|Macau is a small peninsula region in China, southwest of Hong
Kong. There are scheduled boat charters to and from Macau and
Hong Kong throughout the day. It is an easy day trip from one
place to the other. If you are planning a trip to Hong Kong, you
should strongly consider spending a little time in Macau as well.
The total population of Macau is close to half a million people.
Most of the residents are of Chinese origin from various Chinese
provinces. The remaining population (approximately 5%) are of
Portuguese and European ancestry. Macau used to be a colony of
Portugal before it was returned to Chinese control in the late
1990's. In case you were wondering, Macau is sometimes referred
to as 'Macao', due to the Portuguese history of the area. The
official languages are Chinese and Portuguese, with Cantonese
being the most widely used. English is mainly used for tourism
The many attractions in Macau make it well worth a visit.
Because of the Portuguese establishment, there are old
fortresses, churches, temples and gardens to tour. There are
over a dozen museums to see, including the Museum of Macau, the
Maritime Museum, the Wine Museum, the Grand Prix Museum, and the
Handover Gifts Museum. Every year, around November, there is the
Macau Grand Prix car and motorcycle races. The Macau Tower, at
338m tall, is definitely worth a visit. Throughout the year
there are many other events and festivals that you may be able
to take part in. Walking tours and shopping opportunities also
abound. Aside from many new casinos being built, you might want
to try your luck at some of the older casinos, or even at the
horse racing and greyhound racing tracks.
There is also much development underway in Macau, and this
development will soon bring even more visitors. Many hotels,
casinos, resorts and convention centers are currently being
built, with the first ones scheduled to open in 2006 and 2007.
Some of the development is occurring on the Cotai Strip, which
is reclaimed land between two islands of Macau called Coloane
and Taipa. The spelling of 'Cotai' comes from the names of these
two islands. These developments are being planned by
combinations of world class hotels chains and major Las Vegas
casinos, so they are bound to be impressive. The goal of the
developers is to turn Macau into an international destination
for resorts and casinos, and you often hear the term 'Asia's Las
Vegas'. Up to six billion dollars is being spent on these
developments, with 10,000 hotel rooms in the initial phase, with
expansion to 60,000 rooms in the third phase. Gambling in Macau
will be a major attraction in the years to come.
If you spend some time travelling around Macau, you will likely
travel across the bridges on the peninsula. The names of two of
the bridges are Nobre de Carvalho (the Friendship Bridge) and
Sai Van Bridge. The Friendship Bridge is the longest one and
goes directly to the Macau International Airport. Yes, you can
fly directly into Macau! The airport is situated on the Island
So if you would like to travel to a foreign land and experience
two different cultures within a small area, plan on Macau for
your next vacation.
About the author:
Robert Borhi is a freelance writer and owner of Macau.ca, a
website that focuses on Macau travel and attractions. If you are
planning a visit to Macau or the Cotai strip, you can learn more
about this wonderful destination at his website
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