Macau, best known as the Vegas of the East, a recent visit proved there’s so much to see beyond the casinos.

In case Macau is new to you, it’s a tiny city at the mouth of the Pearl River Delta, across from Hong Kong. Much like Hong Kong was run by the British, it was administered by Portugal from 1557 to 1999, and because of this has a distinct European flavour, particularly in the old town.

And although in recent years it has been transformed into a Mecca for punters (it’s the only place in China where casinos are allowed) outside of the main strip, you’ll find hidden lanes and pedestrianised alleys, perfect for wandering and discovering colourful colonial buildings and crumbling mansions.


See & Do

Walk the streets of the old town and the Portuguese area of Sao Lazaro early in the morning before the crowds arrive. Make sure to check out Senado Square, the Ruins of St Paul and the tiled fountains of Cathedral Square. As you wander through the lanes of this beautifully preserved area, chances are you’ll start to feel like you’re worlds away from China, in Europe!

Head over to Taipa Village (a clutch of the old world set amongst the new resorts and hotels) and explore the Taipa Houses Museum.

Check out the beautiful A-Ma Temple.

If you’re into it, drop into a casino (even for just an hour) to soak up some of the chaotic atmosphere.

Go hiking in Hac Sa Reservoir Country Park.

See a film in the gorgeous Art Deco picture theatre Cinema Alegria.

Eat & Drink

Have a pork chop bun at Cafe Tai Lei Loi Kei.

Try Macanese (a fusion of Portuguese and Macao) cuisine at Cafe Nga Tim.

Don’t leave without trying a genuine Portuguese Egg Tart, try Pastelaria Caravela.

Have a traditional lunch at Fernando’s.

Dine in a traditional Portuguese villa (bright yellow!) at Albergue 1601.

Take in the ocean views with drinks at La Gondola.

Have brunch on the terrace at Panorama.

Have vegetarian at Blissful Carrot.

Grab coffee on the rooftop at Quarter Square.

Good to know

Macau can easily be done as a day trip from Hong Kong, and you don’t need that much more time unless you want to laze by the pool in your resort. You can either get the high speed ferry (1 hour) or take a helicopter if you want to splurge!


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