Macau

Bizar to see all the signs in Portuguese and in Chinese. Like Hong Kong, Macau was handed over back to China about 10 years ago but it is still under Portuguese law (hence a huge number of lawyers in the area) and will have a formal border for the next 50 years… part of the hand over agreement. But unlike Hong Kong, the Portuguese have been here for the past 500 years while the British were in Hong Kong for only about 100 years.
All in all it is a small area full of casinos – that and construction are the main businesses of Macau. So much so that apparently the government has a surplus of cash every year – that is how much money gambling brings to the table. There are about 10 very big casinos and about another 10 being built. One to be noted is the Venetian – HUGE, HUGE, HUGE… looks like there could be over 1000 rooms in the place and it will include real canals, gondolas and replicas of the bridges and some monuments of Venice. Most of these constructions are being built on reclaimed land (landfills). Real estate prices have quadrupled in the last 5 years. On the other hand, the northern part of Macau holds one of the highest population densities in the world!!
I am incredibly thankful to Miguel and Diana who informed me all about Macau, took me all over the island, and explained to me how it all worked there. We had a great Chinese lunch with a bunch of other Portuguese expats – great fun.
Here are the pictures: