On arrival at Macau went through immigration fairly quickly and then got the shuttle bus to the Venetian. This time it really was a shuttle. Saw a really impressive building with little towers and then the Venetian itself which was also really impressive. Small point the Rialto is supposed to be over water not a road.
Inside was sumptuous – doors were held open by Chinese Venetian Gondoliers. Had to queue a bit for reception but a lady brought round sweets and drinks. To the room. When I booked it the agent said they only do suites. Didn’t really take this in at the time. Wow – it has a bed with frilly curtains and a sofa and a table and chairs and 2 TVs and a Microwave and a Printer and fake period furniture! And olde maps of China!! Really with the bathroom this room was as big as my entire flat at home. I admit I spent 5 minutes just taking photos before I took a shower.
I decided to head downstairs and check out the Shoppes. Yes they are really spelled like that. A bit pricey on the whole. They have about 300.shops set around a series of fake canals. It was pretty obvious what was wrong with these. The water was crystal clear and you could see the bottom! they need to ship in some lagoon mud for an authentic effect. They also had wafts of air to try and convince you you were outside. Again it was missing the faint smell of sewage you get in Venice in the summer to be truly convincing. It also has a painted ceiling which on closer inspection has little holes in it – very Truman Show.
I decided to go across to Cotai Central to see if the Shoppes were any cheaper there – seemed to be even pricier. Ok let’s try the casinos. No poker and minimum blackjack bet is £30 a hand (there are places in Vegas where you can bet $3 per hand). Another thing different here is all the casino sections are screened off and have yellow uniformed security people – a bit like a cross between the Red Guards and Sue Pollard!
Baulked at the gambling cost so headed back to room and had a long hot soak in the tub. Looked at the net and gambling just as expensive in whole Cotai strip due to government laws but a bit cheaper in Macau proper (Cotai strip is reclaimed land between two islands off Macau proper).
Went to casino bus station. No buses to mainland casinos. Only possible bus Cotai Connection but couldn’t find out where it went to. thought lets give it a go. Out the hotel, along the road, round the roundabout, down the other side of the road and into the one with the small towers (the Galaxy).
Thought to myself, what I should do here is be like one of those pensioners who travels from Malvern to Skegness just using local buses. Found another bus to the Starwood. is that on the mainland? Yes it is and got a free information leaflet in Cantonese.