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Macau is often called the Las Vegas of China, but a visit to the city across the bay from Hong Kong reveals much more than slot machines and blackjack tables. A Portuguese colony for more than three centuries that only became a part of China again in 1999, Macau is a fascinating blend of Portuguese and Chinese cultures. Tours down narrow streets inlaid with intricate Portuguese tiles lead to fascinating Chinese temples such as the UNESCO World Heritage–listed shrine to A-Ma. Other historic highlights include the Ruins of the Church of St. Paul and the Fortaleza do Monte, part of the UNESCO-listed Macau old city center. Further down the Macau peninsula, you can tour the islands of Taipa, Coloane, and Cotai, each with their own charms, including spectacular fresh seafood restaurants and bakeries serving addictive Portuguese nata (custard tarts). Other popular attractions reveal the city’s modern side, including Macau Tower with its thrilling sky walk and bungee jump. And of course, gambling and thrill-seeking are both on the menu in Macau; if you are indeed in search of the Vegas of Asia, you’ve come to the right place for gambling, over-the-top shows, and indulgent meals featuring an delicious combination of Chinese and Portuguese cuisine.
Lunar New Year is undoubtedly the most colorful and chaotic time to visit Macau, with fireworks, dancing dragon parades, and cultural performances in abundance. But, even outside of the festive period, winter remains the best time to visit, thanks to its moderate weather conditions.
Jake is a long-time China resident who would escape to Macau on the weekends to enjoy the city’s history, culture, and entertainment.
make a beeline for the casinos. Baccarat is the game in this town, but the cheapest hand of blackjack (HK$100 or US$13) can be found at the Pharaoh Hotel’s Casino.
includes brunch at Cafe Namping (try their fresh egg tarts). Then visit the surrounding neighborhood, the Macau Museum, and dine at Fernandos on Black Sand Beach.
the Ruins of St. Pauls, the facade of a 17th-century cathedral destroyed by a fire. It’s packed with people, but is very impressive and includes a great underground museum of religious artifacts.
wander some of the residential areas. Visit the Master’s Hotel (“wan shi fa jiu dian”) and explore the nearby alleyways. You’ll find interesting tea shops, trinket stores, and local cafés that haven’t changed since the 50s.
check out the Fortaleza de Monte, a 17th-century military fortress built to protect the property of the Jesuits from pirates. It’s surrounded by parkland, and gives a great view of the island of Macau.
Yes. Although small in size, Macau offers many attractions and activities. It’s a major gambling and leisure destination with several massive casino and entertainment complexes. There are also historic sites, including its UNESCO-listed historic city center, colonial forts, ancient temples and gardens, interesting and diverse museums, beaches, islands, and charming seaside villages....More
Macau is best known for gambling, which was legalized in the former Portuguese colony in 1847. Today, it’s home to more than 40 casinos and six major operators, including massive complexes like the Venetian, Sands, and MGM. Considered the Vegas of China (or the Vegas of Asia), Macau’s gambling revenues actually exceed that of Las Vegas....More
Macau is quite compact, and you can actually see many of its highlights—such as Senado Square and the historic center, A-Ma Temple, Taipa or Coloane Village, and the casinos of Cotai Strip—in just one full day and night. There is enough to see and do to warrant another day or two....More
There are many activities available in Macau. The casinos offer gambling, live shows and performances, shopping, and dining. Other popular activities include bungee jumping at Macau Tower, visiting historical sites and museums, seeing pandas at an ecological park, hiking, spending time on the beach, and visiting seaside villages....More
There are some similarities. Both cities are known for gambling, though Las Vegas offers a greater number of casinos and hotels, and Macau generates more gambling revenue. Las Vegas gets more visitors overall, but Macau sees more gambling visitors. Although Macau is geographically smaller than Las Vegas, the two destinations have similar population sizes. Both also offer other attractions besides gambling....More
Macau is a special administrative region of China. It was a Portuguese colony from the 16th century until 1999. Under the “one country, two systems” doctrine (which applies to both Macau and Hong Kong), Macau will enjoy limited autonomy, including having its own passport, money, and legal system, for a period of 50 years from 1999....More
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