Monday, October 15, 2012

Macau Top 10: By the Numbers

Beautiful Venetian Macau
Like its counterpart special administrative region 60 kilometers across the Pearl River Delta, Hong Kong, Macau is bustling with visitors, especially with the availability of cheaper flights within Asia and economical flights from the rest of the world.   If Hong Kong means "Fragrant Harbor" in Chinese, Macau is the "Oyster Mirror."  No doubt, two harbors played important roles in the trade with the West early on.  As former Portuguese colony, Macau has some interesting statistics:  it was the last remaining European colony in China (it was handed over only in 1999, two years after the British handed over Hong Kong) and interestingly, trails Hong Kong by a very slight margin in the United Nation's list of states/territories with the highest life expectancy (HK is no. 2 at 82.2, Macau at no. 3 at 82.1)

Comparatively, the two regions compete with each other in having so many attractions per square kilometer (maybe, not really fair since Macau is 28.6 square kilometers while Hong Kong is is 1,104).  They say that numbers don't lie, and that numbers reveal so much and this place with its old churches and new hotels and casinos, live up to that.  Here's a list of Macau's Top 10 attractions and the numbers that tell the visitors about what makes them tick, what makes them stand out.

1 THE RUINS OF ST. PAUL
Arguably, the most popular, most recognizable, and most photographed landmark of Macau.  The ruins are what remains of a 17th century Portuguese cathedral dedicated to the Apostle, Paul.
Started construction:  1582
Year completed:  1602
Left in ruins: 1855
Iconic St. Paul's Ruins
2 VENETIAN MACAU
Not surprisingly, billed as the Las Vegas of the Far East since this humongous entertainment complex is modeled after its sister in Las Vegas, USA.  Hmmm, wouldn't look out of place in a James Bond movie.
Opened: 2007
Site size: 10,500,000 square feet
Floors: 40 storeys
Number of suites: 3,000
For the record books: 6th-largest building and largest casino in the world

3  SENADO SQUARE
Also Largo de Senado in Portuguese, it is one of the four largest squares in Macau.
What it is:  The paved area at the center of Macau, enclosed by the Leal Senado, General Post Office, and St. Dominic Church
Year built: 1784
Size: 3,700 square meters
Busy Senado Square
4  FISHERMAN'S WHARF
The first theme park in Macau also claims to be the most favorite themed destination.
Year opened: 2005
Total area: 111,500 square meters
By the number:  150 stores and restaurants • 6 rides, 72 room hotel and casino

5  MACAU TOWER
Another one of the most visible landmarks of Macau, this one combines an observation deck with panoramic views, commercial space for restaurants, theaters, shopping malls and Skywalk X.
Opened: 2001
Height: 338 meters
For the record books:  10th highest freestanding tower in the world • At 233 meters, Skyjump is the world's second highest commercial skyjump

6  WINE AND GRAND PRIX MUSEUM
One stop, two museums -- one dedicated to the racing tradition and another to vino.
Built:  1933 to memorialize the 40th anniversary of the Macau Grand Prix (GP Museum); 1995 (wine museum)
Size:  1,400 square meters (WM)
Content:  1,115 brands of wine

7  ST. LAWRENCE CHURCH
One of the vestiges of Portuguese rule, this is arguably the richest, most beautiful church in Macau. 
Built:  16th century
Dimensions:  Main facade has 3 sections, the center section flanked by two 21 meter square towers
Trivia:  Its ground plan is shaped like a Latin cross measuring 37 x 29 meters

GUIA FORTRESS
A historical military fort, chapel and lighthouse complex in St. Lazarus Parish, it was built to ward off marauders after the unsuccessful attempt by the Netherlands to capture Macau from Portugal.
Built: 1865
Height: 91 meters
For the record:  its lighthouse is the 1st Western-style lighthouse in East Asia • the light is visible for 20 miles in clear weather

9  MACAU MUSEUM
What's a tour without a trip to the museum?  Macau Museum brings together a vast number of objects of historical and cultural value that define the history and culture of the place. Inaugurated: 1998
Total size:  2,800 square meters
Exhibition space: 2,100 square meters

10  CAMOES GARDEN AND GROTTO
Macau's largest park and one of its oldest, it is formerly the house of a Portuguese merchant who enjoyed raising pigeons.  Named after Portugal's greatest poet, Luiz Vaz de Camoes.
Size: 20,000 square meters
State owned since:  1886
Established:  1940
Fully converted into a museum in: 1960

Photo attribution:  © Ferdz Decena, used with permission from the photographer
Content Attributions: Wikipedia; www.Tommyooi.com; www.macaomuseum.com, www.travelchinaguide.com; www.planetware.com

2 comments:

sheng said...

One thing I'd love to crush out in my bucketlist is a trip to somewhere foreign.

Love the Ruins!

Photo Cache said...

It just went on my bucket list along with Hongkong.

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