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Rare Destinations > Macau

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Macau, a mix of Hong Kong and Las Vegas

Used to be a Portuguese colony with its own currency, called "Pataca". Macau has an intense nightlife, casinos and even old European Christian churches.

It is a tiny autonomous region belonging to China, with a population of just over half a million. Much smaller than the nearby Hong Kong, direction from which many tourists arrive by ship.

Some people call it Macao, most often and more appropriate is Macau, while the Chinese variant is Aomen.

Few people ever dream about travelling to Macau, it is one of the least known Asian destinations and we believe it is worth more exposure.

So, why travel to Macau?

Most people have only heard about it and most of those who have, don't even have the slightest idea about what is there.

Simply you have to see it because it is an interesting former European colony in what used to be and is again China. You have to see its colours, the mix of Chinese and Portuguese architecture, the Buddhist temples and Roman Catholic Churches. The facade of an old Portuguese church built in the very early 1600s can be found here, it  is a major travel attraction of Macau.

The modern architecture is particularly interesting. Modern office buildings and casinos have extravagant, shiny looks, interesting twists of steel and turns of glass can be seen here. Colorful advertisements, just like in Hong Kong cover streets and the buildings.

It is fairly easy to get there, either directly by airplane or with a ferry from Hong Kong. It should take about 1 hour to get there by a fast ship. Cost would be just under 20 US $ for a single direction ticket.

Things to know about Macau

- it is an island country, like Hong Kong and Singapore, only this one is much smaller, with the populated zone having only slightly more than 2 km in max. length

- 6,6 % of the population uses Portuguese as their language at home

- Macau re-became part of China in 1999, when the Portuguese handed it over, the same way Hong Kong was given back by the British in 1999

Travel risks & precautions

- theft, swindles are frequent, be aware of the presence of pickpockets and other thieves, therefore take the necessary precautions

- hand, foot and mouth disease, avian influenza are the most common dangerous diseases, but variations of hepatitis, cholera, tuberculosis, parasitic diseases and others can also be found in Macau


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