Macao Travel Guide

Photo by Kcdtsg


With population composed predominantly of the Chinese, Portuguese legacy recognized by UNESCO, and cityscape almost identical to that of Las Vegas, little Macao blends such extreme influences within its limited territory that it's almost perplexing when you think of it. Just as Hong Kong, it is a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China, but the only one with legalized casino industry that makes glitz-thirsty visitors come in droves. No wonder it is one of the richest cities in the world.

Star off with a visit to the amazing Macao Museum, whose host of splendid multimedia exhibits will take you step by step through the various aspects of the territory's history and development from a sleepy settlement into the 21st century city of blinding lights. Now that you're armed in knowledge, it's time to check out how it all works in practice. A walk along the narrow lanes of the Inner Harbor area or a trip along the shoreline in a pedicab offer an insight into what is quintessentially Eastern about the city. But head to the Senado Square and you'll feel you're in the heart of a Portuguese colony the moment you step on the mosaic pavement and get dazzled with the whitewashed facades.

The judgment whether the assimilated influences form an aesthetically appealing whole is largely a mater of taste, but the fact that the Historic Center of Macao, mixing monuments of mixed origins, has been designated a World Heritage Site speaks for itself. But lest you forget Macao is Asia's full-blown sin city, the Outer Harbor area is a place where gluttony, lust, and greed are just natural, excused consequences of mind-boggling menus, bar stools wobbling till the crack of dawn, and roulette wheels gyrating to no end. A man can hardly be blamed for not being able to resist this load of temptations.