This tangle of narrow atmospheric streets is in Macau, the former Portuguese treaty-port colony in China that only reverted to Chinese control in 1999. This is one of the coolest places I’ve seen on Google Earth in a long time. Imagine what exotic intrigues simmer in these claustrophobic avenues on sultry summer nights! If I was a secret agent, I’d probably have a base in Macau just to live up to the promise of an awesome place like this.
If you think Macau looks like a movie set, you aren’t the first to think so. The opening sequence of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, supposed to take place in Shanghai, was filmed here, partially because at the time the film was made (1983) the real Shanghai was less than accessible for Western movies, but also because Macau, being less modern and advanced, more closely resembled the way China looked in the 1930s.
I’ve known some people who have gone to Macau both before and after the reversion to China, and they all say it’s a pretty amazing place. I’d love to see it in person someday.