The Portugese originally came to China in the mid 15th century trading with the Chinese. In thanks for clearing the area of pirates the Portuguese were granted a lease on Macau and paid rent of 19 kgs of silver annually. Macau flourished as a centre of trade until the British acquired Hong Kong in the Opium wars, after which it started to go into decline. In 1966 riots broke out in Macau as the cultural revolution started on the mainland. The Portuguese government tried to hand Macau back to the PRC but the Maoist government was afraid what effect this would have on Hong Kong and refused. It was finally returned as a S.A.R. along with Hong Kong in 1999. Since the deregulation of gambling casinos have sprung up all over Macau making it a mecca for gambling.
There are some really beautiful Mediterranean buildings here, in parts I felt like I was in Napoli at times. I just wandered around the streets for a few hours. I had lunch in a small buffet style restaurant and wandered around some more. With the dark skies approaching, there's another typhoon on it's way to Hainan, I decided to