Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Macau: Vegas of the East?

What makes Vegas, "Vegas?" Is it the excessive eating? The prolific gambling? Drug use? Binge drinking? Sex? Glitz and glamour in stark contrast to all the dirt and grime a few streets over?

Yes. To all of the above.

Seems promising. Look! There's even a Wynn!

So when I was told about Macau, the so called "Vegas of the East," I was intrigued. I mean, after spending a significant portion of my last quarter Senior Year in Vegas, I missed it. Not that I wanted to necessarily partake in all the immoral and illicit activities aforementioned, of course... (I actually was DD for a significant portion of my Vegas experiences), but it was more the atmosphere I missed. The freedom to do what one wants. Las Vegas is where people can, and do, lose themselves in the moment, whether for better or for worse. In essence, a true Disneyland for adults.

Macau is no Vegas.

At least the fountain at the Venetian is the same...

Don't let the similar names and brands fool you. Granted, there is still a seedy underbelly like Vegas (ex. a "sauna" offers a broader range of "special treatments" than a normal spa). But there's no drinking culture! Whether you gamble at a table or a machine, servers come by to offer you tea or water. That's it. No beer. No wine (though I heard you can still get sangria at the Lisboa). No AMFs or Long Islands. Nothing.

The only drink in my only night in Macau. Not even from a bar, but from a restaurant.

It makes sense--catering to mostly mainlanders, Macau is not attracting the whole, "what happens here, stays here," kind of crowd. It's more of a, "Gamble big, play serious, win or GTFO." You go to Macau to gamble. Maybe relax with a "lady friend" when you're done if you're into that sort of thing. And that's it. No multitude of Cirque du Soleil, magic acts, comedians, or musicals. No Fashion Show Mall, Miracle Mile or Forum Shops. And definitely no 190 Octane Fat Tuesdays with extra shots of Everclear.

 One thing that Macau has over Vegas--a rich history.

So after a quick loss on a Sic Bo table and a bit of sightseeing (the Portuguese architecture is, admittedly, quite beautiful), it was off to Hong Kong.

Note: As a fellow traveler pointed out, there are forms of entertainment in Macau (shows, clubs, etc.). It's just not on the same scale as Vegas, or even a large city. And it's not the say I wouldn't go to Macau again--I'll be back when I have a lot more money to blow.


  1. I love it. I didn't know you had a blog! I'm so happy to discover it! I am so excited to see your travels :] ~Sarah

  2. Most of what you've written is total bollocks.

    There are numerous shows including, ironically given you claim otherwise, a Cirque show. There are way more cultural insitutions (museums and so on) than in Vegas which has nothing other than the Bellagio gallery. Chinese do not drink and gamble as gambling is taken seriously and often involves serious amounts of money (which is why Macau is five times bigger in terms of revenue compared with Vegas). However its not like there is a shortage of bars or nightclubs in the casinos and resorts. Finally, the shops in Macau are way better than anything the Vegas Forum Shops can give you. One Central Mall is easily one of the most premier shopping destinations anywhere and there is plenty more in the Wynn, Venetian etc. You clearly did not look at all.

    You don't have to like Macau and it certainly isn't identical to Vegas (why should it be?). But nearly everything you've written is just factually wrong, lazily written balls.

  3. @esq.imo

    First of all, thank you for taking the time to read my blog and comment. I really do appreciate it.

    I agree with you--Macau is not Vegas, nor should it be. But since it is a comparison that is often made, I wanted to write about the two. The biggest difference as you and I both mentioned is the lack of drinking culture which Vegas is (in)famous for. That was the most surprising since it's what I think of Vegas, and if Macau is compared to Vegas, why wouldn't it be the same (or similar)?

    That being said, I think you might have skimmed over some parts. You write, "There are way more cultural insitutions (museums and so on) than in Vegas which has nothing other than the Bellagio gallery." And I agree when I put, "One thing that Macau has over Vegas--a rich history."

    In response to, "There are numerous shows including, ironically given you claim otherwise, a Cirque show." When I wrote, "No multitude of Cirque du Soleil, magic acts, comedians, or musicals," that's what I meant. Yes there are shows, including a (1) Cirque du Soleil. Las Vegas has 7 Cirque du Soleil shows alone. My argument was not that they don't exist. It's the "multitude" ie. large number of various shows that aren't present.

    As far as bars/nightclubs, since it isn't a drinking culture, it makes sense that the number is significantly less. A quick Google Search:


    Las Vegas

    And I could go on... but at this point, I think you get the idea. Maybe in 10-15 years when Cotai is fully developed, it will be even more extravagant than Vegas. For now (and I think you agree), Macau is not Vegas, and the "Vegas of the East," is an unfair comparison.

    Again, thanks for posting! It makes me feel like a more established blogger! ^_^