Nightlife & the Arts in Macau
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Old movies, countless novels, and gossip through the years have portrayed Macau's nightlife as a combustible mix of drugs, wild gambling, violent crime, and ladies of the night. Up until the 1999 handover back to mainland China, this image of Macau was mostly accurate, and worked to drive away tourists.
Outside of the casinos and a few restaurants, today's Macau shuts down after 11 pm. You can slip into any dark, elegant lounge bar inside the larger hotels and enjoy live music and expensive cocktails, but don't expect much energy or big crowds. And most late-night saunas are glorified brothels, with "workers" from China, Vietnam, Thailand, and Russia. Because casino-hotel lounges often double as coffee shops in the morning or around midday, some "nightlife" hot spots may open as early as 7 am.
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