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Sunday, October 30, 2005

Macau—Pulling Out the Stops


Opening ceremonies at the East Asian Games featured a Beyond Busby Berkeley show of dancers in pink, a giant golden lotus, and live cranes.

Photo: Claro Cortes IV, for Reuters

Macau, the Reno of South China, is playing host to the East Asian Games, October 29-November 6. Events include dragon-boat racing and wushu (a martial art form), as well as mundane athletics like basketball.

Macau has spent nine years, and some say the equivalent of $625 million, to prepare for the event. The former Portuguese colony, “with a population of 440,000, is considered a small city by Asian standards. It has long been known as a center for seedy entertainment and casinos. But the city has witnessed an economic boom, expressed not only in the growth of upscale casinos, but in the real estate market, as well.

“The East Asian Games, its boosters say, will provide a chance to showcase Macau on an international stage. Such hopes are crucial for a city that has traditionally been in the shadow of nearby Hong Kong.”

Hong Kong’s flower is the bauhinia, or orchid tree, Macau’s—in case you missed the opening ceremonies—the lotus.

Posted by Julie on 10/30 at 11:01 AM
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