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Macau: Vegas without Elvis

I spent a few hours in Macau yesterday. I’m ok if I never return. I wasn’t impressed.

The jetfoil boat from Hong Kong is a pleasant 1 hour trip. But then there’s the fight through immigration.

Oh, you thought it was One China? No, not yet. HK and Macau still have their own immigration authorities. So even the mainland Chinese need to go through immigration. And the mainlanders are a special kind of rude in that sort of situation: they shove, cut the line, pick their nose, and generally act poorly despite the confined spaces. Maybe they do need a strong dictatorship… because these people are not at all self-governing.

In case you are not aware, Macau is known for gambling. It’s basically the Vegas of Asia. Think of it this way: Vegas casinos are an imitation of some swanky exotic locale (ex: The Venetian, Bellagio, etc.). Macau is an imitation of Vegas. A bad imitation. All of the stuff, but none of the heart. None of the sin associated with the Sin City. No Brat Packs here. No drunken, coked-up rockstars stumbling around in the lobby. You can’t even walk around with a cocktail.

There is no glitz to Macau. No one smiles. No show-girls in feathers and sequins. No one gets dressed to the nines. No drunken spur-of-the-moment-Elvis-themed-weddings. In fact, that’s the problem: there’s no Elvis in Macau.

Don’t get me wrong, you’ll get a you-tube hit off of Macau Elvis… but the spirit of The King is nowhere to be found in Macau. Apparently, there are a few “shows” to see, but everyone seems to agree that the place is mostly just about gambling, smoking, and doing some shopping. So yeah, we bailed on the whole Macau experience pretty quickly.

Viva Las Vegas!!
The Venetian lobby in Macau

 


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