A special administrative region of the People's Republic of China, Macao lies on the western side of the Pearl River Estuary in Southern China.With a rich and diverse history, Macau reflects many cultural influences and is a must-visit destination for every world traveler. A Portuguese territory until 1999, it is now classified as a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China and lies on the western side of the Pearl River Estuary in Southern China. A small region spanning a mere 30 square kilometers; however, what the region lacks in size it makes up for in travel appeal.
The tourism industry in Macau is primarily driven by the region’s legal gambling practices. Macau is the only region in China where gambling has been legalized and as a result, the region attracts up to 30 million visitors a year, many of whom have taken the short ferry trip from Hong Kong to indulge in one of Macau’s world-class Casinos.
For those travelers looking for a rich history, Macau does not disappoint. Macau’s colonial heritage is apparent within the city’s architecture. Many of the churches, squares, and buildings constructed by the Portuguese are still standing to this day and are well worth exploring. Specifically, the ruins of the Saint Paul Cathedral are a must-see for any traveler.
After a guided or self-guided tour of Macau’s architectural sites, shopping is the perfect activity to unwind and relax. Macau’s world-class casino hotels sport many luxury (and tax-free) shopping options. If you prefer a more authentic shopping experience, Macau’s winding alleyways and side streets are home to many shops and restaurants to lead you off the beaten trail. It is worthwhile to stop at one of the local Macanese restaurants you may encounter in your exploration of the region as the cuisine of Macau is very unique. Traditional Macanese food is a fusion of both Portuguese food and Cantonese food and is often considered the world’s first variety of fusion cuisine. The most popular dishes to try are the porkchop buns and egg tarts.
Macau is considered a hidden gem of China and it is easy to see why! Although famous for its casinos, Macau is steeped in enough culture, history, and entertainment to please any traveler, making it well worth exploring.
Macanese pataca (MOP)
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