A month before my immanent visa run, a friend mentioned cheap flights to Bali for a mere £150 notes. I figured, if I am forced by some brutal regime to flee the country so frequently for ludicrous visa runs, I may as well try to visit some countries (or territories) I’ve never been to. Bali sounded like a good option so I got busy trying to blag secure a complimentary hotel - oh the perks of being a travel writer.
By the time I’d managed to arrange a free stay in some deluxe poolside hut, the prices of flights to Bali had tripled, and in doing so killed any chance of heading there for my cheap escape.
Looking for an affordable b-plan – other than the cheapest and least appealing option of returning to Mongolia – I opted to head south for the warmth of Macau. I secured two nights at the Conrad Sands, and two nights at the Sheraton just next door – cunningly getting me out of town from Monday to Friday; I’d be back in time for Friday’s club action.
Anywho, as I arrived at the former Portuguese colony’s Conrad hotel they attempted to charge me roughly £200. Resisting the urge to rinse the ‘don’t-you-know-who-I-am angle’, I advised him to check with the management as this wasn’t a charge I was expecting – all the while shitting myself about getting stranded in this sleazy Las Vegas inspired copy-cat town. The young trainee, sweaty and nervously stuttering, came almost bowing to me apologising for the mix up and tapped frantically on the computer to switch my room to a smoking room.
At the age of 36, and heading to my first gambling-tourist hotspot, I was shown up to the 36th floor to room 636. My flight number had a few 8’s in it actually – a lucky number in China. Maybe this should be my time to start gambling. I’ve never placed a bet in my life I think; at least not a real one. I’ve done stupid dares at school, or playing some card game for peanuts, but I’ve never played any slot machines and I, thankfully, have no idea how to play poker.
The Conrad itself was immaculate, as was the Sheraton to be fair. They didn’t miss a single luxury detail. Rated 5* by Forbes as “one of the [only] hotels in the world [that] has everything a luxury traveller could desire.” As I arrived in the suite I could see why.
Both suites had more rooms than I had clean underwear. Tough decisions would have to be made over the next few nights deciding which of the bathrooms I should use – and, crucially, in which order.
Alas, while in the former Portuguese colony I managed to cram in some vital sight-seeing, but I’ll save that for another blog. Check out the pics from that little adventure in my Macau Photo Gallery.