Where to look for Zaha Hadid architecture and try African chicken? Take a selfie in the company of charming pandas and on a black sand beach? But the main thing is to be surprised at the combination of two cultures - Chinese and Portuguese. Speech about Macau is still a relatively new direction for the Russians. In a joint project with the Tourism Authority of the Macau Government, we tell when the special administrative region of China plans to become the richest place on the planet (spoiler: according to the IMF forecast, in 2020) and why now is the time to go there.
Portugal vs. China
Pandas and Asian
Drunk Shrimp and
East and West
East and West. Azulejo tiles on the walls and temple tiled roofs bent up - where else can you see a similar mix? Macau, without exaggeration, offers a unique combination of two cultures - Chinese and Portuguese.
Want to try tricking your Instagram followers? Then you can take a picture against the background of a street sign - on a white-blue clay tile, and even with the inscription in Portuguese. There will be those who will definitely decide that you are in Lisbon or Porto.
By the way, Macau gained independence from Portugal exactly 20 years ago.
The transfer of sovereignty took place on December 20, 1999, and Macau has since become the second special administrative region of China.
Or you can have a snack pastel de nata. This quiche puff pastry is a traditional Portuguese dessert. But at the same time - the most popular in Macau, inherited from the Europeans. Here it is called Chinese egg tart, and the recipe is slightly revised. For the most worthy representatives of the local pastel de nata, you need to go to the village of Koloan, to the Lord Stow's Bakery confectionery.
Catholic temples in Macau are adjacent to Taoist and Buddhist. Here is the temple of the goddess Ama older than the city itself, it was built in 1488 in honor of the patroness of sailors. It embodies the symbiosis of diverse local religions, which is typical of China. And, according to legend, gave the name of Macau.
A couple of kilometers from it is a completely different religion - the ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Once the largest and, according to contemporaries, the most impressive Catholic church outside of Rome.
In 1835, it was almost completely burned out, leaving behind only a majestic stone facade. Now this is the main attraction of the city.
Pandas and Asian Las Vegas
The Portuguese center of Macau, a visit to which it is impossible to avoid, is not worth it. This is one of the most postcard views of the city, even despite the flow of tourists. The Portuguese Senate and other administrative buildings were located here, which to this day constitute a harmonious architectural ensemble, referring to the colonial heritage.
Kotay Strip is the main entertainment street in Macau. The city is not in vain called Asian Las Vegas. On the Kotay Strip are luxury hotels and gambling establishments. For example, Venetian Macao is a 39-story skyscraper with one of the largest casinos in the world. Inside it, a system of Venetian canals is arranged, through which you can ride a gondola. Another attraction of the Cotai Strip is the Parisian Hotel. It is called the corner of Paris in Macau.
And in confirmation of this, a small copy of the Eiffel Tower was erected near the hotel. In 2018, Morpheus opened on the Kotay Strip and has already become a city landmark. The architect who created this futuristic hotel was Zaha Hadid.
The interior of the hotel is no less fascinating than its exterior: what are only the works of contemporary art decorating the hotel, such as the star artist Kaws.
One of the gastronomic hubs of Macau with small restaurants and bars located in narrow alleys. It is worth taking a walk here at least in order to enjoy the comfort of a one-story area, located right under the nose of the casinos.
An excellent view of Macau opens from the Gia lighthouse - the first such structure built in East Asia. The Portuguese erected it in 1864, and is still in working condition. From the lighthouse we watched the ships approaching the harbor and the approaching typhoons. By the way, the last one is dedicated to a small museum. In it you can see the metal structures, with the help of which the townspeople were notified about the approach of typhoons.
Macau is not only skyscrapers, but also cozy parks. One of the oldest and largest in the city is the garden of Luis de Camoes. It is named after the Portuguese poet of the 16th century. Camoens lived in Macau for several years and enjoyed spending time in one of the local secluded grottoes. The colonial-style garden was also visited by the wealthy Portuguese merchant Manuel Pereira, who raised pigeons here.
But the Low Lim Leok garden, on the contrary, is the most Chinese of all Macau parks - with bamboo thickets, a lake with carps and lotuses, pagodas and gazebos.
It is famous for its curved paths. The Chinese believe that evil paths and other evil spirits are difficult to walk along winding paths.
Koloan Island is the most peaceful place in the city. There is a picturesque promenade, old temples and a postcard yellow chapel of St. Francis Javier. If the soul asks for walks in nature and dizzying panoramic views, paths for cyclists and trails along the hills for hiking are laid around the island. And be sure to visit Seac Pai Van Park - the home of four big pandas. You can sail to Koloan on a pleasure boat that departs from the Taipa ferry terminal, or you can come by taxi or city bus.
Hak Sa Beach
The black sand beach of Hak-Sa, located on the island of Koloan, has not lost its charm to this day. Locals come here for the weekend to sit by the water, fly kites and sunbathe. And also to eat in one of the homemade Portuguese restaurants, which are located right at the water's edge.
Art Macao Festival
At the same time, exhibitions of classical and contemporary art unfolded in different parts of the city - from the Museum of Arts to entertainment complexes. The festival, which runs until October, is replaced by expositions of Renaissance drawings from the British Museum, contemporary Chinese watercolors from the Beijing National Museum of Art, rare archaeological finds dating back to the Great Tangut Kingdom, found in northwestern China.
Grace Kelly's outfits and jewelry will argue with millennial artifacts, as well as the portrait of Princess Andy Warhol of Monaco.
And this is not counting the musical and choreographic performances. In September, the legendary choreographer and ballerina Yan Lipin will perform in Macau with the play "Under Siege", the premiere of which in London became a sensation of the 2016 season.
and the "Chinese samovar"
This dish is called "Chinese samovar" and "hot pot". You will have to cook it yourself, but few are those who are not interested in the process. A saucepan with broth is placed on a small tile, in which the prepared ingredients are dipped: meat, fish, mushrooms, vegetables, root vegetables and seaweed cut into thin slices. After they are cooked, the contents of the pot instantly migrate to the plate, and a new portion of the ingredients is sent to the pan.
Homemade Makan dish. Potatoes with minced meat, onions, garlic and eggs. Instead of bread, mince serves rice. As simple and very tasty.
Another local specialty is drinking shrimp. It is prepared in several ways. The first is the most authentic. Live shrimp is dipped in baiju - a traditional Chinese alcoholic drink that is closest to Russian vodka. After that, "intoxicated" and sedentary reptiles quickly eat up. The second cooking option is not so shocking for Europeans: shrimp is dipped in baiju, and then fried in a wok.
One of the first courses advised to try in Macau. It got its name thanks to the key ingredient - spicy African pepper piri-piri. He was brought to Macau by Portuguese sailors. The chicken is pickled and fried with pepper and served with a sauce of coconut pulp, milk, peanuts and onions.
Pork chop sandwich
A lush bun with juicy pork is a great way to get a quick bite to eat. Look for the best sandwiches on Hack Sa Beach.
and dried jerky pork
Two local goodies can be tasted completely free at the many tourist shops around Senado Square.
Better to see once
than read several times.
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material prepared with support