100 Reasons to Visit Macau
Macau is a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. A Portuguese overseas territory until 1999, it reflects a mix of Portuguese and Chinese influences. Its giant casinos and extravagant malls have earned it the nickname, the "Las Vegas of Asia." One of its more striking landmarks is 338m-high Macau Tower, with sweeping city views. Here are 100 reasons to visit Macau.
City of Dreams
It's true that the casino industry is a large reason why Macau has become a hotbed of tourism. Eclipsing Las Vegas in terms of overall dollar volume, Macau's casinos have quickly become THE spot for global gamblers.
Ruins of St. Paul's
The Ruins of St. Paul's refers to the ruins of a 16th-century complex in Macau including of what was originally St. Paul's College and the Church of St. Paul also known as "Mater Dei".
Duty Free Shopping
Shops are renowned for offering designer labels at much less than in nearby cities. There’s also generous duty-free shopping, including at The Shoppes at Four Seasons, which features fashions from many high-end designers. - See more at:
A-Ma Temple, situated on the southwest tip of the Macau Peninsula, is one of the oldest and most famous Taoist temples in Macau. Built in 1488, the temple is dedicated to Matsu, the goddess of seafarers and fishermen.
Grand Prix racing
The Macau Grand Prix is a November tradition, setting hearts pounding with automobile and motorbike races. Year-round, car connoisseurs can visit the Grand Prix Museum, home to more than 20 Formula 1 masterpieces.
Fortaleza do Monte
Fortaleza do Monte is the historical military centre of Macau. It forms part of the "Historic Centre of Macau", a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Shopping on Rua da Tercena
In the same neighbourhood as St. Paul's, a different type of opportunity awaits if you round the corner at Senado Square and a stroll down Rua da Tercena. This street has yet to become a major tourism point and is where you'll find underground shopping in Macau.
Greyhound racing stadium
More than 300 dogs run at the Canidrome, Asia’s only greyhound racing stadium. At the Macau Jockey Club, horses are imported from several countries to inspire international excitement.
Sink your teeth into a delicious and distinctive Macanese pork chop bun. This sandwich features fried pork between slices of sweet round bread. It is easily found in Macau’s restaurants and is very filling.
Macau Tower Convention & Entertainment Centre
Grand Prix Museum
The Grand Prix Museum is a motor racing museum in Macau. The museum was inaugurated at the 40th Macau Grand Prix in November 1993. It is co-located with and adjacent to the Macau Wine Museum.
Macau Fisherman's Wharf
The Macau Fisherman's Wharf is the first theme park in Macau. It is located at Freguesia da Sé in Macau Peninsula, near the Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Pier.
Our Lady of Penha
The first chapel was founded in 1622 by the crew and passengers of a ship which had narrowly escaped capture by the Dutch. The chapel served as a point of pilgrimage for sailors embarking on a hazardous voyage.
Lou Lim Ieoc Garden
The most Chinese of all of Macao's gardens is the Lou Lim Ieoc Garden. It was built by a wealthy 19th century Chinese merchant, Lou Kau, and was inherited by his son Lou Lim Ieoc in 1906. When the family fortunes declined the garden fell into ruins, but it was eventually purchased and restored by the government and opened to the public in 1974.
The Guia Fortress is a 17th-century colonial military fort, chapel, and lighthouse complex. It is in the St. Lazarus Parish, Concelho de Macau. The complex is part of the UNESCO Historic Centre of Macau World Heritage Site.
MGM Macau is a 35-story hotel tower with 600 beautifully appointed rooms, suites and villas, a grand casino and private gaming salons for preferred customers. A convertible convention area with 14,455-square-feet of meeting space, world-class spa, swimming pool facilities and a variety of restaurants catering to international tastes and influences.
Longtime maritime museum showcasing the tradition & history of the South China fishing industry.
Macau is one of Asia's best-kept culinary secrets, with an astonishing density of fine-dining options and a vibrant street-food scene. The 'must-try' is the iconic Macanese custard egg tart; some swear by those at Lord Stow's Bakery on Coloane, others argue passionately for those from rival Margaret's Cafe e Nata.
St. Francis Xavier Church
Built in 1928, this small, yellow Catholic church features a bell tower & stained-glass windows.
Macau's world-class spas
When all that gambling adrenaline starts to take its toll on your nervous system, head to one of Macau's world-class spas for a treatment that's as soothingly indulgent as it may be eye-wateringly expensive.
Spend an entrancing hour or so gazing at one of the big, bumbling pandas who live in Macau’s Giant Panda Pavilion, where you’ll also spot monkeys and lemurs.
A giant "diamond" merges from the Galaxy Macau's lobby fountain with flashing colored spotlights.
Sir Robert Ho Tung Library
The Sir Robert Ho Tung Library is a public library in Macau, China. It is located in St. Augustine’s Square in the Historic Centre of Macau, a UNESCO world heritage site.
St. Dominic's Square
Historic baroque Catholic church, dating to the late 16th century, with a sacred-art museum.
Macau Wine Museum
Set in the same building as the Grand Prix Museum, Macau’s wine museum is Asia's first museum devoted to wine. Reminiscent of a cellar, it offers a snappy history of winemaking, opening with the lovely liquid’s discovery by Egyptians and Phoenicians, then charting its spread from Greece across Europe and beyond.
Kun Iam Temple (Goddess of Mercy temple)
Macau’s Goddess of Mercy temple was originally founded in the 13th century. Its latest incarnation, which features rooftop porcelain figurines, dates back to 1627.
Pawn Shop Museum
Bigger than Vegas
Las Vegas has its Strip but Macau boasts the Cotai Strip. This area of reclaimed land connecting the "islands" of Taipa and Coloane is home to a sprawl of mega-casino hotels.
On the eastern side of Coloane is the black-sand Hac Sa Beach - home of the ultra-romantic Miramar Restaurant that serves Portuguese and Macanese cuisine.
Go bowling at the Macau East Asian Games Dome in Cotai, which is a state-of-the-art sports facility that bowlers will be very impressed with.
Macau Tower Skywalk
Home to the World's Highest Bungy - 233m. Walk on the wide side with Skywalk, drop off the edge with Skyjump, or take on the World's Highest Urban Tower Climb - 338m
Visit the Playboy Bunnies
After escaping their hutch at Hugh Heffner’s mansion, the Playboy Bunnies have made it to Asia and the Venetian Macao. The Bellini Lounge doubles as the Playboy club and offers rocket fuelled cocktails, a live house band and a string of live events.
Lord Stow’s Café
Every bit as cool as it sounds, Lord Stow’s Café preserves the memory of a famous English baker in an apt way – dishing the delicacies he relished.
Soak Up Local Culture in Coloane
Looking for some peace and quiet, and a bite of culture to boot? Skip all the bustle of downtown Macau and the Cotai Strip, and head instead down to Coloane.
Hong Kong in a Day
It’s only a 40-minute ferry ride away, so you can tick off several sights in a few hours.
A place like nowhere else
Macau is far smaller and less populated than its neighbour, with a different history and heritage from any other country. The arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century created a rich and fascinating cultural tapestry, and the European influences remain from the architecture to the food – making it a true one-of-a-kind Far East destination.
Hac Sa Beach
Hac Sa Beach - which translates as "Black Sand Bay" is Macau's largest natural beach. It's on the southeast side of Coloane Island. The beach is a kilometer long and famous for its black sand. It gets its unique color from minerals in the seabed that are washed ashore.
Go fishing along the pristine Pacific coast. You can cast your lines on the beach or join a fishing tour that will take you far on the ocean for deep sea fishing.
Walk along the Old City Walls of Macau, which were built during the 16th and 17th centuries to protect Macau.
Usually it is just a spot for tourists to relax. However, there are occasionally performances, such as lion dances, during special occasions and holidays at the square. The square is where you can have a view of the sea, a picnic or just relax.
Enjoy modern art sculptures and statues situated alongside flowers and trees at the Garden of the Arts.
International Fireworks Display Contest
The annual Macau International Fireworks Display Contest usually takes place on several Saturdays every September, on Mid-Autumn Festival and on China’s National Day on 1st October. The marvellous fireworks displays add a joyous atmosphere to holidays and festivals, and have become an annual must-see in Macau, with many spectators specially choosing this time of the year to visit for an exotic and romantic break.
Completed in 1638, Guia Fortress perches atop Macau’s highest point, Guia Hill. The fortress was meant to block attacks from the sea. Thanks to its unbeatable view of the city, the fortress became more of an observation post.
Take an old-fashioned spin around the quaint streets of historic Macau or the waterfront areas of Nam Van and Sai Van lakes on a tricycle rickshaw.
Handover Gifts Museum of Macao
Considered one of Macau's best renovation projects, Gallery G32 is a narrow tenement building restored to look like a Macanese home from the 1960s complete with green floral wallpaper, low-hanging lamps and wicker furniture.
Take in the European architecture and the bustling crowds at Senado Square. There are few places like this; the bright colonial buildings are gorgeous and make you think you are in Madrid or Lisbon, but the exquisite Chinese signs and temples blend seamlessly and create a rare multicultural environment.
Forget James Bonds’ trip to Macau in Skyfall, which was all shot in a studio in England, for a real-life movie experience head to Rua de Felicidade, where part of Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom was filmed.
The Mandarin’s House
The Mandarin’s House is a massive private residence that was built around 1869 for a wealthy Chinese merchant family. It gives a glimpse at what life was like for a prosperous family during the late 19th century in China, and it is an extraordinarily large home, containing over 60 rooms and covering approximately 4000 square meters. Admission is free.
Dom Pedro V Theater
One of the earliest European-style theaters built in Asia where plays and musicals were performed.
Treasure of Sacred Art Museum
Egg Tart Heaven
One of the famous local specialities to try when visiting Macau is the (Portuguese style) egg tart, first made famous by creator Andrew Stow's back in the 1990’s and now a must-try inclusion to the local food scene.
It was originally the house of a Portuguese merchant who enjoyed raising pigeons. His house served as a beautiful backdrop to the hundreds of flying pigeons that he raised. From afar, the pavilions and buildings in the compound looked like nests. After the death of the merchant, his residence was donated to the government, commemorating the great Portuguese poet Luis de Camoes, which is where the name of the garden comes from.
House of Dancing Water
Macau’s most expensive show is also its most extraordinary. The House of Dancing Water was created and directed by legendary show-maker Franco Dragone and blends elements of theatre, dance, acrobatics and water stunts with Chinese mythologies and other Asian elements.
The gaudiest casino isn't on the Cotai Strip but the peninsula jutting from the Chinese mainland. The lotus-shaped Grand Lisboa is regularly named one of the world's strangest buildings.
Enjoy a world-class show at any of the casinos at prices far cheaper than those offered at Las Vegas. Singers, dancers, and magicians are always performing in Macau, and tickets and plentiful and affordable.
Do it for the kids
Macau may not be the first place you think of to take the kiddies, but with such an abundance of entertainment on offer for the adults, the smart resorts have upped their family-friendly credentials in recent years.
Events & festivals
Traditional customs are an important part of life in Macau. Chinese New Year is widely celebrated with street parties and exciting parades filled with dragons and drummers; while the Macau International Dragon Boat Festival combines a traditional celebration with the exciting pace of a sporting event.
Macao Historical Archives
Exhibition of Macao’s Archival Materials
See the Sky
The painted sky that hangs over the Venetian Macao’s canals is truly breathtaking and many visitors are surprised that it’s not actually real. Yes, of course, you could just go outside and see the real thing but in here you can enjoy the air conditioning.
Sun Yat Sen Memorial House
Visit the Sun Yat Sen Memorial House, where Sun and his family lived and worked. It is a three story mansion that exhibits many of Sun’s personal items, such as papers, clothes, books, photographs, and speeches, and teaches visitors many intriguing facts about Chinese history.
New Year is also a great excuse for fireworks and firecrackers: the Macau Tower and Taipa waterfront are the best vantage points.
Jardim do Sao Francisco (S. Francisco Garden)
Jardim de S. Francisco is one of the beautiful and interesting gardens that you've probably never heard of in Macau. Located behind the Grand Lisboa hotel, this well landscaped and architecturally interesting city park is much enjoyed by local residents but is off the radar for most tourists.
World's largest rooftop wave pool
The 2200-room Galaxy Macau resort on the Cotai Strip is home to the world's largest rooftop wave pool. Frolic in waves of up to 1.5 metres or stroll the beach of imported white sand.
Go back in time
There are few more charming neighbourhoods in Macau than historic Taipa Village. Wander the warren of tiny alleyways and lantern-lit piazzas
With almost 30 world-class casinos, Macau delivers nonstop action.
Many people travel the short distance from Hong Kong to Macau to purchase Portuguese bread and the small Portuguese custard tarts called natas.
World Heritage sites
With 25 World Heritage sites crammed into the compact Macanese peninsula, it's an enthralling place to ramble around and explore.
Built in 1770, the park was originally the residence of a wealthy Portuguese merchant Manuel Pereira. At a later period, it was rented out to the English East India Company and was used to house the directors of the Macau branch of the company.
From neoclassical Portuguese homes to the ultra-modern Macau Cultural Centre, Macau is home to some of Asia's most impressive architecture, with European styles blended with Chinese elements.
One in five locals work in a casino
Macau's casinos employ 20% of the population. When a casino takes on new staff, it checks to see if he or she has family working in the casino and in which section, to avoid the possibility of fraud.
Rent a Cabana
The Venetian Macao offers luxury cabanas for a truly swanky poolside experience. In their cabanas, that can host up to four people, you’ll find a mini fridge for your drinks, an AC unit and fan to cool down with and a cable ready 42 inch TV - allowing you to take a dip in the pool and then repair to watch the game from the comfort of your very own sofa chairs.
Explore on Foot
The Macau Government Tourist Office has created a series of self-guided walks which cover not only the major historic sites but narrow lanes which lead to a few eye-catching surprises.
Combatting Pirates Monument
The "Combatting Pirates Monument" in the town square commemorates a 1910 incident in which pirates held more than a dozen Guangdong students for ransom.
Grand Waldo Casino
Sample some of Macau’s fine beef jerky, which was introduced and pioneered by Portuguese settlers. Free samples are available in many stores.
Thriving art scene
Revenue from casino taxes has helped propel spending on the arts, allowing for the development of an impressive art museum and Cultural Centre Complex.
Due to the multi-cultural influence in Macau, photographers will appreciate the diverse points and subjects for photography. From the ruins, food, and even simple shots of streets and people, it is very easy for photographers to create a unique photo essay.
Macau was the first and last European colony in China
The Portuguese settled in Macau in the 16th century and the island was handed back to China in 1999. Today, Macau is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) and is governed under the "one country, two systems" principal, which was the brainchild of late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping.
Banyan Tree Hotel
Stay at the fabulous Banyan Tree Hotel, part of the Galaxy resort of three hotels with a shared wave pool and beach, and a quiet adult’s pool surrounded by cabanas and pool attendants bringing drinks. The pic below is my standard-entry room with its own soaking pool!
Macau Science Center
Designed by Chinese American architect I.M. Pei, the Macau Science Center juts out along the ocean, and is easily visible to people taking ferries, cars, and trains.
Dine like a local
For a taste of "real" Macau, venture around the corner from Lord Stow's Bakery to Coloane Town Square, overlooking the waterway separating Macau from the Chinese mainland.
Be Serenaded by Real Gondoliers
The casinos blockbuster attraction is its network of canals. Just like the canals at the original property in Las Vegas or indeed in Venice itself, they are patrolled by gondalas manned by gondoliers warbling out tunes from the old country.
Get Lost in the Biggest Casino in the World
The Venetian Macao is the biggest casino in the world. Fact. Forget those pretenders in Vegas and Atlantic City, the Venetian Macao has 550,000 square metres of dedicated gaming space, that’s more than 800 gaming tables featuring everything from poker to fan tan and more than 3,400 slot machines – known locally as hungry tigers.
Hunt for bargains on rare and antique items in the famous pawn shops and curio dealers throughout Macau
The main dish of Macau is minchi, which is minced meat with potato cubes and rice. It is simple and sublime, and exhibits the marriage of Portuguese and Chinese cuisine and culture.
Museum of Taipa and Coloane
Details the earliest human settlements on the islands, the fishing industry prevalent on the islands, and the colonization and eventual independence of Macau.
Jardim Municipal da Montanha Russa
Relax in the Jardim Municipal da Montanha Russa, a park located on a hill that offers a terrific view of the city. The park has a diverse botanical collection, interesting statues, and a go-kart track for children.
Wait for and watch the lotus flower lights of the Casino Lisboa to bloom as the sun sets every day
Hac Sa and Cheoc Van
For those interested in outdoor activities, go for a swim or sunbathe on Macau’s two main beaches, Hac Sa and Cheoc Van. Thanks to Macau’s warm and humid climate throughout the year, it is always a good day to head to the beach.
Sir Robert Ho Tung Library
Take a walk and chill with some books in the Sir Robert Ho Tung Library, a former private mansion that is now a public library. Named after businessman and philanthropist Robert Ho Tung, its architecture and design is spacious and wealthy.
Na Tcha Temple
The Na Tcha Temple, built in 1888, is a Chinese folk religion temple in Macau, China dedicated to the worship of the deity Na Tcha. The Na Tcha Temple was built in homage to the child god of war.
The Michael Jackson Gallery
Micheal Jackson enthusiasts will be interested in seeing the nice little collection (free to visit) found at the Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16.
Ao Dang Bridge
Guia Cable Car
The Guia Hill dominates the Macao peninsula and its top offers the best landscape views in town, namely the Pearl River and the surrounding islands. If you go in through the Flora Garden Gate (Avenida Sidónio Pais), you will find a Cable car, which will help to go up, besides offering you a panoramic view over the hill.
Nam Van Lake
The Nam Van Lake is one of two man made lakes in Macau. It is located at the southern end of Macau Peninsula. The lake was once part of a bay, created when the causeway partially closed off the bay.
The Moorish Barracks is an interesting and unique inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage collection.
Matsu Cultural Village
Contemporary Buddhist temple dedicated to the goddess A-Ma, featuring a museum & memento shops.
Macau Tea Culture House
The Macao Tea Culture House is in Lou Lim Ioc Garden, on Avenida do Conselheiro Ferreira de Almeida. Opened on 1 June 2005, it is managed by the Macao Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau. Occupying 1,076 square metres, it is the first museum in Macao with tea culture as the theme.
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