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From LAX, connecting service to Macao is available on EVA, Philippine, Malaysia and China airlines. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $843.
To Hong Kong, nonstop service is available on Cathay Pacific, direct service (stop, no change of plane) on United and connecting service on All Nippon, EVA, JAL, Korean, United and Singapore. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $689.
TurboJetSeaExpress offers 24-hour ferry service between Hong Kong and Macao (about 50 minutes) and from the airport to Macao. Fares start at $18. 011-852-2921-6688, vwww.turbojetseaexpress.com.hk.
East Asia Airlines' Heli Express has frequent service in 12-seat helicopters from the Hong Kong ferry terminal and the airport to Macao. Fares begin at $200. 011-852-2108-9898, www.helihongkong.com.
To call the numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (the international dialing code), 853 (country code for Macao) and the local number.
WHERE TO STAY:
Wynn Macau, Rua Cidade de Sintra, Nape; 986-9966, www.wynnmacau.com. This glitzy new star has it all: casino, multiple restaurants, spa, salon, pool, upscale shopping arcade. Large, beautifully appointed rooms. Doubles from $333 (brochure rates).
Mandarin Oriental, 956-1110 Avenida da Amizade; 567-888, vwww.mandarinoriental.com. An in-city resort with pool, tennis, spa, small casino, good restaurants. My "deluxe city view" room faced a garish casino and was dated, but the Old World lobby is lovely. Doubles from about $178.
Pousada de Coloane Beach Hotel, Coloane; 882-143,+www.hotelpcoloane.com.mo. Away from the casino madness, this hotel with pool on Coloane island has 30 rooms in rustic Portuguese style. Restaurant and dining terrace serving Portuguese specialties. Doubles from $93.
WHERE TO EAT:
O Porto Interior, 259b Rua do Almirante Sergio; 967-770. Photos of early Macanese families, brick floor, antique Chinese screens. Regional specialties include curries, bread soup and serradura ("sawdust" pudding). Entrees $7-$18.
Military Club, 975 Avenida da Praia Grande; 714-009. Portuguese officers once dined and took R&R in this lovely pink colonial building dating from 1870. Macanese and Portuguese specialties served in high-ceilinged room with humming ceiling fans and arched windows. Entrees $11-$21. Popular lunch buffet $16.
O Manel, 90 Rua Femao Mendes Pinto, island of Taipa; 827-571. Mingle with the locals in this unpretentious little village restaurant, where owner Manuel Pena turns out Portuguese dishes such as grilled fish and chicken with red piri piri (pepper) sauce. Most entrees $9-$12.
TO LEARN MORE:
Macao Government Tourist Office, (310) 643-2630 or (866) OK-MACAU (656-2228), vwww.macautourism.gov.mo.
— Beverly Beyette