Strolling down the streets of Macau

Although the second leg in the Adventures of Doug and Barb (Ben’s parents) included a significant stopover in world-renowned Hong Kong, I’ve already written about it here. So, in my effort to avoid redundancy and in my excitement to tell you all about another beautiful (although less famous) Special Administrative Region, I’m going to skip ahead to tell you all about Macau.

Macau is famous around these parts mostly for its gambling. The revenue brought in from Macau’s casinos is higher than that of any other gambling city in the world. But then again, if you know me even a little bit you would know that this isn’t as interesting to me as the fact that it is a former Portuguese colony. Yet, I wasn’t even remotely prepared for the heavy Portuguese influence around the city. The streets are lined with Portuguese architecture, trimmed with the famous yellow and white facades, and are dotted by various Catholic churches and missions. Of course, no mission would be complete without the accompaniment of a fortress or two.

The facade of Sao Paulo's Church... all that remains after a fire.

And yet, with all this, there’s still the heavy influence of the Cantonese who live there. After all, the official languages are

The Lion Dance

Cantonese and Portuguese. Nearly every shop has a place reserved for incense burning, the auspicious red is used everywhere, and (as luck would have it) we even stumbled upon a lion dance complete with firecrackers. They do this a lot in Guangzhou, too. This is usually when a new business opens to drive away bad Chi and promote financial success.

Ben and I really loved Macau and hope to go again sometime. After all, it’s only a two-hour bus trip from Guangzhou; although since it’s a SAR, we have to pass through customs which is annoying… but at least it provides a pretty stamp. 🙂


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