We decided to visit Macau on our last trip to China. Macau is located on the southeast coast of China, is a special administrative region of the country. We flew into the small Macau airport and jumped aboard a shuttle bus to our hotel. We drove past small villages, fishing ports and ancient architecture... then turned a corner into what they call the "Vegas of Asia".
Macau is just the most wonderful mix of old and new. A country where you have multi million dollar casinos complete with singing water fountains and brilliant light shows and traditional fishing villages living side by side in harmony. Throw in stunning ruins like St Pauls Cathedral, cobbled streets, years of history and culture and you've got yourself one interesting place.
Macau, the oldest European settlement in China, was established by the Portuguese between 1554 and 1557 and was governed by them until the handover back to China in 1999. Located at the mouth of the Pearl River Delta, Macau is one of the most dynamic regions of China, and is just over 60km from Hong Kong (approx. 1 hour).
In Macau both the Portuguese and Chinese cultures are still strongly present. Macau is relatively small so we decided to set out on foot to explore the cobbled streets admiring typical Portuguese mansions, Chinese temples and waterside fisheries. We came across what looked like a horse racing track which has the most amazing painting on the external walls making it look like an ancient roman stadium its really spectacular and well worth a look.
Another few must do's are the St Pauls ruins, Roman Ampitheatre and the Macua Museum. The Museum is fantastic for both kids and adults. The displays are interactive ranging from touch screens to movies and Macau has a fascinating history. The kids can learn about everything from the first inhabitants through to cricket fighting in a fun way.
The city cafes and restaurants are cheap and the staff cheerful with a mix of East meets West foods. Many cafe owners are Portugese and speak very little English but you can communicate your order quite easily via a bit of sign language and they are only too happy to do their best.
In the evenings we ventured out amongst the casino precinct, just walking along the streets admiring the amazing light shows on offer by each building. From lasers to singing fountains, strobe lights and more each casino just looked stunning. Macau is very clean, feels safe, the people are lovely and has plenty on offer for everyone.
A couple days was not quite enough to get the feel for Macua and I'd love to go back to explore some of the beaches and villages further afield from the main city area of Macua. But we were off to Hong Kong, a short journey by boat to explore some more.