Macau is located in China's Guangdong Province. Macau was formerly called Ou Mun, which means "trading gate", after its crucial role as one of the main stops in the Europe-bound Silk Road during ancient times. The arrival of Portugese merchant-explorers during the early 1550s ushered in a new monicker for the place, A Ma Gao or "place of A Ma", dedicated to their local deity of seafarers. The name eventually evolved to become Macau, thereby establishing the port town as a major city that allowed trade between Asia and Europe to flourish.
You can reach Macau directly by plane via the Macau International Airport. Coming from the Hong Kong International Airport, there is an airport ferry service available via TurboJET or CotaiJet. You can also choose to arrive in Macau from Hong Kong and Hong Kong Island via the Shun Tak Centre on the waterfront of Hong Kong Island's central district, or the China Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon.
Macau's main attractions
The Historic Centre of Macau was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on July 15, 2005. With impressive landmarks such as The Ruins of St. Paul and the Senado Square, it is one of over thirty sites found in China to have been given this prestigious status by UNESCO.
The Ruins of St. Paul is the city's symbolical altar, originally part of the Church of Mater Dei and St. Paul's College built in 1602 and finished in 1640. In 1835, a fire destroyed the religious complex. The site, established by the Jesuits in Macau, has since then been a historical and religious landmark. Today, also found near The Ruins is the archeological remains of the old St. Paul College, the first western-style university in the region.
Macau's Senado Square is a famous landmark for city celebrations, as well as for public events and exhibitions. Surrounding the square are buildings and structures in the neo-classical style. A few steps from Senado Square is the Sam Kai Vui Kun or the Kuan Tai Temple, a prime example of the city's multi-cultural community and dynamic.
Be entertained with world-class productions by Cirque du Soleil at the Venetian Macao. The MGM Grand Macau - Central Plaza also offers a dazzling Lights & Sounds show nightly from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. Alternatively, there is a water-based show in Macau created and directed by Franco Dragone, the House of Dancing Water, as well as the Performance Lake fronting Wynn Macau.
Ponte 16 has a gallery dedicated to the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson. The MJ Gallery houses the iconic white rhinestone glove worn by the legendary performer. The gallery, which has an extensive display of Michael Jackson's priceless treasures, is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Macau is perhaps most known for its thriving gambling scene. Macau's many casinos offer a wide array of games, including blackjack, roulette, fan-tan, "hungry tigers" or slot machines, and baccarat. Expect only the best from Macau's Sociedade de Jogos de Macau, Wynn Resorts Macau, and the Galaxy Casino Company, the licensed casinos operating in the city today.