Macau Tourist Attractions: Places to Visit
Located on the southeastern coast of China and hanging from its huge underbelly, Macau is stretched over 29.2 sq. km (i.e. around 11.4 sq. miles). Located around 40 miles west of Hong Kong, Macau is positioned around the Pearl River Estuary and served as the last colony of Portugal in Asia by 1999, when it was handed to China.
It has a different blend of Chinese and Portuguese cultures. It is really worth to have a great overnight stay or day trip to get away from the crowd of Hong Kong. It is well regarded as the Mecca of shopping and gambling. It has a large number of fortresses, beaches, temples, churches, gardens, and beautiful museums to visit. Before visiting Macau, here are some of the fascinating facts you should know –
One Nation, Two Systems
Macau served as a Portuguese colony for over 300 years. On December 1990, it was declared as Macau Special Administrative Region of China. Along with Hong Kong, it serves as One Nation, Two Systems formula. According to this agreement, China promised that its economic and political system wouldn’t work on Macau. Hence, it has its own autonomy and freedom.
World’s Most Densely Populated Destination
Macau is a place which receives highest density of population in the world. Over 650,000 residents are living here in this city, i.e. 21,411 people in every sq. km.
Gambling is Legal Here
Macau is the only city in China where gambling is legal. In fact, it gets more revenue from gambling than any other country in the world. It generates over 7 times more revenue than “The Strip” in Las Vegas. In 2006, it is announced as the largest gambling hub in India.
World’s Largest Casino is in Macau
World’s largest casino, the Venetian Macao is known as the third largest hotel complex in Asia and sixth largest in the world by floor area.
A huge exporter
Macau is not all about casino. It houses a lot of industries, including gambling, tourism, toys, electronics, footwear, clothing and textiles. It also exports various products like footwear, clothing, electronics, textiles, machinery parts and machinery.
World’s second richest territory
You may think that Macau is grown only through its casino industry. International Monetary Fund reports that Macau is the second richest territory or country in the world. Its per capita GDP is US$114,430. Along with it, Macau had financial reserves of US$55 billion and zero public debt by the end of 2016.
Local government distributes its profits to citizens
Macau receives huge profits as taxes from casinos every year. Every year, local government pays 9000 patacas (around US$1200) to its permanent residents and 5400 patacas (around US$670) to its non-permanent residents. Since 2014, it is paying this amount to its citizens.
First and Last European Colony in China
Macau was the Europe’s first and last European Colony located in China. In 1557, it was leased to Portugal as a port for trading. In 1887, it was officially declared as a Portuguese territory.
Eventually, Macau was handed back to China in the year 1999. Its unique architecture and culture is so unique that it connects East to the West as a 450 years old legacy of Portugal. Portuguese is still an official language here.
World’s most severely endangered languages are spoken here
A creole language Patua is a mixture of Cantonese and Portuguese languages and developed in Macau and is spoken in the indigenous Eurasian community of Macau, the Macanese. Patua is declared as a critically endangered language by UNESCO in 2009. There are only 50 people in the world who speak Patua, as of 2000.
The origin of world’s first fusion dish
A mixture of Portuguese and southern Chinese cooking techniques and ingredients, the Macanese cuisine is spotted in Macau. This 400 years old dish is also known as the first fusion cuisine in the world. Riquexo is a popular Macanese restaurant where you can try signature dishes like African chicken and minchi. It is run by the official godmother of Macanese cuisine, Aida de Jesus, who is 102 years old, along with her daughter Sonia Palmer.
World’s second highest life expectancy
Macau has world’s second highest life expectancy. The World Factbook reports that both genders live around 84.51 years on average in Macau.
Fortaleza do Monte – The Historic Centre of Macau
The Historic Centre of Macau, Fortaleza de Monte is declared as UNESCO World Heritage site. Constructed from 1617 to 1626 on Mount Hill which is 52 meters tall, the fort was located just on the eastern part of the Ruins of St. Paul’s. It was built to protect Portuguese Jesuits and their properties in Macau from pirates. Later on, the Portuguese colonial governor took over the Fortaleza as well as authorities to protect Macau.
A very humid region
With the humidity from 75% to 90%, Macau receives very humid climate. Every year, it witnesses heavy rainfall which brings humid climate throughout the year.