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A-Ma TempleMacao, also known as Macau is one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China (the other is Hong Kong). The name of Macau is derived from the word Magao (A-Ma Temple), which were shrines dedicated to Mazu who was a sacred sea goddess respected by Macau people. It was said that in the middle of the sixteenth century when the Portuguese first set foot here, one officer asked a fisherman the name of the land. Misunderstanding what the officer meant, the man answered 'Magao' - the name of A-Ma Temple just in front of them. Then the word became the Portuguese name for the land and for nearly 400 years. The Portuguese ruled the land until the handover on December 20, 1999 when Macau was officially return to the People's Republic of China as a special administrative region.

When compared with other Chinese metropolises like Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou, the land of Macao is quite small covering an area of only 27.5 square kilometers. Its total population is 469,800 of which 95% are Chinese, the others being Portuguese and other westerners. On the Macau Peninsular you can find sorts of old buildings in style of either European baroque or traditional Chinese. The blending of different peoples, cultures and history has influenced the city life on every aspect. Wandering around the Macau Peninsular, you will find yourself in a world of antiques and fashion, traditional and modern, as well as tranquility and glitz. 

To most travelers who have been to Macao is a city suitable for tourism and living because of its clean streets, pretty gardens and picturesque hilly landscapes that make it a beautiful city. Sunshine, clear air, green lands and all sorts of delicious food all contribute to its attractions.

The best way to explore numerous historical and cultural heritages in Macao is wandering around. Popular sightseeing places spread all over the Macau Peninsular. Largo do Senado, a splendid main square surrounded by simple, elegant Portuguese and baroque style buildings, is the busiest downtown area in the city. Clothing shops, curio markets, pharmacies, snack stalls and jewelry shops housed in the narrow alleyways that radiate from the square sell dazzling items.

Popular Attractions in Macao

The south part of Macao is the New Reclaimed Area and the Outer Harbor Area, a newly-developed region compared with the central and western areas that are more traditional. The modern aspect of the city can be found here. There are many luxurious hotels housing various gambling casinos and these venues are packed with people from all over the world when the night comes. Many museums in the two areas including Macau Wine Museum, Grand Prix Museum, Macau Art Museum, etc. present the essence of Macau's culture and history.Golden Lotus

Meandering to the north you will come to the featured attractions of the city-Ruins of St. Paul's, a former screen wall of St. Paul's Church and the Monte Fort, one of the best-preserved forts in Macau. The Museum of Macau, to the right of the ruins, tells all stories about the city's past. Situated at the base of Penha Peninsula in the southwest part of Macao is A-Ma Temple that was built in the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) and dedicated to the sacred goddess A-Ma. Thousands of devout prayers come to visit the temple during the festival seasons.

The two outlying islands of Taipa and Coloane, connected to the Macau Peninsular by two bridges, feature tranquil natural and beach sceneries and are a good choice to break away from the bustling Macau Peninsular for a short while. Macau Jockey Club's horse racing attracts numerous gamblers from the nearby; Hac Sa Bay and Bamboo Bay are two breathtaking natural scenic areas in Macao.

Macao is the paradise for gourmands as it has a wide range of delicious cuisines from all over the world including unparalleled Macau-style Portuguese cuisine, traditional Cantonese cuisine, exotic food from Italy, France, Brazil, India, Japan, and Korea... Everyone can find his own favorite! Moreover, the well-known Macau dim sum delicacies should never be missed. The Pastéis de Nata (a Portuguese-style egg tart) originated on the outlying island of Coloane is the featured snack in the city and Margaret's Café & Nata offers the best. All kinds of dim sum ranging from almond cake, chicken cakes, cashew cookies, sesame crackers, egg and cheese rolls are served in many Portuguese café and they are also good choices for families or friends as gifts.

Night view of MacaoKnown as 'Oriental Las Vegas', the gambling industry in Macau is booming and has already become an important feature of Macau's economy. Surprisingly, tourists cannot find the kind of razzmatazz in Macau's casinos as elsewhere; by contrast you can feel the expectations of gamblers from their polite manners and the peaceful atmosphere.



Macao Tour

Macao, a famous destination with prosperity and peace, fashion and history, oriental and western cultures, is deserving a visit. And a stay here is sure to revitalize the weary travelers.