East meets west in Macau
Trip Start Sep 16, 2006
52Trip End Dec 20, 2006
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The Portuguese influence in Macau is deep-rooted. Although most residents are Han Chinese, there is a small proportion of Macanese people, who are a mixture of Portuguese, Chinese and African origins. This is most evident in the food which comes from a mixture of all three cultures. We found dishes such as grilled sardines with chilli noodles, African chicken (Galinha), Caldo Verde (Soup made with greens) and lots of portuguese wine (yipeeeeeee!) much better than Chinese wine of course. they also do a great line in Portuguese cakes like pasteis de nata (custard tarts) and special biscuits
I know I always go on about food but its important right?
We were hoping to be able to speak Portuguese because it is much better than our Cantonese, however, although the street signs are all in Portuguese, nobody speaks it. In fact, 2 per cent speak it, but the rest don't know a word so we got a few strange looks.
There is beautiful Portuguese architechture everywhere, but on the same streets you will find lots of temples and shrines.. its a real mix.
When we arrived, we were kicking ourselves beause it was the same time as the Grand Prix formula 3 weekend, a sport which neither of us have any interest in and has the potential to disrupt a visit. However, although it was tricky to find a hotel (I had to resort to marching around the streets and we settled for something that had a brothel downstairs (Somehow not as seedy as an English one so felt safe) and we ended up making friends with the workers. It made things a bit tricky because everywhere was packed, and transport booked up, but it was still a really interesting place to visit. There was a mini music festival, where we hoped to see some macanese folk music. Instead we got something even better... Macanese Elvis! photos to follow......