Dr. Chun
Macau, China

July, 2014

 

In the summer of 2014, I flew to Macau, took a ferry to Shenzhen, and then crossed the border to Hong Kong. Macau is a small peninsula in mainland China, across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong. A Portuguese overseas territory until 1999, it reflects a mix of Portuguese and Chinese influences. For me, wandering around was the best way to explore the city's numerous historical and cultural heritages.



     
     
013I arrived at Macau airport in the late evening and spent one night at a nearby hotel in Taipa.  Next morning, I walked towards casinos in the Cotai Strip area.  Not to gamble, but to explore... 023I saw many interesting buildings and parks along the way.  It was ideal for a leisure stroll.  With a tidy sprawl of traditional Chinese shops and some excellent restaurants, Taipa Village is punctuated by colonial villas, churches, and temples.
 
033Macau's giant casinos and extravagant malls have earned it the nickname, the "Las Vegas of Asia."  My first stop was Galaxy Macau to see the Diamond Show.  The show turns an ordinary fountain into a sparkling performance with beautiful chandelier. 043I took a free shuttle bus to other casinos in the same area.  Sands Cotai Central is the pathway to adventure, fun, and fortune, with hotels, casinos, and an array of dining, retail and entertainment options under one roof. The Venetian Macao is a high-end Italian-themed casino and resort with a variety of shops and restaurants, plus entertainment.
 
053Macau Tower is an important landmark of Macau and a charming place with observation decks for sightseeing, games for adventures, and stores for entertainment.  You may enjoy the world's highest bungee jump or a thrilling walking tour around the outer rim.
063The variety of pavilions dedicated to the worship of different deities in a single complex make A-Ma Temple an exemplary representation of Chinese culture inspired by Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and multiple folk beliefs.
 
073Moorish Barracks was constructed in 1874 to accommodate an Indian regiment from Goa appointed to reinforce Macau's police force. It is a distinctly neo-classical building integrating architectural elements of Moghul influence.
083Built by the Jesuits in the mid-16th century, St. Lawrence's Church is one of the three oldest churches in Macau. Situated on the southern coastline of Macau overlooking the sea, families of Portuguese sailors used to gather on the front steps of the church to pray and wait for their return. (Also click for St. Augustine's Church.)
 
093The Historic Centre of Macau stands today as a living testimony to the integration and co-existence of eastern and western cultures over a unique chapter in history.  So many historic buildings, monuments, and urban squares! 103Thanks to its free port status, Macau is a shoppers' paradise and foremost among the popular buys is jewelry - particularly gold.
 
113Rua da Felicidade was Macau’s historic red light district, lined with brothels and seductively clad sex workers announcing their services. It is now occupied by a variety of shops, mainly restaurants. 123Senado Square has been Macau's urban center for centuries, and is still the most popular venue for public events and celebrations today. The square is surrounded by pastel colored neo-classical buildings, creating a consistent and harmonious Mediterranean atmosphere.
 
133Here we have the beautiful baroque façade of St. Dominic's Church. The present structure, which dates from the 17th century, stands on the site of a chapel and convent built in the 1590s.  Another picture is Cathedral of Macau, which was built in 1622.

143The statues, referred to as Where East Meets West, portray a Chinese woman giving a flower to a Portuguese man.
 
153Mount Fortress was the city's principal military defense structure. It was equipped with cannons, military barracks, wells and an arsenal that held sufficient ammunition and supplies to endure a siege lasting up to two years. The fortress covers an area of 10,000 square meters, in the shape of a trapezoid. The four corners of the fortress protrude to form bulwarks.

163The Ruins of the Church of St. Paul: This magnificent stone façade is almost all that remains of the great church that was completed in 1602 by the Jesuits and destroyed by fire in 1835.
 
173I walked behind the sanctuary area and descended a flight of stairs into the remains of the church’s crypt. The Museum of Sacred Art and Crypt has exhibitions of religions artworks including paintings, sculptures and statues. 183Saint Anthony's Church (Igreja de Santo António) is consider to be the first church of Macau, originally built in 1588. The church is beautiful and quiet which allows you to pray and meditate.
 
     
 
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