Last week we began a journey through beautiful Macau, the former Portuguese colony just an hour away from Hong Kong by ferry. The first part of the Macau tour focused on the Portuguese buildings and the quiet, old fashioned side of Macau. We resume our tour today at the ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral in the heart of the tourist district to see the other, infamous side of Macau.
Just to remind you, we saw a dragon dance in front of the ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral.
We walked up the steps to the famous facade.
There's a brief detour to the left of the ruins that brings you into a little side street.
If you haven't had your fill of beautiful European-style houses, this is the place to look.
On the opposite side of the steps, you can climb up a hillside just past this yellow building.
At the top of the hill you'll find the Museum of Macau.
The museum is located on the site of a 16th century fortress, and it has an impressive collection of canons on the grounds.
From the top of the fortress you can get a really good look at the Grand Lisboa, the pineapple-shaped casino.
We made our way back down the fortress and through a crowded side street, where we found an old house that is open as a museum and exhibit space.
It is decorated in the most beautiful carved wood.
The crowds started to thin as we approached an old square. There's a pretty fountain on the right.
Beyond the yellow and blue fountain there's an open square with another fountain, marred only by the big screen on one of the buildings.
Opposite the screen, there's an old church.
You may find it a bit jarring, but when you leave this square you can head straight down the street to casino land.
The two casinos that dominate the main strip are the old Casino Lisboa (in orange) and the Grand Lisboa (in pineapple).
The casinos are incredibly opulent.
Inside the Grand Lisboa you'll find an incredible collection of priceless treasures.
The casino tycoon has a museum-quality collection of gilded, painted and jeweled antiques.
There are treasures inside the opulent entrance of the older Lisboa too.
You can't take pictures on the casino floor, but the most impressive bit is still the outside.
We left the Lisboas and headed over to the Wynn Macau.
There are two display areas in the Wynn that erupt into activity every half hour or so.
It starts with music and flashing lights, then the ceiling begins to open.
The disk in the center rotates and then opens like an egg.
A tree of fortune rises from the floor.
It reaches toward the ever-changing ceiling.
The tree changes to gold, at which point the audience starts throwing coins and gambling chips toward it. Eventually, it recedes back into the floor.
Thanks for coming back for the second part of the Macau tour. The walking tours will return to Hong Kong next time!