Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Wandering China Day 2: Macau

Macau, along with Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the PRC. An hour’s ferry ride away from Hong Kong, the dominance of the Portuguese over Macau is as apparent as the dominion of the British over Hong Kong, from the apparent like architecture (there were more casas than Victoria buildings) and signages, to the not so obvious like eating habits – the Portuguese egg tart.

Macau proved to be the first (starting from the 16th century – 1557) and last European colony (ceded back in 1999) in China. In the past, the port city was part of the Silk Road with ships loading here with silk for Rome. I had no idea from before the silk road extended this far down south.

Fishermen from Fujian and farmers from Guangdong were the first known settlers in Macau and Cantonese seemed the present day lingua fanca. The Chineseness of Macau was apparent in its visual composition and most I observed were able to switch comfortably between Cantonese and Mandarin (I believe it necessary to handle their mainland Chinese visitors). To a much lesser extent Macanese / Macau Creole is the language of the small population of Eurasians.

Having an area of 29.5km2 makes Macau some 23 times smaller than Singapore where I was born. It boasts the second highest life expectancy in the world with a population of over 500,000 that is less than 10 times that of Singapore.

Legal since the 1850s, Casinos are the name of the game in Macau, and a visit to the casinos was a must. Known as the Monte Carlo of the Orient, 50% of its economy comes from its 33 casinos and the picture was pretty homogenous where I was at- guests from the high rollers to the newly rich – all hailed from the mainland. There were easily 9 mainland Chinese in every ten guests I observed. Not the biggest fan of casinos, a day-trip to Macau seems enough for now. Coming from Australia where guests are expected to be well-dressed and well-behaved in casinos, it was interesting to note that in Macau, thongs and slippers were accepted, and so were tee-shirts and shorts.

Next stop – Guangzhou.

Filed under: Back to China, Bob's Opinion, History, Macau

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,228 other followers

East/West headlines of Rising China

East/West headlines of Rising China

About Wandering China

Click to find out more about this project

Support //WC

Support Wandering China now - buy a Tee Shirt!

Be a champ - Support Wandering China - buy a Tee Shirt!

The East Wind Wave

China in images and infographics, by Wandering China

China in images and Infographics, by Wandering China

Wandering China: Facing west

Please click to access video

Travels in China's northwest and southwest

Wandering Taiwan

Wandering Taiwan: reflections of my travels in the democratic Republic of China

Wandering China, Resounding Deng Slideshow

Click here to view the Wandering China, Resounding Deng Slideshow

Slideshow reflection on Deng Xiaoping's UN General Assembly speech in 1974. Based on photos of my travels in China 2011.

East Asia Geographic Timelapse

Click here to view the East Asia Geographic Timelapse

A collaboration with my brother: Comparing East Asia's rural and urban landscapes through time-lapse photography.

Wandering Planets

Creative Commons License
Wandering China by Bob Tan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at Wanderingchina.org. Thank you for visiting //
web stats

Flag Counter

free counters
Online Marketing
Add blog to our directory.
%d bloggers like this: