Macau, China – more than the world’s top gambling destination

Macau was our final destination before heading back home. We had one day (well, actually one night) to immerse ourselves in the Portuguese influenced culture. Arriving fairly late at night via a ferry from Hong Kong, our first thought was to try traditional Portuguese cuisine for dinner. After talking to our hotel reception, Restaurante Platão was recommended as good but a little pricey tradition Portuguese resturant. We decided to give it a go.

Restaurante Platão

Restaurante Platão was a cozy restaurant located off a side street from Largo do Senado.

We started with an entrée of traditional sardinhas assadas (grilled sardines), and a large bottle of Mateus wine. For the mains, again, two traditional foods were ordered; Potato and Bacalhau (codfish) pie and bife com um ovo a cavalo (literally meaning steak with an egg on horseback). The food was nice and a good change from noodles and rice. The bill ended up costing 500HKD, which we thought was quite acceptable.

Sardinhas assadas (grilled sardines)Potato and Bacalhau pie and bife com um ovo a cavalo in the backgroundSonya with a glass of Mateus wine at Restaurante Platao

Historic Centre of Macau

As previously mentioned, Macau has immense Portuguese influenced heritage. The Historic Centre of Macau consists of a number of historic Portuguese buildings and landmarks; with the most famous being Ruins of St. Paul’s and Largo do Senado (Senado Square). It was a bit of a shame that we had to view these at night, the bright building colours were not as evident as hoped and any photography was quite difficult. The lighting did make the Ruins of St. Paul’s look even spookier and Fortaleza do Monte (on a hill next to the ruines) which had minimal lighting was even scarier walking around at night.

Sonya and St. Dominic’s ChurchMe in a quaint alleyLargo do Senado at night
Ruins of St. Paul's at night and surrounding areaRuins of St. Paul's close upSonya next to the wall of Fortaleza do Monte

The Venetian

Finally, how can you not venture into a casino when in Macau? With the name Eastern Las Vegas and actually having a higher gambling revenue than Las Vegas itself, you really can’t. From stepping out of the airport and being presented with the luxurious casino hotel’s courtesy buses, to not being able to turn anywhere without seeing in your face flashing lights and over the top buildings, the casinos in Macau are very evident. Sonya convinced me to check out the Venetian stating it as a must see. She was right, and it was quite enjoyable walking through the lavish interiors and manmade canals.

Big and bright casinos in MacauMe and an extravagant gold statueThe Venetian Venice-themed halls
The interior canalsSonya swinging on a lamp postSonya next to some very large masquarade masks

The following morning we flew back to Singapore and then finally Perth, all sad that our great China trip was all over.