MACAU

Although best known for gambling, Macau is merely
rich in attractions and oozing with atmosphere, thanks
to hundreds of years of fusion between European and
Chinese cultures.

Macau is a fascinating place to just walk around as
the place is packed with churches, temples, fortresses
and other old buildings bearing an interesting mix of
Portuguese and Chinese characteristics. Besides
buildings, there are also hundreds of narrow
alleyways forming a maze in the old part of Macau
where the people of Macau carry out businesses and
work. If the sheer density of humans get to you, take
a break and enjoy several pretty gardens or head to
the island.

One of the interesting things to see in Macau is a
statue of the Bodhisatta Avalokitesvara (known as
觀音 kwoon yam in Cantonese) located next to the
sea near the Sands Casino and MGM Grand. Despite
being a Chinese deity, the statue is distinctly
European in design and resembles the statues of the
Virgin Mary you can find in Europe.

Rua da Tercena is the most popular art, antique, and
flea market street in Macau, a little off the beaten
track with less Chinese tourist crowds and a lot of
character. It is located near St Paul's, behind Senado
Square. Follow Rua de São Paulo to Rua das
Estalagens and turn down the hill to the next narrow
street. Go past the shops selling antiques, the tailor
shops, and other small shops until the road reaches a
fork.

You'll find most of the attractions in Macau
Peninsula, but Taipa and Coloane, each with a pretty
village, also draw hordes of visitors. Visit the Cotai
reclaimed land area to see its transformation into the
"Las Vegas Strip of the East". The Venetian is the
most famous with its Venice-styled shopping mall
with rivers running through, and is also currently the
largest casino in the world.
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