Macau, China - The Traveller


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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Macau, China


Macau – Earliest European Colonies in Asia

Macau is situated towards the southeast coast of China and is a special administrative region of the country. Macau was one of the earliest European colonies in Asia and the last to be abandoned and hence has several visible colonial history than Hong Kong.

While walking through the old city, one gets the feeling of being in Europe minus the streets without the people and the Chinese signs around.Besides the city, Macau comprises of the islands of Taipa and Coloane which are linked to Macau via bridges and to one another by a causeway, presently built up into the Cotai Strip.

The Chinese city of Zhuhai is bordered by Macau towards the north, where the border crossing has heavy two way vehicular as well as pedestrian traffic. The Zhuhai Special Economic Zone tends to extend towards the south of Hengquin Island, west of Taipa, Cotai and Coloane. The Lotus Bridge is connected from Cotai to that area. There is substantial movement by the locals of both Zhuhai as well as Macau across the bridge which makes the two seems like twin cities

Asia’s Popular Gambling Mecca

Known as Asia’s popular gambling Mecca, one will find the traditional Chinese culture with exotic Portuguese buildings. Macau derived its name from the word Magao – A-Ma Temple, which was a shrine that had been dedicated to Mazu, the sacred sea goddess respected by the locals.

It is said that towards the middle of the 16th century when the Portuguese had first visited the city, one of the officers had asked a fisherman the name of the land and the man misunderstanding the officer had answered `Magao’ which was the name of A-Ma Temple that was before them.Thereafter the word became the Portuguese name for the land.

In 1535, the Portuguese traders gain the rights to anchor ships in Macau’s harbour and carry on trading activities but no right to stay onshore. Towards 1552-1553, they acquired temporary permission to create storage sheds onshore to dry out goods that were saturated by sea water and built rudimentary stone houses around the area which is presently called Nam Van. The Portuguese, in 1957, established a permanent settlement in Macau and paid an annual rent of 500 taels of silver and continued to pay an annual tribute in order to stay in Macau till 1963.

Peninsular – World of Antiques/Fashion/Traditional/Modern

For almost 400 years, they ruled here before the return of its official to the People’s Republic of China on 20 December, 1999, as a special administrative region. The city covers an area of 27.5 square kilometres with a total population is 469,800 out of which 95% are Chinese while the rest are Portuguese and other westerners.

Most of them reside on the Macau Peninsular where there is a variety of both Oriental as well as Western cultural and historical places of interest together with various types of old buildings which are European baroque or traditional Chinese style.The life of the city has been influenced by the mixture of people, culture and the history in every aspect.

Around the Peninsular, one will find a world of antiques and fashion, traditional and modern together with tranquillity and glitz. Many are of the belief that this destination is suitable both for tourist as well as living since it is a beautiful city with clean streets, gardens together with picturesque hilly landscape with the added attraction of clean air, sunshine, green lands together with delicious food which have made their own contribution to this amazing destination.

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