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Macau, a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China, is on the western bank of the Pearl River Delta, about an hour from Hong Kong by hydrofoil. It consists of the Macau Peninsula and Taipa and Coloane islands. The Cotai area, a glitzy, Vegas-like strip of hotels and casinos that began development in 2006, lies between Taipa and Coloane and virtually merges the two.
Most people visit Macau to gamble, eat cheap seafood, and shop. But don't overlook its timeless charms and unique culture, born from centuries of both Portuguese and Chinese influence.