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Macau, Macau

See the Hong Kong Guide ›'s insider take:

Macau's gambling revenues may have surpassed those of Las Vegas, but cultural tourists and foodies can hit the jackpot here, too. The Portuguese colonized this small but strategic territory at the mouth of China's Pearl River in the 16th century as the first European settlement in the Far East. Today the high rollers head straight to casinos like Stanley Ho's Lisboa Hotel & Casino (2–4 Ave. de Lisboa; 853-2888-3888;, The Sands Macao (203 Largo de Monte Carlo; 853-2888-3388;, Wynn Macau (Rua Cidade de Sintra; 853-2888-9966;, and the $2.4 billion Venetian Macao (Estrada da Baía de N. Senhora da Esperança; 853-2882-8888;, on the Cotai Strip between Taipa and Coloane islands.

Colonial vestiges remain in the stone facade of the wooden Saint Paul's Church (Rua de São Paolo), the pretty saffron Saint Dominic Church (Largo de São Domingos), and the residences around Lilau Square where the first Portuguese settlers made their homes. These settlers also left their mark on the cuisine of Macau, starting with the pastel de nata, or egg tart, that comes out of the ovens day and night at Lord Stow Bakery (1 Rua do Tassara; Coloane; 853-2888-2534; Hong Kong day-trippers make pilgrimages for the caramel-crusted roast pork at Fernando's (9 Praia de Hac Sa; Coloane; 853-2888-2264) or to A Lorcha (289 Rua do Almirante Sergio; 853-2831-3193), which serves traditional Macanese dishes like deep-fried king prawns with chile and garlic.

Turbojet hydrofoils make the one-hour trip between Hong Kong and Macau around the clock (853-8790-7039;, but those with the cash may prefer to cut travel time down to a mere 20 minutes by arriving via helicopter (Heliservices; 852-2802-0200;

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