Just a quick jet boat ride from Hong Kong, historic Macau has exploded into Asia’s 21st century entertainment playground. But the fun and games aren’t just limited to the world-class casinos; Macau’s Portuguese colonial heritage is still much alive in its tiled piazzas, colorful streets and burgeoning food and wine scene.
Macau has always had its place on the international scene. Even in the earliest days of the famous Silk Road, it was known as Ou Mun, or "trading gate", because of its location at the mouth of the Pearl River.
In the early 1550s the Portuguese reached Macau, and with the permission of the local mandarins, established a city that within a short time had become a major entrepot for trade between China, Japan, India and Europe and the perfect crossroad for the meeting of East and West cultures. In modern times Macau has developed industries such as textiles, electronics and toys, as well as building a world class tourism industry with a wide choice of hotels, resorts, sports facilities, restaurants and casinos.
Macau, like Hong Kong, has been a “Special Administrative Region” of the People's Republic of China since 20 December 1999. In the 21st century, Macau continues to grow in size - with more buildings on reclaimed land - and to grow in the number and diversity of its attractions. The greatest of these continues to be Macau's unique culture and people, with communities from the East and West complementing each other like no where else on Earth.