Mac-wowOctober 4, 2019 in Hong Kong ⋅ 🌙 27 °C
Today's plan was to visit the island of Macau, the biggest gambling centre by value in the world, so I shouldn't have been surprised when my gamble of leaving after 10am didn't fully pay off. First of all we had ridden two MTR lines and were heading for the ferry terminal when I remembered that because Macau is technically a different territory to Hong Kong, we would need our passports. Guess where those were. Yep, safely locked away in our hotel room. Good news is I got to enjoy another two Star ferry rides, two taxi rides and a run up to the hotel and back to fetch them.
Secondly, I did know that this week is Golden Week, the Chinese national day celebration, and had planned accordingly for it in Shanghai. However, because of the ongoing protests in HK Chinese tourists have been avoiding here and going elsewhere. Guess where it seems they have all headed instead? Macau! I have never in my life seen such unrelenting swarms of tourists!
We had ridden the Cotai Water Jet express ferry the hour to Macau then jumped on one of the free casino buses to get to the Cotai Strip, the local equivalent of the Vegas strip. So far so good, but the minute we stepped foot in the Venetian Hotel and Casino we knew we had entered another dimension. Chinese tourists by the thousand packed every inch of the facility. They were even sitting on the floors against the walls eating their lunches. It slightly detracted from the grandeur and opulence of these temples to extravagance. The Parisian and the Venetian, the two casinos we visited, were even bigger than their namesakes in Las Vegas, which was mind blowing, but even they weren't big enough to hold this human king tide. This amount of tourist overload slammed the brakes on my plans to tour the sights of Macau literally, as traffic was worse than I have seen anywhere. I decided to pull the pin on this ill-timed excursion and we caught the fast ferry back to Hong Kong island.
Exiting the Macau ferry terminal we headed for the mall that would lead us to the Star Ferry only to find it blocked off. Heading back out onto the street it became obvious what was causing the closure. One side of the road was completely blocked by thousands of marching protesters. At this point they were all peaceful, so I hope it remained that way.
Eventually we crossed the harbour and concluded a less than perfect day, with a near perfect feed at the Cheescake factory. Day over.Read more