Macau - China

Macau is something else. Now it belongs to China too, but its history was different. It first belonged to the Portugese. They wanted it, defended it, used it with commercial purposes and after a while... abandoned it. The only remains of what it used to be here are some buildings, the name of the streets and the colored tiles. There is only one school that theaches Portugese left. You still can see Portugese names everywhere just because the treaty that was signed in 1999 (when Macau was given back to China) says that 50 years starting that day they have to preserve everything as it was. But for tourists and especially for Europeans it looks a little bit like home. You can actually understand someting when reading the name of a shop or street.
Walking in the old neighborhoods you ask yourself how come they still live there. They have something that the mother-country doesn't have... GAMBLING.

Casinos bring 90% of their income. Have you ever been to Vegas? Me neither. But I can imagine it looks just the same. Comapared to the casinos and hotels, the homes of the poor people look like ants.The buidlings are huge, millions of lights, water (by the way, Macau is an SAR = Special Administrative Region, just like Hong Kong. So people here are supposed to live from what they produce. Speaking of water.. they import it from China!!). And they pay a lot for these facilities. But after all most of the money come from China. Chinese gamblers come here all the time. Gambling is forbidden in their country. So they bring money here and money go back to China instantly as Macau pays for lighting and water supply. That's sad...

Any tourist is first brought to see the ruins of St Paul Cathedral.

Then you just wonder on the streets in that part of the city. It's a mixture of open air markets, people selling stuff everywhere, nice store with expensive merchendise (cheaper compared to Hong Kong) and don't forget the all mighty American brands McDonalds and Starbucks (you can say whatever you want about the first one, but don't dare speak badly about Starbucks, ok??)

But once you leave this part, the scenery changes. Grand Lisboa... MGM Grand... Wynn... Casino Lisboa... and so one. One bigger than the other. Each one with its story. Grand Lisboa is owned by a man who has 18 more Casinos. He's 84 and he's still alive. MGM Grand is the smaller brother of the one in Las Vegas. Wynn inspired its fountain from the famous one in front of Bellagio in Las Vegas. Smaller, but interesting. Even Jackie Chan has a casino. Money make the world go round....

Our tip here was not very long. And I could say the timing was not so good either. And it was raining. But it was still impressive.

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