August 15, 2017

#TravelTuesday with Trafalgar quiz: Answer

Where in the world can Trafalgar take you? 


MACAU!

Gambling, a goddess, a king and almond cookies…welcome to the “Vegas of China” – the Macau Special Administrative Region, the Chinese home of gambling and glitz.

A Portuguese colony for more than 300 years, the city of Macau is a swirl of cultures, making it a sought-after day trip or overnight stay on a Hong Kong trip.

Although Macau has moved on from its European colonial days and now falls under China, it is governed under a “One Country, two systems” formula. An agreement was made in which China promised that its political and economic system would not be imposed on Macau. The city therefore maintains its own currency and border controls and flights from mainland China to Macau are still treated as international flights. And its why Macau can get away with allowing gambling, legally, within Chinese borders.

Feeling lucky?
To say that gambling in Macau is a big thing would be a massive understatement: it is said that there are more than four times as many gambling tables per 1 000 residents than hospital beds. The city generates more revenue from gambling than anywhere else in the world – even Vegas (its gambling tables pump out about seven times the revenue generated by “The Strip” in Las Vegas).

Go big at the Venetian Macao
The landmark of Macao’s own strip is the Venetian Macao, the largest casino in the world. It’s hard to miss, being the third largest Hotel building in Asia and the sixth largest building in the world (according to the floor area).

Not a gambler? There are plenty of other highlights to discover: culture, beaches, fortresses, churches, temples, gardens and excellent museums – take your pick.

Don’t miss the Fortaleza do Monte, a Unesco World Heritage Site that forms part of the “Historic Centre of Macau”. The fort was constructed between 1617 and 1626 on the 52-metre tall Mount Hill to protect the properties of the Portuguese Jesuits in Macau, mostly from pirates.

Fortaleza do Monte
Another must-see is the A-Ma Temple. The temple existed in 1488, long before the city of Macau came into being, and is an exemplary representation of the true diversity of Chinese culture as it is inspired by Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and multiple folk beliefs. Locals actually believe that the name “Macau” was derived from the deity Matsu (the goddess of seafarers and fishermen) worshipped at the temple.

A-Ma Temple
And don’t forget the food. With its cultural diversity drawing influences from Chinese, Portugal and Europe, it is a place where you can indulge in Chinese congee for breakfast, enjoy a Portuguese lunch of caldo verde soup and bacalhau (cod) fritters, and dine on hybrid Macanese fare such as minchi (ground beef or pork, often served over rice) for dinner. However, almond cookies are regarded as the king of Macanese snacks and are among the top three must-buy gifts of tourists.

Many flavours, one destination. Tuck in.
Also, don’t be surprised if you hear alternate versions of Portuguese or Creole while walking the streets. Macau has its own dialect of Portuguese called "Macanese Portuguese" and a distinctive creole generally known as "Patuá".

Want to experience this unique destination? See it from the inside with Trafalgar's four-day Hong Kong and Macau Experience.

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