Macau may be one of the more popular tourist destinations in Asia but it was never on my priority list. My sisters wanted to go somewhere cold
for our year-end trip so they thought of doing Hong Kong and Macau <yeah, how template right?>. I’ve been there though and as much as I would want to go somewhere I’ve never been to, I was bullied by unanimous vote – I have two sisters by the way so you know what I mean.
But I’m really happy I agreed to going. I’ve been to Macau before but it didn’t made an impression until my recent visit. Ya know what they say, it’s always sweeter the second time around. So I’m sharing my favorites just in case you’re planning to visit as well. 🙂
WHERE TO GO
Macau, a special administrative region of China is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It was once a Portuguese colony, which explains the heavy cultural and architectural influence. The city center will surely give you the Europe feels with its cobbled streets and pretty structures, not to mention the cold weather during the +ber months. The region is divided into three parts/areas – The Macau Peninsula, also known as the Macau Central; Taipa where the famous casino strip – Cotai is and Coloane. For starters or those who are staying for just 1 to 2 days, I suggest you dedicate your full time and attention to the Macau Peninsula, after all, it’s not called Central for nothing.
Of Squares and World Heritage Sites
Every tourist’s starting point is the Senado Square which is also the heart of the Macau Peninsula. Most of the main tourist attractions are just a few walks from here. The center of the square is actually a fountain but it was covered up with Christmas decors when we visited
Just beside the Senado Square is the General Post Office building, one of the many beautifully preserved structures in the peninsula
The Holy House of Mercy and the pretty alley beside it
Me, having a tourist moment at the famous Ruins of St. Paul’s. It was once the biggest church in East Asia until it caught fire in the 1500’s.
If you have time to spare, a few minutes away from the Senado Square is the St. Augustine’s Square which houses the following attractions
St. Augustine’s Church
Dom Pedro V Theater and the street of St. Augustine makes a really pretty backdrop
Other Tourist Attractions
There are a lot of tourist spots at Macau Central so you will never run out of places to go
The Grand Prix and Wine Museum is perfect for all you grand prix fans. And yes, that’s a real Michael Schumacher Ferrari hehe!
Right across the building of the Grand Prix Museum is the Lotus Square
Macau Fisherman’s Wharf at Sands Macau houses boutiques, restaurants and a replica of the Roman Colosseum
Some of the major casinos are also here. The towering Grand Lisboa is the most eye catching of all especially when it glows at night
WHAT TO EAT
If there’s a lot to see then there’s definitely a lot more to eat. We were too busy walking around though that we almost had no time to sit down and eat, but some of the street offerings were just too inviting to pass
Shabu shabu around San Malo. Well you have to option to just get the different treats on stick or you can diy your noodle soup. There are two noodle options – the egg and udon and then you can choose all the toppings and soup flavor that you want
We tried both the plain and spicy udon and I swear this photo don’t do them justice. The broth was really flavourful. Topping this treat with Tsing Tao < 3 MOP> because we needed all the possible sources of warmth at 11 friggin degrees! Haha!
For freebies, the streets leading up to the Ruins are giving out samples of their treats – jerkies and different types of pastries. Souvenir items can be found here as well.
HOW TO ROAM AROUND
This part of Macau is pretty easy to navigate, you can just walk from one place to another . In case you get lazy, they have a really convenient bus system that allows you to just easily hop on and off your chosen destination. Fare starts at around 3 MOP/HKD.
Getting our caffeine fix to stay alert and battle the colds hehe
We were freezing at 11 degrees. Haha!
WHERE TO STAY
There are a lot of hotels around the Central but I suggest you stay somewhere near Senado Square. We stayed at London Ole’ Hotel, which is a few minutes away from Senado and a few walks away from the bus stop of Rua do Almeido Sergio so it’s easy for you to take a bus to and from the airport or the ferry terminal. We took a cab from the airport to the hotel and paid about 38 MOP/HKD which is already inclusive of baggage fees .
Macau was such a breath of fresh air. It was laid back but progressive, nakaka good vibes. Well I just wish it was easier to communicate with the locals, good thing there were a lot of Filipinos who happily helps every time. So there goes my piece of this beauty, I’ll share my Taipa and Coloane experience next time! 🙂
Capped my first day with this breathtaking view of the Macau Tower, the tallest building in Macau and the 8th in the world. Lovely!