Macau Highlights: how to spend a weekend on the Portuguese island

Meet Macau … The Vegas of Asia?

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My most recent trip to Asia came at such a sleep-deprived period of high stress for me that my whole time there seems like it was merely some awesome dream.

I had preconceived notions of Macau, sure: All you ever hear is the “Vegas of Asia.” I’m no fan ofย Vegas; thus, I didn’t have high expectations. But Macau? Nowhere close to Vegas. It’s oozing with Chinese culture and delicious food and Portuguese accents and couldn’t have been a more interesting place to visit.

Macau travel

And last time I checked, Vegas was no UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Macau travel

A special administrative region of China, Macau was first a Portuguese colony and major trading post back in the day (many a pirate sailed through its waters). It was handed over to China in 1999.

Macau travel

It is a peninsula, consisting of the islands of Taipa and Coaloane, as well, and is bordered by the Zhujiang (Pearl) River on the east, the Xijiang on the west. From atop the SkyTower, you can see the Guangzhou region in the distance, and it’s a quick 45-minute ferry ride to Hong Kong, which is where I went from there.

Macau travel

One of the quirkier facets I found was the free “gyms” sprinkled all over the city. Seriously, how cool a concept is this? A playground for adults! And people actually use them, too.

Macau travel

And how can you not love a place where canines get their own restroom facilities? Answer: You can’t.

Macau travel

There will be more Macau posts to come in the future; alas, the worst possible thing that could happen to a journalist did, in fact, occur: My notebook with every last note and interview from my Tennessee book and trips to Macau, the Arctic Circle, Israel, et al vanished, without a trace. Say a little prayer for me, pretty please?

Macau travel

  • February 26, 2010

    Beautiful shots!!! We went there 2 years ago with our whole family. Thinking tour bus with big group of family age range from 5 months old to 70 years old. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a great trip. One thing though that I don’t like about Macau is SMOKING is everywhere. In a restaurant, we had to sit way in the back. Still it was a GREAT trip. We have our family picture in Macau that is one of the finalist to win a week stay in Italy at Ciao Bambino. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • February 26, 2010

    I have a vague memory of going to Macau with my family as a child when we lived in Hong Kong — my dad had a business trip there and he brought the whole family. Chief among my memories of the trip, however, are how cool the hovercraft ride over from Hong Kong was, and that we stayed in a hotel with a pool on the roof. Sounds like you had a far more cultural time than I did!

    Hope you find your notebook! How awful!

  • February 26, 2010

    Those free gyms are awesome! But I’m still freaking out for you re: the notebook. Writer’s nightmare, that is.

  • February 26, 2010

    1) The pictures look lovely, and the city looks extremely friendly. I like reading your blog, because it makes me aware of badass places in the world that I didn’t even know existed. This would be one of them.

    2) Oh, shit! Hope you find your notebook! I’ll be sending find-y thoughts your way.

  • February 26, 2010

    omg those free gyms are KICK ASS!

    crossing my fingers you find that notebook. did you try under the bed?

  • February 26, 2010

    These are gorgeous pics! The Hubby and I will be traveling to Beijing and we’re praying to get enough money together to swing down to Hong Kong. But now we’ll have to make it down to Macau too!

    And I hope you find your laptop! It’s happened to me once before and life hasn’t been the same since. It’s amazing how much of your life you tuck away in that little box…

  • February 26, 2010

    Beautiful photos. I’m so sorry to hear about your notebook! I hope you are able to get everything back.

  • February 26, 2010

    Beautiful! Yet looks like a crowded place. Very cool to offer free exercise. Sure hope you find your notebook.
    Gotta’ watch out for those expectations.
    Any last min travel advice. I leave in 2 days.

  • February 26, 2010

    Your shots really make it look as interesting as it does beautiful. Thanks for sharing these!
    : )

  • February 27, 2010

    Feichang hao!!! Ahhh, China, my 1st love. ๐Ÿ™‚

    So sorry about your notebook–I said a BIG prayer for ya babe!

  • March 1, 2010

    I just discovered your blog and i LOVE it! The pictures are gorgeous, I cannot wait to travel through Asia and this just makes me want to even more. I will keep my fingers crossed about your notebook, hope it turns up soon.

  • March 1, 2010

    love your blog!
    i’ve been to macau before, but i actually thought it was quite boring. it doesn’t have the flair of vegas primarily because its sole focus is the gambling industry. no shows, no bright lights…but i have to say, nearby hong kong is awesome!

  • March 2, 2010

    The dog restroom is absolutely hilarious. Love it!

  • March 3, 2010
    Erica Connolly

    I would love to visit Hong Kong and Macau. I love the last picture with the colorful building on the left. That must be the worst feeling ever, losing your notebook… I would be devistated if I lost mine. What an interesting atmosphere with the dog bathrooms and exercise facilities.

  • March 4, 2010

    They have similar free gym equipment at the parks in Thailand. One day I’ll post pictures of me using it! It’s only been a year since my trip – I still have time for recaps ๐Ÿ™‚

    Sorry about your notebook!! Maybe it’ll still uncover itself in the aftermath of the big move?????

  • March 5, 2010

    I fell so appreciated that you enjoy your Macau trip so much. Indeed, I am from Macau and now living in Kansas for study. You are just a professional photographer. I cannot believe what I see is my hometown. I am also impressed by your understanding about the Macau history (other than just visiting there). Every time when I told my US friends I am from Macau, I need to introduce all its background as no one heard of Macau. Thanks for sharing and you just make me miss my home, my family, and the good food.

  • June 4, 2011

    Superbly written post, thanks! 1f1Vq hoodia +V4Ss

  • July 18, 2016

    I’ve been wanting to see Macau, now even more so. It looks great. I got to Hong Kong a couple times when I was in the Navy in the ’80s, but I didn’t get to see too much of it. I’ve been wanting to go back ever since, and definitely tack on a trip to Macau as well as venturing into South China.


    • July 18, 2016

      Oops, I’m Billy, not Bily

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