There are many alternatives to Las Vegas, but it’s a tough destination to replace.

Some consider fellow Nevadan city Reno as a mini ‘Vegas’, while Atlantic City has given their best shot to become an East Coast entertainment hub.

Unfortunately, to no avail. Las Vegas is just hard to compete with as it’s truly iconic and world renowned.

Yet, there is one sensational place in Asia that is most comparable, and you don’t have to buy overpriced tickets to see famous entertainers in their golden years.

Well, at least not ones you’ve heard of…

Instead, you can make good use of your money by purchasing an international flight to the ‘Las Vegas’ of Asia for a thrilling adventure.

Despite a new travel advisory being issued by the U.S. State Department, recent reports show more U.S. travelers aren’t letting safety concerns stop them from making their way to Macau.

Not A First-Time Offender

Downtown Macau skyline

Say what you want about visiting mainland China, but Macau operates as a SAR (special administrative region), unlike Beijing, Shanghai, and any other city under Chinese rule not named Hong Kong.

That being said, travelers have had fair warning not once, but twice, about the risks of visiting countries associated with China’s regime.

Last summer, we published a story about a prior advisory issued for travelers visiting Macau. Since then, visitor numbers have surged significantly, especially for Americans and Canadians.

Truth be told, not much has changed since then in terms of Macau’s outlook, so what is the appeal for U.S. travelers?

Beyond The Glitz And Glamour

Cultural village in Macau

As we live in a world glued to our devices, it’s hard to fight temptation, giving in to all the shiny new things.

But that’s quickly forgotten when we get a reality check, like the insane floods of Dubai right now. The Burj Khalifa just isn’t the same when you’re knee-deep in water, right?

The same principal applies for Macau. As mesmerizing as Macau is visually, the city is also an important historical figure and jam-packed with culture unlike the bright lights of Vegas, which was founded much, much later in 1905.

Even then, the famous Strip wasn’t formed until the 1940s. Macau is not just casinos, neon lights, and gimmicky attractions.

People riding scooters down narrow street in Macau

There is a whole other side to explore, as the city’s beautiful architecture and buzzing streets will simultaneously open your eyes to a new culture and take you back in time.

Whereas if you steer clear from the bright lights of Vegas, maybe you find some more chain restaurants or perhaps run into the ‘mole people’ of the city’s vast tunnel systems.

You just never know what you’ll find in Sin City, but it’s certainly not sensory overload as hard as they may try by mimicking Paris, New York City, and Venice.

Macau gives foreigners a sense of adventure while also having many of the same perks as Vegas to enjoy as a grown-up’s playground.

Is Macau Safe? Risk Versus Reward

The Londoner Resort in Macau

There’s no doubt all travelers, not just Americans, come to Macau for a good time. At the end of the day, that’s what Macau is selling.

Here, tourists will discover much of the same as Vegas, with name-brand casinos, high-end restaurants, and a variety of entertainment.

As enticing as Macau is to visit, with 2 travel advisories issued in the past year, it’s only right to wonder if it’s safe for tourists.

You may not know Macau has deep Portuguese roots and has only been under Chinese rule for 24 years, hence why many streets give tourists European vibes.

Wynn Casino in Macau

Crazy, right? There definitely weren’t any serious travel concerns back in 1999, but so much has changed since then.

The U.S. State Department hasn’t issued advisories for Macau based on what you may find in other destinations, like petty crime and gang activity.

The situation specific to Macau is just more unpredictable in the sense of arbitrary enforcement of laws.

For what it’s worth, Hong Kong (another SAR) has been designated Level 2 while Macau is deemed riskier at Level 3.

Since as many of the 580,000 visitors in January and February are Americans, there have been no horror stories making headlines regarding the unfair treatment of Western tourists.

Senado Square in Macau

With tensions rising across the globe, ultimately it’s up to travelers to decide if Macau is truly risky or just another pawn in what seems to be an endless political chess match.

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