Macau has been actively rebranding itself as the “World Centre of Tourism and Leisure” with the Historic Centre of Macao being inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. As CNN reports, the region is taking on Vegas as a top destination for leisure seekers who have come out to play. Tourists are indulging in the vibrant night-life, participating in strategy tournaments, rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous, visiting the stunning sites and sampling the unique fusion of Chinese and Portuguese dishes. Or they simply opt for relaxation. It is recommended that tourists visit the region between October and March when temperatures range from 60° to 70° and humidity is at its lowest.
Macau is filled with architectural finds. In the 1500s, the Portuguese arrived at the A-Ma Temple, built in 1488, and as the story goes were told that the Cantonese name of the temple was “Ma Kok Miu,” which is said to be the origin of the name Macau. The A-Ma Temple is also famed for its fortune-tellers who shake a bamboo cylinder in an ancient ritual in response to questions about love or job prospects.
The architecture is influenced by both Chinese and Portuguese culture. Though Macau was a Portuguese colony up to 1999, the Iberian influence is seen in the Portuguese street signs and the pastel-colored buildings.
The 30-square kilometers of Macau is well known for the vibrant nightlife on the Cotai Strip. Located on the Cotai Strip is the Cotai Arena, which attracts tourists following the primary sporting events of the aptly-named “Vegas of the East.” A superb example of world-class entertainment and gaming facilities called the City of Dreams is also located on the Cotai Strip. Make sure that other sports opportunities like the Macau Grand Prix in November are on your schedule or check the entertainment calendar to see which international artist may be in town. Horse-riding on the neighboring Taipa Island is another option for the sports enthusiast.
The city’s cuisine is diverse on food, thanks to the multiple influences (Chinese, European and Portuguese), from high-end restaurants to street vendors where you can sample famous dishes of Macau like egg tarts and steamed milk pudding. Crossing the Macau-Taipa Bridge you can then stroll along the cobblestone alleys of Taipa Village for more unique, delicious bird’s-nest egg tarts.
For the tourist that craves a different pace, the Hác-Sá Beach and Cheoc Van Beach are perfect choices for relaxation. But if you prefer to get up and move around, there are some gorgeous hiking trails like the Grande Taipa Trail and the Taipa Pequena Trail or you can tee off at the renowned Macau Golf & Country Club in Coloane Island. Although shopping for locally made jewelry is popular, you can also find something for the designer-lover, notably at Senado Square and Rua de S. Domingo.
If you are charmed by old buildings, temples and churches, Macau has something for you. For the foodie, you are spoiled for choice of delectable and unique dining. If lying on the beach taking in the sun is the only activity you plan to enjoy, you can also be accommodated. Additionally, designer shopping and diverse sporting events are on offer in the spacious and glitzy resorts of the Vegas of the East.