The first and last European colony in China, Macau is better known these days for the glitz of its massive casinos and luxury hotels than for its Portuguese and Jesuit heritage. Originally, a Portuguese trading colony, this is now the only Chinese territory where commercial gaming is permitted. Macau is completely unique in mixing the traditional cultures of Portugal and China with the gaming glamor of Las Vegas.
Amah Temple, an ancient Daoist Temple that gave its name to Macau stands close to the iconic façade of St. Paul’s, a Jesuit church. Cobble-stoned central Senado Square would be more likely in Lisbon than by the Pearl River. Red Chinese lanterns hang from the all the shops along the gentrified Fortune Street. Meanwhile, on the Macau Island and all along the neighboring Cotai Strip run lines of Casinos from Stanley Ho’s Lisboa to the Venetian and the City of Dreams in one of the most cosmopolitan gaming destinations in the world. Macau has a much lower profile than Hong Kong, so it is telling that a few years ago Macau with one of the highest per capita GDP’s in the world was gifted land from neighboring Guangdong province to use.
This was an outstanding trip – we cannot compare it to any trip in our past – everything Imperial Tours arranged was 1st class. Our China Host was excellent in every way!
Explore macau through the eyes of a local
If you have no interest in gaming, then Macao can be visited in a day trip from Hong Kong during which you can explore its colorful international history from the arrival of the Portuguese traders to the bombing of Dutch war ships to the opium merchants of the nineteenth century. Those who wish to try their luck gaming with Chinese characteristics might wish to overnight in one of the sophisticated hotels in this unique enclave.
We customize each of our itineraries based on your interests and traveling style. The itinerary below forms a base to start the conversation.
One of the wealthiest corners of the globe, Macau of course offers a wide range of luxury accommodation on both Macau and the Cotai strip.Learn More
Four Seasons Macau
The Four Seasons is located within the Venetian. One of the few hotels without a casino on the ground floor, it offers an oasis of calm on the casino-crazed Cotai Strip. In warm weather its three swimming pools are particularly tempting.
Mandarin Oriental Macau
Located on the main Macao island rather than across the water on the Cotai Strip, the Mandarin Oriental is marvellously located with the MGM, Lisboa and Wynn casinos in close proximity and the colonial cultural center an easy walk away.
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Our China Hosts are part of what makes us unique; they help explain our success for over twenty years. Our China Hosts have been hand selected and expertly trained to provide you with the most unforgettable journey. From seamlessly ensuring flawless logistics, to deepening your cultural immersion, to effecting last minute adjustments, in the words of a guest, they take a trip "from excellence to perfection". Before you travel with us, it's hard to imagine what a China Host brings to the party. After, it's hard to imagine traveling without one.
Fine Dining & Authentic Cuisine
Experience the finest in Chinese and Western cuisine
In Macau, you are never far from Iberian classics such as salted cod and an egg custard tart, such as you might expect to find on a street corner in Lisbon. A second strand of cuisine involves the blending of Eastern and Western flavors, reflecting the breadth of Portugal's maritime territories, as seen in this black pepper beef with dragon fruit.
- Official written languages are Chinese and Portuguese. Cantonese is the most widely spoken language.
- Population: 650,900 (2016)
- Population Density: 21,411/km2 (55,454.2 m2)
- Literal Meaning of Macau: Place of the Amah Temple
- 221 – 206 BCE – Records of first ever inhabitants.
- 1513 – The first Portuguese ship lands in China at Macau
- 1535 – Portuguese traders obtain the right to anchor ships in the harbour, but cannot stay overnight
- 1552 – 1553 – Portuguese traders are given permission to store goods on land in stone houses now called Nam Van
- 1557 – Permanent settlement is given to the Portuguese in exchange for 18.9 kg of silver (41.6 lbs) paid annually
- 1622 – Battle of Macau takes place after a Dutch invasion
- 1887 – Qing Emperor and Portuguese governments sign the Sino-Portuguese Treaty of Peking in which China cedes the right of “perpetual occupation and government of Macau by Portugal”
- 1928 – The Nationalist Party of China (the Guomindang party) abrogates the treaty and reinstates a new treaty which does not alter Macau’s sovereignty
- 1949 – After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, the Sino-Portuguese treaty is regarded as invalid
- 1966 – Anti-government riots break out in Macau
- 1986 – A new Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration is signed making Macau a special administrative region in China
- 1999 – The Chinese government takes back sovereignty of Macau
- Located 60km (37 mi) from Hong Kong and 145km (90mi) from Guangzhou city, Macau possesses over 40km (25mi) of coastline along the Pearl (Zhu Jiang) and West (Xi Jiang) Rivers.
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