Backpacking in Macau: Touring the Casinos of This Beast

galaxy macau jonny blair

Backpacking in Macau: Touring the Casinos

I kind of forget some of the travel experiences I have had down the years. Something that sticks from my time working and living in Hong Kong is the amount of visits I went on to neighbouring China and Macau. Macau is a country in its own right and I toured it many times. You may have read how I crossed the border from China into Macau and also from Hong Kong into Macau, but when you get to Macau, this is where China meets Casino. Yes it’s more a gamblers paradise than a backpacker’s paradise. But when push comes to the shove, I like Macau.

Backpacking in Macau

Backpacking in Macau

When you are backpacking through Macau, day or night, one thing you cannot walk past without noticing is of course, a casino! I have listed my favourites a few times before and of course I once won money at a Macau Casino! Here is an up to date top 5 for you:

Touring the walls and fortresses of Macau

Touring the walls and fortresses of Macau

1. The Venetian Macau
According to some sources, the magnificent Macau Venetian is the largest casino in the world. It’s a simply massive complex with shopping, casinos, restaurants, cafes and of course the quirky hotel itself. It is the largest single structure hotel building in Asia, with 2,905 suites, and floors which reach 38 levels. This is the venue where I (in) famously won money dressed in a Belfast Glentoran shirt!

venetian macau backpacking

Inside the Venetian in Macau. Backpacker style, winning, for Glentoran FC

2. Casino Lisboa
With its Portuguese name and obvious influence, the Casino Lisboa is known for being one of the most famous hotel casinos in the world. Casino Lisboa is actually an old and a new casino complex all in one. There is the three-story complex that was built in late 1960s and then there is the newer one alongside it. It has 12 popular restaurants/bars and 24-hour entertainment.

Admiring the Grand Lisboa casino from afar.

In front of the Grand Lisboa casino from afar.

3. Altira Macau (Crown Macau)
Once known as Crown Macau, Altira Macau is in Taipa, Macau. It has 38 floors, over 500 gaming machines, 220 gaming tables and a whopping 216 games rooms. Boasting a height of 160 meters, and it is also recorded as the highest building in Taipa, a small part of Macau.

Macau Skyline

Macau Skyline

4. Sands Macau
Sands Macau is part of a Las Vegas company, Sands Corporation. So although this has a lot of financial backing, it still shines through. It cost a whopping $240 million to build back in 2004. Wear a football shirt instead of a shirt and tie and upset the posh punters!

Football shirt wearing in Macau!

Football shirt wearing in Macau!

5. Galaxy Macau
Galaxy Macau is my favourite from the outside. Yes, it looks way too glamorous for a budget backpacker, but maybe it’s the idea that I’ve been here in a football shirt and shorts next to people in suits that I love. Panny and I backpacked through it, can of beer in hand, cheap street food past the golden archways! It’s an elaborate building and boasts an exciting gaming experience like no other.

A cool bar of football scarves in Macau

A cool bar of football scarves in Macau

So do check out these five when you are in Macau and don’t forget to try the special desserts here, Serradura. It’s epic!

Backpacking the bright lights of Macau

Backpacking the bright lights of Macau

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About Jonny Blair

I'm Jonny Blair, a travelling Northern Irishman. Since leaving my hometown a decade ago I have managed to visit over 100 countries and over 600 towns or cities across all 7 continents. Along the way I have worked in countless jobs! Join my journey on Don't Stop Living - a lifestyle of travel as I provide you with tips and inspiration to live your travel dreams! Safe travels! Follow me on Jonny Blair Google Plus
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2 Responses to Backpacking in Macau: Touring the Casinos of This Beast

  1. Ray says:

    When you visit Macau, where do you typically stay? There is only one hostel in Las Vegas near Freemont Street in the old district in town. Plus, some budget hotels if you are okay driving 10 – 15 minutes to get to the Las Vegas Strip where are the newer casinos are. Generally speaking, the casino resorts in Vegas often put out bundle packages which include flight and accommodations. So, it’s not always necessary to resort to budget accommodations in that case. Curious to know if Macau has similar practices?

  2. Jonny Blair says:

    Hi Ray, we normally either stay in Hong Kong or China. A cool hotel across the border in Zhuhai, China (which is 5 minutes from Macau) costs around $20 US a night for a good room. Sadly Macau seems to be too dear so although I have spent a few nights there, none of them were actually in hotels, we either stayed up and headed back to Hong Kong or China, or we left before it got dark. Ferries to Hong Kong and China are 24 hour. I’d recommend staying across the border in China. I’d estimate it’s the same for Monte Carlo (stay in Nice or Marseille). Safe travels. Jonny

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