The A-Ma Temple is the oldest temple in Macau. It was constructed in 1488 during the Ming Dynasty to commemorate Mazu, the sacred sea goddess who blesses the fishermen of Macau. Those spirals are huge incense coils. As they burn, the smoke adds to the otherworldliness of this magical place.
Macau was a Portuguese colony and both the first & last European colony in China. Portuguese traders first settled in Macau in the 16th century and subsequently administered the region until the handover at the end of 1999.
This was my first trip to Macau, and I found it to be a charming place. Many times I did not feel like I was in China…I could have been anywhere in Europe. There are great little Portuguese cafes, tiled sidewalks, and so much preserved colonial architecture. Both Macau and Shanghai’s historic colonial architecture set within the backdrop of typical Chinese architecture is an amazing contrast.