Friday, 12 December 2008

Venice in Macau

Leaving Hong Kong for Macau turned out to be quite an adventure. I thought we would load up into a van and head for our Macau hotel. Wrong! A prearranged SUV picked us from the hotel but only to the ferry. From then on, the merry band of six became fully engaged in the dragging 4 golf bags and 7 pieces of luggage to and from ferries and two sets of immigration.After what seemed to be an endless 27-hole walking course of water hazards, ferry ramps and escalators, without golf trolleys or caddies, we finally reached our destination.
Undaunted by the trek, we showered and headed for the much talked about Venetian for a look see. Our taxi rolled up to the entrance, which was a ten-lane drop off, with valets and luggage trolleys waiting in readiness for hotel guests. Where were these guys when we needed them earlier?
Palatial would be the word to describe the The Venetian. The ornate opulent decor mimicked roman splendour from marble floors to frescoed ceilings.
All passages lead to the heart of the complex, the casino, architecturally designed such that it is impossible to miss or avoid.
Friendly signs cajole you on, providing counselling services if it all goes wrong.
In true Monopoly form, YOU CANNOT PASS GO BEFORE YOU ENTER THE CASINO, an area covering at least one and a half football fields. If you do stop off at the casino, be warned, you may never get to the shops, theatre or restaurants beyond. Discovery is a ravenous activity and we were ready for a good meal. We opted for the chic Italian restaurant over the hip Deco Cafe.

In daylight the Venetian would look like this . . .

. . . but in the evening it is transformed to a fairyland.Shops stretch from North to South, East to West along canals ala Venice. With a painted blue sky and fluffy white clouds you can shop in perpetual bliss and may even take a gondola ride to complete the fantasy.

Better still, all the shops were having massive reductions, anything from 30% to 70% for the picking. On hind sight, we should have opted for the quickie meal at Cafe Deco and spend more time in the shops.I had done some research before the trip and found out that ZAIA is a resident show by Cirque du Soleil presented exclusively at The Venetian Macau. Tickets were available for the next evening at 10% discount. Take note there is no discount for Internet purchases. ZAIA is the dream of a young girl who journeys into space on a strange, yet familiar voyage of self-discovery. The team of skillful acrobats and dancers, creative acrobatic choreographers, rigging and equipment designers who work in tandem with lighting and projection designers put together a show of spectacular athleticism and artistic eclecticism.

The minds eye is continuously bombarded with streams of intricate motions, flowing costumes in muted hues blended with 3D projections of meteor storms and swirling galaxies in presentation after presentation of perfection.
The technical prowess is evident in the self-supporting 2,300-kg sphere in center stage disappearing into the stage from time to time and the video sculpture that projects images in a 360-degrees radius using six projectors mounted inside it. This mosaic of images sometimes turns the sphere into a planet, the Earth or the Moon.The next day we heard that the other two golfers explored The Sands Casino.
More shops, restaurants and Las Vegas-like cabaret shows that were free of charge.The biggest surprise is that there is more to Macau than meets the eye. Its not all about casinos and gambling as you will find out in the next episode.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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