Our website uses cookies. These are small text files which your web browser stores on your computer. Cookies are used to identify your computer to our server and store your website preferences. Cookies do not contain any personally identifying information.

What to do 

Top 5: Things to do in Macao

Image: Getty

Whether it’s rolling the dice until sunrise or exploring its Portuguese heritage, here’s what not to miss in Macao. Words: Lee Cobaj

 

Hit the casinos
With 38 mega-casinos packed into less than 12 square miles, there’s a reason why Macao is known as ‘the Vegas of the East’. But you’ll also find plenty to keep you entertained even if you don’t gamble. Start your roll at The Venetian, the world’s largest casino, with masked jesters and gondola rides, before heading to The Parisian’s replica of the Eiffel Tower for a gawp from the 37th floor observation deck. Later, nip to Studio City, a cinema-themed resort with a Gotham-esque look.

Eat out
Owing to its colonial past, Macao serves up an extraordinary blend of Portuguese and Chinese flavours making it one of the most exciting foodie prospects in Asia. Fill up on marinated pork chop buns from Cafe Tai Lei Loi Kei, goat’s cheese with honey from Antonio’s, or if you’re feeling flush, slow-cooked Mediterranean seabass in oyster and champagne sauce from two-Michelin-star winner The Tasting Room. Wash it all down with a bottle of light, citrusy vinho verdi and top with an egg custard tart.

Explore Coloane
So far unsullied by glass and steel skyscrapers, the southern quarter of Coloane is the place to soak up Macao’s unique quasi-Mediterranean atmosphere. Wander its black-and-white stone streets passing by flower-filled gardens, tiny Taoist temples and under the balconies of old Portuguese villas. Afterwards, follow the five-mile Coloane Trail, which loops through the island’s lush green hills, before circling back to the black sands of Hac Sa Beach.

History hop
Macao has a rich seam of history to tap into, from Ming-era Taoist temples to Catholic churches and 16th-century cobbled courtyards. Check out Senado Square lined with custard-yellow buildings trimmed with green shuttered windows, the ornate San Domingos church and the neoclassical Holy House of Mercy. The historic quarter’s showpiece is the magnificent ruins of St. Paul’s. Built by Jesuits between 1602 and 1640, and struck by lightning in 1835, all that remains today is its elaborate facade, looming atop a sweeping stone staircase.

Show time
The House of Dancing Water is Macao’s top show, on a par with any entertainment extravaganza you might find in Las Vegas. Located in the City of Dreams casino complex, the water-based show is directed by Franco Dragone (one of the original creators of Cirque du Soleil). It blends Chinese mythology with wild acrobatics, motorcycle stunts, high dives and psychedelic lighting. It’s completely mad, the story makes very little sense but it’s absolutely unmissable.

Content Notice: Every care is taken in compiling the contents online and in print. However Country by Country and the publisher assume no responsibility for consequences resulting from the publication of, or use of, any of the information contained online/in print. While every care is taken in the accuracy of the information compiled, it is strongly advised the visitor/reader double checks all travel advice with the respective tourist boards/embassies/government offices before acting on any information.

If you would like to contact us with any concerns about any of the content on our website, or report any inaccuracies or notify us of any copyright issues, please send us an email on editorial@aplmedia.co.uk with the url of the article or page and details of the issue. We will respond to any enquiries within 21 days and endeavour to correct any mistakes as soon as possible.

Country By Country is published by APL Media Limited, Unit 310, Highgate Studios, 53-79 Highgate Road, London NW5 1TL. www.aplmedia.co.uk

Editorial enquiries t: +44 (0)20 7253 9906 e: editorial@aplmedia.co.uk

Sales enquiries t: +44 (0)20 7253 9909 e: sales@aplmedia.co.uk

Company no: 3393234  |  VAT: 701391176  |  Registered Office: 30 City Road, London EC1Y 2AB  |  Copyright 2014 APL Media Ltd. All Rights Reserved.