While many know Macau as being the "Las Vegas of the East" with its plethora of casinos and its annual Grand Prix race, there is actually a charming history that can stand on its own. The 500 years of Portuguese rule infiltrated Macanese life and left a rich fusion of Chinese and Portuguese. Once you get past the "Vegas strip," you will discover beautiful Portuguese ruins of forts and churches. The most famous sight in Macau is the Ruins of St. Paul's. With its amazing detail and statues, some consider this to be the greatest monument to Christianity in Asia. The church was destroyed by a fire and all that remains is the beautiful façade. It is even more spectacular when illuminated at night.
From here you can walk along the striped cobblestone path, through stores, stalls, and food vendors to reach the Largo do Senado. This grand square with its fountains and Portuguese architecture, sits opposite the Leal Senado, the "Loyal Senate," the seat of municipal government. Everywhere you go, you will see old Portuguese colonial buildings, with their brightly painted walls and white trim.
Another must-see is the A-Ma Temple. A-Ma is the goddess of the sea and the queen of heaven. The original name for Macau was "Amagao", island of A-Ma, and the Portuguese coined it Macau. Every April or May, the boat people of Macau come here to celebrate A-Ma and give thanks to her. Across the square is the Maritime Museum where you can learn more about Macau's seafaring history. Don't leave Macau without trying one of its famous Portuguese egg tarts.