Anyone that was planning to head east for Celine Dion’s Asia Tour will surely be aware by now that the whole shebang has been cancelled. Both Celine and her husband have suffered from health problems in recent months, and her career is currently on hold while they deal with it all. However, for anyone that had already bought flights for the trip of a lifetime to Macau, there’s every reason to stick to the plan. Macau is an amazing city with a unique cultural mix, and the Cotai Arena – where CD’s show was to take place – is a superb venue that’s hosted the Stones, Rihanna and Lady Gaga in recent years.
Bigger Than Vegas!
Macau has also overtaken Las Vegas as the casino capital of the world, with The Venetian, home of the Cotai Arena, being the seventh largest gaming house on the planet. It’s a thoroughly modern city with Wi-Fi everywhere, so if you find casino gambling a little intimidating at first, you can try your luck online with Euro Palace slots while you munch on a Portuguese egg tart at one of the amazing street food stalls. Here we’ll look at some of the many other reasons to visit this Asian wonderland.
The Cotai is a superb 360-degree arena that seats up to 13,500 depending on the show. As well as international and local rock acts, the venue hosts regular sports events including a welterweight boxing bout between Manny Pacquiao and Chris Algieri in late November. Upcoming concerts at the Cotai include K-Pop legends 2NE1, South Korea’s biggest girl group.
The Venetian itself is a stand-alone destination if you want it to be, with decent offers on accommodation and plenty of luxurious suites. There are also around 30 restaurants and cafes, a spa, a gym and a pool. But to really experience the city you’ll need to get out onto the streets. There are masses of live music venues here, as you’d expect in such a huge casino town. Choose between cover bands playing every night at the Bellini Lounge, or international acts including bands from Canada and the US at the MGM Grand, which doesn’t close its doors until 5am.
Macau’s history as a Portuguese colony has created a uniquely mixed cultural heritage, noticeable in both the food – like the above-mentioned Egg Tarts as well as the ubiquitous Pork Chop Buns – and the architecture. Make sure you have time to visit Senado Square and the ruins of St Paul’s Cathedral to check out the European influence; the Ming-era A-Ma Temple, and of course some amazing street food, redress the balance towards Cantonese culture.