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Macau Skyline | © sanfanmedia.com / Flickr
Macau Skyline | © sanfanmedia.com / Flickr
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4 Books to Read Before Visiting Macau

Picture of Matthew Keegan
Updated: 1 March 2017
If ever a destination warranted reading a book before you visit, it’s Macau. You’ll get far more out of your trip if you understand some of Macau’s fascinating history and its unique blend of East and West influences. Here are some of the books that will not only serve as a valuable pocket guide as you explore the city, but help you to fully understand and appreciate Macau in all its multifaceted glory.

Macau History and Society (2011) by Zhidong Hao

If the thought of a history book fills you with dread or sends you to sleep, fear not, Macau’s history is anything but dull. History is at the very heart of what makes Macau a unique and fascinating place. This book is well worth a read. It offers an insightful look at Macau’s rich past and the assimilation of Portuguese and Chinese cultural influences that have shaped the city and its society. Having read this book you will better understand the significance and uniqueness of Macau and why it’s so much more than a mere casino city.

Explore Macau: A Walking Guide and History (2011) by Todd Crowell

Since Macau is only seven square miles, author Todd Crowell makes a strong case in this handy pocket guide that Macau is a city made for walking. The guide highlights numerous points of interest and describes nine walks around the city that enable you to fully appreciate and understand Macau’s unique blend of European and Asian architecture, cuisine and culture. For first-time visitors to Macau this guide is well worth taking with you as you explore the city. Even for old hands who know the place well, this book is full of comprehensive information and fascinating titbits about the city and its rich history.

Taste of Macau (2003) by Annabel Jackson

Yes, this is essentially a cookbook with over 60 recipes, but it’s more than that. Few people know that the native Macau cuisine known as “Macanese” is the world’s original fusion cuisine. Some 450 years ago the Portuguese settled in Macau bringing with them their own ingredients and spices, which they mixed with Chinese ingredients and cooking methods to create the oldest fusion cuisine “Macanese”. This beautifully illustrated book charts the history of the cuisine and contains some of its best-loved heritage recipes. Macanese cuisine is harder to come across these days, but try some of its signature dishes like minchi, African chicken, tacho, cappela and bacalhau, and you’ll fall in love with this most delicious food. This book will help know which dishes to look out for on your trip, where to try them and even contains recipes so you can cook them yourself.

The New Macau (2005) by Jennifer Welker

Macau has transformed itself in the past 20 years, largely due to the incredible rise of its casino industry. In this well-written book, longtime Macau resident Jennifer Welker presents a comprehensive guide to the changes and evolution of the city as she interviews everyone from locals to casino magnates who have been instrumental in the city’s transformation. This book is a must-read if you’re looking to truly understand the multifaceted nature of modern day Macau.

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