are often combined with trips to Macau, a similar to Hong Kong autonomous territory within China, the former Portuguese colony (until 1999). Usually, people go there to relax on a beach, gamble in numerous casinos, and most importantly - to see the unique classical Portuguese architecture that has been preserved among the rapidly growing Asian city. The colonial Center of Macao has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as the place where the West and East cultures first met together.
I bought a ticket on a ferry to Macau to stay there for three hours. There are numerous vessels and high-speed catamarans from Hong Kong and Macao that depart every 10-15 minutes almost 24/7. The journey takes one hour. Going from Hong Kong to Macau, do not forget to take your passport, because Macau, as well as Hong Kong, is an autonomous territory with its immigration law, and, respectively, departing from
and entering Macau, you need to pass the border control.
In one hour, we found ourselves in Macau, the last bastion of the great Portuguese Empire of the 16th century.
Ruins of St. Paul's Catholic Cathedral are the main colonial symbol and the main attraction of Macau. The cathedral burned down in 1835 and only a spectacular baroque facade was preserved till now, attracting thousands of tourists.
Next to the ruins of St Paul's Cathedral, there’s an old Portuguese Fortaleza do Monte (officially Fortress of Our Lady of the Mount of St. Paul), which was built in the 18th century to protect the Portuguese colony from the Dutch.
Here are panorama views of Macau from the walls of Fortaleza do Monte.
Now, let's go along the narrow streets of the old colonial quarter to Senate Square.
We’re approaching Senate Square. Macau was interestingly decorated. The Chinese New Year was celebrated that weekend.
Senate Square, the historic heart of Macau, is full of Mediterranean enchantment.
In order to enjoy the European atmosphere in full, you can go to a cool courtyard of the building of the Senate, although you can feel the Asian vibe there as well.
Leaving the colonial part of Macau, you suddenly find yourself among the bustling streets, surrounded by skyscrapers and numerous casinos with glittering facades.
Macau is bright, colorful, and contrasty...
We went returned to