A Night In Macau

Macau is now boffo, big wicket, the wiseguys at Variety Magazine might say. When I first ferried across from Hong Kong in the 1980s, Macau was a Portuguese colonial backwater with mid-sized plans to restore its architectural heritage. It did so beautifully. But plans became more than a touch grandiose after Portugal ceded it to China and in 2010 Macau belts “Look at me now!” Money fleeing Las Vegas is placing its bets here. Macau is out Vegasing Vegas already in gambling revenues and if you look at the otherworldly palaces rising from under the construction cranes, it may outbuild it as well.

I stayed for a week last month at The Venetian, a hotel-casino that makes the one in Las Vegas look like a Motel Six, witnessed the preview of a spectacular US$250 million water show called “The House of Dancing Water,” similar to Cirque du Soliel’s “O” but more engaging, I think, went to visit the family jewels (the Ho family, who controlled gambling in Macau for decades) including a 216 carat diamond, took a stroll through the old Portuguese quarter under the glow of holiday Chinese lanterns and ended the night with a bang at the Macau International Fireworks competition.

Sri Lanka: As Green as it Gets

The video takes you from the sea at Negombo to Vil Ulyana , a stunning eco-friendly resort on the plain near the rock fortress Sigiria, with its lusty lady cave paintings, the ruins of the ancient kingdom of Polonnaruwa, the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, the Temple of the Tooth at Kandy, a look at ficus the size of a house, then up into the mountains at Hunas Falls and the tea plantatons of Nuwara Eliya. 

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