Party Likes It’s 1999 in Las Vegas and Macau

Which is better for partying: Las Vegas or Macau? In the early 1980s, the wonderful singer Prince published a song, “1999” with its iconic line “Let’s party like It’s 1999”. For those of my wonderful readers below the age of 40, the date and the concept may be old-fashioned but some people thought the world would end at the turn of the Millennium in 2000 so the best thing to do was party wildly at the end of 1999. As it so happens, 1999 was also the year that the Portuguese government turned over political control of Macau to the Peoples Republic of China. For adult fun and excitement, both Las Vegas and Macau are in a league all to their own. There are no other two cities in the world dedicated quite so much to relaxation, fun, wild partying and decadent living. But which one holds the top spot in Isabella’s heart?



Las Vegas and Macau are both shiny and new. They both have wonderfully iconic architecture that invites the world to relax and have fun. Vegas has casinos that celebrate Ancient Egypt, New York City, Paris, Venice and even the Stratosphere. Its age and background are manufactured. Las Vegas was incorporated in 1905 and was not developed extensively until after World War II and only really took off in the 1980s.

Visit las vegas

Eiffel wonderful when I’m in Las Vegas!

Meanwhile, Macau has a long and venerable history as a trading port having been turned over to the Portuguese by the Ming Dynasty in China in 1557. Despite its venerable age, Macau owes a lot to the development of Las Vegas as some of the same investors like Steve Wynn made their fortune in Las Vegas before building in Macau. Both Las Vegas and Macau share theme hotels like the Venetian.

Las Vegas is built in the middle of a desert. This means that the weather is hot and dry. Through much of the year, late mornings and early afternoons are spent lounging by the myriad of hotel pools recovering from the previous night’s fun.

Meanwhile, Macau is in the tropics and so tends to be warm and sticky. While you will still see guests by the pools, the beaches of Macau are a real attraction as well. The surroundings of Las Vegas have a plethora of thrilling natural sites. Las Vegas is surrounded by the picturesque Mojave Desert, including the iconic Death Valley. A bus ride or short helicopter trip delivers you to the Grand Canyon with its spectacular natural beauty.


Meanwhile, Macau has its sites much closer and right within the city. Senado Square, the Holy House of Mercy and Dominic’s Church are all conveniently close to the hotels. So, Las Vegas offers beautiful natural scenery and Macau provides historical and quaint sights.

visit macau

This church is just a shell of its former self!

Both Las Vegas and Macau offer incredible scenery but I’d have to give Las Vegas the edge over Macau. The weather is generally more comfortable in Las Vegas compared to steamy Macau and there is no denying the beauty of the American Southwest. On a scale of 1-10, I’d give Las Vegas an 8 (it’s way too hot in the summer) and Macau a 7 (I’m not a fan of sauna).


Restaurants and Food

As you might guess, both resort cities offer incredible cuisine options that fit the dietary requirements of anyone. What you might not expect is that both locations also offer good value for their food as the owners of the hotels would rather have their patrons spend their money at the gaming tables instead of the restaurants.

Las Vegas offers every range of food from comfort food at the diner “Denny’s” to high-end eateries like Spago’s, Cipriani’s and Capital Grille. Macau has similar high-end food outlets but Macau also offers the scenic Taipa Village where street food is fresh, spicy and wonderful! Both cities have their celebrity chefs and sometimes those chefs have outlets in both resorts.


street food

Take your (tooth) pick!

If you count value of food in terms of quantity, then Las Vegas offers incredible value. If you consider value to be related to food quality instead of quantity, then Macau is superior to its sister city. Both have great food but I would give Macau the edge. I’d rate Las Vegas as a 7 out of 10 (lots of fast food and waste) and Macau a 9 out of 10 (marked down because there is a MacDonald’s close to Senato Square).


The attraction of both cities are their spectacular casinos. After all, this is the reason for the prominence of both locations. Apart from casinos, however, both resorts boast incredible entertainment in the form of shows.

Bars that are themed to appeal to any interest are available in both locations and both offer exciting nightclubs for celebrating the winnings that so rarely accrue to guests. So, on the surface, both Las Vegas and Macau are relatively close on the nightlife comparison.


entertainment in las vegas and macau

Talk about extreme yoga moves!

Because of its proximity to the large consumer markets of the United States and Europe, the shows in Las Vegas offer popular and iconic entertainers, such stars as Elton John, Celine Dion, Barbara Streisand and notably Elvis. Meanwhile, with the huge population centre of Mainland China so close, the entertainers in Macau tend to be oriented to that market. Las Vegas seems to have the advantage.

For bars, however, I prefer Macau. Bars in Macau have a class and style that Las Vegas often lacks. Las Vegas offers themed bars designed to entertain like the Skyfall Lounge and the Ice Bar. Meanwhile, Macau offers upscale and trendy venues like China Rouge; one of my favourite bars in the entire world!

Both cities offer glamorous and exciting nightclubs. In this form of nightlife, the two cities are much harder to distinguish. In Las Vegas, my favourite nightclub is Hakkasan – which generates a cool Chinese décor and vibe. Meanwhile, in Macau, my favourite is Club Cubic which features European DJs and dance music. I’d count both cities equal in terms of late-night parties.

night life las vegas and macau

“Ground control to Major Tom”!

Choosing a winner on the nightlife front is difficult but I’d have to give Las Vegas the edge because of its shows. I prefer the bars of Macau but Las Vegas offers it all! I’d rate Las Vegas as a 10 out of 10 for nightlife and Macau a 9 out of 10. You can’t go wrong with either location!



Both Las Vegas and Macau offer outstanding hotels that are great value. Las Vegas offers big resorts and “statement” hotels that surround the casinos. Macau offers similar resorts – often under the same name and management as Las Vegas. However, Macau also offers incredible properties that are traditional and intimate in a city with the highest population density in the world.

Fans of Las Vegas will profess that hotels don’t need to be too nice because, “sleep is overrated”. It is certainly true that sleep deprivation is a common trait of most visitors!


las vegas mohave desert

Have mo’ of the Mojave!

My favourite hotels in Las Vegas are all huge resorts including Aria, Bellagio and the Venetian.

Meanwhile, my favourite properties in Macau are much more luxurious like the Altira Macau and the Four Seasons Macau. Both provide excellent service but Macau offers the impeccable hospitality and style of the Orient.

If you are looking for value with accommodation, then Las Vegas is a steal! If you plan on sleeping more than a few hours a night, though, I prefer Macau. This is a hard choice, but I’d rate Las Vegas a 9 out of 10 for accommodation (all properties are huge and lack personal service) but I’d also rate Macau a 9 out of 10 (nicer hotels can be expensive).







  • Convenient to reach
  • Beautiful scenery
  • Wonderful food options
  • Glamorous shows
  • Cool nightclubs
  • Inexpensive accommodations
  • Rich and interesting history brings authenticity
  • Food is excellent and street food is a wonderful experience
  • Wonderful bars and excellent nightclubs
  • Luxurious accommodations with perfect Asian service


  • Very hot in the summer
  • Lots of fast food gives the appearance of low-quality
  • Resorts are huge and service can be impersonal
  • Harder to reach for Americans and Europeans
  • Hot and sticky in the summer
  • Can be more expensive than Las Vegas


So, how do the two locations stack up for me? On an arithmetic basis, both locations score an equal and high 8.5 out of 10. That makes selecting a winner difficult. I’d have to choose Macau simply because it is more exotic than Las Vegas. Visiting Las Vegas is easy for a long weekend from most of the West whereas more time and effort is required to visit Macau.


Both locations are truly excellent and are worth a visit. So, my recommendation is to visit each one as often as possible!





2 Comments to “Party Likes It’s 1999 in Las Vegas and Macau”

  1. Only a small part of Macao is “shiny and new”. Most of Macao dates back at least a couple of hundred years and some of it is much older. As to entertainment, Adele is not, as stated, performing in Vegas and you have omitted the top show in Macao, the House of the Dancing Water. There is nothing like this is Vegas. As far as food is concerned, there is simply no compaarison at all. Macao’s cuisine is a fusion of European, Indian and Asian tastes, thanks to its maritime past. It has been recognised by UNESCO as a City of Creative Gastronomy and it is home to eighteen Michelin-starred restaurants.

    Mike Pickup at 3:49 pm
    1. Thank you for your comment, it is nice to hear from a superhero traveller sharing more tips and facts about our exciting destinations.

      Most appreciated,


      Isabella at 4:26 pm

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