They strap you to your seats, turn the lights off so the whole theater turns pitch black, and—just as you start to wonder what comes next—your seats begin to rise.
All around you, dark and menacing Gotham City comes to life in the 4D flight simulation ride Batman Dark Flight in Studio City Macau.
You hear Gotham hero Batman telling you things both worrisome and reassuring as he takes you on a hair-raising ride through the streets and above or between buildings—sometimes narrowly missing objects, flying up and plunging down while the city burns and explodes, to battle villains and bring you to safety.
Fontaine de Mers
A replica of this iconic fountain greets guests at the cavernous Parisian lobby. Above it is a dome with classical paintings.
Roller coaster rides scare me so I avoid them at all cost and I went into the Batman Dark Flight ride thinking it would be similar to my previous 4D theater experiences. Boy, was I wrong.
My first time in Macau some years back was through a ferry ride out of Hong Kong, but it’s now easier to travel to this special administrative region of China with Cebu Pacific Air direct flights from Cebu.
Since my first visit was just a day trip added to our Hong Kong itinerary, our must-go list consisted only of The Venetian Macau and Senado Square. We had to rush both.
Macau’s many casinos, currently over 40, have earned it the nickname “Las Vegas of Asia.” The biggest ones along the Cotai Strip are equalled only by the fancy hotels and plush clubs.
Ruins of St. Paul
Another facet of this vibrant city, one that traces back 300 years of Portuguese rule and influence, we discovered through the Macau Sightseeing Day Tour booked through Klook. Discounted down to a little over P3,000, the tour came with transport and buffet lunch and allowed us to cover most of Macau’s top attractions.
Our outing took us through the taste, sounds, and sights of old Macau with its mix of Chinese and Portuguese culture. Our guide regaled us with the idiosyncrasies of its rich and famous, pointed out the best souvenir shops, and enumerated delicacies that had us looking for soup, egg tarts, dim sum, and pork chop buns even late at night.
We didn’t just check out the Ruins of St. Paul, once a 16th century Portuguese church, we learned how the colonizers made it acceptable to the Macanese by building it with steps that summed up to the Chinese lucky number of 68.
Within Senado Square, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as it forms part of the Historic Centre of Macau, our guide led us along ancient cobbled streets with their names inscribed on Portuguese tiles, through buildings with European features, and to the other 16th-century St. Dominic’s Church.
Through the Macau Sightseeing Day Tour, we had time for The Venetian with its replicas of Venice’s top sights: St. Mark’s Square, the Grand Canal, and ornate Venetian architecture. Of course, The Venetian also hosts Macau’s biggest casino.
A brief stop at the Macau Tower was also included in our itinerary. We had time to go up the tower and even bungee jump if we so wished.
The Macau Sightseeing Day Tour also brought us to the 14th century A-Ma Temple, one of three famous Buddha halls in Macau. It was along a sea promontory near this temple that the Portuguese landed in Macau over 400 years ago.
We took our lunch at a local restaurant that provides a buffet menu of Macanese and Portuguese food. It was there that I had my first taste of the popular Portuguese soup caldo verde.
Day 2 of our short trip was reserved for two top Macau activities: the 4D flight simulation ride Batman Dark Flight and Golden Reel Ferris Wheel.
The ferris wheel is shaped like a figure 8 suspended 130 meters high up Studio City’s facade. Make sure to schedule your ride on a clear day to make the most of the views from the glass cabins.
Flying with Batman was a different kind of experience. They don’t just rush you into the activity, they prep you first by herding you into a holding room where you get a primer from Batman on the situation you’re in. For a moment, you get this crazy idea that whatever was going to happen will take place in that room and that made it even more scary.
Photos of our Macau trip
On our second day in Macau, we had lunch at Studio City’s premium restaurant Spotlight. With a cinema theme and Art Deco style, Spotlight serves a wide range of international cuisine and seafood in the buffet menu. Lunch came with unlimited coffee and drinks.
Availed through Klook, our sumptuous buffet lunch came at a great discount.
Booking our activities through Klook also made things easier. There was no need to line up for tickets; we simply had to present our Klook vouchers at the entrance for scanning.
More Macau experiences
This gave us time for a quick visit to the Parisian Macao with its replicas of the Eiffel Tower and Champs-Elysees as well as hotel concierge made out like a gallery of the Louvre and a room in Château de Versailles.
A copy of the Fontaine de Mers under a painted domed ceiling decorates the Parisian’s spacious lobby.
We had time to look for pork chop buns at Taipa food street because we heard that one of the stalls there offers the tastiest servings.
Macau is definitely more than a day-trip destination, but we made the most of our two days by flying direct from Cebu via Cebu Pacific Air and booking experiences through Klook.