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
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.