Macau (China)

A former Portuguese colony, Macau is one of China's two Special Administrative Regions (SAR). Just like Hong Kong, Macau enjoys a free market, multi-party elections and its own government, legal system, police force, currency and separate customs territory. I visited the territory twice.

The SAR is the most densely populated territory in the world (about 22,000 persons per sqkm), much smaller and with a different vibe compared to Hong Kong. There are some interesting sights for sure, but the place's main attraction is clear: Macau is currently the world's top Casino Market, larger than Las Vegas in the US. You have to try your hand at a game of roulette or the slot machines in some of the impressive casinos while visiting.

The territory's main tourist spot, the Macau Peninsula, has interesting sights including the ruins of the 16th century St. Paul's Cathedral, the Grand Prix Museum, the nice historic center and the Macau Tower.

The influence of Portugese culture and the billingual signs in Chinese and Portugese were pretty cool; you'll also find some excellent pastel de nata pastries just like in Portugal. There's not a lot to do in Macau after one day unless gambling is your thing, so this territory is an ideal day trip from Hong Kong (just one hour away by ferry or bus). Another cool thing of note is banknotes in Macau and Hong Kong are issued by commercial banks and not by a central monetary authority; thus, you'll see different types of notes in circulation which is kind of interesting.

- Macau entry on Wikipedia
- Macau entry on Wikivoyage

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