Macau has a reputation for being a gaming destination these days, one to rival Las Vegas and Monaco in the world stakes.
There’s no doubt that the casino industry has helped drive the area’s popularity, but there is much more to Macau than a game of poker or a spinning roulette wheel. The former Portuguese colony has a rich and varied history, with many locations of cultural importance one can visit while on vacation there.
Of course, gaming plays a huge part in the area’s success, and it would be remiss not to include that as part of our five-part whistle-stop tour of Macau, should you be lucky enough to travel there in 2022. Are you ready? Here are our essential picks for you.
Of course, we’ll start with the casinos, and as Poker.org reveals, you could be forgiven for thinking you’re still in Vegas when you visit the autonomous South China region. Boasting locations such as the Venetian, Parisien, and Wynn Palace, many sights associated with the Nevada desert can be found. As well as the sites, these places have poker rooms for the sharp card player, all the usual table games, and enough games to sell you the casino dream.
St Paul’s Ruins
If you’ve had enough of going all-in around the tables, then you can soon find something else to whet your appetite. The original St Paul’s stood from 1637, constructed by Japanese Christians driven out of their home country. It was destroyed in a typhoon in 1835, but the façade still stands to this day, providing a reminder of the splendor the building once had.
Macau is a rich melting pot of European and Asian culture, and the A-Ma temple falls into the latter. Dedicated to the goddess Matsu, the temple was built in 1488 and now forms part of the historic center of Macau, according to whc.unesco.org. It’s divided into six sections and has plenty for the visitor to see, including spectacular views over the bay, as well as shaded areas for quiet contemplation.
Fortaleza do Monte
We’re back on the culture trail, this time visiting the hub of Portugal’s military presence in the area. The fort was built in 1626 and today houses a three-storey museum dedicated to the archaeology and anthropology of Macau. Once, the building may have been a symbol of division, but it is now focused on how the Chinese, Portuguese, and Macanese have come together to help build the area in to the hub of culture and advancement it is today.
AJ Hackett Macau Tower
Like many casinos from the first entry, the AJ Hackett tower completes our house of three cultural landmarks and two brand new ones. The tower is one of the area’s most recognizable landmarks and stands 338m tall. It has an observation deck, restaurants, and theaters, as well as the Macau Tower Skywalk, an utterly terrifying walk around the outer rim of the observation level. If that’s not enough, you can even bungee jump from the 233m high mark. With attractions like this, why would you leave the firm ground of a poker table?