Visit to 6 Must See Places in Macau
During my stay in The Parisian Macau, the hotel team took us, media team, on a half day sightseeing tour of UNESCO World heritages sites of Macau. This tour mainly covered the must see places in Macau. Our guide explained to us the history related to the sites. She was well conversant in Chinese and English. The tour was partly by foot and partly in vehicle, and that enabled us to see more sites.
Macau was a lucrative port of strategic importance in the development of international trade. It was under Portuguese administration from mid 16th century until 1999, when it was returned to Chinese sovereignty. The historic streets, residential, religious and public buildings, Historic Center of Macau are a proof of aesthetic and cultural influence from East and West. This Historic Center of Macau is listed in UNESCO world Heritage list.
6 Must See Places in Macau
Here is a list of must see places in Macau
A-Ma Temple, Historic Centre Macau
The temple is partially hidden by thick growth of trees. Exterior doesn’t actually reveal the huge volume of area inside. A-Ma Temple’s entrance seemed worn out, yet it had an old charm to it. Locals and tourists throng the temple during its opening hours. There are small shrines within the complex. A cushioned mat is placed in front of the idols. People kneel on this to offer their prayers. Devotees make incense stick offerings on a small raised platform right in front of the shrines. We are not allowed to go right up to the place where the idols are placed. The sale of incense sticks and other offerings take place right in front of the deities. There is no shop for these items outside the temple.
A-Ma Temple is dedicated to Tin Hou, Chinese Goddess of Seafarers. The temple was built is 1488 even before Macau came into existence. It is situated on the western slope of Barra Hill. As you tour inside after crossing the Gate Pavilion, the must see spots are: the Memorial Arch, the Prayer Hall, the Hall of Benevolence, the Hall of Guanyin and the Buddhist pavilion Zhengjiao Chanlin.
As you go upward route towards the Hall of Guanyin you will see engraved rocks that have inscriptions of poems about history and culture of Macao.
No tickets are needed to enter the temple. Opening hours: 07.00 to 18.00hrs.
Ruins of St. Paul’s, Macau
This is one unforgettable sight I saw in Macau. The façade of St Paul’s church standing tall and strong for several decades now. This place also seemed to be the favourite haunt of tourists and selfie takers. With the façade in the back ground they just kept clicking away.
This lone structure is the only reminder of the existence of St. Paul’s College and church of St. Paul, a 17th century Portuguese church. It was built in 1602 to 1640. Sadly all got destroyed due to fire in 1835. Today it sits on a small hill, with 68 stone steps leading up to it, resisting the wear and tear by time and weather. Its façade is full of carvings depicting several stories, measures 23m across and 25.5m high and is divided into 5 levels. Like other cathedral facades in this one too the upper levels gradually narrow into a triangular pediment at the top. This symbolizes the ultimate state of divine ascension – the Holy Spirit.
The college had elaborate academic program that included subjects like Theology, Mathematics, Geography, Chinese, Portuguese, Latin, Astronomy and various other disciplines. Missionaries from this college pursued Roman Catholic work in China, Japan and throughout the region.
Walking Tour to Senado Square, Macau
This is one activity I enjoy the most in any new city. We walked from Ruins of St. Paul’s to Senado Square. Streets are lined with shops selling wide range of stuffs. Most of the shops offer free sample of the stuffs they bake for tasting. The entire Senado square is paved with tiles, which I felt were so similar to the ones I saw in Lisbon, Portugal. That had to be, because Macau was ruled by Portuguese for 500 years.
The square was named after Leal Senado,a meeting place for the Chinese and Portuguese in the 16th to 18th centuries. Most of the buildings around the square are European styled and they are in protected monuments list. Today several large events in Macau are hosted in Senado square. Festival celebrations, flea markets and performances are conducted here. May be you can time your visit to witness one such event.
St. Dominic’s Church, Macau
Just before you approach the Senado Square you will find the simple yet gorgeous St. Dominic’s Church. Yellow façade and green windows, you can’t miss it. A wonderful place to catch a piece of ‘calm of peace’ amidst the chaos all around! This was started in the 16th century by some Dominican priests from Mexico. St. Dominic’s church too is listed in the list of monuments of UNESCO World Heritage site of Macau. The high altar inside has statue of Madonna and child. No tickets required to enter it and photography is allowed.
In my opinion some things are better enjoyed seeing than experiencing first hand! Bungee jumping is one of them. I witnessed live bungee jumping for the first time in Macau Tower. A ‘70 year old’ young man, completely strapped up, very confidently took up position at the edge of the tower and within a fraction of second he went down experiencing free fall! Everybody around cheered! Great, but no thanks I am happy without experiencing it. I was too scared to even look at the road below. While attempting a selfie with a friend I almost forgot my camera bag there. Thankfully I calmed myself in time and brought it along with me.
In December 2006, A J Hackett, broke his own Guinness World Record of “The Highest Bungee Jump from a Building” achieved in 1987 from the Eiffel Tower. Bungee Jump is 233m / 764ft from this tower, making this jump a Guinness World Record for the Highest Commercial Bungee Jump in the world. The team here has developed specially designed bungee cord, guide cables, and recovery system. A Bungee Jump (includes Certificate, Membership Card, Exclusive T-Shirt and tower ticket) here can cost MOP 3488. Still not satiated? You can go for second jump at a discounted rate of MOP 1088.
Casino billionaire Stanley Ho Hung-Sun impressed by the Sky Tower in Auckland commissioned this tower in Macau. Construction work of the tower started in 1998, and the tower was officially opened on December 19, 2001.
Taipa Houses of Macau
This set of old houses has retained the old life style of colonial Macau. Well off Portuguese families resided in these houses during the first half of 20th century. We took a tour of the interiors which are maintained pretty well. Furnishings, cutleries, furniture all well kept and presented. They do give a good picture of the lifestyle then. The gardens near Taipa houses are well worth visiting. The setting of the houses is scenic. Earlier the houses looked over the sea. Now only a lake exists due to land reclamation of the Cotai Strip between Taipa and Coloane.
There, sitting on the one of the benches
looking at the reflection of skyscrapers on the lake’s still waters,
I thanked God for this sudden and surprise tour of Macau.
I felt very content.
This trip was possible due to an invite from
The Parisian Macau, a luxury hotel.