I have never understood the draw of gambling but the environments which have been created around them are worth investigating. The cities that take gambling to a whole other level are Macau, China and Las Vegas, NV, USA. There are incredible similarities between the two cities, however, each also provides unique experiences. One more than the other, in my opinion.
Let’s start by looking at Macau as there is so much rich cultural history. There is a beautiful combination of the Portuguese influence from when they were colonized and the Chinese culture. There is no place like it in the world! The city of Macau is growing exponentially and has a very healthy economy with a very, very low unemployment rate. Most people living in Macau work in the hospitality/gaming industry and some come over from Hong Kong to work. There is so much interesting information about Macau, much more than just the gaming industry, too much to discuss here. Look out for another post later on the cultural background of Macau.
My Macau Musts are:
As we walked down the strip from our hotel, The Cosmopolitan, it was hot, first and foremost! Alcohol had a major presence everywhere and almost everyone had an alcoholic beverage in their hands. Many of the special elements along the strip didn't surprise me from what I had seen on the movies. The scale of many of the hotels were actually smaller than I had thought, which shocked me. Especially, New York New York, wasn't nearly as large as I had envisioned.
Another surprise was how clean the casinos were. Even though there was smoking in the casinos, it was not incredibly overwhelming. The casinos weren't also as busy or loud as I thought they would have been. The biggest disappointment for me, based on all the hype, was the Bellagio lobby. It was smaller and not as grand as I had pictured.
Many of my impressions are based on the expectations that were, in some ways not accurately created, based on movies and television shows. Overall, I did like Vegas and would like to return to experience more restaurants and hopefully meet a few of my favorite celebrity chefs.
**Photos and more on my experience in Las Vegas can be read about in a previous post**
I would love to hear what your impressions are about Macau and/or Las Vegas.
**All photos used here are mine (Michelle Jamieson) and shouldn't be used without credit**