Top 10 Things to Do!+ Back

Macau has long been known as a gambling destination, but that doesn't mean you have to spend all your time at the tables.  There's a whole other world waiting for you outside the casino doors: one shaped by both the rich history of the city, aka the 'Outpost of all Europe in China' as Austin Coates wrote, and the modern dynamic of a city flush with unprecedented gambling revenue in the midst of rapid change.  

 

In other words, if the only time you leave the Lisboa is to do more gambling at the Grand Lisboa, then you're missing out on one of the most unique and unforgettable cities in Asia. 

 

Here are the Top 10 Things To Do In Macau!

 

1. WALK!

Macau is a walker's paradise.  With the lion's share of the city's top sites centrally located, there's no better way to see them all than by foot.  Getting around is a breeze too, since street signage is excellent and maps are available free of charge from any Government Tourist office.

 

Avenida da Republica white villa Green and pink houses opposite Lilau Square  

The area between A Ma Temple and Camoes Park should be your first port of call.  An absolute joy to walk through, it's full of baroque 18th Century churches, Taoist temples, pristine squares and hilltop fortresses.  Getting around on foot will also allow you to experience Macau's seamless blend of Portuguese Chinese fusion style architecture, tiled streets, and beautiful garden areas.  Cars and buses, taxies and scooters?  Forget about them in Macau!  Walk, walk, walk! 

 

St. Lazarus Quarter cobblestone street

 

Other great walking areas include: the Praia Grande and Avenue de Republica, the St. Lazarus Quarter, the area around Mong Ha Hill, Taipa Village, Coloane Village, and in parks, like Lou Lim Ieoc Garden, Luis de Camoes Garden, and Guia Hill.

 

2. EAT! 

 

One thing's for certain, you won't go hungry when staying in Macau.  For starters, the city has the unique distinction of producing three different types of local cuisine: Portuguese, Cantonese, and Macanese food, with each style stupendous in its own right.  And with the gambling industry contributing all those mammoth 5 star luxury hotel complexes, the city is now a first class dining destination, home to high end international cuisine and some of the world's most highly acclaimed restaurants. 

 

To top it all off, Macau's also does unforgettable local snacks.  Bakeries abound in the city's heavy tourist zones peddling all manners of meat jerky, egg tarts, almond cookies and peanut candies, devilishly delicious treats that will have you coming back for more and more. 

 

Tim's Kitchen roasted pigeon La Paloma veal shank Koi Kei bakery near A Ma Temple

 

The bottom line?  Leave the diet at home and loosen the belt straps in Macau - let it all come out! 

 

3. INDULGE! 

 

Your vacation is your time so why not spend it taking care of number one?  Macau's 5 star hotels are home to amazing spas that exist for three reasons - to please, pamper and serve.  Whether it's a massage, facial, body scrub or wax, Macau's highly trained spa professionals will reduce your stress and leave you refreshed, recharged and rejuvenated.  As an added bonus, some spas also offer package options for couples, so you and your significant other can mix relaxation with romance, the ultimate combination!

 

Indulging in Macau for other people (especially me!) also means something else - the chance to sample and savour excellent Portuguese wine.  Every bit as good as their more famous French and Italian counterparts, Portuguese wine is the drink of choice in Macau, prominent in many of the city's bars and restaurants.  Long famous for Ports, Portugal these days is producing stunning reds (Thank you Douro boys!) and very underrated whites that suit all palates and tastes.  And when indulging in Portugal's greatest export do it at the place I consider to be Macau's 26th UNESCO World Heritage site - the stellar Macau Soul.  Just look at that picture.  If that's not the pinnacle of life, then I don't know what is.

 

Macau Soul Spianata, Parma Ham, Olives, Bread and Ladredo

 

4. GO TO TAIPA VILLAGE! 

 

Truly a step back in time, Taipa Village is a can’t miss for anyone visiting Macau.  Start on the eastern side, at Sam Po Temple, before following the signs to Our Lady of Carmel Church and Taipa Houses Museum. 

 

Sam Po Temple Macau

 

Make your way to Rua de Cunha next, the acclaimed food street, to try a wide array of local snacks, a glorious and guiltless endeavour, since all the samples are free!  From there, wander aimlessly through the rest of the Village, and get lost among the red, green and yellow buildings that belong to another century.  Make sure to finish your tour on the west end, with the two big temples, as well as the nice tree lined road that leads out to Galaxy.

 

Taipa Village road near Sam Po Temple Our Lady of Carmel Church Macau

 

Taipa Village is also home to two excellent Portuguese restauarants, A Petisquiera and Antonio

 

5. SPEND A DAY IN COLOANE! 

 

A Ma Cultural Village main temple Coloane Village library Macau

 

Rent bicycles in Taipa Village then cycle past the Venetian towards Coloane.  Stop off first at Saec Pai Van Park to see the pandas then continue towards A Ma Cultural Village.  Don't worry about having to climb to the top because there's a free bus that will take you up and down.  After A Ma Cultural Village, continue cycling until you hit Coloane Village.  After a good lunch at Espaco Lisboa and a nice stroll through the village, continue your journey towards the Cheok Van and Hac Sa beaches.  After a quick dip at Hac Sa, take it to the limit and cycle all the way to the end of the island - where few tourists dare to tread - to the super remote and very austere church, Our Lady of Sorrows.      

 

Our Lady of Sorrows church Macau

 

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