- Parks and gardens
- Religious buildings
- Macau landmarks
- Fishermen's pier
- Note to shopaholics
- Gambling houses
- Delicious points on the map
In the People's Republic of China, there are several territorial entities that have the epithet "special" in their name. Among them is Macau, a former Portuguese colony, now a special administrative region of the PRC. Macau's significant autonomy makes it especially interesting for tourists who come to the Middle Kingdom and want to learn more about the country. Due to the fact that this area of the PRC remained under the control of Portugal until the end of the last century, many typical European buildings, structures, and even the habits and customs of the local population have been preserved in it. When choosing where to go in Macau, pay attention to museums, whose expositions are devoted to the colonial past, and to nightclubs and casinos, the number of which allows the city to be considered one of the gambling capitals of the planet.
Parks and gardens
Macau lies in a subtropical climate zone, and any vegetation in it feels great. The area is rich in green areas, parks and gardens, and the most popular and famous ones attract not only locals, but also tourists for walks:
- Sun Yat-sen Park on the border with Guangdong province, which belongs to the main territory of the PRC, has playgrounds and sports grounds. In the park, you can swim in the pool, play volleyball, walk among flowering plants and admire the decorative forest, decorated in full accordance with the strict canons of feng shui.
- The old Camões Park was once the home of the famous Portuguese poet Luis de Camones. Today the park is decorated with a bust of the writer and a memorial plate with famous lines of his works.
- Casa Garden used to be the residence of a Portuguese merchant, one of the richest people in Macau in the middle of the 18th century. Then the house was given to the needs of the British East India Company. The mansion now serves as a museum for Luis de Camones and an art gallery.
- The main attraction of the Colina de Gui park is the cable car, along which you can climb to the top of the hill. There is an ancient fortress on the mountain, and in the park you will see the Jardim de Flora garden, called a unique creation of modern landscape designers in Macau.
The mixing of Eastern and European cultures in Macau has borne numerous fruits. The centuries-old Portuguese domination brought Christian religious traditions to this part of China, and Catholic churches were built in Macau. The ruins of one of them are protected today as a World Heritage Site. St. Paul's Cathedral was designed and built in the 17th century. by the Italian architect Carl Spinola. Formerly a cathedral for almost a century, the temple was badly damaged by fire in the first half of the 19th century. From the once magnificent building, only the facade remains, which is called today the symbol of the entire era of Portuguese rule.
The Chinese temple of Na-Cha was built for the deity responsible for the health of the townspeople. Raging at the end of the XIX century. the plague epidemic demanded drastic measures to curb it, and the small but very beautiful Na-Cha coped with the task perfectly. The disease has receded from the city and now the eyes of tourists who have come to look at one of the most graceful sights of Macau, a building of carved pillars, decorated with clay sculptures of mythical deities from the outside and golden textile draperies from the inside.
The oldest religious building, built by the Jesuits, has come down to us in a fairly converted version. The first church dedicated to St. Lawrence was erected in the middle of the 16th century. made of wood. Half a century later, it was replaced by a clay building, and at the beginning of the 19th century, the temple was rebuilt in the neoclassical tradition. The church is located in the garden and is decorated with amazing stained glass windows.
The UNESCO World Heritage Lists, among other cultural values, contain several dozen buildings and structures in Macau and eight city squares. A reputable organization guards the most famous landmarks of China's special region.
In the first third of the 17th century. the Jesuit Order and the Portuguese authorities decided to build a fortress in Macau. They were prompted to take such a decisive step by the threat of a Dutch invasion, and in 1626 Fortaleza do Monte adorned a hilltop in Macau. The thickness of the walls of the fort, which has the shape of a trapezoid on the plan, sometimes reaches 9 m. The exposition of the historical museum is open in the fortress, in which objects of different eras are exhibited. On the stands you will find archaeological rarities dating back to 2000 BC. e., and household items of residents of the city of the Middle Ages. Part of the fortress is given over to an exhibition of works of art. A large section is devoted to the current state of affairs in a special region of the PRC.
Another fortress is called Gui. Its construction is dated to the same XVII century. Particular attention of tourists in this citadel is attracted by the church with interesting frescoes. When creating them, the artists used both traditional techniques of Christian art and Chinese elements. In the second half of the 19th century, the Guy lighthouse was built next to the fortress, which is now on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Macau's huge entertainment park, where the whole family should go, was opened in 2006. Its main idea is to relax and find comfort and shelter, as if the visitor was a fisherman returning from a long voyage and looking for a cozy refuge.
The park's three zones are Dynasty Wharf, East Meets West, and Legend Wharf. In the "Wharf Dynasty", the visitor will find a picture of the life of the townspeople of the Tang Dynasty era, reconstructed from historical chronicles. Guests find themselves in China in the 7th-10th centuries. and end up in souvenir shops with copies of medieval armor and antique jewelry.
You can feel yourself immersed in two cultures at once in the "Meeting of East and West" zone. On the territory of this part of the park, an amphitheater has been erected, a playground is decorated based on Arabic fairy tales, and waterfalls and an artificial volcano of 40 meters height do not leave indifferent adventure seekers.
Dozens of restaurants with cuisines from different parts of the world have been opened in the Legend of the Pier area, and rides have been arranged where visitors of all ages will be able to spend time with good mood.
Note to shopaholics
In the Fishermen's Wharf theme park, you can not only have fun, but also spend money on useful purchases. Most goods in Macau cost less than Hong Kong, which is called a haven for fashionistas from all over the world.
The boutiques of famous fashion houses are located on the island of Cotay. In Makau New Urban Zone at the intersection of Estr. Flor de Lotus and Estr. do Istmo you will find not only shoes, bags and clothes, but also jewelry by famous Italian designers.
Near the New Urban Zone in the City of Dreams shopping center there are outlets with more modest prices, and a large mall is surrounded by shops operating under the Duty Free system.
It is difficult to count all the casinos in Macau, but experts say that their number has long exceeded three dozen. The gambling business regularly brings about 70% of income to the budget, and any tourist tries to go to a casino in Macau, even if he does not consider himself a fan of the pursuit of luck.
Among the most famous gambling establishments in the city is the entertainment complex The Venetian:
- The organization of everything in "Venetian" is in charge of a company from Las Vegas, and therefore the level of the institution can be imagined. At the time of its opening, the complex became the largest in the world among its kind.
- The Venetian is housed in a 39-storey building. In addition to the gaming halls, there are: 3000 rooms of various comfort levels, including the royal apartments; arena for sports and entertainment shows; Exhibition Center; more than 300 boutiques and shops selling absolutely any goods.
The pride of The Venetian is its territory, where you can not only see the canals and a replica of the bell tower from the main square of Venice, but also ride a gondola while listening to the barcarole.
The casino at Grand Lisboa is another useful address in Macau for the gambler. The skyscraper resembles a lotus flower and is considered a symbol of the city. In addition to gambling rooms, Grand Lisboa has a hotel, a dozen restaurants and cabarets, where colorful shows are held every evening.
Delicious points on the map
For gourmets, Macau is heaven on Earth, especially if a person prefers oriental cuisine. In numerous establishments for every taste and wallet, they cook Peking duck and chicken heart shashlik, a million types of noodles and soups, fried with hot broth and spices:
- For seafood lovers, Rua Do Almirante Serigo is the perfect combination of cooking quality, choice and price. The service in this institution is also excellent, and therefore you can go to the restaurant for a romantic dinner or an important business meeting.
- The Zi Yat Heen restaurant has earned two Michelin stars for its exclusive recipes and perfect service. The chef's main specialization is Asian dishes.
- One more star at Don Alfonso on the third floor of the Grand Lisboa. On the menu you will find many names of European dishes and, in particular, classic Portuguese cuisine. The atmosphere of the Old World will also be emphasized by the wine list, which contains everything - from vintage port to French champagne.
There are dozens of street eateries in Taipa Village for simple Chinese cuisine. This area of Macau is often called Food street. For real rock music and hamburger, go to the Hard Rock Cafe, while Il Teatro serves the best pasta and pizza in town. The latter, by the way, has one more indisputable advantage, in addition to perfectly prepared Italian dishes. Il Teatro offers stunning views of the fountain show.