Macau is an island with a unique identity located just off the Eastern coast of China. Many consider this tiny island to be the “Vegas of the Far East” with the glitzy casinos and the luxury hotels in abundance. The entertainment that is found here is unparalleled by any other destination in Asia. It is also famous for its indulgence in the luxuries of life and the high rolling big spenders that come here to gamble millions of dollars every year.
On the other hand, Macau is unique because of its culture; it was first inhabited by Chinese who sought refuge from the invading Mongol hordes. Later on, it became popular as a fishing village. However, the transformation from sleepy fishing village to one of the glitziest cities in Asia was mostly due to colonial influence.
The Macau Friendship Bridge or Ponte de Amizade as it is known in Portuguese was constructed in 1990 and connected the Macau peninsula with the island of Taipa. This bridge was seen as a symbolic representation of the friendship that existed between the local people, mainland China and the Portuguese government, who were linked in a unique manner due to this geo political anomaly.
The island was under Portuguese rule from 1535 to 1887, while it was given back to Imperial China after the Opium War. Even after this, reminders of Portuguese occupation were scattered all over in the architecture of the many churches as the Portuguese were very eager to spread the Catholic religion among the locals.
In following years due to several political and military accords, the island reverted back to Portuguese rule until 1974, where the sovereignty of Macau was granted to China after many long years of negotiation in 1999.
Today, the bridge is an important part of the transportation system on the island and sees thousands of cars crossing it each day.