5 Fascinating Things You Didn’t Know About Macao
By Vikas Sangle
Macao is a small place but it surely has a few fascinating things. Let’s call them a few interesting surprises that you would love to discover while you are there. So here they are, the five fascinating things about Macao that you should know about:
1. The First and the Last: We know that Macao was a Portuguese colony but there is an interesting twist to that fact. Macao was the first Asian country to be colonised by a European country and that was way back in the 16th century and it was the last country to be free from European rule. The Portuguese left in 1999 but the remnants of their rule are clearly visible today.
2. A Country on its Own: Macao is now under Chinese rule, but at the same time it also has its own special identity. Macao has its own currency known as the Pataca, its own flag and also has its own border controls. Even flights between Macao and China are considered international flights. So, when you think of Macao as a country, you wouldn’t be totally wrong since it does enjoy a certain degree of autonomy from China.
3. The Land of Egg Tarts: Egg Tarts are traditionally a Portuguese specialty and are famous all over Macao. Egg tarts and Macao have now become synonymous. While you enjoy these wonderful piping hot pastries in Macao there is an interesting fact behind them: the Macao eggs tarts were not originally created by the Portuguese but were an English creation in Macao. It was Englishman named Andrew Stow who had created these delectable delights there after being inspired by a Portuguese recipe. His version is now on every visitor’s wish list and can be enjoyed at the popular Lord Stow’s Bakery.
4. Take a Trishaw: The Trishaw is the Macao version of the cycle rickshaw and is a good way of getting around the place. But did you know that once upon a time, this mix of the tricycle and rickshaw was the primary mode of transport in Macao. It may have lost its glory now but as a tourist, a ride on the Trishaw is a must. One can also call it Macao’s history on the move and you can be a part of it by just hiring one.
5. What’s in the Name: The people of Macao believe that the name Macao was derived from the word Matsu, which is the local goddess of seafarers and fishermen. This goddess is worshipped at the A-Ma Temple that was built in 1448 and existed long before the modern day city of Macao came up. The temple is also a fine example of Chinese culture and is inspired by local beliefs and important faiths such as Buddhism and Confucianism.
Don’t forget to hashtag your Macao pictures with #MyMacaoMoments