I know it’s a bit late, and heck, I have been procrastinating on writing up my trip journal to Macau. For CNY, it’s been difficult to get the whole family down since Sis and Bro are both studying in Vancouver. So, it’s just Dad, Mum and me! Anyway it was SQ860 flight to Hong Kong before taking the ferry from the HKIA straight to Macau, so there is no need to get out of the immigration lines in Hong Kong. Seriously, no wonder HK’s airport could become a hub in the Pearl River Delta Region, offering sea transfers even to Zhuhai, and Shenzhen.
The travel time through the ferry was less than 50 minutes, though the crowds rushing through the immigration was evident in the Chinese New Year Holiday, it was the first day of the week long holiday in China. With my last trip in 2007, Macau has changed a lot within this span as well, becoming more crowded, with more new casinos (Grand Lisboa, Crown and MGM Grand). All these casinos offer complimentary shuttle from the Main Ferry Terminal, the Border Crossing to Zhuhai, and the New Ferry Terminal at Taipa. Finding the Crown shuttle bus, though, was a bit more difficult, since their bus is smaller and less prominent that the red buses of Wynn, or the blue buses of the Venetian. The hotel as well, looks insignificant from the outside, and is located in one of the quiet neighbourhoods of Taipa. Good if you are looking for a quiet abode during your stay, away from the noisy gamblers. Bad if you are coming for the lights and to experience the vibe of Las Vegas in Macau. Since Dad and Mum wanted to see the Venetian, that’s where we decided to spend our night. I got the chance to venture the more complete shopping mall, as well as the new Four Seasons Hotel extension. The Shoppes at the Four Seasons must be a haven for shoppers with all global brands located in the same complex. The few people shopping also makes it a nice place to get away for some fresh air from the smoky gambling hall. Unlike other casinos, the Venetian is more family friendly, with a greater range of shows, shops, and food choices. Variety is the key here, though it is really far from the city centre and really isolated at night. Until the City of Dreams is completed opposite the Venetian, that is (expected in 2010).
With dinner had at the Venetian, there was more than enough time for the evening to be spent on the table games of the Casino, and to be expected the crowds are there at the gaming hall. I am guessing Singapore’s IR will be as crowded during CNY when 2010 arrives. The rest of the night is spent exploring the vast interiors of the Venetian and its newly opened annex comprising of a slightly more upscale casino and the Four Seasons Hotel.