Macau has a legendary reputation for being the Las Vegas of the east. If you’re looking for a good old time, you’ll definitely want to make your way here. At the same time, there’s so much more to Macau than gambling and glamour. Its 300 year old Portuguese history makes it a truly unique city in China.
On December 20, 1999, after an absence of more than 400 years, Macau peacefully returned to China and is now a special administrative region of the PRC. Macau is a very small region only 70 kilometers from Hong Kong. In 1557, Portuguese invaders occupied Macau and since then Macau has been a colonial territory.
Fishermen from Fujian and farmers from Guangdong were the first known settlers in Macau. In the early 1550s the Portuguese reached Macau and gradually changed the name into its current name, Macau. It has become a major port for trade between China, Japan, India and Europe.
It also became the perfect crossroad for the meeting of east and west cultures. A Christian college was built, beside what is now today’s Ruins of St Paul’s. Other churches were built, as well as fortresses, which gave the city an historical European appearance that distinguishes it to this day.
Macau is an extravagant fusion of east and west in terms of lifestyle, architecture and food. Poker is an important activity in Macau. The numerous cultural heritages, buildings, even the small alleys around the city bears witness of the transformation the island underwent over the centuries. The Archway of St. Paul Church has become the symbol of Macau.
Mandarin and Portuguese are the official languages in Macau, Cantonese is what locals use daily and is the widest spoken. English is also widely used throughout the region. You’ll find Chinese locals with Portuguese names roaming the streets, it’s an interesting intersection of the country.
Macau is a globally known casino center. It features a sophisticated lottery and gambling industry, which has become one of the main sources of incomes of the region. Also its luxury hotels in Macau are honored all over the world. Besides, tourism industry of Macau is highly developed. Famous attractions like The Ruins of St. Paul’s, A Ma Temple, The Senado Square, Lou Kau Mansion, Dr.Sun Yat Sen’s Memorial House and St. Dominic’s Church are worth visiting places in Macau.
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THINGS TO DO IN MACAU
Standing at 338 meters (about 1,108 feet) tall, Macau Tower was the eighth tallest tower in Asia and the tenth in the world on the year of its completion in 2001. It was designed by Gordon Moller, a famous architect of New Zealand. If you’re feeling adventurous, opt-in for the Macau Tower bungy jump, skywalk, or tower climb.
Ruins of St. Paul’s
It’s one of the most visited Macau attractions out of the bunch. The Ruins of St. Paul’s (also known as Sam Ba Sing Tzik) stands adjacent to the famous Mount Fortress and Macau Museum. Originally built in 17th century, but was destroyed by fire in 1835. Since its restoration in 1995 the museum features religious art exhibitions.
Paved with a wave-patterned mosaic colored stones created by the Portuguese, the Senado Square is one the four largest squares in Macau, covering 3700 square meters (4425 square yards), and in 2005 made the NESCO’s World Heritage list. Make your way to the center and you’ll find the fountain, the symbol of Senado Square.
Venetian Macau is the world’s largest casino and is one of Asia’s most exciting entertainment destinations. Nowhere else in Asia will you find such a rare combination of facilities, attractions and amenities. It’s trumpeted as the world’s first integrated resort and is a must visit when you plan to visit Macau.
A Ma Temple
Macau’s name is derived from A-Ma-Gau or Place of A-Ma and this temple dedicated to the seafarers’ goddess dating back to the early 16th century. It’s one of the oldest and most famous Taoist temples in Macau and is located in the southeast of the Macau Peninsula.
Macau Fisherman’s Wharf
Oozing with Euro DNA and located in the outer harbor, the Macau Fisherman’s Wharf is a hybrid theme park, combining dining, shopping, entertainment, hospitality and exhibition facilities in one single location. It’s a 5-minute walk from the Macau-HK Ferry Terminal and Heliport.
St. Lawrence Church
Firstly built by wood in 16th century and renovated in the 19th century, the St. Lawrence Church is arguably the richest and most beautiful church in Macau. Its interior is decked with luxurious ornaments and its old stoned cross on the tiled roof is worshiped by many in China.
Macau Museum lays on the hill of the Fortaleza do Monte in Santo António, Macau, China. It was inaugurated in 1998 and is the biggest museum in Macau. Its aim is to preserve the cultural traditions, usages and habits, which specifically belong to Macau.
Covering an area of approximately 20,000 square meters (about 24,000 square yards), Camoes Garden is Macau’s largest park and one of the oldest parks. It was bought over by a Portuguese merchant, who later built his resident house there, and the sight in the garden houses the bust of famous poet, Luis de Camoes.
Casino Lisboa is one of the landmarks of Macau. The casino is famous for its variety of gambling games, unique design, exquisite decorations, and sound facilities. It features 700 slot machines (expandable to 1,000), 22 gaming tables, 4 bars, 3 restaurants and a theater seating 600.
Kun Iam Statue
Located in Nossa Senhora de Fátima, Macau, China, Kun Iam Statue stands on Macau’s waterfront. It’s a beautiful bronze statue which is one of Macau’s most famous attractions, standing at 20 meters tall and made of special bronze.
Located at São Lázaro, Macau, China the Guia Fortress complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. It was originally designed to defend Macau from attacks from the sea, but because of its position overlooking the entire city, its main function has been as an observation post.
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