This city is surreal! While the casinos feel like a futuristic fake world, you still feel the historic Portuguese influence in the city center. It’s the mixture of asian and european, historic and futuristic that creates a very unique atmosphere. Probably nowhere else you find this combination of old christian churches, hypermodern asian architecture, small alleys, massive casino and hotel buildings and beautiful colonial villas.
Do: Take a walk through the casino district around the Lisboa casino or the Cotai strip, it feels like wandering through a surreal city stuck between its historic past and the future. The historic centre of Macao with the ruins of St. Paul’s, St. Dominic’s church and bright Portuguese buildings can also be very well explored by foot. Other interesting places are the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial House, the cemetery São Miguel Arcanjo, the small Na Tcha temple just behind the St. Paul ruin and Pau Kung and A-Ma temple. It’s also nice to stroll through the bustling lanes of Taipa village.
Eat: Located in a small dark back-alley Margaret’s Café e Nata bakes the most delicious egg tarts in Macau. They come out fresh and hot, the custard is sweet and creamy and the coffee is also delicious here. You find it in a street off Patio do Comandante Mata e Oliveira. The almond cookies and cakes from Koi Kei Bakery can be found all over the city, they are interesting in texture, dry, sandy and very delicious. A little bit away in Coloane near the coast is the popular Portuguese restaurant Fernando’s.
Getting around: It’s easy to get to Macau from Hong Kong by ferry. From Sheung Wan terminal it takes about an hour and ferries depart every 15 minutes during the day. Don’t forget your passport for Immigration. In Macau buses depart from the ferry terminal, it’s a bit complicated but possible to figure out where they go if you have a bus plan, the Macau tourist map or ask. Bus number 3 takes you into the city center, buses 25 and 26 go over the bridge to Taipa village and Coloane.