Macau: A Larger than Life Spectacle

October 15, 2010

This will be my third and final post about Hong Kong.  Today’s post will actually focus on Macau, an island that is a 1 hour ferry ride from Hong Kong.  Macau is best known as the Vegas of Southeast Asia, full of eye-popping shows, gold-plated everything and poker tables galore.  Nick and I aren’t into gambling, but we did enjoy wandering around the city taking in each of the beautiful venues.

These 3 shots were taken in the Venetian.  It is nearly identical to the one in Vegas, although rumored to be 4 times the size.  Haven’t been to the one in Vegas, so I can’t set the record straight today.  It was lovely though — my camera was happily clicking away!

The highlight of our day was seeing a production at the City of Dreams Complex called The House of Dancing Water.  Here’s a quick 1 minute overview of the show so that you can get a sense of what it was like.

We purchased our tickets late in the game, so only expensive ones were left (a little over $100 US).  Honestly though, in my opinion it was well worth the cost.  With a price tag of $250 million to create, the show was like nothing I have ever seen (and is touted as the most technically-advanced show in existence).

It had elements of the circus we saw in Shanghai (namely acrobatics, contortionists and motorcyclists) and aspects of Cirque de Soleil (aerialists, gymnastics), yet it also added in new aspects like diving, dance and a fountain show.  At times there was so much going on that I got overwhelmed trying to determine where to focus my attention for fear that I’d miss something.

What was most impressive was the stage.  One fun fact about the stage, it was designed by I.M. Pei’s son!  Pretty cool that Dad did the Louvre architecture and now the Son has created a 1-of-a-kind performance venue…

Quite honestly, even if there were no people in the show, I would have paid to just see the stage do tricks.  It was mind-blowing watching what it could do.  And just in case the ground show wasn’t enough, there was often an aerial element going on as well.

At various points throughout the show, the stage:

  • became a diving tank that divers leaped into from 100 feet up
  • had structures like the ‘galleon’ (3 photos up) that rose out of the water
  • became a stable, dry platform that motorcycles drove on
  • had fountains shoot out of it (above photo)
  • lit up (2 photos up)
  • had performers disappear into the water, never to come up again (I’m still trying to work that one out, maybe scuba gear and an escape hatch down below?)


Before I end this post, just wanted to give you another video that takes you ‘behind the scenes’.  It’s really fascinating to see how it all comes together.  I always enjoy knowing how the magic happens…

Truly, this show was like nothing I have ever seen before.  And since it requires a unique stage to support it, if you’re going to Hong Kong/Macau, it makes sense to see it now, since it’s never going to be a travelling production.  I’m so glad we splurged and I hope you will too if you have the chance!

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  1. eve says:

    great posts from your latest adventure. I think the two of you take more advantage of local travel opportunities than anyone else I’ve stumbled upon! I loved the post about dialogue in the dark, even as a reminder to slow down and notice things. I am always working on that. and congratulations on your new post. Manila to Lima? Can’t say I’m not a little jealous… (working on that too)

  2. becksmex says:

    Wow. That is truly amazing. I hope that I get the chance to see that someday! Thank you for sharing! As a small community theater director, I am amazed at what can be done. If only I had 250 million…. :)

    Thank you!

    Any idea how long the show will be running? Is it permanent or temporary?

  3. Katrina Buetow says:

    Wow Sarah, this is truly amazing! What a once in a life time experience to be able to see something like this. Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. sarahlynn60 says:

    Yeah, it really was incredible. I’m glad you liked seeing it!

  5. sarahlynn60 says:

    Yeah, 250M goes a long way… I sense that it will be there for quite some time so that they can recoup their investment. It took something like 3 years to create, so my guess is that it’ll be here at least 5 years.

  6. sarahlynn60 says:

    Thanks for your comment Eve, that means a lot to me to have you say that. I really do my best to take advantage of this blessed life that we’re living right now. Looking forward to seeing some more comments from you! And yes, we’re getting quite excited for Lima. Where are you located currently? I just found you on FB, so look for my friend invite. Cheers, Sarah

  7. eve says:

    We are still in dc. Language training before we head to Angola in march. It is brutal. I started with him and dropped to distance learning after 8 weeks of full time. I just had too much on my plate. You plan to study w nick?

  8. sarahlynn60 says:

    Very cool Eve. I had some Spanish in high school and college, so I plan to take the short course as a refresher.

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