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Tripping Macau

The boss sent Chuckmoster to Macau to see what the deal was with Asia's Las Vegas. He returned smitten and poured his love it into creating the world's first guide to Macau casinos. This was his blog until we invited long time contributor and Macau expert Dramman join the team. Hi.

220, 221... Whatever It Takes

» posted by Chuckmonster
  on 2 Feb 2016

Electricity in Macau runs at 220-240 volts, twice the voltage as in North America. This is great news if you need to plug in a washing machine, jacuzzi or pool filter pump, but not so great news if you're hauling around computers, phones, tablets, video equipment, cameras and rechargeable batteries that are attuned to 110 volt outlets.

During my last trip in 2007, I came to Macau ill-prepared with a 110-220 wall wart power adapter. It instantly torched my Lithium battery recharger adding US$10 additional expense (and effort) procuring disposable camera batteries. The brand new MacBook I bought just for the trip would get red hot within 10 minutes of being plugged in to charge. I managed to nurse this rickety set up through the rest of the trip by engaging in very short bursts of laptop charging and buying US$10 worth of disposable batteries to power my camera every day.

With new laptops, phones, tablets, watches, cameras and the rest of my modern devices needing constant charge, I'm not taking any chances with voltage.

GEEKPRO 200W Travel Power Converter 110V ~220V With 4 ports Smart USB Charger With Shockproof Bag - $42.99 via Amazon.

There are a variety of travel converters available, but this one offers the most options for the technophile. The power strip features three wide-spaced USA 110v plugs, four Smart USB outlets (more on that in a sec), outlet adapters for travel in EU, UK (including Hong Kong and Macau), China and Australia and use in the USA. The first three of the Smart USB jacks output amperage that will work for all phones and pro level tablets. The fourth USB is just for lower amperage devices... phones/watches and the like. Unlike the wall wart transformers, this device acts like an extension cord, putting usable power outlets where you need them, not under a desk or behind a nightstand. Plus the whole thing comes in a handy dandy travel case.

These devices WILL NOT work with hair dryers, flat irons or curling irons.

As with any and all extended travel, weight is a concern. The GEEKPRO® 200W Travel Power Converter ships at 1.5lbs, same as the original iPad or the new Pro models. The weight could probably be reduced a slight bit by leaving the box, instruction manual, EU and Australian adapters at home.

The BESTEK 200W International Travel Converter 220V to 110V with 6A Max 4 USB Ports is also a neat device. It does not come with a tidy carrying case and the USB adapters are 2.4a (tablet) and 1.0a (phone) pairs as opposed to all being "smart." It costs US$2 less.

Flights Booked, Thank You Hopper!

» posted by Chuckmonster on 5 Jan 2016

Since the previous post about using the Hopper app to track down the best hotel rates, I've been getting periodic notifications from the app that better rates were on the horizon. Prices rose to $1200 for flights from Los Angeles to Hong Kong on two sets of dates I had been eyeballing.

Hopper sent me a notification that cheaper flights could be found if I changed my departure date as well as switched destination airport from Hong Kong (HKG) to Macau (MFM). Flying directly in to Macau means the last leg - taking a ferry from HK to Macau - can be eliminated. Hooray! For whatever reason, I didn't accept Hopper's suggestions and kept my flight watch details intact. Hopper told me to keep waiting for a better deal.

Hopper Suggestions

On January 2nd, Hopper notified me that it had found a "good price" for the LAX->HKG and that I should "book now."

Hopper Result

Woowoo! I immediately roped in the boss (my wife, who told me to use Hopper to begin with) and showed her the notification. We talked about it for a bit and opted to wait a day or so before pulling the trigger.

Tracking Airfares To Hong Kong With Hopper

» posted by Chuckmonster on 20 Nov 2015

Two months before I last went to Macau, I bought a brand new smartphone - a Palm Treo 780 - which, at the time was a hot shit device. It had a keyboard, a touch sensitive screen and a stylus to tap the tiny buttons. It was the only smartphone phone on the market that had any degree of interoperability with Apple products. I've been an Apple user since I was in 7th grade - 1982. I don't feel old.

In the three months I had the Palm Treo 780, I had already had it repaired because the screen cracked. I also couldn't get the Handspring app store to work properly. I primarily used it to check email and post photos to Flickr. Only a few months later, Apple introduced the iPhone, which, as you probably know, changed literally everything.

Wynn Palace Delayed Until June 25, 2016

» posted by Chuckmonster on 18 Nov 2015

Wynn Resorts announced today that the grand opening of Wynn Palace has been pushed back until June 25, 2016. The reason given is that construction contractor Leighton (whose lawyers recently sent our sister site VegasTripping a nastygram threatening cease and desist over this) will be unable to complete the property in time.

This is bad news for Wynn as the opening of their big resort has been delayed until after Chinese New Year. This is even worse news for Leighton as they lose out on the completion guarantee bonus for delivering the resort on time. Eeek!

Viva Macau! (Part Deux)

» posted by Chuckmonster on 10 Nov 2015

And so it begins... again.

Eight and a half years ago, on July 15 2007, I wrote and published the first blog post for MacauTripping. The plan was simple, in three months I would learn as much as I could about Macau - who owns what casino, what the hell am I going to do, where am I going to stay, how I would get there and when I would go.

MGM Cotai Renderings Revealed

» posted by Chuckmonster on 18 Jun 2013

MGM Resorts International released a number of renderings of the upcoming MGM Cotai project to investors.

The design theme builds on the layer cake design of MGM Grand Macau, but arranged into a tower of lucky 8 individual of jewel boxes and one glass atrium between the top two.

The window patterns are fascinating. I'll bet they don't exactly come out this way as meticulously framing the glass in these panes will cost a fortune and take a long long time.

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Recent Comments:

Chuckmonster posted: "Haha. Yeah... could be a little lighter, but I suspect that the housing has to be rigid enough to..."
» on 220, 221... Whatever It Takes...
elginhan posted: "Very cool. Hopefully subsequent iterations of this thing come down in weight in the coming years. You need to go light...."
» on 220, 221... Whatever It Takes...
Chuckmonster posted: "Funny you should ask that. I've continued to keep Hopper searching for rates for various date and arrival airport..."
» on Flights Booked, Thank You Hopper!...
elginhan posted: "I'm gonna check out Hopper, but I do wonder if it really did get you the best deal given that..."
» on Flights Booked, Thank You Hopper!...
Chuckmonster posted: "To @ccs and everyone else who has asked. JOIN ME! ..."
» on Viva Macau! (Part Deux)...
canadiancrapshooter posted: "OMG, OMG, OMG, where do I sign up?? Seriously though, I'd love to head over. Not 100% sure if the dates..."
» on Viva Macau! (Part Deux)...
jimmybond posted: "is it just me or do the window/siding patterns look an awful lot like the Hakkasan MGM rendering that was..."
» on MGM Cotai Renderings Revealed...
VegasMatt posted: "How about that corner of Las Vegas Blvd and Sahara that MGM Resorts owns and has been vacant for years?..."
» on MGM Cotai Renderings Revealed...


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