"Asia em português" Concelho de Macau by mikey_e
Concelho de Macau Travel Guide: 706 reviews and 2,433 photos
I had been warned, before coming to Macau, that the city and the entire territory, indeed, would offer little to anything in the way of tourist sites or places of interest. In fact, most people counselled me that the best thing to do in Macau is to simply watch the gamblers as they play in the city's numerous casinos. After spending close to 8 hours in the city, I can truthfully say that there is far more to Macau than initially meets the eye. It is true that gambling forms the backbone of the territory's economy, and it is undoubtedly the reason why most people come to visit it. Still, there is no shortage of things to see and do for those who want to spend their time outside the casino. Much of this is thanks to the the long history of Portuguese colonization of the territory, although there is little left of Portuguese culture or institutions. Nevertheless, the Portuguese were famously competent when it came to leaving an architectural imprint on colonies, and Macau is certainly no exception.
Perhaps the most shocking difference between Macau and HK - apart from the lack of Louis Vuittons in the centre of the city - is the attitude and demeanour of the people. In Hong Kong, the sight of someone who is non-Chinese is hardly something to notice. Indeed, being non-Chinese does not single out an individuals for any sort of special treatment or additional pestering (at least by people who don't work for tailors). In Macau, but contrast, foreigners are routinely targetted by sellers of trinkets and tours of the city. The city has not benefitted from its strategic location the way that Hong Kong has, and, as a result, the prime means by which locals can earn a few patacas from foreigners is not through commerce, but tourism. Don't be surprised if, as you are going to the Cloisters or to one of the Baroque churches or government institutions, someone tries to sell you souvenirs or offer to take you on a tour. The level of this sort of activity is hardly to the point where it makes enjoying the city difficult, but it does provide a bit of a shock if you've acclimatized to HK.
Macau also helps to provide a better idea of the differences in colonial practices and effects in East Asia. This sounds like a thesis for a first year paper in International Relations, but it is nonetheless true. For as much as Hong Kong is a beacon of cosmopolitan glamour and panache, Macau serves as an example of what happens why the Metropolis fails to rubber stamps its rule on the territory. Macau is filled with examples of Portuguese influences: the food, the architecture, the sheer number of Catholic churches, the tiling and colour schemes that characterize the city. It is, however, devoid of any connection to the rest of the lusophone world. There are no Goan or Brazilian restaurants, no companies specialized in shipping and insurance for the Portuguese former colonies, and certainly little to no Portuguese inhabitants, clinging to the glory of the colonial past. It leads to a bit of a Disneyland effect, but still can't detract from the fascinating architecture heritage of this tiny bit of Asia.
The easiest way to get to Macau, or from Macau, is by taking the hydrofoil from Hong Kong. The trip, which lasts a... more travel advice
I’m not really sure what this building is, or why it was built in the style of a traditional Chinese castle. Still, the... more travel advice
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