Last weekend, I had the opportunity to visit Macau, a Chinese territory that was a Portuguese colony for over 300 years. Like Hong Kong, Macau is a Special Administrative Region of China, which basically means that both Macau and Hong Kong have their own political and economic structures separate from China, but it is still technically under China’s supervision. Now, the region is nicknamed, “The Las Vegas of Asia,” as it has become the world’s top gambling city. Macau is so close to Hong Kong, so my group of friends figured it’d be a great one-day trip to see how different Macau can be compared to Hong Kong, and boy, were we surprised.
When we first got off the ferry and passed through immigration, we immediately noticed the difference – the signs were written in both Chinese and Portuguese. Macau was honestly a mixture of East and West as there were influences from both China and Portugal. The first attraction that we went to was called the Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral. From the first moment my friends and I saw it, we were transported to Europe. The architecture reminded me so much of cathedrals that I would see in Europe, so I was just in awe that we were actually still in Asia. The next attraction, Senado Square, similarly had me amazed at how Portuguese-inspired the architecture here is. From the bright colors and arches to the tiled floors, I had to keep reminding myself that I was in Macau and not Portugal.
Besides the architecture, I was also amazed at the food. Macao’s egg tarts are very similar to Portuguese custard tarts and are honestly the best egg tarts I have ever had, and I had to get a box to bring home. Another one of my favorites were the pork buns. The pork filling was so juicy and the sweet cream buns made it even better. Yum… why am I writing this blog at midnight…?
Overall, Macau was a great day trip from Hong Kong. For the first time in Asia, I saw architecture and buildings that were so European-inspired that I would have never thought that I was in Asia. Unfortunately, since I am still 20, I was not able to witness the reason why Macau is so frequently visited every year – the casinos. However, I still had a great time, and will probably come back just for the egg tarts honestly.