Located 65km to the west of Hong Kong, Macau has been an important landmark in which Western civilisation and influence entered China. Now, it holds the perfect amalgamation of cultural exchange, shaping its unique identity. At this present time, The Western and Chinese cultures continue to co-exist, adding to Macau’s symbolic history and heritage, fortifying it as a unique World Heritage site with international acclaim. Planning a trip to Macau but you’ve got limited time? We’ve got you covered as we’ve shortlisted some places for you to visit:
1. Senado Square – Since the beginning, Senado Square has been the centre of Macau and many events as well as festivities are held at its key location. The pastel coloured neo-classical buildings surrounding the square were built in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the wavy pavings add to its whole Mediterranean atmosphere. Walk along the buildings and you’ll find tons of Macanese delicacies, restaurants and retail stores.
2. Ruins of St. Paul – Built in 1602 to 1640, the Ruins of St. Paul is the remaining facade of the Church of Mater Dei, sitting on top of a small hill. It was part of St. Paul’s College and in 1835, a fire destroyed most of its structures, leaving behind only the front of the foundation and its emblematic 68 stone steps. The towering facade features gorgeous carvings of both Western and oriental themes, and behind the facade, there is also the Museum of Sacred Art which is free to visit.
3. A-Ma Temple – Before the city was established, A-Ma Temple already existed. It is the oldest temple containing valuable artefacts in Macau and the longest surviving building in Macau. Consisting of various halls and pavilions, many worshippers gather at the temple every year to burn incense to pay homage and seek good fortune. Even if you’re not a disciple, this iconic temple is still a must-visit.
4. Mount Fortress – Beside the Ruins of St. Paul is Mount Fortress. It was the heart of the Macanese defence network and features wonderful panoramic views of Macau. No trip to the Fortress is complete without visiting the Macau Museum, and for a fee of HK$15 (approx. RM8), the three-level exhibition is definitely worth every dollar spent. Besides the genesis of Macau, the museum also highlights popular arts and traditions in Macau, as well as the aspects that make up the modern Macau.
5. Macau Tower – The 338 metre high Macau Tower is the city’s iconic landmark and at the top, there is an observation deck with panoramic views. Below the tower, there is a shopping mall and a theatre. The Macau Tower is also home to the World’s Highest Bungee, Skywalk, Skyjump, High Exposure and the World’s Only Urban Tower Climb. If you’re adventurous, go ahead and conquer these challenges! Make sure to make reservations beforehand here to avoid disappointments.
6. The Venetian – Macau has tons of casinos, but if you’ve only got time for one, visit the one at The Venetian. Besides the casino, there is also a luxury hotel, an indoor arena, and a shopping mall, all wonderfully designed based on the architectures and influences of Venice, Italy. We totally admire the sky-painted ceilings and the glorious canal at the Grand Canal Shoppes.
Visit the official website for the Macao Arts Festival to find out more about upcoming activities. Don’t forget to access the Macau Government Tourist Office website before you plan your travel itinerary to explore the exciting city!