My 5: The Venetian Macau.

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1. The Venetian Hotel & Casino, February 2018. If you’ve only got time to see two or three of Macau’s monster hotels, then you’ll almost certainly be saving a spot for The Venetian. Opened in the summer of 2007 as a sister venue to the world famous Las Vegas casino, it’s actually China’s version that now scoops bragging rights. After all, this is the largest casino in the world, the biggest single structure hotel in Asia and the seventh largest building on the planet. Take THAT America.

2. The Venetian Hotel & Casino, February 2018. Everything about The Venetian screams of sparkly luxuriousness. This main lobby sums up the vibe perfectly, where a huge gold-plated sculpture holds court between the glossy marble floor and Italian-art-adorned ceiling. In between the giant pillars, look out for the glass panels featuring brand ambassador David Beckham. “The Venetian Macau is ****ing” great!” says his I can’t believe how much they’re paying me for this smile.

3. The Venetian Hotel & Casino, February 2018. There are glitzy mask sculptures and statues peppered throughout the 39-floor complex. And while these are just a few of the artistic flourishes, it all plays second fiddle to what essentially feels like Earth’s biggest shopping mall. In fact, The Venetian Macau boasts a whopping 3000 stores spread out across 149.000 square meters of retail space. “Soulless isn’t it?” observed Wonderboy and it was hard to disagree. UNTIL that is, we came across a Marks & Spencer’s food shop. OH. MY. GOD. Which frankly felt like an under reaction after a culinary year in Mainland China.

4. The Venetian Hotel & Casino, February 2018. The hotel features several replica Italian piazzas. This is St. Mark’s Square, stuffed full of ridiculously expensive branded clothing stores and a similarly wallet-splitting restaurant called Vergano. We ended up eating at McSorley’s Irish Pub on Deck B, where I enjoyed the most expensive Bangers & Mash I’ve ever had. It was alright.

5. The Venetian Hotel & Casino, February 2018. Anyone heading to The Venetian will want to get some gondola action, even if it’s just watching families bob along from one of the many bridges. Most of the gondoliers are foreigners (non-Chinese), which must be a big selling point for domestic tourists. One of them, a portly Scandinavian looking girl, was belting out an opera tune that could be heard for streets away. She was amazing, probably the most impressive thing from the whole experience. A private gondola ride, with about six seats on offer, goes for 528MOP (£47 53 $65).

For more on my time in this amazing corner of China, check out my other articles on Macau.

Like these? Then why not leaf through my many other 5s from across China.

I’ve also written a short story series called Challenged in China.

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