While Hong Kong is known internationally, not a lot of people are aware of Macau, another autonomous region in China. Only being 55 km (34 mi) away from Hong Kong thru the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge (HZMB), Macau is now more accessible than ever to non-Chinese tourists.
This Portuguese influenced region hosted more than 39.4 million visitors, just in 2019 (over 1 million more than Canada’s population) in an area of 115.3 km². All of those people should’ve had good reasons for visiting Macau. In this post, we’ll talk about the top 10 reasons to visit Macau this year.
1- Exciting History
Macau was the last European colony in Asia. The territory was leased to Portugal in 1557 and handed back to China on December 20, 1999. That’s almost 450 years of Portuguese influence in Macanese food, architecture, language, and culture. This city fascinates you with its contrasts.
2- Experience The West And The East At Once
As mentioned above, Macau has been under Portuguese influence for about 450 years which means it’s definitely a mixture of both worlds. Even though Macau is still considered China, it mostly makes you feel like you’re somewhere in Europe. All the signs are written in Portuguese, Chinese, and sometimes English.
In 2005, the Historic Centre of Macau was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. In total, 22 sites were recognized for having cultural and historical significance. the best UNESCO World Heritage Sites to visit in Macau are places like “The Ruins of St. Paul’s”, made by Catholic priests (Macau’s most famous landmark), “A-Ma Temple” (the oldest and most famous Chinese temple in Macau), and “Guia Fortress And Lighthouse” (the first Western-style lighthouse on the China coast).
3- Macau Is the World’s Largest Gambling City
Macau is among the top 10 richest regions in the world because of its Gambling industry which attracts a lot of international visitors that eventually generate money for the region. Macau’s government is so rich that pays around $670 to residents and about $1200 to the permanent residents of Macau, each year.
After WinStar World Casino in Oklahoma, USA, Macau is home to the second-largest casino in the world called Venetian Macau. In general, out of the 10 largest casinos in the world, five are located in Macau. Macau is the only place in China where gambling is legal which is the reason why about 60% of international tourists who visit Macau come from Mainland China.
4- Amazing Beaches
If you’re a beach-lover, Macau still got you covered! Macau has beautiful beaches such as The Hac Sa Beach on the southeast region of Coloane Island. Because of the minerals in the water, the Hac Sa Beach sand’s color used to be black, but over time and due to erosion, the dark sand was replaced by yellowish sand that lightened the dark hue of the beach.
5- Macau Is A Child-friendly Destination
Just because Macau is the biggest gambling city in the world, it doesn’t mean that only adults can visit Macau. There are a lot of gambling-free hotels that are more family-friendly. And with tons of activities, your children will never get bored in Macau.
6- Macanese Cuisine
Since Macau was an international place, getting controlled by the Portuguese for a long time, the Macau cuisine is a mixture of Portuguese, Southern Chinese, and African. They use seafood, olives, and chorizo, as well as turmeric, coconut milk, cinnamon, and dried cod.
The symbol of Macanese cuisine is pastéis de nata (egg tarts). Egg tarts could be found throughout the world, but according to most people who tried it there, the best version could be found in Macau.
7- Photographing Paradise
With countless beautiful old and new buildings beside each other, the Asian and European influences in the streets, and beautiful parks and gardens, Macau can serve as the perfect training base for travel photographers, or a playground for those who just love taking good pictures.
8- Shopping Haven
You’d be surprised to know that Macau is a shopping haven where you can find everything from amazing valuable local deals to the luxury brands that won’t be found elsewhere. You can easily get lost in the shopping malls for hours and have one of the best shopping experiences of your life.
9- Cheap Hotel Stays
Booking the Five-star hotels in Macau comes cheaper compared to their neighbor, Hong Kong, especially during the week. If you’re going to stay, you might as well stay in style!
10- Learn The Secret To Longer Life
According to CIA World Factbook, with an average of 84.60 years, Macau citizens have the fourth-longest life expectancy in the world. There are a lot of factors behind it, such as amazing healthy Macanese cuisine and the spectacular healthcare system that’s the result of the Macau government’s investment in their healthcare and welfare programs. People in Macau also exercise a lot.