Once an ancient port city on the Silk Road, today, Macau remains a vibrant and prosperous cosmopolitan city bursting with influences from the Eastern and Western communities that have made it their home.
While many cultures prevail in Macau, it's the Portugese who have most firmly put their stamp on this region. In the 1550s, Portugese settlers declared it A Ma Gao, 'Place of A Ma', in honour of the Goddess of Seafarers, whose temple stood near the harbour. It then gradually changed into the namesake it's known as today.
While Macau is widely known for being an international gambling mecca, there are many other charms that this city has on offer for those in the know.
The Historic Centre of Macau - Something for everyone to enjoy...
The Historic Centre of Macau is comprised of European-style squares and more than 20 monuments as well as a chapel, a fortress, a cathedral, churches, a temple and Old City Walls. With so many architectural delights to enjoy, tourists are spoilt for choice. Must-see sights include: The Ruins of St. Paul's, Mount Fortress, Casa Garden and Senado Square.
Discover the unique diversity of Macanese Cuisine
The Portugese influence is most apparent in Macanese cuisine, which is a unique fusion of Chinese and Portugese cooking. Delicacies include: African Chicken (chicken grilled in piri piri peppers); Tacho (a hearty stew of Chinese vegetables and different meats; Galinha Portugesa (chicken with potatoes, eggs, onions, saffron); Minchi (minced beef with fried potatoes, soya sauce, onions and a fried egg); Lingaudo Macau (Macau sole fried and served with a green salad); and Porco Balichao (Balichao pork). A popular dessert is Jagra De Ovos (sweet egg tart).
A world of flavours to be experienced...
In addition to Portugese cuisine, you'll find a wealth of other tasty cuisines in Macau including: Italian, French, American, Brazilian, Japanese, Korean, Mozambican, Thai, Southeast Asian, Bumese, Indonese, Malaysian and Singaporean.
Portugese Wine in Macau
Wine lovers will love the selection of Portugese wines available at the Wine Museum in the Tourism Activities Centre. Here visitors can find historical information about wine production, while learning about the cultural importance of wine in the Portugese tradition.
Traditional pastries in Macau
Taipa Island is renowned for its traditional pastries. In Macau, you can find pastry shops around Senado Square and along Rua de S. Paulo near the Ruins of St. Paul's. Ensure that you try the ‘Pastéis de Nata’ (little egg tarts) that can be found at most cafes and bakeries in the city.
Shopping in Macau
Luxury items are cheaper in Macau than in other cities in the region. Here, savvy shoppers stock up on jewellery, cameras, porcelain, electronic items, mobile phones, watches, cashmere jumpers and silk clothing.
Macau is also a fantastic destination for sourcing Chinese antiques and treasures. Here you'll find ancient coins, stamps, and teas and coffees from around the world.
For guidance on where to shop, visit:
Macau shopping malls
Macau shopping districts
Visit Macau today to experience a place unlike any other...
With an abundance of culture delights to choose from and an array of sensational world cuisines to enjoy, there's never been a better time to visit Macau.
For more information on Macau, visit Macau Government Tourist Office at www.macautourism.gov.mo.
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