Macau is a special administrative region of China. It is located about an hour away from Hong Kong by boat. It was colonized by Portugal in the 16th century until 1999. This explains why it has a strong European influence in its architecture and why most citizens have Latin-sounding names. Macau is very economically advanced compared to its neighboring countries. Despite its small size it has attracted wealthy investors and businessmen mostly geared towards tourism where gambling plays a huge part.
We only spent a day in Macau but I felt it was enough to get a glimpse of the beautiful region. Coming from
Hong Kong we took an hour-ferry ride via Turbo Jet. It was a smooth ride but it can be chaotic at certain times since a lot of locals travel back and forth during the course of the day.
Getting our tickets
Here comes our ferry
When we got to the Macau Terminal we immediately hopped on a cab and went straight to the center of tourism: Largo de Senado (Senado Square). The square is the former center of the Portuguese colony surrounded by government buildings, local establishments and St. Dominic's Church. But what makes this area very famous is the wave-pattern mosaic pavement that gives it a very "European" aura. The buildings are gorgeous and so colorful that it leaves a smile on your face as you admire every detail of its exterior.
The wavy mosaic pavement
Shops/stores everywhere...From Gucci to Ralph Lauren and of course Starbucks.
St. Dominic's Church was one of the main places of worship during Portuguese rule. It is a very spectacular structure inside-out with its cream-colored stone exterior and green-shutter windows. It also has a museum inside exhibiting paintings, sculptures and other religious artifacts.
Another very popular tourist attraction is the ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral. It was built by the Jesuits in the 17th century and was the largest catholic church in Asia at that time. However in the 1800s it was destroyed by a fire and was never reconstructed. What a shame :(
Ruins Of St. Paul's Cathedral
Statues in front of the cathedral
As you go up the steps towards the ruins you see a magnificent view of Macau.
Macau is a very beautiful tourist destination. It exemplifies the clash between Asia and Europe but the result is a very harmonic offspring that is today one of the strongest regions in Asia.