? Have you ever heard about the abbreviation of "SAR"? If not, let me explain. The meaning of SAR is Special Administrative Region. According to the definition of Investopedia, "it is an area that falls under the general auspices of one country but which has maintained a separate political and economic system". There are two of them. And as you already guessed, Macau is one of them. The other one is Hong Kong. And these two regions belong to China. In short, SARs and China are known as "One country, two systems". If we look at the short history of Macau, we can see that in 1513 Portuguese landed in Macau for the first time. Based on the success of the Portuguese in trade and their experience as a port country, China leased the island of Macau to Portugal in 1557. In different years, this agreement was repeated and eventually an agreement was signed in 1999, which envisaged its return to China. According to this agreement, Macau will be a special administrative region under Chinese administration by 2049.
How to travel around Macau?
You may think that a Chinese visa will suffice if it is part of China. Guess, what? No! But how to travel around Macau? You need a visa to cross the border into Macau. But there are exceptions for some countries. From the list, you can get acquainted with the list of those countries. Best time to travel to Macau is March, April and October to December. By the "best time", I mean the weather in Macau. The Macau weather is very pleasant these months. Therefore, I recommend you to pay attention to the weather when you buy your ticket. Most of the tourists travel to Macau China not from their country, but from Hong Kong. So, if you are one of them, there are three options. First of them is a ferry. It takes an hour from Hong Kong to Macau, and this is the cheapest option (around 20 USD). The second option is a bridge. The bridge opened in 2018 and is the world's longest sea-crossing. So, this is the newest way and takes 45 minutes to reach Macau. You can say that "I am counting the minutes; I need the fastest way". This way is a helicopter. It takes only 15 minutes and costs around 600 USD. So, if you "have received" your visa, let's take a look at 11 reasons why you should travel to Macau China right now.
1. Old town walks
If it is your first time traveling to Macau, China and you do not know what to do in Macau, start by walking through this old town. The most visited place to go in Macau is Senado Square. Both sides of the square are full of various shopping malls, restaurants and hotels. Therefore, it is one of the most visited places by tourists. 600 meters from the square you will be greeted by Ruins of st. Paul's. This monument, which surprises tourists with its original architectural structure, was founded in the 17th century as a Catholic church.
2. Let the good times roll!
The special system allows Macau to run the country as it pleases. The most obvious example of this is the world-famous casinos in Macau. And this is another answer to the question of "what to do in Macau?" Although casinos are banned in China, they are legal in Macau. It is safe to say that the country's economy is growing because of gambling. The GDP of the country is 55.08 billion USD, which is a great part of it belonging to the gaming industry. There are overall 41 casinos in Macau, and almost all of them have an outstanding appearance. Therefore, it is no coincidence that this place is called "Las Vegas of the East". The Casinos at Venetian Macao, Grand Lisboa and Wynn Casino are the most famous places to go in Macau. Either be a gamer or not, casinos in Macau are one of the places that you should visit once in your life.
3. A festival to remember
At the beginning of the article, I mentioned what is the best time to travel to Macau. I recommended that it depends on the Macau weather. But most of the tourists do not think that cold weather in Macau can stop them from coming here. The reason is one of the most famous events in the world: Chinese New Year in Macau, which is held in every January or February of the year. Another one of the most popular festivals by tourists is the International Dragon Boat Festival and contest. The history of this festival is very old. According to the Chinese calendar, the holiday is celebrated on the 5th day of every 5th month. In 2021, it falls on June 14. One of the other valuable festivals is the International Fireworks Festival. The festival is held in September and October every year. The shows are so magnificent that thousands of tourists from all over the world travel to Macau China to see these fireworks.
4. Seek knowledge even if you have to go as far as "Macau"
One of the most important things, especially for the younger generation, is education. There are 4 public universities in Macau, and they are ranked in the 300-350 bracket in the international rankings. University of Macau and Institute for Tourism Studies are the most preferred universities in the region. What could be better than studying and living in this region which has a developed economy and outstanding tourism experience?
5. Heads in Beds
As the tourism industry accounts for more than 90% of Macau's economy, as you can predict, everything is designed for you to have a great time here as a tourist. Hotels are the main part of this giant industry. The price range is very wide. So, here you can find all kinds of hotels to suit your budget.
6. Don't be afraid to fly!
Bungee jumping is another good answer to the question of "What to do in Macau?" If you are an adrenaline enthusiast, remember that you are in a country with the world's highest bungee jumping building. The name of this building is AJ Hackett Macau Tower. The height of the tower is 233 meters above the ground. This place should definitely be one of the places you visit in Macau. Even if you do not do bungee jumping, you can enjoy the magnificent view of the city from here.
7. Sky above, sand below, peace within
Although Macau is not famous for its beaches, HaC Sa Beach is one of the peaceful places to go in Macau. As sunbathing is not popular among the locals, unlike other beaches in the world, there is no crowd and noise on the beach. Plus, there are great places to make a BBQ. That is, you can both relax, sunbathe and feed your stomach.
8. Say cheese!
In recent years, as social media has become more influential in our lives, photographing works has become increasingly popular. Photographers are always on the lookout for interesting places to explore. If you are one of them, travelling to Macau, China should be in your travel plan.
9. Bon Appetit!
Although Macau has been part of China for more than 20 years, traces of Portugal still live here. This can also be felt in Macanese kitchen. Egg tart, for example, is still the most important dish of Macau and it has Portuguese origin. If you want to try the best egg tart, "Lord Stow's cafe" is the must-see place to visit in Macau. Another famous dessert is Mango Mochi. As you can see from its name, it is a dessert containing mango fruit, and it is very delicious. It is the favourite dessert of locals. It is also recommended to eat fried duck, which has Chinese origin and try the Portuguese wine, which is consumed much in Macau.
10. Imitations keep their originals alive
Everyone knows the magnificent buildings in China. They can also be found in Macau. But the trick of some of these buildings is that they are imitations. How? For example, while in Macau, you can be in Paris, France at the same time. Because one of the famous Eiffel Towers is here. Another such place is Roman Colosseum. It is located one of the attractive places to visit in Macau, at Fisherman's Wharf complex.
11. East or West?
Macau is historically a fusion of east and west. Although what has been written so far shows the western side, you can also see traces of Chinese culture here too. One of these cultural monuments is the A-ma Temple, which is considered the oldest building on the island. Another place to visit in Macau is Lou Lim Ieoc Garden which was built by a Chinese merchant in 1906. The best time to travel to Lou Lim Ieoc Garden, Macau is spring.