I passed the first two days of my summer trip in Macau – a former Portuguese colony-turned world gambling Mecca. I found so much to love about this city – reading Portuguese signs, massive, dazzling casinos, amazing food, cobbled European-style streets, Portuguese colonial architecture, and much more.
If I could take my trip over again, I would stay in Macau longer and cut my time in Hong Kong short.
The presence of Portuguese on most road signs and public notices nods to Macau’s colonial legacy.
Compared to Korea, the ferries between Hong Kong and Macau look like power yachts.
Street placards on buildings remind me of the buildings in Milan and Barcelona – very European.
The sheer number and size of casinos here made Vegas look like Reno. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Sure, the Macanese government may pay lip service, but they know gambling is a huge business. In fact, taxes on casinos generate nearly 70% of the city’s revenues.
Macanese food had me salivating hourly. The fusion of Chinese and Portuguese cuisines made for amazing flavors. Dumplings, noodles, and egg tarts provided my taste buds with perpetual satisfaction.
Macau and Hong Kong McDonald’s is quite extra with their coffee service. Back in the States, they don’t even offer mug cups.
Just in case anyone was curious about how to write “McDonald’s” in Chinese.
I couldn’t go to a Chinese SAR and not enjoy milk tea.
I was surprised to receive this handout on the street. East Asia has never had a reputation for embracing mental health concerns. Then again, considering the divide between the lip service paid to and actual funding provided for mental health services in the U.S., I shouldn’t be surprised.
These tiled, European-style gardens dot the Macau cityscape. The urban beauty of this town blew my mind.
Also very Southern-European – huge population of motor scooters.
The Fortazela de la Guia provided amazing views of the city.
The proliferation of jungle trees reminded me of the subtropical climate. That and the periodic monsoon-like rainstorms.
Wushu! Shoutout to The King!
Macau is a Chinese city – sort of. Like Hong Kong, Macau fits under China’s “one country, two systems” model of government. In short, the People’s Republic of China holds sovereignty over Macau. But Beijing allows the Macanese to self-govern with respect to laws, money, and immigration. For example, gambling is illegal in mainland China, but a way of life here in Macau. Also, mainland Chinese citizens who wish to visit Macau must bring a passport. Vice-versa for Macanese people visiting Shenzhen.
And yet unlabeled, intimidating building’s like these remind the people of Beijing’s influence here. I almost took a picture of the Chinese PLA garrison. Then I saw two armed guards brandishing assault rifles at the main gate and thought better of it.
Yes, Blackpink is in your area.
Portuguese influence continues to linger not just in administrative language, but also in architecture.
Saw this cute little guy scurrying around McDonald’s. I hope he’s doing okay.
I don’t like gambling, but I would return to this city. It’s one of the most beautiful urban areas I’ve seen in recent memory. The food was amazing and the people were laid-back and kind. But alas, I could not stay. I had to pack my bags, check out, and set sail for Hong Kong.