Macau (Jan. 2019)

  • Macau at Night — in 1999, Macau was returned to China, two years after Hong Kong. Before then, it was a Portuguese colony. In fact, it was the oldest European Settlement in China.  Despite the proliferation of mega-casinos in the city, Macau has managed to retain some of its European flares, particularly in its architecture and cuisine.
  • If you find yourself in Macau, don’t skip this government building because it actually offers some repose from the busy crowd in the square across the street. From Wikipedia: The Leal Senado Building (Portuguese for Loyal Senate) was the seat of Portuguese Macau’s government (Legislative Assembly of Macau and Municipal Council of Macau. After the handover of Macau to China in 1999 it became the headquarters of the Institute of Civic and Municipal Affairs. It became part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Centre of Macau in 2005.
  • The walk from the Senate Square to the Ruins of St. Paula is lined with historic buildings and it was one of the major contributing factors why the old town of Macau was designated as a UNESCO site in 2005. The iconic facade of the St. Paul Church is the only remaining structure of the original church that has been burned down. The church was erected in 1640 by the Jesuits who were expelled by the Japanese government.
  • Fortaleza de Nossa Senhora do Monte de São Paulo is located just east of the Ruins of St. Paul’s. Its name in Chinese is much shorter and direct: Big Fort with Cannons. The Fort sat on top of a hill and offered a majestic view of the city. It also played an important role in repelling a Dutch invasion in 1623.  Since 1998, it’s the home of the Macau Museum.
  • With the fusion of Chinese and Portuguese cuisine, it’s hard to have a bad meal in Macau.
  • Temples of Macau: Because of the Portuguese influence, the Catholic Church is a strong presence in Macau. However, the primary religion is Buddhism or some form of ancestor worship.  Similar to Hong Kong, there is a high degree of freedom of religion in Macau. There’s a mosque in the northern part of Macau but I didn’t make it to that part of the city during this trip.
  • Churches of Macau: Some beautiful Catholic Churchs in Macau
  • The hotels and mega hotels in Macau are similar to the ones in Vegas. Personally, all the opulence and shows are not what draw me back to Macau. However, I must admit some of them are really impressive.
  • A tiny library in the Village of Coloane.