One of the world’s most popular tourist attractions is this remnant of Portugal colonization of Macau. It’s the facade of an ancient cathedral left–all that remains of what was once the largest and most beautiful cathedral outside of Europe.

The site is swarmed by toursits, cramped, crowded and hot. Yet somehow, it’s still worth the long ferry ride and the overpriced taxi ride to get there. No where in Macau is there a better juxtaposition of East meets West than at the Ruinas de Pablos. Indeed the cathedral decked out in Mid-Autumn Festival lanterns and lights prepared me in some absurd way for the Vegas style glitzy casinos, the swirling patterns of sea life in the cobble stoned streets and the street food of garlic ramen with chicken kebabs.

All of it coming together in a mess of wonder and anxiety that can only be called Macau.

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