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August 29, 2008

The origins of "Macau"

Whilst we were in Macau, we visited the A-Ma Temple. This was built on the sea shore, at the spot where the Goddess A-Ma is said to have ascended to heaven. The buildings and shrines were beautiful, but it was bustling and absolutely hectic, so there wasn't really much chance to take photos or to take it all in.



It isn't as close to the sea as it used to be. Reclaimed land has formed a small area in front of the Temple, and it now features one of Macau's main roads.



However, ships still approach as close as they can get to the temple, and then let off noisy firecrackers - A-Ma is the goddess of fishermen.



She is also the reason that we Westerners call the place Macau. It is thought that when the Portuguese first arrived in the area, and asked the name of the place, they mistook people saying "A-Ma Gau" for the actual name. What they were being told actually means "The bay of A-Ma".

Tourists, eh?

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