[Visited: October 1992; September 1996; September 1998]
Although well-known as a casino city, my main reason for visiting Macau was the special mix of Chinese and Portuguese culture. It is indeed strange to walk in an entirely Chinese city, with Chinese people, Chinese chaos, mostly Chinese architecture and Chinese temples, and then suddenly see a Portuguese road sign, Portuguese ceramics in a house, Portuguese shop signs, a Portuguese church. It is even possible to find completely Portuguese buildings. One example is the Sao Tiago hotel.
Originally a Portuguese fortress, it has been completely renovated, and now turned into a hotel. The setting is truly unique: on the far point of the Macau peninsula, its position was chosen very strategically. And its walls very thick. Upon entering downstairs, you have to walk up old stairs through the wall which is metres thick. There is the relaxing sound of water running down the walls and some small canals at the side of the stairs.
During my last visit, I stayed for the first time at this beautiful hotel. The rooms are possibly even more beautiful than you would expect. The bathroom is decorated with old Portuguese ceramics, the room is fitted with wooden furniture. From the balcony, sitting in an old wooden Portuguese chair, the Chinese mainland can easily be seen. Colonialism may have had very negative effects in history. But this fortress is an example of a very interesting and romantic side effect of colonialism.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Macau city (Macau). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Macau city. Read more about this site.