Macau is, for the most part, split between its colonial past on Taipa, and its extravagant future on Cotai.

A dollop of Portuguese

There were a few more cultural places to visit in Macau than these, but we just hit the major tourist traps: Senado Square, Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Taipa houses museum. Expect lots of trekking up and down.

Taipa steps

St. Paul's Cathedral

You’ve probably seen the front a million times, but you don’t ever see what’s behind:

Back of St. Paul's Cathedral

How about those pristine pastel greens:

Taipa Houses–Museum

Leal Senado was a bonus stop we wandered into across the Square, which had a garden and a small exhibit.

Two-headed fountain, Leal Senado

A theme park of casinos

Major hotels have unique attractions—for free, usually every 15 minutes. Even if you don’t gamble, you might want to do casino-hopping anyway—also for free, on their shuttles. A lot of them have food halls if you’re concerned about slightly more affordable eats. You’re essentially mall-hopping, or bouncing around different attractions in this really expensive theme park.

There’s always some interesting thing somewhere, whether it’s a diamond rising from water at Galaxy…

Fortune Diamond show

…insanely detailed carvings on mammoth tusks and jade at Grand Lisboa (bonus shout-out to its automatic, hands-free restroom doors)…

A Fine Mammoth Tusk Carving of the Great Wall

…a dragon spinning with fiery effects at Wynn…

Dragon of Fortune show, Wynn Macau

…a water wall at Hard Rock…

Water wall

…or a musician playing the kheem at Banyan Tree.

Coming from a country whose escalators break down every other day or so, it’s mind-boggling how they can maintain that level of quality with such regularity.

Among those are opulent décor and interesting exhibits, sometimes even living statues. It’s essentially a contest of who can dream up the most dazzling things you can look at.

Crystal. chandeliers. everywhere.

Obligatory mention for The Venetian, which is so dizzingly ornate that the fake sky in its shops area is a welcome break from the bronze hues.

Perennial daytime

Another special shout-out: their exhibit of chocolate art upstairs, which included the freaking Titanic.

Chocolate Titanic

That super steep stairs tho:

Super steep stairs

We stayed at Galaxy, so I’ve been partial to it (which is unfortunate considering the whole Boracay mess), but I just enjoyed how brighter and more colorful it was, with peacock and crystal motifs. It also had a pretty garden.

Peacock wall

Butterfly Garden and dome of main lobby, Galaxy Macau

See all photos here.

It’s 2018 and I’m 5 years behind on my travel log. Oh well~

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