Macao (澳門)

Getting to the “Las Vegas” of China is pretty easy from Hong Kong. The ferries leave more less every 15-30 minutes both ways. Like Hong Kong, Macao is a special administrative region and you need to cross the border and get a visa even if you are coming from China mainland or Hong Kong. You have to calculate about one hour for each time of immigrating and about 20 minutes for emigrating.

Macao was a Portuguese colony so still all signs are at least in Portuguese and Mandarin. Macao became a part of China in 1999 but the social and economic system, lifestyle, rights, and freedoms are to remain unchanged for at least 50 years. The currency is Macanese pataca but they also accept Hong Kong Dollars everywhere.

The city is very famous for its several really huge Casinos. Every big brand like Venecian, Sands or Wynn has its own big complex of shopping mall, casino and hotel. Especially people from the mainland love to come over for a weekend and try their luck.

The centre of the city is still preserved and you can enjoy the great colonial architecture of the Portuguese. Anyway there are just a few building left. The main attraction are the ruins of the St. Paul’s Cathedral built in 1602.

The city is fascinating like Las Vegas but in my mind not worth to stay longer than 12 hours if you are not interested in gambling. The best time to head over is the early afternoon to have enough time to visit the old town and enjoy afterwards the great lightnings of the Casinos and the and fountain show in front of the Wynn.