Macau, believed to be the Las Vegas of the East, has come a long way from being a Portuguese colony, the only European dominion in China. Macau has evolved into a popular entertainment destination, with casinos and colourful shows as top attractions. For a discerning tourist, Macau is a wholesome destination that can satiate all interests. Historically, Macau has been an important gateway through which the Western civilization entered China, leaving a lasting impact on the culture and heritage of the place. The assimilation of both Western and Eastern cultures in a small geographical area is still retained, which makes for the land’s USP as a world tourist destination. Besides historical sites, Macau has museums, exhibition galleries, temples, shopping arcades, forts, beaches, entertainment centres, clubs, gaming centres, et al. Travellers need not cover long distances to experience the choicest activities in Macau. The Historic Centre of Macau is a living representation of the region’s historic settlements in the midst of an urban fabric, comprising street stapes and piazzas, combined with 20 odd monuments, including A-Ma Temple, Moorish Barracks, St Lawrence’s Church, St Augustine’s Church, Holy House of Mercy, Lou Kau Mansion, and Casa Garden.
Casinos are a major attraction in this region of People’s Republic of China. Some of the well-known casinos in Macau are Casino Lisboa, Rio Casino & Hotel, and The Sands Macau. These casinos offer the widest range of games in the world, including baccarat, blackjack, roulette, boule, fantan, and an array of slot machines. According to Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, the country’s casino market’s revenue rose 12.3 per cent in September last year. Casinos in Macau, which is the only legal gaming market in China, collected USD three billion from gamblers during the month. Characterized as a place that never sleeps, Macau boasts of a colourful nightlife. Avenida Dr Sun Yat Sen Hotel, close to Kum Jam Statue, runs a number of pubs and bars.
Macau caters to all age groups with a plethora of entertainment avenues -theatres, theme parks, light and sound shows. For avid sports enthusiasts, Macau has varied choices of destinations and products. The Macau Golf and Country Club on the Southern side of Coloane Island is among the beautiful golf courses in the region. The Coloane Island and its warm water beaches attract a lot of surfers. The Guia Hill is a popular trekking spot in Macau, offering picturesque views of the city and the islands around. Karting, skating, Greyhound racing, mast climbing, horse racing, bowling, the opportunities are unlimited for those who love adventure sports.
With the inheritance and assimilation of food traditions from various continents through the centuries, Macau qualifies as a food paradise for a food connoisseur. The food styles here were combined and adopted by the local Chinese to create a truly international cuisine. There are umpteen quality restaurants serving all kinds of local and international cuisines, suited to all budgets. Anyone strolling along the busy streets of Macau will be lured by the aroma of Western and Oriental dishes.
With regard to shopping options in Macau, one cannot miss the variety that the region has to offer. One can find almost anything, from jewellery (particularly 24-carat gold), to cameras, to porcelain, and electronic items; all reasonably priced. The place is also a great treasure trove for Chinese antiques, crockery, carved figurines, and the like. The most popular flea market in Macau is near the ruins of St Paul’s. Another shopping destination is Red Market, located on the corner of Macau’s two famous boulevard Avenida Almirante Lacerda and Avenida Horta e Costa, where an avid shopper can find clothes, shoes, accessories, dried foods, fresh produce, fish and meat. The Red Market Pedestrian Street is famous for flower selling.
Macau has added incredible tourism infrastructure in the last few decades to attract travellers to its shores. Recent developments include the Sands Cotai Central, which has further enhanced the Macau as a world tourist destination. The integrated resort has over 5,800 hotel rooms with world-class convention and entertainment facilities spread across three international hotel brands – Conrad Macao, Cotai Central; Holiday Inn Macao, Cotai Central; and Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central.
Direct air connectivity from India to Macau though not available today, the next closest destinations like Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand can be directly reached via Cathay Pacific and Jet Airways. Macau can then be reached by a ferry from the Hong Kong International Airport.
Traditionally, Macau has been a gateway for trade and commerce. The tradition has been carried through centuries. Even today, Macau houses world-class meetings and convention infrastructure. The convention facilities here have a capacity to hold 7,000 people at a time. Macau Cultural Centre, Macau Fisherman’s Wharf, Macau East Asian Games Dome, and Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Centre are a few of the bigger convention and exhibition venues in Macau. Accommodation facilities are also aplenty in this region with the presence of world-class hotels, such as Emperor Hotel, Hotel Okura Macau, Hotel Guia, and Galaxy Macau.