Macau

Macau is a short ferry trip from Hong Kong and is definitely worth a visit. Like Hong Kong, it enjoys status of a Special Administrative Region. It meant that we had to go through immigration again, even though we were technically in the same country – China.

Macau has no arable land or forest, and its economy is based largely on tourism and gambling. These two are closely related as thousands hopeful Chinese and Hong Kongers arrive every week to try their luck in some of the biggest casinos in the world. Macau is currently world’s top casino market, taking in even more revenue than Las Vegas. Together with Macau’s high population density, it means that the place gets really crowded, especially on weekends.

Macau is the most densely populated region in the world.

Macau was administered by Portugal from the mid-16th century until late 1999, making it the first and last European colony in Asia. The city has more visible colonial history than Hong Kong. Unlike Hong Kong, which has replaced virtually all of its historic buildings with skyscrapers, Macau has proudly preserved its past. A section of Macau Peninsula became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2005. The best way to experience the unique fusion of Portuguese and Cantonese culture is by strolling narrow cobblestone streets, tiled squares, and admiring the restored colonial buildings, churches, temples….

ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral

St. Dominic’s Church – the oldest church in Macau

balconies Macau style

……and giant cheese (?!)

And if the crowds become to tiring, take a break in one of Macau’s gardens.

Or walk up to the top of Guia Hill for some great views of the city.

The Guia Fortress – together with the Guia Lighthouse and Guia Chapel – is one of the UNESCO listed sites in Macau.

Guia Hill lighthouse, one of the cities most famous landmarks

Guia Hill lighthouse – one of the city’s most famous landmarks

The hill seems to be also a popular spot for photographers. We stumbled upon one wedding session…

wedding session in macau…and one totally different kind of session…IMG_6290At the foot of the hill is a nice park with a very sad, small zoo. The contrast between the colorful, picturesque garden and the grey, dirty, concrete cages is really disturbing.

IMG_6317IMG_6306IMG_6309And if you don’t think that all the walking is enough exercise you can always work out in one of the public fitness stations scattered around the city.

IMG_6210IMG_6218After such an active day it was great to relax in the evening and watch some Chinese TV…

oh come on, China!

oh come on, China!

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