Having spent a couple of days in HK, we headed this morning to the ferry terminal and “hopped” across to Macau, clearing HK immigration on side and then an hour later getting another stamp for Macau. We’ve gone from China to a region of China to another region of China and repeatedly gone through immigration – it seems a little OTT to me. I suppose it’s no different to Bermuda though, which required me to clear immigration even as a British citizen. Just a bloody annoyance but at least neither HK or Macau charge US or UK visitors to get in!
At the ferry terminal, we caught the free courtesy bus into the City of Dreams hotel complex on the Cotai Strip, supposedly Macau’s version of Vegas. While the Venetian mirrored that in Vegas and our complex was shiny and new, the rest of the strip was still under construction! We had a room reserved in the Hard Rock Hotel – believe it or not I picked this as the cheapest option rather than wanting to just add another Hard Rock to our list! Up on the 28th floor we had a decent view of the Venetian one way and the building site another. Oh well, the room was nice and clean and spacious and even had a proper shower. Elizabeth appreciated that!
After grabbing a quick sandwich for lunch, we headed over to the Venetian and bought tickets for a show to see Xaia, the Cirque du Soleil show in town. We chose the matinee show as the ticket prices were much less and we weren’t bothered which we saw. After a wander around the shopping mall, which was massive, we headed back to our room and had a shower and changed for the show.
The show itself was pretty good but the acrobatics I thought were a little limited, to such an extent that I was more impressed by what we’d seen in Beijing previously. Of course, the lights and music and effects were much better here which made it a good show to watch and a good change of scenery compared to more museums!
From there, we jumped in a taxi and headed to a restaurant called Litoral, which served typical Macau food. I have to say, this was one of the quickest meals we’ve ever had. On arrival, they seemed annoyed we didn’t have a reservation despite the place being almost empty (admittedly, it was filling up as we left). Once we had ordered our food, the cod fish cake starters turned up almost immediately and before we had even finished our main courses were in front of us. I had pork in a Macaunese sauce and it was lovely, despite the service. Even the bottle of wine we had ordered was being poured into our glasses at a swift rate. I reckon we must have been done in about 40 minutes – even when I paid the bill, the waiter told me I could follow him down to the door to get my change rather than wait! Very strange and not cheap – the food was great, the service was awful!
Back at the hotel, we headed down to one of the bars which had a 24 hour happy hour – we ordered a rum cocktail which came in a huge volcano shaped bowl and tasted pretty potent! We sat and drank that and chatted to the mostly Filipino waiting staff who weren’t very complimentary about the Chinese. I have to admit, I’m really enjoying China but the people and their customs are very different, including the disgusting habit of non-stop spitting everywhere from children to grannies, men and women.
I wanted to have a gamble and I chose roulette, not for any skill involved but just for some fun. I was only betting around $5 per spin of the wheel but I could tell Elizabeth was getting more and more agitated each time I bet. I’d only changed about $30 worth of cash into chips so it wasn’t a lot of money but she didn’t like it so we ended up leaving and arguing over it into the early hours. She claimed she was “risk averse” and my response of it only being 30 bloody dollars probably seemed a little argumentative! (I actually only lost about $12 as we left before I lost the rest!)
As a treat, and as we were splashing out a little being in Macau, we treated ourselves to massages. Despite screwing up our booking time, they were able to accommodate us both and we both enjoyed our pampering. I have to say though, my masseuse was a little pre-occupied as she massaged my right leg three times and my right arm twice but totally missed my left arm altogether!
From there we headed back to the Venetian for lunch as it had a much greater choice of options. It had a large food court including loads of different Chinese styles as well as Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese and western styles. I know we still haven’t eaten much Chinese food but everything just looks so unappealing and given the food we have eaten hasn’t been of a great standard, it’s hard to get excited about even thinking about trying something new. So I got a burger.