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Casinos in Macau are as varied as their visitors. Whether youíre after a stylish six-star gaming experience like Crown Macau, or a family-centric Venice-themed casino affair like The Venetian Macao, or something more Asian like the Grand Lisboa, rest assured that there is a casino in Macau to suit your needs.

From the rowdy to the refined, to the subdued to the lavish, each casino may be different in design, but all offer exciting gaming floors and meet world-class gaming standards. With over 25 casinos, and the number set to double in the coming years, visitors to Macau have every excuse to return regularly. Itís no wonder that the gaming revenue in Macau has already surpassed that of Las Vegas to become the highest in the world.

If thatís not enough variety for you, save your pennies for the next 2 years because thatís when the Cotai Strip will really come to life, offering not just more gaming options, but world-class accommodation, dining and nightlife venues.
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Macau Sports
Macau sporting events are sure to thrill both participants and spectators. Macauís stadiums and sporting facilities mean it is often a top choice for international sporting events, such as the East Asian Games. But the most famous and anticipated sporting event in Macau has to be the Macau Grand Prix which takes place every November and attracts over 300 racers. It is the only street circuit racing event where cars and motorcycles race Ė many of whom head to the Motor Sports Club for to get behind the wheel of a go-kart at this challenging and world-class track.

Another first for Macau is the Macau Tower Bungy Ė known as the world's highest commercial bungy jump. Operated by the King of Bungy Ė New Zealander AJ Hackett Ė youíll know youíre in safe, dependable hands, even as you throw propel yourself into the air - 338 meters above the ground. Other thrilling options including mast climbing, jumping to the towerís base or the Sky Jump (a less challenging type of bungy jump) are available, as are options for the kids.

Get some exercise and fresh air on a good day, by hiring a bicycle from Taipa Village and discovering what Macau has to offer on two wheels. Make friends with a retired race horse at the Macau Horse Riding School, which takes riders as young as 8 for affordable and fun lessons in Coloane.

What many people donít realize is that there are many options for families with young kids to get outdoors. The beaches at Coloane are safe for swimming, and there are vendors selling water sports equipment like canoes and water scooters. Coloane also has many parks with playgrounds and clearly marked hiking trails, of varying difficulties.

Macau Shopping
Macau Shopping
Macau shopping may not be as famous as its casinos. But a little known fact is that many luxury brands are available in Macau at duty-free prices. Shopping in Macau is not just limited to an increasing number of international label boutiques at casinos like The Venetian, MGM Grand, The Landmark and Wynn Macau. The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian has 1 million sq ft worth of shopping and dining, and is well worth setting aside at least a few hours or the entire afternoon for.

Outside of the casinos, there are several areas selling plenty of bargains. Senado Square has shops selling freshly made cookies and Portuguese egg tarts as well as many fashion boutiques. There are also a few antique shops selling authentic antiques as well as reproductions made to measure. Senado Square is also the home of Macauís most popular daily flea market, which sells everything from souvenirs, to underwear, sweaters, accessories, shoes, household products and food.

Macau Shopping
Fishermen from Fujian and farmers from Guangdong were the first known settlers in Macau, when it was known as Ou Mun, or "trading gate", because of its location at the mouth of the Pearl River downstream from Guangzhou (Canton). During ancient times port city was part of the Silk Road with ships loading here with silk for Rome.

Even after China ceased to be a world trade centre, Guangzhou prospered from seaborne business with the countries of Southeast Asia, so the local entrepreneurs welcomed the arrival of Portuguese merchant-explorers. They followed in the wake of Jorge Alvares, who landed in southern China in 1513, and set about finding suitable trading posts.

In the early 1550s the Portuguese reached Ou Mun, which the locals also called A Ma Gao, "place of A Ma", in honour of the Goddess of Seafarers, whose temple stood at the entrance to the sheltered Inner Harbour. The Portuguese adopted the name, which gradually changes into the name Macau, and with the permission of Guangdong's mandarins, established a city that within a short time had become a major entrepot for trade between China, Japan, India and Europe.

It also became the perfect crossroad for the meeting of East and West cultures. The Roman Catholic church sent some of its greatest missionaries to continue the work of St Francis Xavier, (who died nearby after making many converts in Japan). A Christian college was built, beside what is now today's Ruins of St Paul's, where students such as Matteo Ricci prepared for their work as Christian scholars at the Imperial Court in Beijing. Other churches were built, as well as fortresses, which gave the city an historical European appearance that distinguishes it to this day.

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Portugal's golden age in Asia faded as rivals like the Dutch and British took over their trade. However the Chinese chose to continue to do business through the Portuguese in Macau, so for over a century the British East India Company and others set up shop here in rented houses like the elegant Casa Garden. As Europe's trade with China grew, the European merchants spent part of the year in Guangzhou, buying tea and Chinese luxuries at the bi-annual fairs, using Macau as a recreational retreat.

Following the Opium War in 1841, Hong Kong was established by Britain and most of the foreign merchants left Macau, which became a quaint, quiet backwater. Nevertheless it has continued to enjoy a leisurely multicultural existence and make daily, practical use of its historical buildings, in the process becoming a favourite stopover for international travellers, writers and artists.

Macau Shopping
In modern times Macau has developed industries such as textiles, electronics and toys, as well as building up an a world class tourist industry with a wide choice of hotels, resorts, sports facilities, restaurants and casinos. As in the past, Macau's economy is closely linked to that of Hong Kong and Guangdong Province, in particular the Pearl River Delta region, which qualifies as one of Asia's "little tigers". Macau provides financial and banking services, staff training, transport and communications support.

Macau is a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China since 20 December 1999, and, like Hong Kong, benefits from the principle of "one country, two systems". The tiny SAR is growing in size - with more buildings on reclaimed land - and in the number and diversity of its attractions. The greatest of these continues to be Macau's unique society, with communities from the East and West complementing each other, and the many people who come to visit.

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