City Hopper: Macao, China
My next destination on my around the world tour 2013 is Macao (also spelled Macau). It is part of the People’s Republic of China. It is located on the western side of the Pearl River Delta with Hong Kong across from it to the East. Macao’s economy is mostly dependent on gambling and tourism and it is considered the ‘Vegas of the East’.
Because it was a former Portuguese colony you’ll see that influence in Macao everywhere from the architecture to the food to the street signs (which are in Cantonese, English, and Portuguese). Portugal has been the administrators of Macao since the mid-16th century and that rule only ended in 1999 which made Macao the last European colony in China.
Macao is run under the ‘one country, two systems’ policy (as is Hong Kong) which means that Macao maintains it’s own legal system, police force, monetary system, customs policy, and immigration policy but it is still part of China. Just like when the British turned Hong Kong back over to China, when the Portuguese turned Macao over to China it was under the condition that it could maintain its autonomy. China agreed and the policy ‘One Country, Two Systems’ was born.
There are so many things to do here in Macao such as seeing the Ruins of Sao Paulo Cathedral or the A-Ma Temple which is the oldest religious temple in Macao dating back more than 500 years ago.
The food here, like everything else, is a kind fusion between Chinese and Portuguese with the use of lots of spices. They tend to bake, grill, or roast foods which are methods that are not used as much in China. Tapas are an integral part of Macanese cuisine. The most popular snack is the pork chop bun and the most popular desserts are ginger milk, pastéis de nata (egg tarts), and almond cake.
To give you a better sense of what it’s like in Macao here’s a really great video that I found online. Enjoy!