Macau is tiny but packed with people. Under Chinese control until 1513, the peninsula was rented to Portuguese seafarers from the 1550ís until 1999, when the area ping-ponged back into Chinese control. Macauís bread is buttered by the gambling industry, but tourists who tear their attention away from the hypnotic neon of the casinos will find plenty of beaches, museums, shopping and dining opportunities.
Largo do Senado, the townís central square, is the epicenter for some of the most historical architecture in Macau, as well as a vast and diverse assortment of shops. Macauís Grand Prix draws race lovers to the 6km Guia Circuit to watch motorcycles and Formula Three racers roar along winding, hilly roads and waterfront curves. The Macau International Fireworks Display provides a yearly showcase for pyrotechnical artistry from nearly a dozen different nations. History buffs may enjoy the Ruinas de Igreja Sao Paulo (Church of St Paul), the ruins of a church built by Japanese refugees in the 17th century. Kun Iam is Macauís oldest temple, built in 1627. There visitors can pay their respects to Kun Iam, the goddess of mercy, or purchase a piece of prophecy from one of the many fortune tellers that crowd the temple grounds.