Portuguese traders first dropped anchor and planted a flag here in 1513, creating the first European colony in Asia. Every pastel colonial building, aging church or crumbling temple tells a story of conquest, trade and hybridization.
Today it’s Hong Kong weekenders and mainland high-rollers who come to gamble religiously at this formerly sleepy port’s famed casinos, home to the world's largest gambling revenue. Some of the mountains of cash this tiny territory siphons from your wallet will be put to good use providing public services and expanding the university. Of course the key word in that last sentence was “some”.
That the Chinese are a nation of gamblers can be traced back all the way to the “bible” of Taoism: the I Ching, where the magical properties of numbers are explored and explained as building blocks toward ultimate, universal truth.