Macau is a small region on the south coast of China and is just an hour ferry ride away from Hong Kong. People usually think of it as the Asian version of Las Vegas. I know I did as well, but there’s so much to this beautiful place that’s worth discovering.
I stayed in Macau for one night and will share with you my top sights below. However I would advise two nights if you can in order to really soak in the different parts of Macau. From my experience, there were two notable areas to be seen which can be split into two days – the northern and southern part.
DAY 1 – MACAU OLD TOWN
Macau was a Portuguese colony for over 300 years and with it being located in Asia, Macau is quite literally a blend between East and West. We’re talking pastel-colored colonial buildings and churches amongst temples, ruins and old classic Chinese residential buildings. It’s even been marked as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Most things around this area are within walking distance and a whole day can easily be spent here.
What not to miss:
The A-Ma temple is one of the three famous Buddha halls in Macau. Macau is in fact named after this very spot. Go for a walk around and follow the beautiful smell of all the incents.
This picturesque old house of Zheng Guanying, an influential author, is definitely worth a visit. The house is absolutely massive with so much character and history. Luckily its been very well maintained throughout the years.
A very busy but beautiful square with lots of historical buildings, shops and eateries. Don’t miss all the bite size samples on your way to the Ruins of St Paul’s nearby.
Ruins of St. Paul’s
The Ruins of St. Paul is where St. Paul Church used to be located. St. Paul Church was considered to be the greatest church in Macau before it burned down in 1835.
The Macau Sky Tower has a 58th floor observation deck. If you’re feeling brave then you can also head to the 61st floor where you can bungee jump or do a scary SkyWalk from 750 feet up.
Of course, don’t forget to check out the amazing casinos by the river and if you feel like some good Chinese food in a nice traditional yet modern setting, I recommend North By Square 8 at MGM Grand. Be sure to try their Sichuan inspired dishes as well as their pork dumplings and goose.
DAY 2 – TAIPA, COTAI STRIP & COLOANE
On the 2nd day, go across the island to visit the southern part of Macau which is the home of Taipa, Cotai Strip & Coloane. You can easily get around Macau by bus.
Taipa maintains the traditional Macanese architecture and is the hub of Macau’s main food street called Rua do Cunha. Around here you’ll find the popular Macanese egg tarts at Lord Stow (original shop can be visited too in Coloane) and Macau’s famous Pork Chop Buns. If you’re hungry and fancy a sit-down meal, you can visit award winning Portuguese restaurant Antonio’s. They do great fish dishes and a lovely octopus salad.
Cotai is the primary reason why Macau is known as the Asian Vegas. You simply can’t come to Macau and not visit this strip. Cotai is essentially a replica of the Vegas Strip where you can find almost all of the same large hotels.
Coloane contains the colonial villages and is the home to Macau’s largest beach, Hac Sa Beach. Not only do you get to see a completely different side to Macau, you’ll also find the original Macanese egg tart here at Lord Stow’s first branch (they’re amazing!). The journey is most definitely worth it.
I really enjoyed Macau and hope to be back again to explore further.
This visit was in collaboration with the Macau Tourism Board.