Macau, More Than Just Gambling

December 12, 2011 by

Local Recommendations, Things To Do, Top Attractions

Macau by night - photo courtesy of John Seb Barber via Flickr

Macau by night – photo courtesy of John Seb Barber via Flickr

There is simply nothing comparable to the cultural fusion of Macau. Officially titled “The Historic Centre of Macau”, the former Portuguese colony is an extremely unique colonial legacy in China and the perfect adventure for daring travelers.

Every corner of Macau is brimming with the intoxicating fusion of Chinese and Portuguese cultures, from the architecture to the monuments, churches and temples, and casinos and Vegas-style shows.

In 2005 the Historic Centre of Macau was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, making it the 31st designated World Heritage site in China. It was described by UNESCO as: “With its historic street, residential, religious and public Portuguese and Chinese buildings, the historic centre of Macau provides a unique testimony to the meeting of aesthetic, cultural, architectural and technological influences from East and West,” and “…it bears witness to one of the earliest and longest-lasting encounters between China and the West, based on the vibrancy of international trade.”

Explore the cobble-stoned streets and indulge in exotic Chinese street food or glittering Michelin star buffets and everything in between! There is no shortage of nightlife in Macau either. Vegas-style casinos such as the Venetian Macao, the Galaxy, and the Grand Lisboa Casino will dazzle you with a degree of ritzy partying special to Macau.

With over 400 years of Portuguese settlement and 1000s of years of Chinese history, Macau attractions range from ancient heritage sites to modern buildings.

The Portuguese established the city of Macau in 1557 to be a trading post and a bastion of Christianity as well. Thus from the very beginning the fledgling town was called “City of the Name of God, Macau”. Immediately, the first priests started to build Catholic churches, initially of wood and matting, soon of rammed clay, and later of stone and plaster from the mid-17th century onwards. See the Ruins of St Paul College, the Macau Cathedral and the St Dominic Church all built with no expense of lofty ambitions spared.

Macau also has its own international airport and there are frequent day trips to Macau from Hong Kong, making a transit stop to this remarkable city perfectly doable.

- John Reality

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