China // Hong Kong and Macau //


A few years ago, views south from the museum took in mud flats, reeds and the sea; now this has all been filled in to form Cotai district, and the scene is as incongruous as you could imagine. Right ahead is the extraordinary Venetian, a full-scale reproduction of Venice’s St Mark’s Square housing the world’s largest casino resort, with 850 gaming tables, 4100 slot machines and its own permanent Cirque de Soleil troupe. This is only the first of several similar projects, with Macau Studio City – combining a further resort and casino complex with film-production facilities – also set to open in the near future. Further reclamation means that Cotai’s western side now bumps up against the Chinese mainland, with the Cotai Frontier Post (not yet open to pedestrians) making access easy for coachloads of holidaying mainlanders.