You may know Macau as the top casino destination in the world, but the city has so much more to offer. For a glimpse, we asked tourism director Carman Chan to show us around.
Born and raised in Macau, Carman is proud to share her love and knowledge of her beautiful hometown with fellow adventurers. She is always captivated by the museums and Mediterranean colors dotting Macau's landscape and can be found meandering through the quirky design boutiques and sampling coffee and tea creations handmade by locals.
"What I like about Macau is how the culture and the people mix together. Macau used to be ruled by the Portuguese in the fifteenth century before it was returned to China in the year 1999, so Macanese people are actually a mix of Chinese and Portuguese.
Macau actually got the title of Creative City of Gastronomy from UNESCO, so we’re famous for our cuisine. We have Chinese food and we have Portuguese food, but what is really unique is Macanese cuisine. In the fifteenth century, every time the Portuguese sailed to Macau, they needed to find some spices to stabilize their food. They went to Goa, they stopped at other ports, and toward the end, they landed in Macau with all these spices.
In Macanese cuisine, we have African chicken, which is not related to Africa, and Portuguese fried rice, which doesn’t exist in Portugal. When people go to Macau, not only do they go for the Michelin-recommended street food, but they also get to try all kinds of new foods in Macanese restaurants.
Even though I can drive in Macau, I love to just walk there. When you get to one place, you will see a Chinese temple, next to it some Portuguese architecture, and right next to it a Catholic church. You’ll be amazed by all the colors: you’ll see a church that is yellow, white, and green, and on the ground is the cobblestone street, which is in black and white. Then you’ll see all the colors of the temple. Portuguese architecture is always with sharp colors: red, orange, green, and blue.
Not only can you see the traditional, old side of Macau, but because of the latest developments, we actually have the most five-star properties in the world. We have the highest commercial bungee jump in the world, and we are now the entertainment capital of Asia.
What I’m really proud to say is how unique Macau is, to be such a petite destination with a lot to offer."