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Top Ten Things To Savor in Macau

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© 2012 Brilliance Brilliance Press. All rights reserve reserved. d. Here is a top ten list of things to enjoy in  in  Macau, Macau, a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China  colony. This list is based on my visit China  and former  Portuguese colony. to Macau in April 2012. The activities and destinations listed should give you a taste of what one of Asia’s most fascinating places has to offer.  offer.  the  Historic Historic Centre of Macao  Macao (the Portuguese spelling 1. Ruins of St. Paul Cathedral  in the  of Macau), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Macao  on  on Macau Peninsula Peninsula  with its mix of Portuguese and The  Historic The  Historic Centre of Macao Site   by  by UNESCO  UNESCO in 2005. The Chinese influences was designated a  a World Heritage Site Centre stretches over several square kilometers in two zones: one between Barra Hill to the west and Mount Hill in the center, and the other to the east encompassing the the  Guia  Fortress,, Guia Chapel , and Guia Lighthouse.  Fortress Lighthouse. The first zone boasts 20 monuments of special significance to the blending of eastern and western influences that harken back to here  for more information about the Centre. Macau’s days as a Portuguese colony.  colony. Click here The Ruins The   Ruins of St. Paul's  Paul's Cathedral and College is arguably the city’s most famous landmark and a must-see attraction. Completed in 1602 by the  the Jesuits Jesuits,, it was one of the XIV  dissolved largest Catholic complexes in Asia but fell into decline after  Pope Clement XIV the Jesuits’ Order, the Society of Jesus, in 1773, and the Jesuits departed. It was destroyed  by a fire during a typhoon typhoon in 1835. The cathedral’s façade crowning a long flight of stone stone steps is the only visible remnant of the church. Its baroque features are reminiscent of the Jesuit Reductions Reductions  in South America that were built at about the same time. Behind the façade of St. Paul’s is the the  Museum of Sacred Art and Crypt  Crypt with relics and artifacts from the former Jesuit complex.

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© 2012 Brilliance Brilliance Press. All rights reserve reserved. d.

 Next to the Ruins the Ruins of St. Paul’s is the nondescript  Na nondescript  Na Tcha Temple, Temple, a Buddhist  Buddhist  and  Taoist  and Taoist temple built in 1888 to honor the Taoist deity of protection,  protection,  Na  Na Tcha. Tcha.  Perhaps just as significant is the red brown wall behind the temple that is reportedly one of the last standing sections of the Old Wall of Macau destroyed by the Chinese in 1622. 2. Senado Square and Leal Senado:

As short walk from the Ruins the Ruins of St. Paul’s through Paul’s through the colorful shopping district of the Square,, or Senate Square. This is the heart of historic  Historic Centre of Macao is Macao is  Senado Square Macau. The square is paved with a colorful mosaic of cobblestones surrounding a contemporary fountain bedecked with a metallic globe.  globe. St. Dominic's Church, Church, Leal Senado,, General Post Office, Santa Casa de Misercordia (Holy House of Mercy), a Senado Portuguese charity, and other colonial buildings border the square. -2-

 

© 2012 Brilliance Brilliance Press. All rights reserve reserved. d.

The shopping district in the Historic the Historic Centre of Macao and Macao and  St. Dominic's Church Church:: 

3. Mount Fortress and the Macau Museum 

Fortress  (Fortaleza do Monte Monte in  in Also located in the Historic the Historic Centre of Macao, Macao, the  the  Mount Mount Fortress Portuguese) is a hilltop fortress built in 1626 by the Jesuits to defend themselves from attack. The colonial government seized it after the Jesuits left Macau in the th e 1770s. It served for many years as the residence of the governors of Macau and a military fort.

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© 2012 Brilliance Brilliance Press. All rights reserve reserved. d.

Macau  sits on The  Museum The  Museum of Macau top of the mount.

Mount Fortress is a short escalator ride from the Ruins of St. Paul’s and has a nice vista overlooking the city worth the trip. You can almost hear echoes of the city’s colonial past near the cannons on the ramparts. The beautiful garden offers panoramic views of the old city.  Click here city. here  for more views of the city’s skyline. skyline.  

If you enjoy old military forts and have time, visit  visit  Guia Fortress  Fortress a few kilometers to the east. -4-

 

© 2012 Brilliance Brilliance Press. All rights reserve reserved. d.

4. A-Ma Temple

The A-Ma Temple, The  Temple, a Taoist temple built in 1488, 14 88, is the oldest and most famous in Macau. It’s located at the base of Barra Hill at the western end of the Historic the  Historic Centre of  Macao.. Time and weather did not permit us to visit the temple on our trip, but several  Macao sources have indicated that it is one of Macau’s main attractions and worth a visit.  5. Visit the casinos, gamble and shop As the only place in the People’s Republic of China where gambling is permitted, Macao is a popular destination for Chinese who enjoy gambling. As of 2012,  2012,  gambling revenue in Macau  Macau was five times that of Las Vegas, although you wouldn’t know at first glance. Unlike the crowded Las Vegas Strip, S trip, Macau’s casinos are scattered across the city. The between Taipa  Taipa and newer casinos are located on the  the Cotai Strip  Strip in Cotai, a district between  Coloane Coloane  islands built on reclaimed land. The  The  Galaxy Galaxy,, City of Dreams Dreams,, and  and  Venetian Venetian  are on the Cotai Strip. Others, including the  the  Grand Lisboa  Lisboa and the the  Sands Sands,, are located near the  Historic Centre of Macao. Macao. These casinos and hotels are filled with restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues that appeal to gamblers and tourists alike. We stayed at the Galaxy and were impressed by the amenities and beautiful peacock motif. 

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© 2012 Brilliance Brilliance Press. All rights reserve reserved. d.

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© 2012 Brilliance Brilliance Press. All rights reserve reserved. d. 6. Dine on Macanese and Portuguese cuisine

Macau offers a delicious fusion of Chinese and Portuguese cooking. The two have  blended into a local style known as  as Macanese cuisine  cuisine with an emphasis on baked goods and grilled and roasted meats. Some popular Macanese dishes are Portuguese or African chicken, codfish (bacalhau (bacalhau), ), gray chicken or rabbit ( pato de cabidela), cabidela), spicy chili shrimps, minced beef or pork (minchi ( minchi), ), stir-fried curry crab, steamed pork buns, and egg tarts. Macau has many fine Macanese, Portuguese, and Chinese restaurants. Dine at one recommended by a local or the concierge at your hotel. We dined at  at   Antonio  Antonio (259 rua dos  Negociantes Taipa), a Michelin 3-star Portuguese Portuguese restaurant owned by rrenowned enowned chef Antonio Coelho widely known as one of the best purveyors of Portuguese cuisine in Macau. The meal was delicious, and the ambiance was wonderful.   Other recommended restaurants in Macau are Fernando’s are  Fernando’s on  on Coloane island (9 Praiade Hac), seafood restaurant O Manel  (10  (10 rua de Femao Mendes Pinto), and Macanese restaurant O Porto Interior  (259  (259 rua do Almirante Sergio). 

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© 2012 Brilliance Brilliance Press. All rights reserve reserved. d. 7. Macau Tower:

The 338 meter (1,109 foot) tall  tall  Macau Tower  offers some of the best views of Macau. Thrill seekers can walk on X, the outer rim of the tower with only a tether Skywalk X, and no handrail. Or  bungee  bungee jump  jump off the tower, the second highest in the world after the Vegas' Stratosphere skyjump. We didn’t visit the tower because of bad weather, but I took a photo of it. 

8. Taipa Village:

Taipa Village is an old settlement on  on  Taipa Island  Island near the Cotai Strip. It’s worth a visit if you’re staying staying on Taipa or Coloane islands. Get away for a meal at one of the Portuguese P ortuguese or Macanese restaurants. Walk along Rua do Cunha or one of the cobblestone side streets to buy pastries or souvenirs and visit the Taipa House Museum and Church of Our Lady of Carmel. With all the modern casinos rising up around it, this colonial-era town feels like a place frozen in time.  

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© 2012 Brilliance Brilliance Press. All rights reserve reserved. d.

Here are a couple of odd sights we encountered in Taipa Village –  Village  –  alley  alley cats feasting on a meal outside a restaurant (we didn’t eat there) and dried  dried caterpillar fungus fungus  (Cordyceps  sinensis )  )  for Chinese herbal tea. 

9. Macau Science Center, Cultural C Center enter of Macau, and Macau Museum of Art:

The Macau Science Centre  The  Centre is a contemporary waterfront structure designed by famous architect  IM Pei architect Pei  that opened in 2009. The  The Cultural Center of Macau  Macau and Museum of Art are co-located in the same building across the street from the science center. The three offer a variety of exhibits and performances that make for a nice alternative to the casinos and historic parts of town. They are also visually attractive and offer a nice photo op.   10. T he H ouse of D anc ancii ng W Wa ate terr Show:

The House of Dancing Water , a Vegas-style stage production at the  the  City of Dreams Dreams,, is a wonderfully choreographed experience in an intimate aqua theater-in-the-round. The uniquely Asian take on the aquatic theater concept combines theater, dance, gymnastic artistry,, high-performance diving, and state-of-the-art displays of water imagery. artistry imagery.  Click here  to read my previous post about the show with more pho here photos tos from the show. -9-

 

© 2012 Brilliance Brilliance Press. All rights reserve reserved. d.

We simply enjoyed walking around the streets of Macau to see the city. Here are some  photos from the city center:

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© 2012 Brilliance Brilliance Press. All rights reserve reserved. d.

There are many many more things to savor in Macau. It’s impossible to see it all without Prix  held each November to taking visiting at least a few days. From the  the Macau Grand Prix the one hour  Hong Kong-Macau Ferry, Ferry, a visit to Macau is filled with eclectic diversions that make it a fun destination in Asia. Hopefully your tri trip p will be filled with sunshine.

 M.G . E dwar ds is a writer of books and stories in the mystery, thriller and  science fiction-fantasy genres. He also writes travel travel adventures. He is author of  Kilimanjaro:  Kilimanjaro: One Man’s Quest to Go Over the Hill   , a  , a non fiction account of his attempt to summit Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. His short story collection  collection Real  Real Dreams: Thirty Years of Short Stories  Stories in available as an e-book and in print on  on Amazon.com.  Amazon.com. He lives in Bangkok, Thailand with his wife Jing and son Alex.  Alex.   For more books or stories by M.G. Edwards, visit his web site site at  www.mgedwards.com  www.mgedwards.com  or his blog,  blog, World Adventurers. Adventurers. Contact him at  [email protected] , on  , on   Facebook  Facebook   , on  , on Google+ ,  , or   or  @m_g_edwards @m_g_edwards  on Twitter.  Twitter.  © 2012 Brilliance Press. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted without the written consent of the author . -11-

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