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Soon came the fiery Dragon’s Treasure in the world's largest special effects projection dome, followed by a Michael Jackson museum, the 3.7m gallon aquatic spectacle House of Dancing Water and an onslaught of pro boxers and Biebsters.Many have shunned Hong Kong in favour of Macau’s swanky venues, where dancing sirens, Dreamworks characters and digital mermaids join in the fun.
Erstwhile local budget airline Viva Macau, alas, did not survive the initial stampede and folded its wings after a short stint in the low cost skies.Perhaps not surprisingly, shopping in Macau has also become a major attraction for Chinese visitors with luxury retail arcades and high-street stores a feature of most resort developments.Despite two years of successive monthly losses until mid-2016, Macau is still the top gaming market in the world – around five to six times larger than its nearest rival Las Vegas, and its fortunes appear to be growing once again.Macau (also Macao), which returned to China in 1999 after more than four centuries of Portuguese rule, is located on the western bank of the Pearl River Delta in southern China.The 29.5sq km enclave includes the Macau Peninsula, the islands of Taipa and Coloane and the 5.8sq km area of reclaimed land known as Cotai, now linking Taipa and Coloane.After a stubborn start, this begun to change as Macau is forced to consider new markets, and family travel becomes an important target.
Enter Kungfu Panda and other Dreamworks characters at Sheraton Grand, a waterslide fun park and vintage carousel at The Parisian and the first-ever 4D Batman flight simulation ride at Studio City Macau, plus countless family themed packages and child-friendly guestrooms luring Chinese extended families which, aside from Hainan Island, have few choices when it comes to world-class integrated resort destinations in China.
SEE ALSO Hongkong fun guide | Hong Kong shopping | Hong Kong business hotels | Beijing guide | Shanghai guide | Taipei spas | Asian casino hotels JUMP TO Getting to Macau | Vanishing heritage | Casino hotels review | Taipa, Cotai Strip casinos, Coloane resorts | Dining guide and Portuguese flavours | Macau nightlife and bars | Museums | Shopping | Historial Macau Walks | Hotel Contacts Glittering casino neon begins to loom over old Macau where life proceeds at a slower pace, winding through historic walks, churches, cobbled streets and past aromatic egg tart shops. ONCE upon a time, travellers flocked to Macau to nibble egg tarts on the crumbling steps of St Paul’s ruins and marvel at the entwined Chinese and Portuguese culture in the city’s historic quarter.
Latter day adventurers drove sputtering open-top 'Mokes' carting wailing kids from Macau to Taipa and Coloane across thin chicken-neck causeways that flooded in the monsoons.
Send us your Feedback / Letter to the Editor | Historial Macau Walks Turbojet also offers services between the Sky Pier at Hong Kong International Airport and Macau, plus services between Macau and both Shenzhen and Guangzhou in southern China.
Another option is the Cotai Strip Cotai Jet (tel:  2359-9990; operating from the Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal to Cotai – the fast developing casino area.
An average one-way midweek fare is around HK$100 rising to HK$150 for weekend evening services.