Following in the steps of Hong Kong, Macau (also spelled Macao) has become a Special Administrative Region of China two years later in 1999. Its Portuguese colonial ambience and rapidly expanding resort status offer a unique experience in China.
1. Selfie at the Ruins of St. Paul’s
The Ruins of St. Paul’s is the signature landmark of Macau. The ruins consist of the St. Paul’s College and the catholic Church of St. Paul, built in 1583. However, after three intense fires in 1595, 1601 and 1835, the church was seriously damaged. Miraculously, after the vigorous cycles of rebuilding and fires, the huge façade and the front stairway remain unburned.
The Ruins of St. Paul’s
2. Pop into a casino
With over 30 casinos, Macau is well known as the “Las Vegas of the Orient”. You can find different themed casinos with their hotels and resorts around every corner of Macau, especially on Taipa Island, where new casinos are continuously opening.
The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel
Among all, The Venetian Macao is the most popular. It is the largest casino in the world and the largest single structure hotel building in Asia. With a huge shopping mall and gorgeous Vegas-style design, it is a must-go spot for both tourists and locals, not only for gambling but also to shop and enjoy leisure time. Therefore, when you come to Macau, you don’t have to gamble; just stroll and you will still be amazed.
3. Visit a museum
Macau, as a tiny little city with only an area of 30.5 square kilometers, has 23 eye-catching museums. Due to its unique history, both Eastern and Western historical sites can be found. Many of them are preserved for cultural heritage, tourist spots or museums, such as the Taipa Houses-Museum, Grand Prix Museum, Maritime Museum and Wine Museum.
4. Grab a traditional Portuguese dinner
Macau was colonized by Portugal before 1999. As a result, Portuguese culture is deeply immersed into many corners of Macau. Many Portuguese settled and opened Portuguese restaurants in the special administrative region, but the flavor is more adaptable to Chinese people.
Portuguese fried lamb
5. Enjoy a Portuguese egg tart
One of the must-try local foods in Macau is the Portuguese egg tart. Portuguese egg tarts, with a creamy custard filling, flaky pastry crust and a crunchy caramelized top, create an incredible flavor. This iconic dessert is different from the traditional Cantonese egg tart. One of the visible differences is the slightly burned caramel top.
Portuguese egg tart
Among all bakeries selling Portuguese egg tarts, the most popular is Lord Stow’s Bakery in Coloane. Gradually, the bakery has become a fixed tourist spot in Macau, where the queue outside will never be empty.
6. Grab a meal in a small local restaurant
In Macau, tourists will visit luxury restaurants in hotels for famous Portuguese cuisines. As a result, many tempting small local restaurants, known as “Cha Chaan Teng”, are neglected. Trying those restaurants will bring a tasty surprise.
Fried beef with thick noodles in a local “Cha Chaan Teng”.
7. Watch the Macau Grand Prix
The Macau Grand Prix is a major worldwide car-racing event held annually, featuring over 300 top drivers every year. Racing through the small streets and roads over this tiny city, the Macau Grand Prix circuit is the only street circuit racing in the world for car and motorcycle events. Thus, it is also well-known as one of the world’s most demanding circuits. This challenging circuit consists of fast straights, tight corners and uncompromising crash barriers, attracting numerous top Formula One drivers who aim to win.
The Grand Prix runs annually in November every year for about four days.
8. Macau Tower AJ Hackett Bungy Jump
The Macau Tower, 338 meters tall, is the world’s 10th highest tower, with a variety of activities, such as gambling, eating and entertainment.
One of the acclaimed activities is the bungy jump. The AJ Hackett Macau Tower Bungy Jump is 233 meters high, making it a Guinness World Record as the highest commercial bungee jump in the world. Raise your arms and off you go! If you are not daring enough to jump that height, you can try the skywalk on the 57th floor – it’s still remarkable.