Like most tourists, I stayed only a short duration of three days in the Portuguese old town and casino hub of Macau. However, I ensured that I utilized all of my 3 days and 3 nights here and explored a good deal of Macau. During this exploration, I came across some interesting things about this small country, which I have noted below for everyone’s reading.
1) Tourists visit Macau for its glitz, color and its rich casinos, but the bulk of the people in Macau are really poor.
2) T Shirts can be bought in Macau for as low as 70 cents.
3) Macau used to be a Portuguese colony and hence all of its streets are given Portuguese names. Most of the people living in Macau do not recognize any of these names. They have their own equivalent Chinese names.
4) Cookies and biscuits can be smelt a mile away. Most of Macau is big time into baking.
5) The casinos of Macau rake in a lot of money and are second only to Las Vegas in the United States of America.
6) Even though the old town of Macau is an UNESCO World Heritage site, it lacks basic sanitary conditions with blocked sewer and one has to walk through some streets with closed noses.
7) Like Hong Kong, Macau allows its banks to print their own currency notes.
8) Even though Macau is a SAR of China and has most of its population as Chinese, it still has a lot of Portuguese influence.
9) The Egg Tart can definitely be called the national snack of Macau. Not only do the tourists adore it, the locals snack on it very often too.
10) Even though it is very far away from Venice and Europe, it has its own Venetian style canals and gondolas in one of its five star hotels that is modeled after Venice.
11) Macau has one of the easiest immigration systems. It is also one of those countries where an Indian passport gets easy visa free entry.
12) You should be able to get around most of the touristy places in Macau free of cost through the shuttle buses that is run regularly by the five star hotels and casinos.
13) It is a big world inside the casinos. There are so many tables, so many games and so many machines that it will take you a couple of days just to put your head together and decide what you want to play and how you want to play.
14) You have to spend just an hour in one of Macau’s casinos to understand how rich the people of China are and why China is so getting close to becoming a economic super power.
15) Macau is such a popular weekend getaway from Hong Kong that every hotel, restaurant and travel company has a weekday and weekend rate card.
16) Macau is all about good service at no cost to the tourist. The entire old town can be visited without spending any money, the excellent shows run by the five star hotels are also free and so is it to enter a casino and watch the gambling world unfold in the middle of the night.