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Driving through the Las Vegas of Asia at night

date of entry 26/03/2011
mileage 740,363

capital Macao

area 28,2 km²

population 583.003

official language Chinese/Portuguese

Gambling has long been the main industry in Macao. The former Portuguese colony, which has been governed on the principle of "One country, two systems" since 1999, is no longer a functioning port, but is an essential destination for gamblers from China. Rows of casinos have been built along the shores of the South China Sea. Otto could hardly move in Macao’s heavy traffic, but then travelled on over the border into China.
  • In contrast, St Paul’s church is still in ruins after almost 200 years and no reconstruction is planned.
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  • Macao is like Hong Kong’s little sister. The former Portuguese colony can be reached quickly by speedboat across the bay from Hong Kong island and attracts a lot of visitors. The main landmark is the ruin of St Paul’s church, which burnt to the ground following a typhoon in 1835.
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  • Modern apartment blocks dominate the street scene, because space is limited in the former colony, which was handed back to China in 1999 in the same way as Hong Kong.
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  • In the tiny apartments every room is used, including the balcony.
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  • Otto’s reflection in the glass façade of a casino.
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  • Macao’s main industry is gambling, which is forbidden in China. It is known as the Las Vegas of Asia.
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  • Every day, large numbers of tourists bet huge amounts of money at the country’s roulette wheels and poker tables.
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  • The interior decor of the hotels is becoming increasingly grandiose. Gold is a popular colour.
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  • The casinos, with their spectacular buildings, vie with one another to attract customers.
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  • The temples of gambling reach up ever higher into the Asian sky.
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  • And, as a result of the huge sums earned by gambling industry, historic buildings are being restored to their former glory.
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  • Video: Macao – the little sister of Las Vegas