It’s been called the Las Vegas of Asia with good reason, but the truth is that for travelers from outside the region, Macau isn’t a tourist hotspot most of us would consider. But you know what? We’ve got it wrong. This island territory is one of the most unique and beautiful places to visit in all of Asia. And best of all, it’s great fun for a partying traveler too.
The Vegas of Asia
So how did Macau earn its title as the Vegas of Asia? Well, it’s been the top gambling destination for Asian travelers for quite some time. Can you believe that in 2007, Macau actually overtook Las Vegas in terms of gambling revenue? Yep, casinos are pretty popular here. You’ll notice that right from the off.
There are 41 casinos throughout Macau. This territory is five times smaller than Las Vegas, but it has 41 casinos and actually makes more money than Sin City each and every year. And it shows. The place is a casino-lovers paradise, and of course, it brings all the entertainment and nightlife that comes along with the industry.
If you’re new to the casino scene, I wouldn’t recommend just rushing in and throwing all your money on black 17. You’re going to want to get a little practice in so you can schmooze on in there looking like 007 (but perhaps without the tuxedo). With this in mind, you might want to try a few online casino games first just to get your head in the right place. But don’t go spending your vacation fund. There are plenty of online casinos with free bonuses for new customers. So you can keep your hard-earned cash for the trip.
Remember though, when you hit the casinos, you really need to keep a tight rein on the travel budget. Set yourself a limit that you’ll play with and anything that you win is a bonus. Casinos will welcome you with open arms though, and you might get yourself some free drinks and discounted meals depending on where you play and how much you’re betting.
The Nightlife of Macau
This is where it gets interesting. Despite what you might think, Macau has an incredible nightlife. From quiet, relaxing nights in cozy bars, to crazy parties in huge clubs with international DJs and acts, you can do it all in one small area.
So where to start? First up we have Club Cubic, which is probably the biggest nightclub in all of Macau. They have two levels and, depending on the night, you can dance to techno, hip hop, or even Salsa on their Havana nights. If you want to get a seat in a booth, then you must get there early. But you know what, most of the fun is on the dance floor, so go whenever you want!
Vida Rica Bar has three bars that are all slightly different. Each has stunning views though, which is always a bonus in a bar. The great thing about this place is that there’s something for everyone. If you fancy a quiet coffee and some food, no problem. Cocktails and a party atmosphere? You’ll get that too.
Duffy’s Irish Pub is a little more casual and it’s where you’ll find good, and relatively cheap food along with live music. If there are any sports events on that you want to watch, then this is probably the place with the best atmosphere.
Late Night Eats in Macau
If you’ve ever been to Asia, then you know that late night eating is really popular. So when you’re done dancing, you should head out for some proper late night snacks. The Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao serves traditional Chinese food and it’s open 24 hours a day. Not too cheap but hey, when you want dumplings at 4am, you’re not going to complain.
One of our tips for budget travel is to eat locally and nothing is quite as local as Hong Kung Night Market. It’s open from 6pm daily until the small hours of the morning. Here you’ll find street vendors and some of the best Asian street food imaginable. This is what a trip to Asia is really all about.
So there you have it. Macau is a hidden gem in Asia that is well worth considering for your next trip to the region. Even if you only have a short stopover of one or two days, I’d highly recommend it.