Lying 40 miles across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong, the 11.9 square mile Special Administrative Region of China spent more than four hundred years under Portuguese administration. This international destination thrums with European and Asian influences and being compact, is easy for visitors to explore.
7 THINGS TO SEE AND DO
1. Senado Square
A black and white cobbled plaza surrounded by colourful Neoclassical buildings which reflect Macao's history as a maritime trading post. It's where many public events and festivals take place.
2. A-Ma Temple
Dedicated to Mazu, the Chinese sea goddess and one of Macao's oldest buildings. Several shrines are linked by winding paths while stone carved guardian lions and arched doorways are like a portal to the past.
3. Taipa Village
Brimful of authentic shop houses and cafes, temples and museums. Restaurants here serve every type of cuisine imaginable while Rua do Cunha is known to the locals as 'food street'.
Coloane, linked by bridge to the mainland, has a tranquil, villagey atmosphere, beaches, a golf course and hiking trails. Besides the shorter Seac Min Pun Ancient Path, there is a 5-mile trail, ideal for more serious walkers. If that's too arduous, stroll along the waterfront, admire plant-bedecked houses and the Chapel of St. Francis which stands in pride of place in its cobblestone plaza.
5. Macao Tower
For far-reaching views, whizz to the top of the tower in the lift. Once there, enjoy adrenalin-fuelled activities including bungy jumping - one of the world's highest - and skywalking. Or of course, you can just go into the revolving cafeteria and enjoy a meal above Macao spread out far below.
Malls here are tremendous. One Central Macao has three storeys worth of shops, while designer stores and markets aplenty sell everything from the latest fashions to locally produced gifts.
7. Be Entertained
Cotai is the area where most of the casinos and theatres and where I saw a fabulous show, The House of Dancing Water. Housed in its own 2,000-seat, custom-built theatre, a hydraulic stage morphs from a dry, flat surface into a 3.7 million-gallon pool. If you go to see a show anywhere in the world, make it this one. It is beyond fabulous.