Vegas of the East

Trip Start Aug 23, 2010
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17
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Trip End Jul 15, 2011


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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wow, awesome place. Such a unique fusion of Portuguese and Chinese culture, architecture, and language wrapped up into a Vegas style package. I highly doubt there is any other city quite like it on earth. Macau is basically it's own little country adjacent to China: for those of you who don't already know, Macau was just like Hong Kong in that it was a colony of another country until recently. Hong Kong was a British Colony until 1997, Macau was a Portuguese colony until 1999. Like Hong Kong, Macau maintains its democratic political system and capitalist economy for a guaranteed 50 years from the date it was returned to the PRC. Macau is built on a tiny peninsula adjacent to the Guangdong province of China, and what used to be two small islands that are now joined together by reclaimed land. The reclaimed land, known as the Cotai strip (Joined COloane Island and TAIpa Island, hence the name COTAI) is where all the brand new massive Hotel Casinos are being built. I imagine it will eventually look like Vegas. At this point there are two completed casino complexes on the Cotai strip: The City of Dreams, and The Venetian. Each one has about 4 or 5 different hotels/casinos, malls, etc. There are several others under construction also. Back on the peninsula, where we stayed, is the downtown core of Macau and most of the historic Portuguese fortresses/buildings, and all of the original casinos. (Many of which are impressive in their own right). I found it so strange to look around at all of this Portuguese /Spanish style stuff, and see Chinese writing on the signs, and Chinese people walking around everywhere. Another cool area is Coloane Island, which is less developed, has some nice hiking trails in the forest, a couple beaches, and a little village that reminded me a little bit of Sechelt or Gibsons's back on the sunshine coast in BC. A very cool place. Might write more later, but for now, here are some pictures.
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