With a journey time of just over an hour, the former Portuguese colony of Macau is an absolute must for anyone visiting Hong Kong. With charming colonial heritage, unique fusion food, and a Casino culture larger than that of Las Vegas, you’re sure to find plenty things of interest.

Macau, China

The territory, which was the earliest of all European colonial settlements in the orient, is comprised of four areas, being the Macau Peninsula, site of the original historic city, situated on China’s mainland beneath the city of Zhuhai, and an island area linked by road to the peninsula, which in former times was the two islands of Taipa and Coloane now fused together by a stretch of reclaimed land known as Cotai. 

The international airport is situated slightly offshore from Taipa and is connected by a causeway, while ferries from Hong Kong and Kowloon generally arrive at the old city on the peninsula, though some now travel directly to the island for the airport and the new mega-casinos of the Cotai strip.

MACAU

The old city is a refined historical area. The ferries from Hong Kong arrive at the Terminal Maritimo on the east coast where, if you’re not already being picked up on a tour, you can catch a bus or taxi. In front, Guia Hill Municipal Park encloses the 17th century Guia Fort and Lighthouse, though the easiest way to get to the top and enjoy the views is by cable car from the opposite side, at Jardem da Flora. 

The area south of the hill is casino land and is the site of many classic casinos such as The Sands, Wynn and MGM. Directly south of the ferry port, the ‘Fisherman’s Wharf’, a combined shopping and theme park spreads along the eastern coast, at the end of which is Macau Museum of Art.

Grand Lisboa Casino, Macau

Beneath Guia hill, the Avenue Do Dr. Rodrigo Rodrigues leads down to the modern high rise area, dominated by the unusual, but easily recognisable, golden tower of the Grand Lisboa Casino, and it is to the northwest of this area you will find the old colonial heart of Macau.

Senado Square is the focal point of many of Macau’s surrounding historic sites such as St. Paul’s church, St. Dominic’s church, Monte Fort, Na Tcha Temple and the Macau Museum. 

Senado Square, Macau

To the south of Senado Square, you'll discover features such as the churches of St. Lawrence and St. Augustine, Lilau Square, while at the southern end of the peninsula’s historic area, you can find the oldest area of Macau, whose landmarks include Santa Sancha Palace, the Mandarin’s House, the Maritime Museum, A Ma Temple, Moorish Barracks and Penha Hill, backed by Sai Van Lake.

A Ma Temple, Macau

Across Sai Van Lake, the Macau tower offers not only great views over the city, but a range of seriously thrilling adventure opportunities such as bungee jumping.

Macau Tower, Macau, China

TAIPA

Across the water, Taipa is home to some more casinos and a racetrack. Here you can also find the Taipa Flea Market and the Taipa House Museum.

COTAI

The Cotai strip is home to the true mega-casinos, such as The Venetian, Cotai Sands, Four Seasons, Galaxy, Wynn and the City of Dreams. These vast structures are similar to their namesakes of Las Vegas, and likewise provide much more than gambling, offering high class hotels, entertainment and shopping venues, and many other interesting features and displays. 

City of Dreams, Cotai Strip, Macau, China

At the south of Cotai, a Go Kart Track, Macau Bowling Dome and the Orient Golf Club provide their respective sporting attractions.

COLOANE

A former pirate haven, Coloane is the least developed area of Macau, and dominated by the hilly landscape of Alto de Coloane, atop which the A Ma Statue and Cultural Village are found. At the foot of the hill to the north of the access road Seal Pai Van Park contains a medicinal garden.

Colonial Buildings, Macau

Beneath the hills, on the west coast, Coloane Village is one of the main cultural attractions, characterised by its narrow lanes, pastel houses and featuring the quaint Chapel of St. Francis Xavier. In the village square, Lord Stow’s Bakery is a much admired historic eatery, globally famed, especially for its Portuguese Egg Tarts.

St. Xavier Church, Macau

On the southern coast the small Cheok Van Beach provides an opportunity to enjoy its golden sand and the sea, while further east is the longer black sand Hac Sa Beach, beyond the northern end of which lies the Westin Hotel and its Macau Golf and Country Club.

Macau beach, Macau, China
   

 

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