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Macao: where east meets west

Senado Square

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Macao, a Special Administrative Region of China just 40 miles from Hong Kong, is one of the Far East’s most exciting destinations and makes a perfect two- or three-night addition to any holiday in the region. The Portuguese arrived in Macao in the 1500s, and to this day it retains a unique Portuguese-Chinese heritage and culture, unlike anywhere else in the world.

Among the greatest treasures in its 11sq miles is the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Historic Centre of Macao, which covers 30 sites and locations, and includes the iconic 17th-century Ruins of St Paul’s, the ancient A-Ma Temple and elegant Senado Square. Rising 1,108ft above the skyline, the Macau Tower offers incredible views across the Pearl River Delta, as well as the world’s highest commercial bungee jump. Other highlights in Macao include the atmospheric Taipa Village, with its alleyways and traditional shops, and the Macao Giant Panda Pavilion, home to Kai Kai and Xin Xin, and their twin cubs who were born in June 2016.

Macao’s sparkling skyline

Macao’s cuisine is legendary, with the destination designated a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy in 2017. From delicious Portuguese and Cantonese classics to sizzling street food and Michelin star fine dining. And then there’s the local Macanese cuisine, which blends traditional Portuguese and Chinese cooking with the flavours of India, South America, Malaysia and Africa, all of which will leave your taste buds tingling.

Few Asian destinations can beat Macao for sheer entertainment value, with a dizzying number of bars and nightclubs, glitzy casinos and shows, including the spectacular House of Dancing Water, a 90-minute water-based extravaganza featuring high-dive acrobatics and high-wire stunts.

With its fascinating fusion of Portuguese and Chinese culture, Macao is a must-visit for 2018.

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