In the second part of the series One country, Two systems we will talk about former Portuguese colony, now a partly independent territory of Macau. Like Hong Kong, Macau too was handed over to Chinese in 1990s and its citizens enjoy certain freedoms, those on mainland don't. We will not be discussing political issues but rather focus on tourism side and I will recall visit to the city. I visited Macau in March of 2019 as part of larger Asian trip. I stayed in the city for 3 days.
Senado Square, Ruins of St. Paul, Downtown Macau
Macau is considered the Las Vegas of the east even though its economy is seven times larger than than the one of Las Vegas. As of 2018 gambling revenue reached 38 billion US dollars. There are several companies such as MGM Resorts, Sands Corporation and Wynn Resorts that operate in both cities.
Arrival to Macau is possible by fast ferry from Hong Kong and mainland China, by car over the Hong Kong, Zhuhai, Macau Bridge or by air through Macau International Airport. I arrived to the city with ferry from Hong Kong airport. For the duration of my visit I was located on the east side of the city in the Wanzai Residential District. It was possible to walk to most sights in the city. I used taxi only for visit to Taipa district where most major casinos are located.
The view from Gaia Lighthouse, Guia Hill military tunnels, Lou Lim Ioc garden
I arrived to the city in the afternoon so I decided to go for a short walk and later explore the city's nightlife. I walked from the hotel to the Macau Tower, taking scenic route next to the seaside almost entire time. Macau Tower is about 340 m tall and offers variety of activities, dining and entertainment/shopping options. The view from the observation deck is pretty spectacular and is definitely worth of steep ticket price. After the tower I walked to the Freguesia Da Sé district where some of city's casinos such as MGM Grand, Grand Lisboa and Wynn Macau are located. I stopped at Margaret's Cafe e Nata. This is a small bakery, one of two places in the city, where you can buy Pasteis de Nata (famous Portuguese egg tart - Macau version). This area was full of life till early morning hours.
Next morning I decided to explore the rest of the city. Some of the sights I recommend to visit include Macau Science center, Cultural Center, Fisherman's Wharf, Guia Lighthouse and complex A of Guia Hill of Military Tunnels, Casa Garden, Santo Antonio Buddhist Temple, Hong Kung Night Market, Ruins of St. Paul and Senado Square. All this sights can be located on a map above. I tried some local dishes such as Pato de Cabidela and Minchi.
Venetian and Parisian Casinos
Last day I explored district Taipa where huge casino resorts Venetian, Parisian and Wynn Place are located. There is also huge beautiful park nearby. Macau is the city many people outside of Asia or gambling fans don't know much about. It is often overshadowed by nearby Hong Kong. If you plan to go to the region I recommend you visit it. Two or three days should be more than sufficient. City offers a mix of old and new and unlike Las Vegas, city build in the desert actually have a history dating all the way back to 1555.
Hope you enjoyed the article. Tune in next week when I will talk about my home country of Slovenia.