Popular Macau Tourist Spots: Casinos, Shopping & Temples
Join Alefiya Rashiq as she discovers popular Macau tourist spots and other attractions on her Macau tour.
Me: “How about I visit Macau?”
Cousin from Hong Kong, whose place I am crashing at, “No no. What will you do there?”
Me: “But but. It’s Macau, I can’t not go there?
Cousin: “There are all these extravagant casinos, discotheques and high end brands to shop at, I’m sure any of these aren’t to your liking?”
Me, dejectedly, more like I am promising it to myself: “I’m sure there must be more. There has to be more…”
And so I find myself seated in a plush ferry next morning, which will take me straight to Macau. After leaving behind the fantastic Hong Kong skylines and an hour long of wading through the South China Sea, we dock in.
When I step out of the ferry terminal, fancy hop-in buses are awaiting us, each beholding a promise of taking you to the best hotel-casino in the city. My obvious pick is, The Venetian, one of the hottest Macau tourist spots.
As we navigate through the city, I soak in the Portuguese architectures (Macau was once ruled by Portugal) and the remnants of under-construction sites visible here and there. I take myself back in time to wonder what has made Macau the Las Vegas of Asia and one of the world’s richest cities, while the locals still grapple with economic issues. My thought process comes to a screeching halt as my bus reaches its destination.
My Macau Tour Begins: Popular Macau Tourist Spots
The Venetian Macao
The Venetian stands tall and pretty with a river flowing by, modelled on the Italian city of Venice. I enter the massive structure to be left astonished. It is luxury redefined. It takes you to a completely different world, which you don’t want to come out of, at least for the first couple of hours. The walls, the ceilings, the furniture, it is opulent. With the girl within me already doing jigs, I begin hopping around here and there trying to absorb as much of the grandeur I can.
I stop by to converse with a masqueraded lady who is mouthing few words in Cantonese, which mean, “Have a nice day”. “That I certainly will”, I think to myself and continue.
After a lot of wandering I reach the Casino. Filled with poker-faced gamblers, who are but having the time of their lives gathered around hundreds of slot machines, the Casino does live up to its name of being the biggest in the world.
When I reach the second level of the hotel, a new galaxy manifests (read: with its own sky and river). I am swirled away to the canals of Venice and the Gondola ride makes me want to sing songs like the folks of Bollywood did. Both sides have international stores like Gucci and Prada. This is one of the best Macau tourist spots for people after having amassed a lot of money gambling downstairs.
I roam from one end to another, but the place is so huge, that if you’re in a group you can actually lose members and find them hours later emerging from different corners. Tired and lost, I decide, that if I want to see more of Macau, I need to move out.
I get an account of places to visit from the concierge, who happens to be Indian (to my delight). I hop onto another shuttle bus that takes me to A-ma Temple. True representations of the Chinese culture, the walls of the temple are guarded by stone lions. A-ma is the Goddess of Seafarers, one of the popular Macau tourist spots and is greatly worshiped by the locals. Engraved rocks within describe the history and culture of Macau through poems.
With the sanctity I find at the temple, I feel calmed and re-energized to continue my journey.
The Macau Tower, one of Asia’s tallest towers is my next stop. I get to revel in breathtaking views of the peninsula from the Observation Desk on top. A Revolving Restaurant at the peak of the tower is quite a hit with the tourists.
Senado Square: A Scene Straight From Europe
It is evening by the time I reach Senado Square, one of the popular Macau tourist spots. At first glance, I feel like I’ve entered a European street, with cobblestones and fountains. I immediately decide this is my favourite place of Macau, when the rain Gods shower their love on me.
The by-lanes of Senado spruce up a local market by the day. Having being told by my bus-driver that it strictly shuts down by 6 pm, I run, all drenched by now, like my life is at stake. So much energy, I tell you, after a heavy day, all in the name of exploring a new place.
I hurriedly ask a shoe-stall owner for the price of a pair of lovely sandals, and he promptly replies, “Sorry madame, we are closing down”. I plead, “Please let me buy them.” “Madame, this eez going home time, pleez come before time tomarrow”, he says and I know I have to scurry. ‘Principles maketh man’, especially men of Macau.
Fortunately, I get to unload my pockets at few stalls ahead and I return happily with few pairs of lacy socks for my mother! (On which I will later be told, “Socks? Socks are all you got for me from Macau?”)
As I see this spectacular city fading away from my boat, I recall all the fun moments I had in my Macau tour. As I witnessed and experienced my chosen Macau tourist spots, I remember how the Chinese people kept approaching me all day to click pictures with me. They were fascinated with the fact that I am from India. If you look carefully, the world is filled with wonderful people, I think and smile. I make a mental note to tell my cousin, that Macau is certainly a lot lot more than its casinos.
The city of dreams it is, indeed. Dreams of not just the tourists who come to gamble their worries away and have a good time, but also of the locals, who dare to dream, and work hard each day for a brighter tomorrow.
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About The Author
A Pune’ite who is in love with the world, Alefiya is a Copywriter and a communications professional. Cracking into jigs, making quirky observations and untimely giggles keep her going when she is not writing. Life is NOW, she believes!