China: Macau

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While in Hong Kong we took a sidetrip to Macau on a 5-hour visit, and although this was my second trip to Macau it merely whetted my appetite to come back and explore it again. We visited the main attractions such as the lovely Leal Senado and ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral. A lot of changes have taken place since my first visit in 1994. It was disorienting to see the Body Shop and MacDonalds downtown, side by side with the Chinese shops, but it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. At the waterfront they’re constructing more buildings while still following the Portuguese architecture that they know attracts tourists. Brian was accosted by a student researcher a day earlier at the Peak, and was interviewed for a market study comparing Macau with Hong Kong. At any rate, this kind of competition is welcome if Macau can continue to offer something different besides casinos and racing.

As we only had a few hours to kill and less money to burn we decided to skip lunch. I really wanted us to experience Macau cuisine. Instead we pursued our favorite pastime of seeking “cheap entertainment,” such as taking photos and sightseeing, strolling, riding the public transportation, peering into shops and gawking at the displays, etc.

MACAU LIGHTHOUSE

It’s one of the new things I did for this trip, in addition to a visit to the Macau Museum by the Cathedral which was constructed after my first visit. The fort and lighthouse were both old, though. We took a cable car up the hill and were rewarded with a great view of the city. The chapel made a great photo subject. There is even a tunnel close by.

LEAVING MACAU

Time for a few last glimpses of this dynamic city that holds on to its Portuguese and Chinese heritage as it continues to build more modern structures. The city is definitely growing, I just hope it doesn’t transform itself into a generic city of concrete and steel. Nor should it dwell in the past unnecessarily.

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