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.

Entrance to A-Ma Temple Macau

A-Ma Temple Macau

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.

Chinese inscriptions A-Ma Temple Macau

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.

Must see places in Macau

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.

Facade Details of Ruins of St. Paul's Church

 

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.

Walking tour of Macau

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.

St. Dominic's Church Macau

Macau Tower

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.

Macau Tower

Glimpse of the '70 year old' young bungee jumper

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.

View from Macau Tower

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.

Taipa Houses of Macau

Taipa Houses of Macau Interiors

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.

View from Taipa Houses

Must see places in Macau This tour mainly covered the must see places in Macau listed in UNESCO World heritages sites.

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40 Responses

  1. Nice to read your informative post.
    Beautiful pics.

  2. Anindita says:

    Love the pic of the facade of St Paul’s Church,lovely post.

  3. Monika says:

    All seems nice but i feel most.convinced to the walking tour ! And that mint green building is so beautiful!

  4. Bhushavali says:

    Of it all, I think the ruins of St.Paul’s Church looks the most spectacular and that’s the kinda place that I wouldn’t miss! Good to know these are listed under UNESCO! Those Taipa houses look so unique, indeed a reminiscence of colonial past!

  5. Harpreet says:

    Awesome write Indrani. Enjoyed it every bit and really want to visit Macau in person to experience it first hand. My Blood’s calling is definitely the Bungee Jumping the deterrent being the Cost. It satiates me completely. LOL

  6. Prasad Np says:

    Macau looks magical kind of city …with lots of heritage and modern existing side by side

  7. Sri Kri says:

    Informative Post.Didn’t imagine that Macau has so much heritage site to visit.
    OMG Bungee jumping done by a ‘70 year old’ young man.We are also really scary to look at the road below.

    Cheers,
    Sriram & Krithiga

  8. Blair villanueva says:

    Macau is one of my favorite city in Asia. The mixed Portugese and Chinese cultures and others blended so well it is hard not to get noticed and appreciate.

  9. I’ve never been to Macau but it looks really interesting! St. Paul’s is so dramatic! I’ve never seen a structure like that. I might be interested in the bungee jumping too. I always say I’ll try anything once!

  10. The only side of Macau that I got to see was the gambling side. I’ve got to get myself back there!

  11. I am a big fan of the temples. They are so lovely and have an interesting/old story. A-Ma Temple, I really want to visit that one!

  12. stacey veikalas says:

    Love everything you saw! This place just looks amazing. I really love the ruins and the colorful houses! Of course I also always love a great market and walk around town. Looks like Macau has so much to offer!

  13. Suruchi says:

    A very informative post. I loved every place you described in this post especially the Taipa Houses. Look at the decor and furniture in them. It is really superb. I am motivated by 70-year-old man and would love to give a try myself with bungee Jump. Senado square too looks quite interesting .

  14. Zascha says:

    Great place that I’d like to visit myself one day. I’m in love with the beautiful buildings that you’ve managed to capture perfectly.

  15. Nice. I would like to visit Macau one day for sure. The view from the tower is awesome and I would love to do a bungee jump from there as well.

  16. Tae says:

    Wow, I would love to go everywhere in Macau but the Taipa Houses for sure look like my number one spot! I love how you give enough info to be practical and the pictures are the perfect inspiration.

  17. anto says:

    I never really thought of Macau as a destination to visit but thanks for showing there are many (even historical) buildings that can be seen here!

  18. I’d like to see the Portuguese influence on this city. There looks to be a lot of history in Macau.

  19. Chrysoula says:

    Macau seems like a place with so many interesting things to do, lovely temples and churches. My favorite thing would be to get on the top of the Macau Tower. The views are breathtaking. Of course, I wouldn’t bungee Jump as I am terribly scared by I am in an awe of the old guy who did.

  20. Tennyson says:

    I hadn’t realized this much about the place as a big tourist destination, but wow; there is so much more that what I had thought!

  21. I’ve never considered visiting Macau but it looks a great place to go. Really informative post!

  22. Wonderful post Indrani! I have never been to Macau, and your post really showed me the side of the place a bit different from what I had imagined it to be…I think I will love it there 🙂

  23. Good to see an excellent mix of modern and colonial structures in such a small city! Very attractive colors of St. Dominic’s and the Taipa houses looks so quaint!

  24. Elisa says:

    I was in Macau but I just walked without any program so apart from the Portuguese heritage I missed the other things. The Paris hotel is quite new, right? I think that when I was there they were finishing it . . .

  25. I always thought Macau was just an Asian version of Vegas but well it does have enough touch of histor to keep me wondering and wandering! Nice post 😀

  26. Yogi Saraswat says:

    I was aware of History of Macau but the pictures are defining a very beautiful place .Love the pic of the facade of St Paul’s Church. Its History is very interesting . There are Portugese people lives there ?

  27. Fábio says:

    A few days ago I had a conversation with my uncle who lives there, he says that I should go there to visit him and also to see the Portuguese history. reading your post just made me want to go there harder. Love the pictures, the panoramic view of the city is great.

  28. Andi says:

    Nice, you’ve been to Macau! My friend always visits Macau yearly and I am kinda envious of it. It’s nice that you are sharing a historic place like this because it’s very to see something like this from a person who visits in Macau.

  29. I am absolutely in love with these temples. The architecture is so interesting with so many styles both Asian and European.

  30. Mansoureh says:

    I have never been in Macau, but your list is so useful for my future reference. I usually like to visit the places on the UNESCO World Heritage site. Thanks for sharing this great information with us

  31. Cathy says:

    Been to Macau once and it’s a very memorable place for me as it’s my first country to visit. 🤗 But only visited the ruins, didn’t know there’s more to see! Well, maybe next time x

  32. Joanna says:

    The ruins of St Paul’s church looks fantastic! The structure actually reminds me of many European churches, you will find a lot of that same architecture on the old continent.

  33. Macau seems an amazing destination for shoppers and history lovers. The architecture of the builds looks amazing. I stand with you about the enjoying the sight of bungee jumping by standing afar than being a part of the action 🙂

  34. While reading this blog post of yours, you have reminded me how sad I was during my visit in Hong Kong that I wasn’t able to visit Macau. Anyway, I will surely be going back and this good list of yours will surely be a help. Thank you for letting me experience Macau by just reading your blog post. I have just noticed, you seem to have traveled a lot and you have inspired me.

  35. There is so much more to explore beyond the casinos and resorts in Macau. Macau is a little city with undeniable charm itself. I agree with you that the best way to tour and get to know this former Portuguese colonized area is by doing a walking tour. The touch of Chinese and Portuguese culture makes for a fascinating study.

  36. Macau is a small place and people always think that there’s not much to do in it but gamble and shop. I think everyone should know that this little place has a lot more to offer than what they normally hear from others. One should give a visit. 🙂

  37. Darlene says:

    Liked seeing these places in Macao too! Would have liked to see Taipa and A-Ma though. Maybe next time. 🙂

  38. Johna says:

    Awesome! Love the list, esp cause I’m also trying to check off all the UNESCO sites of the world. Im all a big fan of temples hehe. Love your shots 😊

  39. Macau has so much to offer. These places seem so magical! I’m adding it to my bucket list!

  40. arv! says:

    I missed visiting many of these sites in Macau as I was there for work and with barely few hours I spent most of time in Senado square and walking in the residential quarters to get the actual feel of the city. A-Ma temple was quite high on my list but it was far off from Senado square so missed it.

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