My wife and I went to Macao from May 3rd to 6th and had a wonderful experience there. I’d like to share my experience while traveling there.
Macao has been modernized for the past decades. I visited there about forty years ago with my parents. Most Japanese at that time were one-day visitors for gambling from Hong Kong where they purchased a lot of duty-free goods. But, now Macao was inundated with Chinese tourists as well as visitors from all over the world. Macao is a mecca for casinos, shows and historical monuments. The difference between Cotai and Las Vegas would be the number of Chinese visitors. Slot machines and card tables were occupied by exiting Chinese tourists. Macao became the fourth richest country in the world thanks to the gamblers’ contribution.
There were several five star hotels at Macao and Cotai area. Cotai was a gambling area on an small island which used to be a small fishermen’s village. The area was extremely similar to the Strip in Las Vegas; it had MGM, Marriott, Venetian, Parisian with Eiffel Tower and Grand Hyatt. Each hotel had its casino and high-end shopping malls. Venetian at Cotai had gondolas on a winding canal stretching along a shopping mall.
We watched a fantastic water show at a theater in Grand Hyatt. The show was extremely similar to “O” in Las Vegas. I was mesmerized by the breathtaking acrobatic show for 85 minutes. All the casts were trained to be well synchronized and choreographed. Majorities of the seats were taken by Chinese tourists.
We stayed at the Ritz Carlton at Cotai.www.ritzcarlton.com/jp/hotels/china/macau
The hotel staff was all nice and gentle and they all spoke English fluently. Everything was taken care of with hospitability. The Club Lounge offered a variety of foods four times a day. The staff always asked us if we needed anything to be requested. We were kindly escorted by a complementally limousine service wherever we went. But, we might not be a good guest for the hotel. We didn’t gamble, not buy a brand bag or jewels at the shopping mall. However, we received hand-written thank you cards from staff at the Club Lounge and the concierge desk.
Macao is also famous for its historical monuments. It had governed by Portugal in 1500s and still preserved its old buildings. The cobble stone streets reminded me of the narrow and winding streets in European countries. The Macao Museum exhibited an old life style of families living as fishermen on boats.
Macao’s delicious cousins satisfied the visitors’ palates. An egg tart and a milk pudding would be of choice. Chinese food with a Portuguese flavor which came along with a Portuguese wine also matched our taste. Waiters and waitresses at restaurants and shops spoke English enough to communicate with the customers. They spoke something to us in Cantonese first, but they switched it into English. On the contrary, I’m afraid not so many Japanese employees at shops can handle English when they are spoken to by a foreigner. It would be imperative to improve their English comprehension by the year 2020 when we will hold Tokyo Olympics.
While I stayed at Macao, I serious feel that Japanese government should expedite the process of the casino law and start developing a casino complex with a show theater by 2020. In addition, we should master English good enough to communicate with foreign visitors. Japan is now famous for its low criminal rate and numerous sightseeing spots. I guess casinos with shopping malls and theaters could save Japan from being a heavily debt country and galvanize our economy. I’d like to visit Macao in the near future to see its development and prosperity.