Macau is a city where East meets West, a place where traditional Chinese culture has assimilated Portuguese and Western ways to create a unique cultural mix. The many beautiful historic buildings evoke the city’s collective memories, and this small city - overflowing with traditional elements – lends a wealth of inspiration to the flourishing local arts community.
Local artists are creating local brands in different corners of the city, while new cultural and creative production areas are opening up near distinctive architectural monuments in order to promote the development of local art creation. Visitors can buy original local souvenirs from creative brand shops, wander around modern art exhibitions, and nourish the soul while leisurely drinking in the bewitching array of local crafts and culture.
Chinese and Portuguese are the official languages, Cantonese being most widely spoken. The official languages are used in government departments in all official documents and communications. English is generally used in trade, tourism and commerce.
Macau’s nightlife is famous for its variety, its frenetic pace and constant change. Visitors can also take the cruise from the historic Inner Harbour and continue past famous local attractions, to enjoy the shore lights under a starry sky. This is a city that never sleeps, lots for visitors to see and experience in Macau - even in the middle of the night!
Ruins of St. Paul, is the most representative scenic spots and historical sites. It is the front wall of cathedral, which completed in 1580. Thies church mixtures of Ruropean Renaissance period and the east building styles.
The Ruins of St. Paul's
The Ruins of St. Paul's refer to the facade of what was originally the Church of Mater Dei built in 1602-1640, destroyed by fire in 1835, and the ruins of St. Paul's College, which stood adjacent to the Church. As a whole, the old Church of Mater Dei, St. Paul's College and Mount Fortress were all Jesuit constructions and formed what can be perceived as the Macau's "acropolis". Close by, the archaeological remains of the old College of St. Paul stand witness to what was the first western-style university in the Far East, with an elaborate academic programme. Nowadays, the facade of the Ruins of St. Paul's functions symbolically as an altar to the city.
A-Ma Temple already existed before the city of Macau came into being. It consists of the Gate Pavilion, the Memorial Arch, the Prayer Hall, the Hall of Benevolence, the Hall of Guanyin, and Zhengjiao Chanlin (a Buddhist pavilion). The variety of pavilions dedicated to the worship of different deities in a single complex make A-Ma Temple an exemplary representation of Chinese culture inspired by Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and multiple folk beliefs.
Macau Fisherman's Wharf
Macau Fisherman's Wharf is a 111,500m² park and the first-ever cultural, themed and creative attraction in the tourism industry of Macau. It is centrally located in the outer harbour and it is not purely a theme park, but also combines dining, shopping, entertainment, accommodation, convention and exhibition facilities in one single location which takes just a 5-minute walk from the Macau-HK Ferry Terminal and Heliport. Be it for business or pleasure, visitors are able to find a brand new experience in this entertainment complex.
Cuisines in Macau
Macau features a wide variety of food from most Mainland provinces. Peking duck is the highlight of Peking cuisine, while steamed buns with minced pork filling, wontons and freshwater hairy crabs are renowned Shanghainese dishes. Lovers of spicy food can also enjoy signature Sichuan soups and hotpots in Macau.
When it comes to ‘Yum Cha’ (literally ‘drink tea’) devotees are spoilt for choice, with many hotels and restaurants in Macau serving a cornucopia of ‘Dim Sum’ specialties such as ‘Har Gau’ (steamed dumplings stuffed with shrimp), ‘Shiu Mai’ (steamed dumplings stuffed with pork and shrimp) and Tsun Guen (Fried rolls of shrimp and vegetables). Other famous Guangdong dishes include roasted meats, seafood and other delicate dishes. ‘Dim Sum’ is commonly accompanied by tea, particularly jasmine (‘Heong pin cha’) or red tea (‘Pou lei’).
Local Snack Favourites
Some ‘must-try’ items are found on street stalls, with Pastéis de Nata (Portuguese egg tarts) and ‘pork chop buns’ established favourites of Hong Kong and Taiwanese visitors.
Rua de S. Paulo, Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro (popularly-known as ‘San Ma Lo’), Rua da Felicidade, Travessa do Auto Novo near Senado Square and Rua do Cunha in Taipa Village are the places to find local snacks, packed with shops selling Macau delicacies like almond cakes, egg rolls, peanut candies, roasted sliced meat and many other local specialties. Some of the snacks are cooked right in front of you – and all make excellent gifts for your nearest and dearest.
Sightseeing Must Do’s
1.Buy kam chinbéng egg crisps from beloved local pastelaria Pun Veng Kei and eat them by the Ruins of St Paul's
2.Visit Lord Stow's Bakery and taste delicious egg tarts
3.Macau's name comes from the luck-giving goddess A-Ma and the temple named after her has stunning views across the Peninsula
4.Catch a show-stopping live performance - House of Dancing Water is one of the best
5.For in-depth insight into Macau's past, you can't do better than Macau Museum, a world-class cultural resource located inside the historic Mount Fortress
6.Make sure to reserve a table at António, one of Macau's most celebrated restaurants, and sample authentic Portuguese delicacies like spicy sausage cooked in brandy!
7.Meet Kai Kai and Xin Xin, two majestic giant pandas at Macau Giant Panda Pavilion
8.The panoramic views from 338m-high Macau Tower will ensure you get some unbeatable holiday snapshots - and daredevils can opt for a skywalk or bungee jump to complete the experience
9.Play the slot machines at The Venetian, Macau's biggest and glitziest casino
Macau has a distinct advantage as a shopping destination - as a "free port" it can offer international goods at duty-free prices. So head to a big mall like One Central to stock up on tax-free designer goodies and electrical products. Most of the big casinos have retail complexes attached - the perfect way to spend your winnings!
For Macanese products, try Taipa Flea Market, a weekly craft market ideal for picking up souvenirs. Macau is also one of the best places in Asia to buy jewellery, with reasonable prices and goldsmiths' work of the highest quality. Just make sure you buy from a reputable chain, such as Lukfook or Chow Tai Fook.