This piece was written by Red Room contributor Jenny Block.
Macau, it's not your modern-day Las Vegas. Yes, Macau does have a number of casinos from the classic Lisboa to the enormous and glamorous Venetian. And, yes, it has gobs of neon, killer entertainment, great shopping, and over-the-top hotels. But that's just a glimpse of what really comprises Macau. There are also serene temples, busy shopping alleys, and street food from basic to extreme.
Although once a Portuguese Colony, Macau is now a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. The delight of Macau, however, is that from moment to moment you can't tell if you're in Europe or China – from the food to the architecture to the street signs, there's a confliction of countries in every direction. It's a strangely surreal and singular experience to eat Portuguese food in front of a Buddhist Temple, with smells of incense and ocean air wafting on the breeze and strains of English, Portuguese, and Chinese filling your ears.
To be in Macau is to be in many cultures all at once. Although you can spend your time in Macua gambling, you can also spend days on end exploring the sites, tasting the delicacies, enjoying the beaches, and pursuing adventures without ever setting foot in a casino at all.
The choices are endless, so here are a few hot spots and tricks of travel for your next visit.