It’s been referred to as the Las Vegas of the East, and Macau – barely known to many in the west – is definitely the latest giant of the casino industry (and four times the size of Vegas!).
Macau was a Portuguese colony for centuries, but since 1999 it has belonged to China as a Special Administrative Region. These days Macau is the place to discover traditional Chinese culture while wandering amongst the exotic Portuguese architecture.
Macau is one of our Feel At Home destinations; so if you’re planning a visit you’ll be able to use your Three phone just like you do back in the UK. It’s your plan and your allowance, and now you can text, call and use data abroad in 18 different countries at no extra cost.
Here’s our list of the top things to see and do when you’re in Macau, along with some great pictures of each from Instagram:
See the ruins of of St Pauls.
One of Macau’s most dramatic and popular sights, the cathedral was built in 1580 by Jesuit priests. It’s been struck by fire three times throughout its history. All that remains today are the 66 stone steps and the intricately carved five-tier façade for which it’s now so famous.
See the Guia Fort and Guia Chapel.
The Guia Fort is located at the highest point on the peninsula – so you’ll get stunning panoramic views of the city. At the top is the Chapel of Our Lady of Guia, built in 1622. It has almost 100% of its original features, including some of Asia’s most valuable murals.
Cash in at the Grand Lisboa Casino.
Pay a visit to the only Macau-born casino, the plush Grand Lisboa. Its flaming-torch-shaped tower has become the landmark by which people navigate the peninsula's streets.
Visit Kun Iam Temple.
Macau’s oldest temple was founded in the 13th Century, but the present structures date back to 1627. The roofs are embellished with porcelain figurines and its halls are lavishly decorated. If you love art, this should definitely be on your itinerary.
Chill out at Macau Soul.
This relaxing wine lounge features fine art and great music. It’s built from wood and stained glass, and a jazz band plays twice a month to a packed audience. On most nights though, a Jazz pianist will entertain you while you choose from over 430 Portuguese wines. Chin Chin.
Wander around Largo do Senado.
This is the beautiful main square in the busiest downtown area of Macau. It’s surrounded by simple, elegant Portuguese and baroque style buildings, and there are lots of clothes shops, markets, snack stalls and jewellery shops in the narrow alleyways that radiate from the square.
Go to the A-Ma Temple.
At the base of Penha Peninsula, in the south-west part of the city, is A-Ma Temple. It was built in the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) and is dedicated to the sacred goddess A-Ma. If you’re here during the festival seasons, you’ll see thousands of worshippers come to visit the temple.
Tuck in to the cuisine.
Macau-style Portuguese cuisine is to die for, and the well-known Macau dim sum delicacies range from almond cake and cashew cookies, to sesame crackers and egg rolls. Pastéis de Nata (a Portuguese-style egg tart) is the featured snack of the city, but there’s a wide range of food from all over the world to choose from.
Get away from it all.
The islands of Taipa and Coloane are connected to the Macau Peninsular by two bridges. Here you’ll find beautiful scenery away from the hustle and bustle, and Hac Sa Bay and Bamboo Bay are arguably the best beaches to sunbathe.
Check out the south.
The southern part of the Peninsular is a newly-developed region. The luxurious hotels house huge casinos, which are packed with people from all over the world every night. You’ll also find numerous museums in this area, including Macau Wine Museum, Grand Prix Museum and Art Museum.