There is a lot of residual European presence, if not in the population then in the environment. About 200,000 Portuguese live in Macau as it was once a Portuguese colony. The portion of the population that are of Portuguese and Chinese descent are called Macanese (which I find fun to say), as is the food that was influenced by both styles. It's a small in area, only 11 square miles, but rich in culture.
|beautiful buildings in the town square|
The blending of old and new, European and Chinese was fascinating to me. The signs in Hong Kong were in Chinese (usually Cantonese) and English. In Macau they were in Cantonese and Portuguese. The architecture was reminiscent of Lisbon but the colors were brighter than I remember. Several Jesuit and Catholic churches, a big Jesuit school which was the first European approved college in Asia, all with arches and detailed facades. St. Paul's is only a facade now as the church burned down in a fire, during a monsoon. The facade was all that was left and it deteriorated until most of the island was declared a UNESCO Heritage site.
|The crane on the loop is Chinese symbol but the building on the right, and St. Paul's through the middle are definitely Portuguese.|
|The Chinese cemeteries were unlike any others I'd ever seen.|
|A big temple on the southern tip of the island where people used to pray to the goddess of the sea for safe return of their sailor family members.|
|This is the Dom Pedro theater. One of the first in Asia that hosted many kinds of performances.|