Thank you to Meanwhile in Thailand for this week's Quick & Nerdy!
· A second Special Administrative Region of China, Macau is made famous more for gambling than anything. New casinos tend to overshadow the history of the former Portuguese Colony, but there is plenty else to see here.
· Narrow, crowded streets dominate tourist areas but Macau is mostly walkable if you don’t mind the crowds.
· Much less organized than its neighbor, Hong Kong, outside of the casinos, Macau tends to be overshadowed.
· Just a short boat ride away from Hong Kong, Macau is easily worth a day trip and maybe more depending on how excited you are about the casinos.
· The ruins of St. Paul – in the heart of Macau’s colonial past remains the façade of this church, the only ruins left standing after a fire in 1835.
· Largo do Sonado- near the ruins of St. Paul, this crowded plaza is now full of modern shops.
· Mount Fortress – again, near the ruins of St. Paul, this hillside fort gives you another great city view and some spectacularly ancient trees, as well as its history and old colonial feel.
· Guia Fortress – a bit further away, a cab or bus ride will take you here where a short walk or cable car ride up the hill will give you a great view of Macau below.
· Cemeterio de São Miguel Arcanjo – a short walk from Guia Fortress, a pretty little European styled cemetery.
· The Venetian Casino – opulent to the point of ridiculous, this imitation of an imitation aims to replicate the city (and casino) from where it took its name right down to the indoor canal.
· Grand Lisboa – you can’t avoid it, but it is here and it is ugly.
· Macau’s small streets can be confusing, but there is a quality bus network to help you get around. Most casinos offer free buses, too, so don’t bother to pay for the cab or try and figure out the public bus if that’s where you are headed.
· You’ll need to change money here, as well, so get some patacas.
· It’s a gambling paradise but if you don’t, then a day is probably enough.
· If you ride the ferry from Hong Kong, bring Dramamine or maybe something much stronger. The seas can be quite rough, even on a large catamaran.