Such is Macau’s mixed personality, there’s much to appreciate in a stay. One minute you could be standing on a 17th Century fortress wall, the next on the 233rd level of a modern tower watching bungee jumpers. There are cobblestone streets to explore, ritzy Vegas-style shows to see – that’s Macau.
1. Museum of Macau / Mount Fortress
For a good insight into five centuries of Macau, make a bee line to this museum beneath the walls of the 17th Century Mount Fortress. Once you have soaked up the history, take a guard’s view from the site canons once fired on the invading Dutch many decades ago.
2. The ruins of St. Paul’s
Climb the 66 steps to the Ruins of St Paul’s, and you will stand in front of the most photographed site in Macau. Side-step the selfie sticks as you study the intricate carvings on the facade, the only surviving section of a Jesuit church destroyed by fire in 1835.
3. Meet you in Senado Square
Do as locals have done for years and meet at the fountain in Senado Square. The piazza is central to the fascinating historic attractions, eateries, shops and stalls. The well maintained neo-classical colonial buildings are matched only by the wave-like patterned cobblestones.
4. Step Out, Experience Macau’s Communities
Before touring Macau, grab the free pocket-sized “Step Out, Experience Macau’s Communities” booklet. It lists eight suggested self-guided routes and has information on the historic sites and attractions. And a mobile App can be downloaded to your Smart Phone.
5. Ascend Macau Tower
You don’t have to sign up for an A.J. Hackett bungee jump to get the most out of a visit to the 233-metre level of Macau Tower. The elevator ride can be a thrill, so too, watching those taking the dive. The bird’s eye view is as enticing as the food in the revolving restaurant.
6. Take in a Vegas-style show
For five years, The House of Dancing Water spectacle has left its audiences at the City of Dreams venue in awe with its high diving and nail-biting motor cycle demonstrations. At Studio City is the Franz Harary House of Magic Show which is sure to have you spellbound.
7. Street eats
Sampling the cuisine is a prime reason to visit Macau. From Chinese and Portuguese delicacies to Macanese, the world’s first fusion cuisine, the narrow lanes will lead you to some inexpensive yet tasty eateries. A box of tarts is a must in the tiny Coloane village.
8. Fill that extra suitcase
From the small stores near Senado Square to the Red Market, and the Three Lantern District, Macau is a magnet for shoppers. So too the contemporary designer label shops within the boulevards of the ritzy entertainment precincts and resorts.
9. Take an evening stroll
Whether it’s a warm or coolish evening, Macau and its quaint lanes and squares, and inviting parks is a temptation to see on foot. A magnet is the cobblestone walk fronting the Taipa Houses-Museum, another in front of the Wynn Macau for its water fountain shows.
10. Have a flutter
With such a cast array of casinos at your feet, you could spend a week walking from one to another without seeing them all. Expect to see or test out with your chips familiar and unfamiliar table games, along with the usual rows of colourfully decorated poker machines.