More Than The Glitz
Business Traveller India|May 2019

Macau goes beyond just being the Las Vegas of the East

Akanksha Maker

Hong Kong has remained one of my most favorite destinations to visit, for both business and pleasure alike. On two of those trips to this Special Administrative Region, I decided to venture into its dissimilar neighbor and the autonomous region on the south coast of China — Macau.

Macau lies on the tip of the peninsula formed by the Zhujiang river on the east and the Xijiang river on the west. It is situated at a convenient distance from two of China’s major business hubs — 60 km from Hong Kong and 145 km from Guangzhou. While there are no direct flights from India yet, ferries to Macau can be boarded from Hong Kong’s International Airport itself. On one of my trips there, I seamlessly transferred to Macau from HK International Airport, with my luggage checked-in at my port of departure — Mumbai. This can be done from anywhere in the world and your luggage can be claimed at the Macau ferry terminal. There are a number of ferries that ply frequently from Hong Kong airport, but it is advisable to book it in advance (TurboJet — turbojet.com is a good option), as they fill up soon.

This Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China boasts an interesting culture that marries its two absolutely contrasting roots — Chinese and Portuguese. A Portuguese colony until 1999 (it was then handed over to China), Macau is populated by an ethnic group that originated here in the 16th century — Macanese people. While its rich Portuguese culture continued to flourish, it rose as the Las Vegas of the east with its hotel and casino boom in the 21st century.

Approaching the famous Cotai Strip, on both my visits I have been bedazzled by its riot of color, light, and magnetism. Reminiscent of Las Vegas, the strip is lined with glamorously themed hotels that bring to life various aspects of the world. Whether it’s The Venetian that teleports you to the Italian town of Venice with its signature domes or The Parisian that effortlessly transports you to the French capital with its vibrant “Eiffel Tower” — Macau doesn’t cease to impress the hotel seeker. Owned by Sands China, both the hotels have become iconic to Macau with their awe-inspiring architecture, accommodation, and entertainment. While touring the hotels, I was amazed to learn that The Venetian and The Parisian are a part of a larger hotel destination called Sands Resorts Macao (owned by Sands China) that features Sands Macao, Holiday Inn, Conrad, Sheraton Grand, St Regis and Four Seasons — all under one roof. While all the hotels are separate entities with their individual character and presence, they are connected via air-conditioned footbridges, offering a seamless and unparalleled hotel experience.

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