Yesterday I headed over to Macau, China just to see what it was like. I honestly didn’t know very much about it except that gambling is huge and that it is somewhat independent from China. Unfortunately it appears that’s about all there is to the place. I had hoped for something more, something incredible when I stepped off the ferry, but what I got was an Atlantic City kind of feeling. You know what a gambling city looks like in the daylight? It’s kind of depressing. There is a level three typhoon warning in effect as well so it’s cloudy and windy.
The ferry left Hong Kong at 11:55, much later than I wanted to leave, but I got a late start to the morning. I didn’t think it would matter because I wasn’t planning on doing any gambling and as far as I knew there wasn’t much more to the place than to gamble so I figured I’d be there maybe 6 hours at most. Total time to get to Macau, including passport control and ferry ride was less than two hours.
When I got off through customs I knew that I wasn’t going to be spending a lot of time there. It was a first impression as if I had been seeing Atlantic City for the first time, concrete, lots of concrete and dirty. There was more to it than that, but that was my first impression and to be honest, still when writing this the next day I still feel that way.
The city is laid out much like Las Vegas in that there are huge blocks between casinos and streets, so it’s not really a walking-friendly place. I walked around taking photos for several hours, and finally went into a casino, the MGM, to try a little gambling. I figured that there was always a chance that I could get my vacation paid for… yeah, that could happen. I lost as expected, but it was fun and I decided that it was time for me to get lunch and then head back. I like to gamble, but I’m a terrible gambler. For me it’s the thrill of the chance to hit it big that I love, so I nearly always take too many risks. At least I’ve figured this out and have learned to not gamble very often. The last time I think I was in a casino was probably 16 years ago, though I’ve played poker with friends.
I got back to Hong Kong probably about 730 and felt like walking. By then it was night and the way this city lights up is very pretty, as I hope that some of the photos that I’ve posted show. It seems that there are a huge amount of neon everywhere, and it makes for a decent walk. I didn’t expect it to take me two hours to get back to the hotel though, and I was pretty sweaty and tired when I did. One thing that I haven’t mentioned in any post that I’ve meant to is that I’ve rediscovered Slurpees from 7-11. The first one that I had in who knows how long was in Thailand and since I think I’ve had at least one a day. Sometimes, like last night on my walk back from the ferry terminal, I ended up having three. I know that is excessive, but they are so cold they’re perfect when I’m overheating from a long walk.