When you're in Hong Kong, it's hard not to consider a trip over to the Macau, the other "Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China" just across the South China sea, about 1h by ferry. While often seen as the new gambling capital of the world, the city actually has a little more to offer with its unique Portuguese influences that can at times make you feel like in Europe. Worth the trip and 2 days well spent (including winning at Roulette, as always).
As seen from the Sofitel Hotel at Pointe 16 in the old city parts. The architectural atrocity that is Lisboa Palace Casino in the background.
In case you decide to open a McDonald's tomorrow.
St Anthony's Church
Owing to the Portugese history, there are several Christian churches in the city. Macau only fully transfered its souvereignty from Portugal in 1999.
Got to Look Good
For the big casino night!
A stylish restaurant in a somewhat unexpected location.
Templo de Na Tcha
A small shrine near the ruins of St Paul's.
Just the Right Angle
Taken from the hillside fort, which was built by the Jesuits in the early 17th century.
Above the Ruins
The sunset view from the fort over the ruins of the St. Paul's church.
Macau lies on the peninsula formed by the Zhu Jiang and the Xi Jiang rivers.
St Paul's Church Ruins
The 17th century complex is part of the Unesco World Heritage site of the Historic Centre of Macau.
Cobblestone pavements with southern European architecture and narrow alleys give the city a surprisingly medittaranean feel at times - if you choose to ignore the large Casinos.
Ruins on the Hill
While maybe by itself not one of the most significant historical artifacts, the utter unexpectedness of seeing this in Macau made an impression on me.
Macau is a city of unusual combinations, with its Portugese heriate, the modern Casino buildings, the typical Chinese crowded city atmosphere, all topped with quiet temples on the city's hillsides.
What looks like it could be in the Venetian with its fake blue sky is actually the Largo Do Senado square, the main pedestrian area of Macau.
The city is now often referred to as the gambling capital of the world.
The traditional European street lights created a unique flair when walking Macau's old city roads at night.
Spotted in the Giant Panda Pavllion park area.
Part of the Giant Panda park are also a few other animal enclosures, which can be seen free of charge.
The Giant Panda
Macau's Giant Panda Pavillion, home to four of these amazing bears, costs just over 1$ to visit.
Since the Pandas were in siesta mode when we came to the Pavillion the first time, we decided to go back after their lunch was served. Unsurprisingly they were way more active then, munching on part of their 20kg per day bamboo intake.
Many Asians wear sunhats to prevent their skin from getting tanned. While this may be because it is more in line with the traditional perception of beauty in China or Korea for example, it also reduces the risk of skin cancer, which is far less common in Asia compared to Western countries.
A-Ma Cultural Village
A short ride up the hill from the Panda Pavillion lies the beautiful temple of Tin Hau.
I a saw a similar photo in the breakfast room of the Sofitel, which was reason enough to go and explore the temple. Worth it for sure.
Lucky Dragon Turtle
Throw a coin into the bowl of the shell of this strange animal for good luck. Or hit a goldfish.
The interior of the main temple with its Buddha collection on the walls
Impressive figures carved into the supporting pillars of the temple.
While the main currency of the region is the Macanese pataca (or short: MOP), you will find this type of money in a lot places as well...
Streets of Taipa
A street of the historical town of Taipa with the Galaxy Macau in the background.
The view over Cotai - the main casino district - from a nearby viewing platform reachable by almost vertical elevator-style escalator cabins - which are free!
Cotai and Taipa
A panorama over Cotai and the village of Taipa to the right.
Being carried out on this overpass. Macau seemed well maintained.
Anyone know the function of these red ships?