Portuguese China

It’s only an hour foiljet ride to Macau from Hong Kong. This place is also a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China. It used to be a former colony of Portugal and it shows in its architecture and fusion of delicious meals.

Luckily I found a couchsurfer (there is only one) who lives in Macau to stay with. Unfortunately he wasn’t around much so I took my guidebook and ventured on my own. Macau is mainly two islands, I stayed on the main one. It’s filled with casinos, and the smaller islands also have numerous beaches. The population isn’t very much so mass transit consists of buses that are actually minivans. It’s a bit odd and uncomfortable at first. Plus the bus stops aren’t properly routed out. I waited for a bus for a while at one point and gave up not knowing where to go or what to do.
It was also tough to find English speakers because it’s the mainland Chinese that come here to gamble so they make up the majority of the tourists.

Ruins of St. Pauls

After walking around the casino area in the sweltering heat, I hit up the downtown area of Macau. The casinos were pretty trippy because it looks so much like Vegas, since they have the same brands here. Downtown Macau is a whole other story; I felt like I warped into Europe suddenly. The city seems to be maintained well to preserve its European history. The ruins of St. Paul is the focal point of the city – it’s the remaining wall of a church that is still standing. It’s pretty cool to see and awesome that it’s free.
I roamed around the alleys of shops and free samples of treats. I stuffed my face with egg tarts, I had about three in an hour. Finally I had to call it a day because the heat had taken a toll on me.

Macau is different in that its not well known and it’s not much other than a casino destination. Yet it does have the potential to be much more but perhaps its undiscovered due to China’s ownership of it. The foreign population is at a minimum and life seems to be slow-paced. What a difference from Hong Kong which is just an hour away!

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