A modern metropolis of casinos and glittering skyscrapers, Macao is its own "Special Administrative Region" (SAR) of China separate from Hong Kong. Granted to the Portuguese in the 1500s as a colony and traders' enclave, Macao grew to become a prominent trading post and cultural center. It was unique in having three official language: Portuguese, English and Chinese, and all signs were trilingual. Among its many accomplishments was the development of a unique, delectable fusion cuisine that combined Portuguese and Chinese tastes, as well as flavors from across the Portuguese overseas empire. While Macao was eclipsed by Hong Kong as the most prominent port in the region, today it has found a new niche - and is home to a huge concentration of casinos. Despite its rapid development, much of Macao still retains its old colonial charm in the form of wide, mosaic-tiled boulevards and historic landmarks.