Friday, September 26, 2008

Macau is not all about shopping and trying your luck in the casinos. This Sino-Portuguese isle is packed with things to see, places to go and fusion grub to enjoy.

Thanks to its EastmeetsWest character, Macau prides itself on fascinating architecture and the nostalgia of a World Heritage site.

Chinese decor is found in the famous AMa Temple, Kuan Tai Temple and many other small shrines tucked away in the street corners, while Portuguese traces are prominent in Macau's many squares, fortresses and bazaars.

Along the Inner Harbour, which is the old town of Macau, you'll see Chinese temples and Portuguese churches side by side. A stroll around reveals a former Portuguese community, Lilua Square, St Augustine's Square, the Old City's Wall, Guia Fortress, the Protestant Cemetery, St Anthony's Church and old Mandarinstyle houses and buildings.

A mustsee is the famous landmark ruin of St Paul's, a 16thcentury Church of Mater Dei destroyed in a fire in 1835. A few minutes' walk away is Senado Square, a massive shopping arcade full of local and internationalbrand shops.

The museums are also worth visiting, especially the Grand Prix Museum, opened in 1993 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Macau Grand Prix. It displays racing cars and trophies of celebrity racers, including Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard.

Don't forget to climb the 338metretall Macau Tower, where you can see the whole island - or skydive from the 61st floor!

Macanese food - a marriage of Chinese and Portuguese cuisine - is another thing that has to be tasted. Inspired by traditional Chinese dish, the grub is spiced up Portuguese style.

Try some codfish cakes, lemongarlic prawns and clams, pig's ear salad, African chicken and caldo verde soup. Then sweeten your palate with the famous crispy and smooth egg tart, milky sweet serra dura or creamy tijelada.
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