5 intriguing walking tours that give an insight into Macau's colonial past and its colourful – and tasty – present.
Walking is the perfect way to explore Macau’s lesser-known districts and unlock the secrets of this fascinating East-meets-West pocket of Asia. To that end, Macau Tourism has created a series of short and easy-to-follow routes offer visitors a glimpse into local life and take in hidden gardens, magical temples and stunning Chinese and Portuguese architecture and monuments.
Here are five of the most intriguing.
The Mandarin's House, Macau (Shutterstock.com)
Take a stroll down the historic path in which two civilisations encounter, you’ll discover the life-long memory and emotions of Portuguese who once called Macau home. Starting at Senado Square, with its Portuguese cobblestones and pastel coloured neo-classical buildings you'll encounter both colonial landmarks and unmistakeably Chinese buildings like the Mandarin's House that incorporate subtle western influences.
Lao Fung Temple, Macau (Shutterstock.com)
The tour of this old parish, where Portuguese and Chinese cultures coexist harmoniously, starts at the Arch of Barrier Gate and passes by the impressive 2,900 square-metre Areia Preta Triangle Garden; Lin Fung Temple, one of the three oldest temples in Macau; and the Ox Warehouse, an art gallery and performance space and meeting point for local artists.
Beautiful Portuguese and Chinese buildings are the stars of this route. Visitors will pass by well known landmark monuments such as the Ruins of St. Paul’s and Na Tcha Temple, but also some lesser known gems – Tou Tei Temple in Sam Pa Mun, San Kio Garden, Casa House and the Protestant Cemetery.
Macau’s bygone village life is perfectly reflected on this route of Taipa, the island located directly south of the Macau Peninsula. The stunning Taipa Houses Museum and its five Portuguese-style houses; the Catholic Our Lady of Carmo Church; and the maze of streets around Rua do Cunha or “Food Street” packed with restaurants serving traditional cuisine and local delicacies are a culture vulture’s paradise.
Located on the southernmost part of Macau, Coloane is where to experience laid back village life, helped by its green landscapes, beaches and sea breezes. Stops on this walking route include the colourful baroque-style Chapel of St. Francis Xavier; the Ancient Temple of Tin Hau, the oldest temple on the island; and Coloane Pier, which was once the ferry terminal between Coloane, Taipa and the Macau Peninsula before any roads and bridges were built.