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Mice Net : August 2009
macau you wın! macau Story by Brad Foster After his most recent visit to Macau, mice.net editor Brad Foster says he’s hooked on the destination, and thinks you will be too. My first visit to Macau a few years back left me with little desire to return. The problem, I have since discovered, was that I was pretty much stuck in a ballroom for four days and thereby seeing very little of what this surprising destination has to offer. Okay, I wasn’t actually stuck in a ballroom, I was stuck in a hotel. It was a big hotel – The Venetian Macau with its 3000 rooms, casino, shops, fake waterways, fake sky, restaurants, and lack of natural light. Finding your room without a map for the first two days is a feat in itself let alone being brave enough to venture outside if, of course, you can find an exit. This trip I was there courtesy of Helen Wong who represents Macau Tourism in Australia. And this trip I got to see more than the fake reproduction of the roof of the Sistine Chapel (again in The Venetian Macau where nothing, you may not be surprised to know, is actually vaguely original). In fact, I got to see a whole lot more. Despite it being damn humid I got out and about. I visited new hotels and thankfully, I visited some of the old parts of Macau. Where the real action is. Where stallholders sell oddly Asian delicacies like smoked pig; where mangy animals pick scraps from garbage bins; and where you can buy your kids a couple of t-shirts with the change in your pocket instead of maxing out your visa card in a too-clean arcade full to the brim with designer wear of every “name” brand known to man. The direct Viva Macau flight was relatively painless at just over nine hours from Sydney. I flew economy on the way up and premium economy on the return journey. There wasn’t a lot of difference except a bit more leg room in premium economy and more food. But you still had to buy your alcohol whatever class you travelled. Go figure. Oh, and there’s no discernible entertainment onboard, so can I suggest a bloody good book (it is nine hours remember), or bring your ipod or better still a portable DVD player. And some money if you do want to eat and drink. mice.net 115