Thursday, June 05, 2008

Macau Casinos

Did you know that Macau is a new gambling capital? It is wilder than Las Vegas and growing even faster. We're not big on gambling, but it is one of the main reasons people go to Macau and one of the few things to do there at night. And since Macau is so small, you can't help but walk through the casino areas on your way to the sites. This first picture is of the Wynn and MGM which we didn't see inside.

We went inside several casinos but unfortunately, they won't let you take pictures. The nice thing is that there's free air-conditioning and free bottled water inside. Well, almost free; I ended up gambling about $75 away while we were there. That ends up to be about $8 American, which is still a lot of money to waste on air-conditioning, ha ha!

My favorite building was the New Lisboa. It is a grand and crazy-looking structure that looks like a stylized Lotus flower, the symbol for the city. It was also explained to me that it was a dragon head; perfectly poised to eat the Wynn Casino! The bridge that connects Macau and Taipa islands serves as the dragon's backbone and his tail is a carved wall that runs up the hill on the side of Taipa Island. I love the symbolism of it all and the crazy-cool modern architectural vision of the building.

Unfortunately, it was my least-favorite casino inside. It was garish and overdone with no style whatsoever. It was covered with shiny things of different sizes, shapes and colors. Nothing matched, except in the contest to be the most gaudy thing ever. But the air was cool and the water was free!

This is the old Casino Lisboa. It is another crazy building that reminds me of old Vegas from the sixties. Wacky, kitchy and a little funky. It had that retro-Vegas feel inside too; full of black marble and gilded mirrors. Stylish with its own old-school fashion. And how could you not love its crazy charm?

The Venetian is on Taipa Island, tucked away from the other casinos, but it's worth looking into. It is the largest casino in the world and the second-largest building in the world. It is 50% bigger than the Venetian in Las Vegas. It was kind of stunning to be inside of it. I was really overwhelmed at how big it was and how *much* of everything there was.

We got lost inside the casino trying to find our way out and back to Matt's parents. I walked for miles it seemed to find the ladies room; past hundreds of slots and a band playing some old 80's tunes. I was distracted by all the lights and sounds and colors and it was a little too much for me.

There is a mall upstairs with top-quality shops and I think it was bigger than South Coast Plaza, our local upscale mall here at home. There is of course; an indoor canal system and it was a little eerie and beautiful to hear them singing as they wound their boats through the system; like bats trying to use sonar to find their way home. I loved the canals, but I was thrilled to leave the casino and head back to our hotel.


Pearl Maple said...

Have always wanted to go to Macau, thank you for sharing your photos

Sue McGettigan said...

So cool Lianne, I'm with you, I always find the outside of casinos fascinating, and the inside disorienting - but they do that on purpose :) Better to have you walk past a bank of slots and spend some money trying to find the ladies room than make it easy on you, right?

justrenae said...

These pictures are absolutely beautiful. One of these days maybe I will be able to visit.

Thank you again! Renae

Sarah said...

Wow, Macau has really changed since I was there in 1984! I have thoroughly enjoyed checking out all of your "China" posts. And thanks for visiting my blog.