Visit Macau: Las Vegas of the East

Often called the Las Vegas of the East, Las Vegas of Asia, and even the Monte Carlo of the Orient, Macau is a vibrant city rich with history and luxury casino hotels.

Macau is a popular destination for international travelers and deserves a spot on everyone’s bucket list!

Visiting Macau Senado Square
Senado Square

I instantly fell in love with its culture and nightlife, so much so that I visited twice. The lights are spectacular, the architecture is breathtaking, and it’s perfect for night owls.

I originally wrote this article way back when I had not long started my travel blog and while I was still balancing my career in corporate Finance with my desire to travel and explore the world.

Back then I had no idea that travel blogging would have been so influential in building The Wanderlover into the business it is today.

If you have been thinking about making a change in your own life and want to start your own travel blog, I have written this extensive guide on How To Start A Travel Blog.

I hope you enjoy reading about my trip to Macau in this travel guide. I know you’re going to LOVE your visit as well!

Where is Macau located?

Macau (or Macao) 澳門 is located on China’s southern coast, 60 km (37 mi) west of Hong Kong, and just a short ferry ride away from Hong Kong.

Map of Macau Location

How big is Macau and what is Macau Population?

Macau has an area of 32.9 km² (12.7 mi²), and a population is about 680,000. It is the most densely populated region in the world.

How many casinos are in Macau?

As of 2024, there are 33 official casinos on the island of Macau, and over 2,000 slot machines! Although I’m not a gambler myself, I can imagine how fun it would be actually betting in a Macau casino.

Macau Facts

Macau has its own currency

Macau uses the Macanese pataca (MOP). While the Hong Kong dollar is widely accepted, the pataca has its own distinct banknotes and coins. It reflects the city’s status as a Special Administrative Region with a high degree of autonomy.

Macau was ruled by the Portuguese for 447 years!

It was one of Europe’s first and last Asian colonies after it was handed back to China by the Portuguese in 1999.

The official languages of Macau are Portuguese and Chinese

It’s super cool to see Portuguese on signs alongside Chinese characters, and hear some locals speak both languages!

Most travelers do not require a visa to enter Macau for short stays

Obviously do your own research and check the visa policy based on your nationality and the purpose of your visit. You can check the latest policies on their official tourism website here.

It is the only place in China where gambling is legal

Gambling in Macau was legalized and regulated under Portuguese rule, and this practice continued after the handover to China. The legal framework allows for various forms of gambling, including casino gaming, sports betting, and lotteries.

Macau is warm year-round

The coldest month is January where temperatures will dip to 15 Degrees Celsius/60 Degrees Fahrenheit.

Macau is one of the richest territories in the world

Until the pandemic, Macau was jostling with the likes of Qatar, Singapore and Luxembourg for the top spot in the world’s richest territories. When I originally wrote this article in 2017, it was well ahead of the others. While it’s well on its way to recovery, its growth has been slower than other countries.

Home to one of the world’s highest bungee jumps:

Macau is home to the world’s 2nd highest commercial bungee jump, the AJ Hackett Macau Tower Bungee Jump. It made the Guiness World Records Book back in 2007 and was only recently knocked down to second by the Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge Bungee, in China.

Macau is a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy

Macau has been designated a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, recognizing its rich culinary heritage and commitment to promoting local food culture. This status has helped showcase Macau as a global gastronomic destination.

Historic Center Recognition

The Historic Centre of Macao, with its unique blend of Chinese and Portuguese architecture, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Must-Sees in Macau

Venetian Macao: Stay and play at Asia’s largest casino

My friends and I had the pleasure of staying at the Bella Deluxe Suite at the Venetian Macao a resort and casino located on the Cotai Strip in Macau, and this is THE place to stay in Macau.

The 10,500,000 square foot Venetian houses the world’s 2nd largest casino and the largest in Asia, and is modeled after its sister hotel in Vegas. It is an impeccable luxury resort; room service was very quick to respond and the staff was incredibly polite and attentive.

The Venetian Macao itself could take a day to explore entirely! Even if you are not a guest I highly recommend walking through and seeing the canals (Yes! Actual canals with boats in a casino), beautiful decorations, and shops. As the 2nd largest casino in the world, and with 39 stories, it offers a luxurious and immersive experience that combines entertainment, accommodation, and gaming on an unprecedented scale.

Here are some interesting facts about The Venetian Macao:

Size and Scale: The Venetian Macao is a colossal complex, covering an area of over 10.5 million square feet. Its sheer size makes it the largest single-structure hotel building in Asia and the sixth-largest building in the world.

Inspired by Venice: The resort is themed after the Italian city of Venice, featuring replicas of famous landmarks such as the Grand Canal, St. Mark’s Square, and the Rialto Bridge. Visitors can experience gondola rides along the indoor Grand Canal, complete with singing gondoliers.

Accommodations: The Venetian Macao has over 3,000 spacious suites, making it one of the largest hotel complexes in Asia. The suites are extremely nice, offering a blend of comfort and luxury.

Shopping Extravaganza: The Shoppes at Venetian is a vast shopping mall within the resort, with over 330 retail outlets. It offers a range of luxury brands, fashion, and lifestyle products.

Entertainment Venues: The resort hosts a variety of entertainment venues, including the Cotai Arena, which can accommodate large-scale events such as concerts and sporting events. The Venetian Theatre showcases performances and Broadway-style shows.

Casino Facilities: The casino at The Venetian Macao is one of the most expansive in the world, offering a wide array of gaming options. You can try their luck at a variety of table games, slot machines, and other casino offerings in a lavish and vibrant environment.

Dining Experiences: There are food options for everyone!! From fine dining restaurants offering international cuisines to casual eateries serving delicious snacks.

Macau Tower

The Macau Tower is a must to see the city streets from above. It has a delicious rotating restaurant 66 floors up where you can see panoramic views of the city! It also is home to the (now 2nd tallest) bungee jump in the world, but still the worlds tallest from a tower. I wasn’t brave enough to do it myself, but please let me know if you would dare!

Read my post for the best Travel Medical Insurance in case anything goes wrong on your trip!

At 338 meters (1,109 feet) hight, Macau Tower is one of the tallest freestanding structures in the world. It dominates the skyline of Macau and is a distinctive part of the city’s landscape.

Ruins of St. Paul’s

One of Macau’s most famous landmarks, the Ruins of St. Paul’s is the remains of a beautiful old church dedicated to Saint Paul the Apostle. It was the largest church in Asia at the time and known as the “Vatican of the East,” and burned down in a fire in 1835. What remains is a gorgeous facade, and you can only imagine what it looked like in its glory days!

Largo do Senado (Senado Square)

Part of the UNESCO Historic Centre of Macau World Heritage Site, Senado Square is bustling with activities, shops, and beautiful architecture. My first visit was during China’s Mid-Autumn Festival and the streets lit up with decorations.

A-Ma Temple

The A-Ma Temple is a temple to the Chinese sea-goddess Mazu and is one of the oldest in Macau. You will find many people burning incense for good luck, and many come here to pray.

Club Cubic

If you’re looking to explore Macau nightlife, go to Club Cubic located in City of Dreams. There are five VIP rooms and international DJs regularly make live appearances. We celebrated here for a friend’s birthday and had such a fun night!  

UPDATE: Unfortunately, as of 2021, Club Cubic is permanently closed. However, new management has rebranded the club to be Club Para, which is definitely worth a visit!

What to do next:

Conclusion

Macau is such an underrated Asian city of history, lights, and entertainment. It is just as luxurious, exciting, and alive at night as Vegas, if not more. Try your luck and see which city is better for yourself!

If you liked this post, please pin or share! Have any questions about visiting Macau? Let me know in the comments below!

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Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu is a multiple 6-figure travel influencer, business coach, and Founder of The Wanderlover. She has traveled to over 65+ countries running her online business and surfing in remote tropical destinations. Her mission is to help creatives and coaches achieve time freedom, location freedom, and financial freedom through online entrepreneurship.

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Hi, I’m Danielle

My mission is to help you design a location-independent lifestyle through online entrepreneurship, to achieve time freedom, location freedom, financial freedom.

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