Monday, December 5, 2011

Macau, a Happening Destination

Experience the fascinating blend of 400 years of Portuguese influence and 3,000 years of Chinese influence in architecture, cuisine and customs of Macau.

Macau is where east meets west. A former Portuguese colony, Macau was handed back to China in December 1999. An important trading post of the European colonisers, Macau has had an eventful history since the latter half of the 16th century. The European influence due to its long and deep contact with Portugal and other European countries blends well with the Oriental charm.
Located on the south-eastern coast of China, at a distance of around 75 km west of Hong Kong and around 150 km off Guangzhou (Canton), Macau comprises a peninsula and two islands of a total area of 29.5 sq km. Though small, it bursts with history, culture, shopping and family entertainment.
The central focus of the town is the busy Senado Square. The Leal Senado and the church of St. Dominic, some of Macau's famous buildings surrounding the Square lend Mediterranean flavour to Macau.
Overlooking the busy town centre from their hillside perches the ever-impressive Ruins of St. Paul’s and the historic Mount Fortress offer a commanding view of the cityscape. The Museum of Macau, located within the fort takes one back to the times of the Portuguese rule.
For those who love history, a visit to the ever-lively A-Ma Temple is a must. Many say the name ‘Macau’ was derived from the Chinese ‘A-Ma-Gau’ meaning ‘Bay of A-Ma’, referring to A-Ma Temple. Another must-see is the imposing Guia Fortress, within which lie the Guia Chapel and Guia Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse which is still functional.
Another unique attraction of Macau is the Fisherman’s Wharf, a theme park and complex with over 150 stores and restaurants built in the style of different coastal towns of the world like Miami, Cape Town, New Orleans, Amsterdam, Venice, Spain and the Italian Riviera. It also includes six rides, a slots hall, a 72-room hotel, and a casino.
With many world-class entertainment complexes, Macau is today the entertainment capital of Asia. It boasts of grand and luxurious casinos at par with Las Vegas. Other entertainment options include golf, spas, horseracing, greyhound racing and abundant nightlife.
Apart from the nightlife and the glittering shows, young adventurers can get an adrenaline rush at the Macau Tower by plunging down the world's highest commercial bungy jump at 233 m, sky jumping or by embarking on a sky walk along the tower's outer rim. Another highlight is the Macau Grand Prix held every November with races around a 3.8 miles circuit around the picturesque city.
Shopping is a key element of central city life. St. Dominic's Market fills the alleyways off Senado Square. The items one can buy here range from clothes, silk, jewellery, toys, electronic gadgets, antiques, porcelain, watches and cashmere shawls. Gold shops by the dozen line the main thoroughfare running between the square and the Leal Senado.
Savour the sumptuous Macanese cuisine, a blend of southern Chinese and Portuguese cuisines. The most famous snack is the Portuguese-style egg tart. It is widely popular in Southeast Asia, especially in Taiwan and Hong Kong. The most famous Macanese dishes are the Galinha à Portuguesa, Bacalhau, Macanese chilli shrimps and stir-fried curry crab which are served with many local wines.
If a quick vacation is what you need, Macau is an ideal destination. With no visa required for Indians holidaying in Macau and great flight connections into Hong Kong, which is less than an hour’s ferry ride away from Macau, planning an exciting holiday here is most convenient.
Experience Macau on a spectacular and entertaining holiday that is specially packaged just for you with Mercury Travels

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