Friday, November 18, 2016

Macau, China

Today we had a day tour of Macau.  From Hong Kong the easiest way to get to Macau is by ferry.  The TurboJet takes about an hour to cover the 64 km (40 miles).

As a Special Administrative Region of China, Macau (and Hong Kong) have their own immigration policies, so passport checks are required when travelling between the two former colonies.  We had to exit through Hong Kong immigration before boarding the ferry.  Once in Macau we went through immigration again.  

There are no passport stamps because both issue paper tickets that you have to hold on to instead.

Macau澳門, is home to about 651,000 people, all of them in about an area of 30,5 km² (11,8 miles²) making it the most densely populated place in the world.  Unlike Hong Kong, in Macau there are height restrictions on the buildings so there's not a sea of skyscrapers.

Macau's currency is the pataca.  Fortunately, almost everyplace accepts Hong Kong dollars (or debit cards) so we didn't need to exchange money.

The Historic Centre, which includes around 25 sites which were collectively declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.

The Ruins of St. Paul's is what's left of a 17th-century complex.  The Jesuits built it from 1602 to 1640.  At the time it was one of the largest Catholic churches in Asia.  It was destroyed by a fire in 1835 and only the façade remains.

The Fotaleza do Monte was a fort built from 1617 to 1626 to protect the Jesuits from pirates.  From the top of the fort are great views of Macau.
The Macau Museum opened in 1998 and covers the city's history as a former Portuguese colony.  The museum is on the hill of the Fortaleza do Monte.

The Na Tcha Temple was built in 1888.  It was built for the child god of war and people believed that it ended a plague which was effecting the region back then.

The Cathedral of the Nativity of Our Lady, known as the Sé Cathedral, was rebuilt in 1937.

St. Dominic's Church was completed in 1587.  The current building dates back to the early 17th century.

The A-Ma Temple was built in 1488 and is one of the oldest in Macau.

Gambling is huge in Macau.  Lots of Chinese millionaires come over here to gamble.

It's the Asian version of Las Vegas but I believe that Macau is even more profitiable.  One of the major casinos is Casino Lisboa.

The Maritime Museum opened in 1987 and the current building, which opened in 1990, is built on the site where the Portuguese explorers first landed here back in 1553.

Santa Sancha, also called Macau Government House, was built in 1846.  It is the home of the Chief Executive of Macau.

Macau Tower opened in 2001.  It is 338 meters (1,109 feet) tall making it the 10th tallest freestanding tower in the world.  It was based on the Sky Tower in Auckland.

Senate Square is located in the old town.  The wave-patterned stones definitely has a Lisbon feel to it.  Many tourists really seemed to like the area because it feels like Europe in Asia.  While it's a nice area, I already get to see the real Europe in Europe.

The Macau Grand Prix takes place every November and it is the biggest event of the year. 

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