While in Manila a couple of months ago, I managed to fit in a trip to Macau and Hong Kong with my aunt and uncle. I finally (finally!) uploaded pictures from that trip to Flickr.

sensory overload
Macau is an interesting place. Up until 1999, it was a Portuguese colony – the European influence is pretty evident still in the food, in the place names, and in the architecture. There are also lots of churches. The most famous landmark happens to be the Ruínas de São Paulo (the Ruins of St. Paul) , the facade of a 17th century Portuguese cathedral.

Ruins of St. Paul
Macau is now a “special administrative region” of China. China may be run the fruits of the proletariat revolution, but in Macau (and Hong Kong too), capitalism rules the day. The last time I visited Macau, it looked and felt like the poor backwater cousin of vibrant, cosmopolitan Hong Kong. Now, Macau is all tarted up, being billed as “the Asian Las Vegas.” Casinos galore – gigantor ones, with Las Vegas pedigrees like the Venetian and MGM Grand, dot the cityscape. All filled to the brim with gambling Asians. It was strange seeing all these slot machines in Chinese.

we’ll take your money in any language

Hong Kong, on the other hand, is as bustling and crowded as I remembered. Only, there seems to be three times more people who want to breathe the same air as you. More pictures here.

In the meantime, I’m off on another work trip.