Living in Dongguan (for those who are not familiar with our current location: Dongguan is located in central Guangdong province, China) has its perks – weekend breaks in Hong Kong and Macau. If we get tired of China and Chinese food, we can pack our backpacks, take a bus and head either to the City of Life or the City of Gambling.
We have recently paid Hong Kong a few short-term visits as we were applying for our visas. Now we decided to go to Macau, pop in a few casinos (hopefully wining a lot of money), explore Portuguese architecture and try some local food. It is not going to be our first time in Macau (we were there last June) but this time we would like to focus more on gambling, having fun and chilling.
China’s Las Vegas
Macau island is mostly known for its luxurious casinos. Since 1847, when gambling was officially legalized, the place is attracting millions of people (over 27 millions last year) who mostly come here for gambling. The casinos, springing up like mushrooms after the rain, have had a massive impact on island’s architectural and cultural development Once you go there, you can notice how posh and glamorous the city is and while strolling down the streets at night you will feel like in Las Vegas.
What we did not like in Macau for the first time was the fact that we were surrounded by massive shopping malls, luxurious hotels, massive flashy casinos and expensive restaurants. After few hours of walk, we were tired of its modern and posh look and noticed Macau’s culture, cuisine and stunning architecture were often neglected by visitors due to their interest in casinos and gambling.
Our Gambling Experience
As for me, I have never been interested in gambling. My first experience was to play roulette in Macau last year. I had a few goes both wining and losing. In the end, I lost £10 in total but left casino with a smile on my face – at least I tried my best and had a lot of fun.
As for Cez, he tried his luck with online casino back in UK. It started with few winnings and quickly changed the direction. He lost what he invested, but lessons stayed. Cez still enjoys gambling, but only very occasionally and with a set limit of money to lose and to win (so he knows when to stop).
Getting to Macau
We have two options. We can either go to Hong Kong Kowloon first and then get a ferry to Macau which is going to cost us HK$150 ($19) each way (takes 1 hour 20 minutes) or we can go to Macau directly by bus which takes over 2 hours and costs 70 yuan ($11). We need to have a proper look at the bus and ferry schedules and prices before making our final decision.
Macau on the Cheap
We still do not know what our exact budget is going to be for those 2 days, but we know one thing for sure – it can’t be more than $25 per day on our accommodation, transport and food. We are taking some extra cash for casinos but it should not be more than $50 (and if we’re lucky we’ll get it back). We are considering couchsurfing to cut down the costs.
Question to You
- Has anyone of you have ever been to Macau and can recommend a cheap hostel/motel?
- Do you have your favourite casino in Macau? If so, what is its name? We might be going there as well.
- Are there any must see places in Macau such as cathedrals, interesting exhibitions, etc.?