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Welcoming In The Year Of The Horse 2014.

Other Chinese New Year Decorations.

As well as decorations about horses Chinese New Year decorations consist of colourful fruit, flower, plant and red packet displays. We love to go to Macau for Chinese New Year. There is always lots going on.

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Chinese New Year Decorations.

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Chinese New Year Decorations.

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Chinese New Year Decorations.

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Chinese New Year Decorations.

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Chinese New Year Decorations.

This featured blog entry was written by irenevt from the blog Irene's Old Travel Pages - Asia..
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By irenevt

Posted Mon, Mar 04, 2019 | Macau | Comments