Crazy Macau?

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Well, not exactly crazy. We have a few days before we meet Kamil and Edyta in Hong Kong, so we hopped on a fast ferry and went to see what all the fuss about Macau is all about.

Macau is and old Portuguese colony which is now a specially administered region of China. It is also the gambling mecca of Asia, if not the world. The world biggest casinos are found on this small piece of land jutting out into the South China Sea. We were expecting something of Las Vegas vibe meets Bangkok crazyness.

Hotels are pricey here if you are on a backpacker budget, but armed with the guide book we found a cheap place called San Va Hospederia. The guide book describes it as a “traditional-style guesthouse which has survived since 1873 and definitely has character, though the cupboard-like rooms, separated by flimsy cardboard partitions are pretty spartan and a few rooms are occupied by the homeless.” We ended up staying there, and in some ways it wasn’t all that bad. However, USD$20 normally is our upper range and normally buys a good night’s sleep, while here we had to contend with sexy noises from the neighbors.

We got the early in the afternoon, but because of lack of sleep went almost directly to bed. When we got up at 11pm, we were expecting glitz, nightlife, and maybe a bit of crazyness. Instead, we found quiet streets, well lit squares with European architecture, and an absolute lack of anywhere to sit down and have a drink. We wandered around and admired the huge dazzling casinos, but the general lack of life on the streets was disappointing. We did find many shops selling expensive watches, shark fins, abalone, and birds nests, but these are things we were not in the mood for this evening.

Macau is actually quite nice, but not what we expected. We walked around the narrow streets and admired the east-meets-west feel of this place. It was very clean and the air was cooled by a refreshing sea breeze, which made walking all around town very pleasant. Macau has charm, many casinos, and is brimming with Chinese delicacies, but it is not crazy in any sense of the word.

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