Macau is rapidly becoming one of China’s most visited areas, so much so, that in terms of tourism receipts it’s currently bigger than the UK or Italy.
This is a massive feat for such a tiny area. So what’s the fuss all about?
Well, Macau is a special region of China because, unlike the mainland, gambling is entirely legal in Macau. And it’s thriving. Casino resorts have sprung up all over the region, with vast amounts of money being invested from overseas, especially companies who helped to develop Las Vegas.
The gaming industry in Macau is thriving, with the area becoming more extravagant and opulent as time goes on. In fact, it has recently been announced that the development of a Gotham City (of Batman fame) inspired mega-complex, thought to cost around £1.2 billion, has been given the go ahead.
For those who enjoy a bit of online betting, it is a must-go holiday destination to do a bit of gambling in the flesh. So, what is there to see and do in Macau at the moment?
Hit the casinos
For many, the main draw of Macau is the gaming element. The area’s plush casinos turn over mind-blowing amounts of money each year. Macau posted larger profits in 2013 than all of the casinos in the United States combined , which is a staggering achievement.
The area has a very relaxed view on gaming compared to the rest of China and is at the fore of the online gambling debate, with it being thought that Macau will be one of the first Chinese areas to legalise online betting and gambling.
There are many grand casinos in Macau, however, the jewel in the crown has to be The Venetian. The main gaming area is huge, with tables of every imaginable casino game to bet on.
If The Venetian isn’t quite to your taste, you might prefer The City of Dreams, which has a slew of restaurants, a Hard Rock Hotel and luxury fashion shops.
Explore Macau’s history
Macau isn’t all just glitz and glamour. It has some impressive historical sites, too.
The ruins of St Paul’s church offer a peek into the times when Macau was under colonial rule by the Portuguese. The church was destroyed by a fire - all that remains today is the facade - and it still looks amazing.
For those wanting an extra dose of Macau-centric culture, the Macau Museum of Art is well worth a visit. The museum is home to some stunning pieces of Chinese artwork, but also features some modern Western pieces.
Macau is only small and it’s easy to see the sights within a short time. This makes it an extremely popular daytrip for visitors from Hong Kong. With its rich culture and multitude of gaming establishments, Macau is a unique blend of East and West. It's more classy and refined than Las Vegas, which has led to it being the hottest destination for gamblers and celebrities.
Have you visited Macau and have some insider tips on what to see and where? Let everyone know in the comments!