The Las Vegas of Asia. That's the name given to Macau in reference to its casinos. Macau has had casinos for a long time but it was recently that the big names of Vegas started to take a foothold in Macau. Names like Sands and MGM and Wynn appeared and brought along with them all the glizt and glamour of a Vegas casino.
It is reported that in 2007, Macau's casino revenue has surpassed that of Las Vegas. With a reputation like that, no visit to Macau is complete without a visit to the various casinos. Let's visit the 2 most famous sites in the Cotai Strip - The City of Dreams and the Venetian.
Here's the City of Dreams. Consisting of the Crown Tower, the Hard Rock Hotel and a couple of other towers.
We got here taking a public bus. Although we know that there are free shuttle buses available, the area we were in did not have any free shuttle terminals nearby so we opt for the public bus. It's always more interesting to take a public bus as it winds its way through the city state.
The bus deposited us right outside the area and I took the shot below. It's a short walk to the entrance.
Inside the City of Dreams, we were greeted by this huge projection screen. About every 10 minutes of so, mermaids appear on the screen and waves to the visitors. Here's one below.
We went inside the casino area and I had to keep my camera away. The gaming area is huge but it's the same old thing - slot machines and various gaming tables. We got out of the casino and headed for the Hard Rock Hotel lobby. And here it is:
As you would expect of Hard Rock - memorabilias of the various artistes and bands.
Among them are cool guitars like the one below...
And a silk shirt that once belonged to Elvis Presley.
Having seen enough of the City of Dreams, we took a free shuttle and hopped over to the largest building in Asia, if not the world - the Venetian Macau!
Inside this huge complex is one of the world's largest casinos and also the Grand Canal Shoppes. Where shopping outlets are built into a setting that looks like a street in Venice complete with a canal and gondolas!
Below : The Grand Canal Shoppes.
It's perpetually twilight in here with the artificial sky/ceiling.
And if you don't want to shop, you can opt to get a ride on one of the gondolas and the gondoliers will serenade you all through your ride.
Leaving the shoppes, we made our way from the West Lobby (the lobby you enter from if you take the shuttle buses) to the Main Lobby. We passed by the Great Hall as pictured below.
Here we are finally at the Main Lobby. The picture below shows the fountain and dome above it.
Everything is so grand looking. The hallways are huge and high. The deco is detailed and artistic. All spelling out one word : EXPENSIVE! The Venetian has 3000 rooms for guests and they are all suites. Be prepared to pay around RM 2,000 for the cheapest suite per night's stay in this hotel.
A couple of shots taken outside the Venetian.
The place is so big that I had to walk quite a distance away to be able to get it all in even when using my ultra wide angle lens.