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Macau: the gambling empire


Its casinos are among the largest in the world, but it is now just as famous for its cuisine and starred restaurants.


A few hours from Guangzhou by way of the Pearl River and you will make out the giant casinos on Macau's bizarre horizon line, as well as the ever-glowing neon lights of its pawnshops. On the islands of Taipa and Coloane, replicas of Las Vegas casinos opened a few years back, and now they do more business than those in Nevada!

Macau was a Portuguese overseas territory until 1999, you can still sense this when you wander through its streets, which have an air of Lisbon to them. The Portuguese have left their traces even in the kitchen: you'll find dishes here you won't see anywhere else, like African chicken, crab curry, and, of course, baked bacalao. The Chinese come here to get a taste of the continent just as, every Sunday, they book tables at the casinos' reasonably priced starred restaurants.

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