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The Ultimate Guide to Macao

31st August 2018

Macao one of the most intriguing destinations in Asia. Nestled away next to Hong Kong, in China’s south-east corner, Macao is an independent territory internationally renowned for its unique east-meets-west charm. While its famously known for its luxurious casinos and vibrant nightlife, there is so much more to see and do than you may realise. Travel writer Daniel Resnik shares travel tips to ensure you see and make the most of this exciting destination.

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Travel Associates
Cotai Strip in Macao

Geography

Macao was originally made up of a peninsula connected to the mainland
and two islands, Coloane and Taipa. The reclaimed area of Cotai where most of the casinos, are concentrated has now linked them all.

Macao Peninsula
Is the most crowded and historic part of Macao.

Coloane Island
Beach-lined bays offer respite from the busy Macao Peninsula. Coloane Village is like a walk back in time

Taipa
Historical Taipa is renowned for its street food comprising of many restaurants and cafes serving all types of Macanese fare.

Cotai
Built on reclaimed land where 8 out of the world’s 10 largest (in revenue) casinos are located.

Must See Religious and Historical Buildings

Na Tcha Temple
Built in 1888 this is a Chinese Folk Religion Temple dedicated to the worship of the deity Na Tcha

Ruins of St Paul’s Church
The stone-carved façade with its grand staircase is all that remains of China’s first Jesuit Church. It was completely destroyed by fire in 1865 and never rebuilt.

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St Paul's ruins
Ruins of St Paul’s Church, image courtesy of Daniel Resnik

St Dominic’s Church
Founded in 1587, the Church stands out due to it predominantly yellow facade with green trimmings.

A-Ma-Temple
Is the birthplace of Macao where locals pray to the Goddess of the Sea.

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A Ma Temple
A-Ma-Temple, image courtesy of Daniel Resnik

Maritime Museum

This museum displays how Macao is connected to the sea, which ultimately led to the colonization of the Portuguese.

Red Markets
You’re assured to see real locals (not too many teeth and huge smiles) working here. The busiest market in old Macao where every type of meat, fish, vegetables and spices are for sale.

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Meat section, Red Market
Meat section, Red Market, image courtesy of Daniel Resnik

Recreational Parks and Squares

Camoes Gardens
Mainly woman do Tai Chi and exercise each day in this lush green inner city oasis, also home to the loudest green frogs in the world.

Camoes Square
Residents bring their prized pet birds down to the square in their cages so the birds can socialize with other birds.

Senado Square
Stands out due to its wave patterned mosaic stone featured pavement. Is UNESCO heritage listed along with the city centre.

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Travel Associates
Old Town Centre, Senado Square

Cuisine

‘Macanese’ cuisine and is unique to Macao and consists of a blend of southern Chinese, significantly from Southeast Asia and Portuguese influences.

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Eating street, Macao
Street eats in Macao, image courtesy of Daniel Resnik

Macao Peninsula
Strolling from our waterfront boutique hotel, the Rocks we headed to an authentic Rodisio style Brazillian BBQ with a seafood entree at the Rio Grill Restaurant. The food was copious and delicious and after the last slither of meat was carved on to my plate I knew we were in for a week of culinary ecstasy.

In Coloane

Traditional Portuguese lunch at the Espaco Lisboa Restaurant where we gorge on garlic prawns, salted cod and a traditional Macanese minchi, finishing off with a Portuguese favourite, the egg tart.

In Taipa
Family-run Portuguese Restaurant 'O Manel' has a memorable banquet of grilled fish and chicken.

In Cotai  

Arriving at the SW Wynn Palace Hotel via a six-seated cable car SkyCab for an evening of food, music and entertainment. New York Strip, Filet Mignon and Seared Hokkaido Sea Scallops on the menu ensures the dinner will not be forgotten.

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Spectacular water show, Wynn Palace Hotel
Water show at the Wynn Palace Hotel, image courtesy of Daniel Resnik

Bars

Tapai
Goa Nights - For signature cocktails, this recently opened and very hip venue is a great starting point to set you up for a Tapai night adventure.

Cotai
Ritz Carlton - 51st level RC Bar offers classic cocktails, which includes a signature gin and tonic menu. A bonus is the views that go on forever.

Casinos Attractions

City of Dreams 
‘The House of Dancing Water’- Exhilarating live productions. Performed in a purpose-built theatre, holding as much water as
five Olympic-sized swimming pools, can only be described as a Cirque du Soleil production on steroids.

The Parisian Theatre
‘La Parisienne Cabaret Francais’- Dynamic Parisian Cabaret that combines can-can dancers, Harlem Globetrotter type basketball theatrics, ice skaters and six motorbike riders in an adrenalin cage of death stunt riding exhibition.

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La Parisienne Cabaret Francais at the The Parisian

Visit Macao today and you’ll be guaranteed a medley of memories and experiences. Talk to a Travel Associates adviser to book your next getaway.