From HK to Macau

When coming back from Cheung Chau Island, I had an idea to go to Macau for the evening.  Ferries run all night, so after we got back we cleaned up and headed to the international ferry terminal.  We met Adam, ate sushi, went to the VIP room at the Sands (thanks Adam!) and taught Esther how to play Liar’s Dice, then went to the Grand Lisboa Hotel to check out the “shark tank.”  The next day Esther and I went to the Venetian and ate at Fat Burger (yum.)  We then went to the old part of Taipa, to the A-Ma Temple, and to the ruins of St. Paul.

I counted the stamps in my passport – this was my 10th trip to Macau!  It was the first trip that was entirely for fun though.

View from the Macau Dak Shack

I wasn’t so impressed with the Dak Shack – beds like plywood and no hot water! Adam lives a couple blocks away so we showered there. Hot water is a luxury you take for granted. Also, none of the apartments here have heat. It’s only about 60 degrees F but it’s damp, so it feels pretty chilly.

Saturday in Macau

Praia Avenue, Macau

Having a Bloody Mary at the Old Taipa Tavern. It was warm in the sun… perfect for a Saturday afternoon.

Thursday in Macau

A shrine by Adam’s apartment.

A cute little cupcake shop – with yummy cupcakes. We’re wondering how such a specialty shop can stay in business.

Jon doing fancy fingerwork playing Liar’s Dice.

Adam & Angela at the Irish Bar

The View

The View is the VIP lounge at the Sands Casino. Adam got a VIP card from a client, so we went there to hang out one night.

I had a strawberry margarita with chocolate. Yum.

We played Liar’s Dice most of the night.

New Year’s Eve – Macau

Adam’s girlfriend and our friend Angela is in Macau for a few weeks. We all decided to spend NYE and the weekend together.

I’d been helping the Grand Lisboa get the content ready for their big countdown party. I actually came down a day earlier than Jon to help Anthony program everything. Luckily, everything worked out great.

Fireworks over the harbor.

Puppy Potty

I thought this was interesting…

Replacement display

This is a display at the Sands Casino that is being replaced by a Daktronics HD 16 mm LED display. Right now they are removing the old one.

Bamboo scaffolding is used in all of the construction projects. Bamboo is extremely strong, but it is pretty unnerving to walk on it for the first few minutes because it gives. I didn’t have the best shoes on to be climbing the ladders with uneven steps, so I just went up a little bit. I understand now why all of the construction workers wear crocs or canvas shoes – they would grab the ladder better than the hard-soled steel toed boots I think they wear in the US.

Carefully lowering the old display piece by piece.

Macau scenes

Me by the bridge going to Taipei. This spot is just to the right of the Wynn. Somehow we got lost in an underpass just before this and discovered a pool and fountain in the parking garage of the Wynn!

Adam was amazed by the scaffolding here – maybe bamboo, hanging over the street and no harnesses are OSHA approved?

Macau trip

I spent almost a week in Macau and Zhuhai.

Wednesday Pete and I met a client for supper at the casino who she is the brand manager for. We ate the Japanese restaurant there, and it was one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever had! The chef gave us a starter that was a rose bowl covered with wax paper. We peeled the paper off and it started smoking, as if there were dry ice in it. It smelled like a very fragrant wood smoke, and in the bottom was smoked salmon with a special sauce.

The client loves sashimi (raw fish) even more than I do. We had a great platter that included blowfish and a fish with huge eyes (I can’t remember the name), plus the standard tuna and such. We also had Oumi beef, which is similar to Kobe, but even better according to the chef. (Yes, the chef cooked special dishes for us that weren’t even on the menu.) He also showed us the certificate that proved it was Oumi. He said many places may claim they have Kobe or Oumi, but they don’t have the proof. It was the most amazing beef I have EVER had. By far. (Sorry Dad!) The next morning she told us the bill was a bit more than expected – she implied that the beef alone was somewhere between $300 – $400 USD!! Of course she was way too polite to ever tell us what it actually was.

For more information on Oumi beef, click here. If you are in China, click here. (It’s the same site, but on Blogspot so it is blocked on the mainland.)

Friday night we went out for dinner with the Macau office.

Adam, Jon, Dan, Anthony, Carol, Rosa, Yvonne, Geoffrey and Pete at an Italian restaurant.

Pete, I and Dan at a bar in Taipei (another island in Macau.)

I somehow managed to lose my voice on Tuesday, and it was gone for an entire week! When we saw the “Hear no Evil, Speak no Evil, See no Evil” monkeys, we had to take a photo. Pete was tired of hearing the girls all week, and I couldn’t talk, so it was easy for us to be like the monkeys!


I was in Macau the last week of November again.

These were a couple of the first Christmas trees I saw. The neon is pretty typical for Macau.

Macau was a Portuguese colony for years. They arrived in the 16th century, so the city has a European feel too. This alley was very European and it had a fountain at the end. We ate at a French restaurant near here.

This is a park-thing outside of the Grand Lisboa.

Axel, Anthony, Rosa and Carol in the elevator of the Galaxy. The Galaxy has the worst LED display in the whole world, I think. About half of the pixels on it are dead!

Macau – The Venetian

The Venetian Macau just opened a few months ago. Abram, Yvonne and I went to check it out for a few hours. They Wynn Macau was the first hotel/casino to bring Las Vegas style to Macau, and the Venetian definitely continued that tradition.

We also did go to a Chinese casino for a few minutes because I wanted to see a casino other than the huge, foreign-owned ones. It was small, with only card games, and we were the only white people there. Everyone stared for a while at us and then we left.

The Venetian has four canals with gondolas. I read that they are also going to have Chinese junks floating in them too.

One of the halls. Besides gambling, the place has hundreds of shops and restaurants. Really, the only thing you could do here is spend money.

This is outside where the taxis drop people off. It’s an amazingly efficient system of six to eight lanes of taxis.

It has the largest gaming floor in the world. Abram snapped this photo before the security guards told him he couldn’t. The place is just massive.

The Venetian also has a few Dak displays! One (double-sided) out front, one at the bus depot and four inside of the arena.

More photos from Macau

I am really playing catch up tonight. These were from about a month ago.

Dan, Geoffrey (Macau senior project manager), me in my qipao (traditional Chinese dress) which I had made at the fabric market, and Axel (sales guy that lives in Hong Kong.)

Rosa, an intern with a Japanese name (sorry I can’t remember) and Veronica.

Andy, Pete Egart (Keyframe manager from the USA) and Abram.

Macau Tower

This is the Macau Tower. Geoffrey used to work here, and the photo below was taken in a restaurant there. (on the first floor) You can bungee jump, skywalk, climb, and do all of these adventure things at the top. Geoffrey’s jumped off of the thing many times and a bunch of other Dak people have too!

I am in Macau right now. Abram and I arrived Monday evening and met Pete Egart, our manager from the USA. We are meeting with some casinos with our displays about content and will be sending proposals to them later. Yvonne (the other KF account exec) also flew in tonight. This is a photo from lunch. (photo from Axel’s camera) I think it is the entire office staff from Macau plus us and Dan from Shanghai.

Macau street

Macau is the Las Vegas of the East. It is so interesting to see the Chinese take on Vegas!! A huge difference is the many prostitutes all over… but then again, they are in “barber shops” all over mainland China too. The places they conduct their business have barber poles on the outside, but the windows are mostly covered.

This street reminds me of photos I’ve seen of Tokyo because of all of the neon. I used a long shutter speed to capture some movement across the street. Yvonne pointed out that everyone was staring at me. She thought it was because of my camera, but it may have been that, plus I’m white, plus I was wearing a tank top… It went beyond staring to opening gawking, I think.

Wynn Macau

Abram, I and Pete Egart (Keyframe Manager from the USA) went to Macau to visit some of our customers there.

Keyframe did this animation and Daktronics made the display, including the lighting effects around it. They aren’t just lighting effects but capable of video too.

The water show doesn’t get nearly as much attention as the one at the Bellagio in Vegas. It is really cool though.

Grand Lisboa

The Grand Lisboa is pretty sweet. It’s this giant egg that is covered in our ProPuck product. Abram did all of the original content and we created a proposal for more after we got back from Macau. Since it is a pretty low-res screen, we have create the content using certain guidelines.

A close up of the ProPucks. Each dot is the size of a hockey puck, and has about 20 LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) in it. It’s pretty cool that the whole building is a video screen.


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