August 21, 2008


-Katrina, Nicki and Lydia chillin' in the city center with their fantastic umbrellas.-

For those of you who read the title and asked yourself, "Where the heck is Macau?", allow me to explain. Macau (pronounced mah-cow) is a special administration region of China. The best way to describe it is that Macau had a similar situation to that of its neighbor Hong Kong. Only instead of the British colonizing the tiny island off the southern tip of China it was the Portuguese who first claimed it as a trading post. So while Hong Kong speaks English, Macau speaks Portuguese. While Hong Kong stands firm on the world's stage, Macau is sitting in it's shadows waiting for it's turn to be noticed.

-Downtown Macau. Isn't it impressive?-

-The Ruins of St. Paul. This cathedral dates back to 1602.-

Quick tips (for those of you with an attention span like mine):
  • Official Languages: Portuguese and Chinese (Cantonese).
  • Population: 520, 400 (2007)
  • Macau is the most densely populated area in the world with 18, 428 people per square Kilometer.
  • Currency: Macanese Pataca (MOP)
  • It is considered one of the richest cities in the world because of booming industry and gambling.
  • It is commonly called the Vegas of Asia and now boasts both an MGM Grand as well as a Venetian. The Sands Casino in Macau is the largest casino in the world, as judged by tables.
  • Macau was established as a Portuguese trading post in 1557, it become a colony in 1887 and Macau was turned over to the Chinese government, in the same manner as Hong Kong, in 1999.
  • According to law Macau will continue to have autocracy for the first fifty years following the transfer of power from Portugal to China. In these fifty years China is responsible for defense and foreign affairs. Macau will be responsible for the legal system, police, monetary system, customs and immigration as well as events and international organizations.
  • Macau is named after the goddess of seafarers and fishermen, Matsu.
  • Residents of Macau are offered 15 years of free education (this includes 3 years of kindergarten).

    -A typical side street in Macau.-
-Someones world view.-

Katrina and I were fortunate enough to spend two days in Macau... one day planned... the other not so much. Let's just say that missed flights have a few perks.

-Katrina and I taking a break from the rain.-

-A quaint little house.-

We spent our time in Macau meandering the streets, admiring the intricate tile work, drinking in the ancient architecture and discovering a history that is practically unknown to the western world. If you are at all interested in history, architecture or culture I highly recommend a trip to the intriguing country of Macau.

-Macau is a very humid, sub-tropical island with plenty of exotic vegetation to boast.-

-Exploring Macau.-

*Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macau


Kirstin said...

What a beautiful city. Thanks for all the information..I especially like that they can have THREE years of kindergarten. Awesome. :)

The Olson's said...

It is a great feature... I know that I sure did enjoy my first three years of kindergarten. ;)