A Day Trip to Macau: China’s Las Vegas

Macau is the famous center for Chinese nightlife — it’s the only legal place to gamble within China’s mainland or territories. If you’re 21, you can certainly gamble on a raucous night of slots and cards in Macau, but the region is still a great sightseeing tour for those who are younger or are craving some leisure.

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Transportation from Hong Kong:

Macau is most easily traveled to from Hong Kong through the Hong Kong-Macau ferry terminal in Sheung Wan. The short hour-long ferry takes you right to Macau, but don’t forget to bring your passport! A quick taxi ride from the ferry terminal in Macau can take you to wherever you need to go.

Transportation within Macau: 

All of the major sites are walkable from the casino center of town, but taxis are also cheap and can be found everywhere.

What to See:

1. The Venetian Macau Hotel & Casino: This Vegas-replica Venetian is the largest draw for Chinese tourists, usually stacked with tour buses. It holds a large and bustling casino and a faux-Venice street mall with a fake daylight sky.

2. Senado Square- The historical center of Macau retains its charm even in the face of built-up casinos. This UNESCO World Heritage site connects the old Portuguese colonial center of Macau with colorful tiles and a Romanesque water fountain.

3. Ruins of St. Paul’s Church- The large and beautiful ruins of a 16th-century church offer free admission and can be reached through Senado Square. It is also UNESCO World Heritage site, and is one of the most important centers of Christianity in East Asia.

4. Antonio’s Restaurant- This little Portuguese sit-down is a venerated establishment of Macau. They serve up delectable Portuguese seafood stews paired with imported Portuguese and Spanish wine.