Macau and Hong Kong are only an hour apart via ferry, so we knew we had to go. We took the ferry there, since it is the fastest and cheapest route. It was surprisingly comfortable and nice. When we arrived, all the signs were in three languages: English, Chinese, and Portuguese. It was so strange entering a place (special administrative region) with such Portuguese characteristics. Obviously, this was due to Macau being a Portuguese colony until 1999. I knew beforehand that this was true, but it was very interesting to see the effects of Macau’s history.
Macau is the world’s largest gambling center, so visiting some of the famous casinos was a must. The first thing we did was take a free shuttle from the ferry to The Venetian. The gambling age in Macau is 21, so none of us were losing any money, but we did look around. It was crazy to see all the work they had put into recreating the city of Venice, including the architecture, the water, and even the gondolas. It was kind of breathtaking. And this place was gigantic! There were so many expensive stores, to the point where you could get lost in there (probably their intention).
We then left the big city area to see another monastery. Though it was not as intricate or large as some other monasteries I have seen over the past month, I feel like it was the most authentic. All of the other monasteries and temples we have been to were pilgrimage sites, while this place was definitely just a temple for locals. It was simple, with only one room, but still retained the traditional Chinese architecture. It was so odd going from somewhere like the Venetian to this small place. Then we went to a fort, the Fortaleza de Monte. From the top (there was a bit of a climb), you could see a lot of the city. It was very relaxing to just sit and listen to the people who were having an impromptu concert.
After walking around the fort, we visited the viewing tower. We never actually went to the top since that cost more money than we were willing to spend, but we did get to watch someone bungee jump off it! The Macau Tower had the highest bungee jump in the world! My friend was seriously tempted to sign up, but was stopped when she was reminded that she was a student and needed to think about her tuition expenses. At the end of the day, we went back to the city center to look at all the lights from the casinos. It was fun to walk through and see the streaming color wherever you turned.
As we took the ferry back, we all fell asleep after the exhausting day.