Macau: 10 Major Sights
1. Ruins of Saint Paul’s church
destroyed during the fire on 1835 became non-religious place and the city dominant long ago, attracting lots of tourists. By today, only the façade has been preserved, combining together the eastern and the western baroque elements.
In a way, the preserved façade is a symbol of Macau, the territory, heavily influenced from both Chinese and colonial Portuguese sides. The Museum of Sacred Art has been opened in its basement; also, the foundation has been preserved, by which you may judge about the construction of the church.
2. Senado Square,
decorated with stone mosaics, is a major square of Macau, the center of tourist and city life. It accommodates administrative buildings, shops and restaurants.
At the far end there is a St. Dominic’s church built in baroque technique in the 17th century.
3. The old town,
situated around the Square is a fusion of old Chinese quarters and European architecture.
The definition of fusion is also applicable to the local eating places: these may be the Portuguese restaurants or very authentic Chinese eating houses. Most of all we liked the restaurants with hot pot – this is a special soup boiling in the middle of the visitor’s table, to which you put different ingredients, in this case – the seafood. For the first time we tried hot pot in Guangzhou , but it was made from chicken intestines.
You may choose the ingredients for your soup, some of them still alive.
4. Views on Macau from water.
It is already on the ferry from Hong Kong or the tourist boats that you may see the city from another point of view.
From any of the hotels or casinos you may also see the city from the top.
Today Macau attracts many tourists with its casinos. If you have never played before, you should lose your first (and better – last) dollar here. It is very interesting that in the casinos everything is electronic, whether a slot machine or a poker table, – you will be anyway cheated. Yet, there are a lot of people there, and Macau boasts of the largest casinos in the world. By the way, you may not take pictures inside, so the photos are only from the outside.
6. Venezia complex.
Also, the tourists come to Macau for the shopping which, despite lots of shopping malls, did not seem so good to us. The shops are quite expensive, the brands sold are of high class, and poor us did not really appreciate it. Yet, the shopping malls are similar to museums, for instance, the huge Venezia complex is a huge fake of the Italian city.
7. Taipa Island.
If you are tired of the noisy shops and Chinese fake, go for the Taipa Island, which is also the part of Macau. Taipa is connected to Central Macau with several bridges, and you can easily get there by the bus. There is the museum of architecture, a floating market, the giant pandas zoo, multiple designer shops, and nice playgrounds.
Most of all we liked the moving pedestrian paths in Taipa (like in the airports): you do not have to walk in many places, just stand, and you will reach your destination.
8. Food market.
Also, for authenticity, you should go to Macau food market (red building). At first the rows with goods seem average, but the seafood department is more of a zoo. Frogs, toads, turtles, worms – all you may want to eat.
9. Guia Park,
which you may access by the cable road, opens an excellent view on the island; also, you may visit a fortress built in the 17th century here. Unlike the rest of Macau, this place is very green.
To learn more about the unique culture of Macau which developed under the influence of both Chinese and European cultures, visit the three-storey Museum of Macau. Here you will learn about the archeology of the place, Chinese wedding, fishing, and theatre traditions, and about the colonial architecture of Macau. The exhibitions are very interactive and informative, and we recommend visiting them!
Don’t forget about the temples, you may visit them for several days, and they will not seem the same. By the way, the transport in Macau is very tourist-friendly too: there are even many free buses, moving between the sights and the hotels (and you do not need to live in these hotels to take these buses).
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