The former Portuguese colony was returned to Chinese rule in 1999 and similarly to Hong Kong enjoys high autonomy in it’s own affairs. It has it’s own administrative government and police force, and it’s own currency (Macau Pacata). Macau also has the reputation for being the Las Vegas of the east, and you will find many casinos here. Because of this, tourism and entertainment are the main sources of income for Macau. This is a nice place for a short visit and you can easily get here from Hong Kong, taking the many ferry services.
Alternately, you can drive in by road from China or fly in by air. As Macau is a SAR (Special Administrative Zone), you may need a separate visa to enter, even though you already have a entry visa for China. My last visit to Macau was in 2011, and I did managed to see a bit more of this small but unique place, compared to my earlier visit.
The streets and alleyways beside St’ Paul’s ruins are a treasure trove of small shops and restaurants. They are a good place to sample Macau’s street food, especially their famous Portuguese egg tarts.
Macau’s streets are an exotic mix of Chinese and Spanish names, and it can be difficult to find your way around if you are not familiar with the street names.
As the gambling capital of Asia, Macau has more casinos and luxury hotels than you can spend you money at. So to attract crowds, many of these casinos have in house theatres featuring world class shows. One of these is the House of Dancing Water showing at the City of Dreams.
Besides the grand shows, the shopping malls and casinos are also an attraction onto themselves with over the top architecture and themes.
You can easily spend 2-3 days in Macau for a leisurely visit and cover as much of the sights as possible. Usually, people include Macau as part of their itinerary to Hong Kong. It’s a really small place covering just 31.3 sq km and a population of just more than 600,000. In between, you might get lucky at the gambling tables and recover the money you spent on the trip.