Whether it’s from a James Bond movie, video games, or books, you have certainly heard of Macau, the Las Vegas of the East. While this ancient island is best known for its luxury and casinos, there is actually a lot of history around this place and more to do and see than what the usual tourist experiences. It’s an extremely densely populated area, with colonial history and Chinese money. If you want to learn about the richest of the rich districts of Macau, this is the right article:
Coloane is an island, off of Macau, and is the place where you will most likely land when visiting. This is a very unique place, as the village has managed to preserve some of its charm and architecture. Coloane is an odd and wonderful mix of Portuguese colonial architecture with a Chinese flavor. There is also a lot of nature in the surrounding area, which is a nice change of pace and scenery from the otherwise urban and dense Macau. If you are staying in Macau for longer than a week, it’s a good idea to visit Coloane for a palette cleanser and a nice rest.
St. Anthony’s Parish
Santo António, as the Portuguese called it, is located on the actual island of Macau. As the name suggests, this was once a colony and while some of that history remains, this is clearly Chinese now. The architecture os what you would expect and the density is absolutely astonishing. Here you will find the Casa Garden, which is a nice little oasis in the urban jungle. Besides that, you can expect a lot of little restaurants, shops, cafes, and people walking around. There is a slightly claustrophobic feeling when walking around Santo António, but you will get used to it. After a while, you will discover its charms.
This is one of the fanciest and most luxurious parts of Macau and China. Here you will find a special mix of modern skyrises and old Portuguese architecture. There are some hotels and casinos here, but this is also the heart of the city. Pretty much every important institution in Macau is located in the district. Everything from corporate headquarters to schools and colleges. If you want a more modern and developed take on the city, this is one area that you need to explore. There are some great restaurants here as well.
This is the Las Vegas part of Macau. As you can imagine, there is a lot of money concentrated here, but it still manages to remain somewhat trashy. There is an Eiffel Tower, Venetian canals, and everything that can be considered kitsch can be found in Cotai. It should go without saying that if you are a gambler, this will be your favorite spot in Macau. However, if you want to experience a bit of the history and culture that the island has, you might want to wander off to some of the other parts, Cotai is essentially a resort where the rich go to have fun and blow money away.