Senior Tourists Travel to Macua, a Unique Destination

Jun 8th, 2011 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

Seniors, most of us have never heard of Macau.  Now because of recent news broadcasts, we know of their interest in creating gambling casinos. Macau, along with Hong Kong, is one of the two special administrative regions of the People’s Republic of China. It lies on the western side of the Pearl River Delta, bordering Guangdong province to the north and facing the South China Sea to the east and south.

Macau is a city with two faces. On the one hand, the fortresses, churches and food of its former colonial master Portugal speak to a uniquely Mediterranean style on the China coast. On the other, Macau is the self-styled Las Vegas of the East. And while that comparison might sound overblown, it’s not. During the past few years charismatic-but-sleepy little Macau has experienced the sort of boom usually associated with cities like Shànghǎi.  But rather than skyscrapers and office towers, the construction here is all about Vegas-style mega-casinos and hotels. The reason, of course, is that casinos are legal in Macau, while in China and nearby Hong Kong they’re not. It’s a big market.

Here, Chinese culinary tradition has been influenced by the Mediterranean. This has shaped a unique dining scene, where enjoying a bottle of inexpensive red wine with dinner is the norm – even though that dinner might be classic Cantonese cuisine.

Macau is the world’s most densely populated country with 18,428 persons per square kilometer.  As the first and last European colony in Asia, Macau has more visible colonial history than Hong Kong. Walking through the old city you could convince yourself you were in Europe – if the streets were devoid of people and Chinese-language signage, that is. The Portuguese population continues to maintain a small presence, but almost all of the population is native Chinese.

Macau became a rich and important city for trade. During ancient times, this port city was part of the Silk Road with ships loading here with silk for Rome.  It was also a centre for Jesuit missionaries who traveled to China and Japan. They built palatial churches, leafy squares and ornate European-style buildings.

There is plenty to see and do here and the principle attractions such as the Macao Science Center, the Tea Culture House and the Lou Kau Mansion will keep you interested and busy for a few days.  If you may have only a short visit here are some good suggestions to take in.

Macau’s unique attractions, world heritage, and fascinating museums add an irreplaceable dimension to a vibrant coastal city renowned as one of the finest holiday getaways in the region. Take lots of $$$ and enjoy the scenery!  jeb

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