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Macau: A taste of both worlds in 10 must-visit places

Liza Yosephine
Liza Yosephine

The Jakarta Post

Macau  /  Wed, September 14, 2016  /  03:43 pm
Macau: A taste of both worlds in 10 must-visit places

Senado Square has been the urban center of Macau since the 16th century. Now, the surrounding area hosts a vibrant modern shopping center infused among the Portuguese inspired architecture. (Shutterstock.com/Sean Pavone)

Macau is a Chinese special administrative area located about one hour's ferry ride from Hong Kong, where its 30-square-kilometer area is packed with East-meets-West cultural fusion. 

Portuguese-Cantonese heritage-imbued nuances colors every corner of the two islands and peninsula that make up the area. The old and the new mesh between the bright city lights and old-town squares of Macau. 

Here are a list of places to visit and get a taste of both worlds:

Coloane Village

Take a bite into Macau's past by visiting the quiet coastal Coloane Village. Its Portuguese roots are still present all around the quaint neighborhood. Grab the signature Portuguese egg tart freshly made at the Lord Stow's Bakery and plonk yourself down in the square outside of the pastel yellow-painted St. Francis Xavier's Chapel to soak in the atmosphere. The cobblestone pavement laid out in a wavy pattern reflect traditional Portuguese streetscapes. 

Where: Lord Stow Bakery, 1 Rua Da Tassara, Coloane Town Square

Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Cost: MOP 10 (US$1.25) for one Portuguese egg tart

 

A photo posted by Cruzada (@ac_photography2016) on

Taipa Village

Venture into the narrow streets and alleyways of Taipa Village where you might just find hidden gems of days gone by. Enter through Rua do Cunha, a lively street that gives visitors a glimpse of Macau's history. The village has retained its classic charm of a Portuguese past, while creating a unique blend amid the Chinese writings and culinary displays.The neighborhood is the best spot to find Portuguese and Macanese culinary and souvenirs. 

Refuel at Cafe Litoral for a bite and a sip of wine after a tiring day exploring the area. The restaurant, which opens for lunch and dinner, serves some of the tastiest Portuguese-influenced Macanese cuisine in town. Signature dishes include African chicken and an assortment of seafood and rice dishes. 

Where: Cafe Litoral, Rua do Regedor, Bloco 4 Wai Chin Ko no. 53/57, Taipa

Opening hours: lunch 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., dinner 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

 

A photo posted by JunnKei (@junnkei) on

Wine Museum

The museum presents a look into the history and development of wine culture in Portugal. It provides information regarding wine and grapevines, while recreating the atmosphere of the production by showing modern and traditional tools used. Here visitors can also enjoy wine tasting of different kinds of wine from various regions in Portugal. 

Where: Rua Luís Gonzaga Gomes, no. 431

Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; closed on Tuesdays

Cost: Free admission until Dec. 31; additional cost for wine tasting: MOP 10 per person for one glass or MOP 15 per person for three glasses

Grand Prix Museum

Located in the same building as the Wine Museum, the Grand Prix Museum is also worth a visit. The collection of both cars and motorcycles from grand prix past and present would entice any fan. The vehicles along with the stories attached also provide an interesting introduction into the motor racing world to those who are unfamiliar to the sport, which Macau hosts in November each year. 

Where: Rua Luís Gonzaga Gomes, no. 431

Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; closed on Tuesdays

Cost: Free admission until Dec. 31

Tree of Prosperity at the Wynn

Step into one of Macau's most glamorous hotels to see the Tree of Prosperity rise from the ground. The elaborate show, accompanied by enchanting light and music, runs every half hour at the hotel lobby. Make sure to get there early to secure a spot as crowds tend to gather around the circle arena from which the tree emerges. Don't forget to look up at the ceiling as it reveals the magical beginnings of the tree. Visitors can also throw coins for their own wishes for fortune before they head into the hotel's casino, which happens to attract some of the highest rollers in town.

Where: Rua Cidade de Sintra, NAPE

When: Daily, 10:30 a.m. to midnight (at 30-minute intervals)

Cost: Free

(Read also: Macau: A jackpot of bright city lights and heritage sites)

The Venetian Macau

The Venetian hotel holds the largest casino in the world. Entertainment outside of gambling is also aplenty. Inspired by the city of Venice in Italy, the hotel complex is home to man-made canals inside its shopping center. Visitors can enjoy a ride while being serenaded by their very own gondolier while enjoying the view of the Venice-inspired facade inside the mall.  

Where: The Venetian Macau, Estrada da Baia de Nossa Senhora da Esperanca

When: Most canals are open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., while the Grand Canal is open until 10 p.m. 

Cost: MOP 118 per ride for adults; MOP 88 for children, MOP 472 for private gondola

 

A photo posted by 陈诗玲 (@jennycatherine_) on

Golden Reel at the Studio City

The Golden Reel at the Studio City hotel complex is the world's highest figure-8 Ferris wheel. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Macau from 130 meters up throughout an 18-minute ride. Head on over to the third floor to purchase tickets before taking the ride on the 23rd floor. 

Where: Studio City Macau, Estrada Flor de Lotus 

Cost: MOP 100 per ride for adults, MOP 80 for children (12 years or under), MOP 85 for seniors (60 years or over)/Macau residents

 

A photo posted by Calvin 范泰源 (@calvinthaipham) on

Macau Tower

Take in sweeping views of Macau from 223 meters up comfortably and in your own time from Macau Tower's Observation Lounge on the 58th floor, where visitors can enjoy the view at 360°. Don't miss out on peeking straight down through the reinforced glass floors section of the lounge. For those looking for a more heart-pumping view from the top, the tower's Adventure Deck on the 61st floor offers activities which include bungee jumping and skywalking. 

Where: Macau Tower, Largo da Torre de Macau

When: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends

Cost: MOP 135 (for Observation Lounge entrances) for adults; MOP 70 for children and senior citizens

 

A photo posted by Michael He (@hjhmichael) on

Senado Square

Senado Square has been the urban center of Macau since the 16th century. Now, the surrounding area hosts a vibrant modern shopping center infused among the Portuguese inspired architecture. The UNESCO Heritage-listed square is paved with Portuguese-style cobblestone and surrounded by pastel-colored neo-classical buildings where a fountain sits right at its center, making for one of the most photogenic spots in town.

Where: Senado Square, Largo do Senado

Cost: Free

 

A photo posted by YooN (@yoontae.kim) on

The Ruins of St. Paul

A trip to Macau would not be complete without a visit to the Ruins of St Paul. Recognized today as one of Macau's famous landmarks, it was originally a church complex built in the 17th century. The ruins is where St. Paul's College and the Church of St. Paul once stood. They were destroyed by a fire in 1835 but the standing facade was preserved and eventually included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005 as part of the Historic Center of Macau. 

Where: Travessa de São Paulo

Cost: Free

 

A photo posted by D A R I U S 林兼榮 (@dariuslin) on

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