Macau is a small island in the South China Sea, just off the Chinese mainland and a good place to visit for anyone on a China tour.
Macau is a place with a dual character. On the one hand the visitor on a China tour will be able to explore the fortresses and churches built by Macau`s former colonial masters, the Portuguese, who gave Macau a uniquely relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere unknown elsewhere in China. On the other hand there is the Macau which never sleeps, where night clubs and casinos proliferate. Macau is the self-styled Las Vegas of the east.
Todays Macau embraces commerce and tourism like never before, taking gambling to new extremes. It is a real 24 hour city and the profileration of mega-casinos means there are plenty of places for anyone on a China tour to try their hand with Lady Luck.
However, the visitor on a China tour is also able to step back in time on Macau, away from the noise and the neon signs of the new city. The best place to start is to head into the old part of the Macau Peninsula, an area recently listed as a World Heritage Site. Those on a vacation in China and interested in this unique island may wander through the canyon-like back streets towards the Largo do Senado, the historic old centre with its distinctive black-and-white-cobbled square.
In the cafes of Travessa de Sao Domingos it is possible to enjoy some Portuguese quisine before heading towards the Ruins of St Paul's Church, the marvellous Macau Museum and then on to the Inner Harbour.
Another area worthy of a visit from anyone on a China tour is Coloane Island, a green and relaxed place in contrast with the frantic development elsewhere in Macau. In Coloane Village there are cafes in the beautiful square situated in the shadow of the Chapel of St Francis Xavier where the visitors on Chinese trips may enjoy both Portugese and Chinese food. Then there are the fantastic old junk-building yards to visit and watch the boatbuilders at work.
Why not view our articles about vacations in China. All the major places such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guilin, Hangzhou, Sanya, Xian, Suzhou, Xiamen, Nanjing are covered. If you're planning a vacation in China be sure to check out these pages.