Over the past 20 years, Macau has been reinvented. One of the most relentless building programs of modern times has transformed this onetime Portuguese enclave from a backwater of crumbling villas, sleeping dogs and avuncular priests into a shiny pleasure zone that is the envy of southern China. From across the Pearl River estuary, Hong Kong's worldly denizens once snickered pityingly at their small-town, Macanese cousins. Now the latter are having the last laugh, unveiling bombastic showpiece after showpiecefrom dazzling casinos and resorts to a new sports arena and (in the works) a lavish theme park complete with erupting volcano....
To continue reading: or Log-In
Want the full story?
Get TIME the way you want it
Week Digital Pass — $4.99
Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS — $2.99
Year ALL ACCESS — Just $30! Best Deal!
Print Magazine + Digital Edition +
Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com
Learn more about the benefits of being
a TIME subscriber
If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!