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.

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.

Again, expect to pay more for a ticket on weekends.

First Ferry (com.hk) operates a service between Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong and Macau.

This once sleepy enclave has indeed woken up – fast. A China government crackdown on extravagant spending by officials had a huge impact on Macau’s high-rolling revenues in 2014 to 2016.

Resort operators were required by law to diversify from majority casino-focused offerings to embrace Vegas-style family entertainment.Crowds dodged firecrackers at the A-Ma Temple before heading off to feast on Macanese salted cod balls in cosy European-style taverns.It was merry mayhem, unpredictable, absurd, absorbing, languorous, and fun.The rest are of Portuguese or other European descent, or from elsewhere in Asia.▲ top Zooming into Macau for a weekend from Hong Kong, chances are you’ll arrive by high-speed Turbojet ferry (tel: [852] 2859-3333; about an hour’s journey; sailings throughout the day and night).It is about 150 patacas (or Hong Kong dollars) one way.