Friday, 17 August 2012

Memories of China: Why Macau Sucked

This will be the last post about my China trip. I think I've used it enough as inspiration as posts and this last story is the only thing I think can be enough to form a complete post. But today, I'm going to tell you why Macau was terrible.

Now Macau is fairly close to Hong Kong, which we were staying in at the time. My cousins went last year and told us they had a fairly good experience, lots of good food but the best food was at this expensive buffet in a hotel. When they went, there was all you can eat seafood and they described the serving tables as 100 meters long.

Oh and things to see, but who cares about sightseeing when there's food to eat?

Hopefully this isn't me in the future...

My Uncle living in Hong Kong wondered why we were going. "There's nothing to see there." he said. But we disregarded his warning and went anyways. There are only two ways you can get to Macau from Hong Kong, by boat (2 hours or 45 minutes) or by helicoptor (15 minutes).

And each time you go to either place you need to pass through customs and declare goods. They consider themselves independent cities or something, I don't know the details. I just know that it's just a large hassle to get there and back.

So that's already one point against Macau. Seriously, just stay in Hong Kong.

Macau: -1/Hong Kong: 0

The instant we leave the customs building it is hot. I have never been in weather this hot and humid before. It is like stepping into a sauna when you walk outside. And I hate it. I cannot stand the weather here, I am constantly hiding in the shade or ducking into shops in hopes of air conditioned salvation. Another point against Macau.

Dad books a half day driver to take us places to see places. EXCEPT, most places are closed on Thursdays. I don't know about you, but having Thursday as your day off doesn't make much sense to me. Friday or Monday makes more sense, to extend weekends or Saturday/Sunday because those are normal days off but Thursday? Really? So our driver ends up dumping us outside some malls/scenic areas we can't go into, and the ones we can enter aren't all that amazing.

Dad really wanted to go inside but it was closed.

Things we could see were uninteresting strip malls, department stores and churches. Macau was taken over by the Portuguese for a while so there was a lot of influence in terms of food and religion. There was this supposedly old famous church that was in a fire which we went to go see.

I didn't think it was anything special. I guess the fact that it was so old and still standing was impressive? The only thing that I cared about was the basement which had old bones of past priests or something.

Coldest area in all of Macau. I loved it.

And these dead guys hogged it all to themselves.

The driver eventually drops us off at some hotels. By this point, we're all really bored but we remain in Macau because of the buffet planned for dinner. The hotels are exactly what you'd see in Las Vegas and having been to Vegas before the buildings look like cheap imitations.

The shops are all high-end, overpriced Western brand name stores. There's nothing to buy, nothing to see, and my sister and I try our hand at some slots and proceed to lose about $10 CAD. What's interesting is that the Hong Kong dollar is equal to the Macau pataka so the machines take either currency. At least people were walking around giving free non-alcoholic drinks. That was a pleasant surprise.

Anyone been to the Venetian in Vegas? They have one in Macau too.

And then finally. It was about time for dinner. Except...

None of us were really hungry.

And who wants to spend several hundred Hong Kong dollars on a meal they'll barley eat. I personally blame the heat for my own lack of appetite. So we were a bit grumpy on the boat ride back because we could have headed back to Hong Kong much sooner to do more interesting things.

I can't remember what we ate for dinner that day. But all I'm confident that it was better than anything we ate in Macau.

Overall, unimpressed.


  1. Sorry to hear that Macau wasn't the best mate, that customs thing does sound like a serious pain as it is. I don't mind you posting about China by the way if you were to have any other stories, it's been very interesting to hear about.

  2. I want to go to Macau! Thanks for the post. So, maybe, I go to first to Hong Kong. :D

  3. It kinda makes me laugh that there were ripoff Vegas things in Hong Kong. I remember when I went to Vegas there were a shit ton of Chinese people staying at MGM. Why MGM, I have no idea.

  4. Sounds like a great place to visit if you want to sweat and be bored to death haha otherwise yeah, I'll skip. And thursdays is dumb.

  5. Yikes, you sound like you totally loathed Macau.

  6. Doh! I've never even heard of Macau before - I will learn from you and make sure to never go there :)

  7. Being someone who can take the heat, I think I would've enjoyed it anyway. That being said.. I can't see myself visiting if I ever went to Hong Kong.

  8. I had heard bad things about Macau from a friend who had to go there on business. It is his least favorite destination. Thursday certainly is a strange day to have off.

  9. Awwww sorry Macau was such a disappointment!! Nevermind - at least you went!

    Macau still sounds so terribly exotic and romantic to me - as in I doubt I will ever venture as far there in my lifetime (but never say never!) ! Take care

  10. Great Post. I follow your Blog now.
    Please follow me.

  11. I hate disappointments like that. We went to Milan only to find everything was closed during August and I couldn't go in to the Duomo because I had my knees and shoulders on show. I was in such a strop I refused to buy something only to end up in what the boys I was travelling with described the 'sack'. A horrible beige linen dress 2 sizes too big from H&M. It wasn't worth it.

    I was mardy and I wasn't even as hot as you must have been in Macau! Grumps-R-Us.

  12. There's a better previous video that shows a more in depth look at the apartment. lots of people trashed that place over the course of a year, but anyway, awesome post man. I love japan. You know prior to WW2 Kyoto actually used to be the capital not Tokyo. We fire bombed Kyoto so badly and all the houses were made out of wood there was nothing left.

  13. that's a bit disappointing

  14. I'll make an effort never to go there :)

  15. I've never been to macau and haven't heard of lousy reviews so I am sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy your experience. I wonder if Macau has a large Muslim following, in Saudi Arabia, I've heard that Thursday are when businesses are closed.

  16. I'm sorry to hear Macau sucked. It doesn't sound like the best place to visit, based on your post.

  17. I think a lot of the casinos in Vegas own shares in theh Macau casino's. Supposedly all the losses stateside are offset thanks to the Asian gamblers.

    Too bad about the food experience.

  18. i want to go hong kong maybe next next year

  19. Well, who can tell them to do something else, but Thursday? Really?

  20. sorry you had such a lame time there

  21. So do you know WHY everything's closed on Thursday? Is it a religious thing, or did everybody just get together and decide this would be a fun way to screw with tourists?

  22. I love Macau and have heard lots of lovely things about it, some of my friends had great time there. The same goes for Hong Kong and Singapore. Would love to visit those places.

  23. Well, I guess I can scratch that off my bucket list.
    But, don't anyone try to talk me out of Camden, New Jersey.