Eye on the World: Macau

written by | Posted on October 21st, 2013

Recommend’s Asia/South Pacific editor is exploring the former Portuguese colony of Macau, a city in China known for its casinos, capturing daily life through his photographic lens.

With 3,896 rooms and suites, the Sheraton Macao Hotel—in a district known as Cotai Central—is the largest hotel in Macau, as well as the largest Sheraton in the world. It has proven so popular that it greeted its 1 millionth guest merely 11 months after opening in September 2012.

With 3,896 rooms and suites, the Sheraton Macao Hotel—in a district known as Cotai Central—is the largest hotel in Macau, as well as the largest Sheraton in the world. It has proven so popular that it greeted its 1 millionth guest merely 11 months after opening in September 2012.

The lobby at the Sheraton Macao mirrors its tropical setting. The once sleepy Portuguese colonial backwater surpassed Las Vegas in gambling revenue in less than 15 years.

The lobby at the Sheraton Macao mirrors its tropical setting. The once sleepy Portuguese colonial backwater surpassed Las Vegas in gambling revenue in less than 15 years.

All the tea in China is celebrated in the lobby of the Sheraton Macao, a popular destination for those who want to experience the city's singular culture: an exotic and pleasing blend of Chinese and Portuguese.

All the tea in China is celebrated in the lobby of the Sheraton Macao, a popular destination for those who want to experience the city's singular culture: an exotic and pleasing blend of Chinese and Portuguese.

With peeling posters, ancient buildings and the intricate pattern of mosaic sidewalks and streets more distinctive to the Algarve than southern China, central Macau generally makes visitors feel like they've stumbled into a time warp.

With peeling posters, ancient buildings and the intricate pattern of mosaic sidewalks and streets more distinctive to the Algarve than southern China, central Macau generally makes visitors feel like they've stumbled into a time warp.

Central Macau is a World Heritage site where East blends with West. While thoroughly Portuguese in some ways, street scenes typical of rural China are common.

Central Macau is a World Heritage site where East blends with West. While thoroughly Portuguese in some ways, street scenes typical of rural China are common.

Central Macau is a colorful place that exudes the romance of the colonial era. It remains one of the most distinctive destinations in the world.

Central Macau is a colorful place that exudes the romance of the colonial era. It remains one of the most distinctive destinations in the world.

Portuguese colonial buildings in Macau's historic Central District.

Portuguese colonial buildings in Macau's historic Central District.

Macau's colorful buildings are more like a town in Portugal than China.

Macau's colorful buildings are more like a town in Portugal than China.

Central Macau's architecture and colonial aura are evident in almost any street of its Central District.

Central Macau's architecture and colonial aura are evident in almost any street of its Central District.

With a quaint chapel as its central focus, an old Portuguese cemetery in central Macau is one of the city's most revered and historic landmarks.

With a quaint chapel as its central focus, an old Portuguese cemetery in central Macau is one of the city's most revered and historic landmarks.

Albergue 1601 is a colonial relic in central Macau featuring an outstanding Portuguese restaurant, tiny shops stocked with Portuguese products, colorful buildings shaded by cinnamon trees, Chinese lanterns—in short, all that makes Macau the alluring destination that it is today.

Albergue 1601 is a colonial relic in central Macau featuring an outstanding Portuguese restaurant, tiny shops stocked with Portuguese products, colorful buildings shaded by cinnamon trees, Chinese lanterns—in short, all that makes Macau the alluring destination that it is today.

Nowhere else in the world will one find Chinese waitresses carrying dishes like Portuguese-style paella as in Macau, a colonial outpost that predates Hong Kong.

Nowhere else in the world will one find Chinese waitresses carrying dishes like Portuguese-style paella as in Macau, a colonial outpost that predates Hong Kong.

Pre-school children collecting leaves in central Macau.

Pre-school children collecting leaves in central Macau.

Spirited games of Chinese-style checkers are common in Macanese parks.

Spirited games of Chinese-style checkers are common in Macanese parks.

The facade of the 16th century St. Paul's Cathedral is all that remains after a fire and typhoon gutted it in 1835. It is Macau's most celebrated landmark.

The facade of the 16th century St. Paul's Cathedral is all that remains after a fire and typhoon gutted it in 1835. It is Macau's most celebrated landmark.

Newlyweds are routinely photographed in front of the ruins of Macau's St. Paul's Cathedral in a tradition similar to Russians who have wedding photos taken in front of the statue of Peter the Great in St. Petersburg.

Newlyweds are routinely photographed in front of the ruins of Macau's St. Paul's Cathedral in a tradition similar to Russians who have wedding photos taken in front of the statue of Peter the Great in St. Petersburg.

A Macau street under late afternoon sunlight.

A Macau street under late afternoon sunlight.

St. Paul's Cathedral is an imposing structure from any angle.

St. Paul's Cathedral is an imposing structure from any angle.

Modern texting near an ancient Taoist temple.

Modern texting near an ancient Taoist temple.

Built in 1488, the A-Ma Taoist temple honors Matsu, the goddess of sailors and fishermen. It also marks the spot where 16th century Portuguese seafarers first made land in China.

Built in 1488, the A-Ma Taoist temple honors Matsu, the goddess of sailors and fishermen. It also marks the spot where 16th century Portuguese seafarers first made land in China.

The Macau Grand Prix Museum pays homage to the Formula 1 race that has been held in the city since 1954.

The Macau Grand Prix Museum pays homage to the Formula 1 race that has been held in the city since 1954.

Macau and People's Republic of China flags fly simultaneously over the city declared a self-governing Special Administrative Region but responsible to Beijing in political and economic issues.

Macau and People's Republic of China flags fly simultaneously over the city declared a self-governing Special Administrative Region but responsible to Beijing in political and economic issues.

Gil Raposo (center), former master chef at the Four Seasons Hotel in Lisbon, presides over Porta de Macau, a celebrated restaurant serving Portuguese fare.

Gil Raposo (center), former master chef at the Four Seasons Hotel in Lisbon, presides over Porta de Macau, a celebrated restaurant serving Portuguese fare.

The House of Dancing Water is a spectacular and astounding performance and the brainchild of Franco Dragone, one of the creators of Cirque du Soleil. It cost more than $250 million to stage and is sold out daily. The show is held at Macau's City of Dreams on the Cotai Strip.

The House of Dancing Water is a spectacular and astounding performance and the brainchild of Franco Dragone, one of the creators of Cirque du Soleil. It cost more than $250 million to stage and is sold out daily. The show is held at Macau's City of Dreams on the Cotai Strip.

Giant sea shells from the South China Sea accent the hallway of the Sheraton Macao's spa, a quiet retreat featuring local flowers and herbs in its treatments.

Giant sea shells from the South China Sea accent the hallway of the Sheraton Macao's spa, a quiet retreat featuring local flowers and herbs in its treatments.

Bright colors with Asian touches in Macau.

Bright colors with Asian touches in Macau.

With 3,896 rooms and suites, the Sheraton Macao Hotel—in a district known as Cotai Central—is the largest hotel in Macau, as well as the largest Sheraton in the world. It has proven so popular that it greeted its 1 millionth guest merely 11 months after opening in September 2012.The lobby at the Sheraton Macao mirrors its tropical setting. The once sleepy Portuguese colonial backwater surpassed Las Vegas in gambling revenue in less than 15 years.All the tea in China is celebrated in the lobby of the Sheraton Macao, a popular destination for those who want to experience the city's singular culture: an exotic and pleasing blend of Chinese and Portuguese.With peeling posters, ancient buildings and the intricate pattern of mosaic sidewalks and streets more distinctive to the Algarve than southern China, central Macau generally makes visitors feel like they've stumbled into a time warp.Central Macau is a World Heritage site where East blends with West. While thoroughly Portuguese in some ways, street scenes typical of rural China are common.Central Macau is a colorful place that exudes the romance of the colonial era. It remains one of the most distinctive destinations in the world.Portuguese colonial buildings in Macau's historic Central District.Macau's colorful buildings are more like a town in Portugal than China.Central Macau's architecture and colonial aura are evident in almost any street of its Central District.With a quaint chapel as its central focus, an old Portuguese cemetery in central Macau is one of the city's most revered and historic landmarks.Albergue 1601 is a colonial relic in central Macau featuring an outstanding Portuguese restaurant, tiny shops stocked with Portuguese products, colorful buildings shaded by cinnamon trees, Chinese lanterns—in short, all that makes Macau the alluring destination that it is today.Nowhere else in the world will one find Chinese waitresses carrying dishes like Portuguese-style paella as in Macau, a colonial outpost that predates Hong Kong.Pre-school children collecting leaves in central Macau.Spirited games of Chinese-style checkers are common in Macanese parks.The facade of the 16th century St. Paul's Cathedral is all that remains after a fire and typhoon gutted it in 1835. It is Macau's most celebrated landmark.Newlyweds are routinely photographed in front of the ruins of Macau's St. Paul's Cathedral in a tradition similar to Russians who have wedding photos taken in front of the statue of Peter the Great in St. Petersburg.A Macau street under late afternoon sunlight.St. Paul's Cathedral is an imposing structure from any angle.Modern texting near an ancient Taoist temple.Built in 1488, the A-Ma Taoist temple honors Matsu, the goddess of sailors and fishermen. It also marks the spot where 16th century Portuguese seafarers first made land in China.The Macau Grand Prix Museum pays homage to the Formula 1 race that has been held in the city since 1954.Macau and People's Republic of China flags fly simultaneously over the city declared a self-governing Special Administrative Region but responsible to Beijing in political and economic issues.Gil Raposo (center), former master chef at the Four Seasons Hotel in Lisbon, presides over Porta de Macau, a celebrated restaurant serving Portuguese fare.The House of Dancing Water is a spectacular and astounding performance and the brainchild of Franco Dragone, one of the creators of Cirque du Soleil. It cost more than $250 million to stage and is sold out daily. The show is held at Macau's City of Dreams on the Cotai Strip.Giant sea shells from the South China Sea accent the hallway of the Sheraton Macao's spa, a quiet retreat featuring local flowers and herbs in its treatments.Bright colors with Asian touches in Macau.