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Visiting Macau: Heritage, Casinos & Pastries

Updated on April 7, 2013

From Hong Kong to Macau via Ferry

From where I stayed on Nathan Road, we walked to China Hong Kong City where we boarded a ferry to Macau. Everything moved like clockwork and we breezed through immigration and took our seats. The ferry was comfortable. However, do bring along a sweater as it can be cold. In just about 1 hour, we had already reached Macau and landed at the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal. Do note that immigration might take up to 30 minutes though.

From the terminal, we then headed out to where all the shuttle buses are (Most casinos/hotels provide free shuttle buses). Some are on the same side on the road. However, certain shuttle buses like the ones to Venetian are across the road. Take the underground passage which will bring you across the road safely. You will see an escalator which will bring you down the passage when you exit the ferry terminal.

Dragon Boat Racing at Nam Van Lake

Nam Van Lake

As I was there on 6 June 2011, we took bus 23 and headed to Nam Van Lake to watch the dragon boat racing held in conjunction with the Tuen Ng Festival/Dumplings Festival/Dragonboat Festival. It was really amazing to see how fast they could row and how united the teams were. They had to be fast and row at the same rhythm in order to win. From Nam Van Lake, you will notice the Macau Tower standing majestically in the skyline.

A-Ma Temple

A-Ma temple

After watching a few laps of the dragonboat races, we then headed to A-Ma temple (Ma Kok Miu in Cantonese). It is situated on a slope so to reach the top, you need to conquer a few flights of steps! Just a few blocks away from the temple, are some of the most famous Portuguese restaurants in Macau. We decided to have lunch at Litoral before heading to the Historic Centre of Macau.

Historical Senado Square

Historic Center of Macau

After lunch, we took a bus to Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro (better known as San Ma Lou to locals). Its Chinese name literally means New Road. Here you will find many jewellery shops and also the famous Yeeshun milk pudding shop.

From here, you can take a leisurely walk leading to places like Senado Square, the Ruins of St Paul and the St Dominic's Church.

Cannon pointing towards Grand Lisboa

Picture taken at Mount Fortress
Picture taken at Mount Fortress

Exploring Senado Square

Around the Senado Square area, you will also see many shops selling local pastries. Notable ones include the Portuguese egg tarts, almond biscuits and the egg rolls with seaweed. As you walk along the streets, you will notice people giving out samples of the pastries. They are free and you sample as many as you like before deciding to buy! From my observation, Koi Kee has the most number of branches within the area. I counted 9 in total!

Besides these pastries, another famous Macau specialty is the Pork Chop Bun. The most famous stall is at Taipa but we did not manage to try it...oh well! Another time then....

Casino Lisboa

Casinos everywhere....

When you step into Macau, one thing that you will observe is that casinos are everywhere. Some big, some smaller and the majority of casinos would have its own casino. The exception would probably be my hotel, the Metropark Hotel. From Senado Square, you will be able to spot the unique Grand Lisboa even from far. One unique thing to note is that some of the cannons at the top of Mount Fortress seem to be aiming at Grand Lisboa!

Besides the Grand Lisboa, we also crossed over to the Lisboa Hotel, Babylon at the Fisherman's Wharf and the Sands Macau Hotel & Casino. Even if you are not a gambler, you can spend some time at the casinos as there are frequent performances inside.

To find out what else I did in Macau, read on here.

Macau Map of Places I Have Visited

show route and directions
A markernam van lake -
Nam Van Lake, Se, Macau
get directions

B markerA-ma Temple -
A-ma Temple, Sao Lourenco, Macau
get directions

C markerAvenida de Almeida Ribeiro -
Av. de Almeida Ribeiro, Macau
get directions

Known as San Ma Lou to locals.

D markerSenado Square -
Senado Square, Macau
get directions

E markerRuins of St Paul -
Ruins Of St. Paul, Macau, China
get directions

F markerSt Dominic's Church, Macau -
St.Dominic's Church, 1 Travessa do Soriano, Se, Macau
get directions

G markerOuter Harbour Ferry Terminal , Macau -
Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal (XZM), Se, Macau
get directions


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    • lilian_sg profile image

      lilian_sg 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks Tolovaj for commenting! Good to know that you are exposed to another side of Macau via my post :-)

    • Tolovaj profile image

      Tolovaj 3 years ago

      I also thought everything in Macau is related with casinos. It's great to see there are many other things to explore. when I visit new place, local food is one of my things too:)

    • lilian_sg profile image

      lilian_sg 4 years ago from Singapore

      Hi Alexandra, the casinos are definitely a big draw for many visitors, but for me what I remember more fondly is the local food =)

    • profile image

      Alexandra 4 years ago

      I have a soft spot for Macau too - did a magazine story on it a coulpe of years ago. But it's like Dubai in that all most people focus on a casinos (Dubai the hotels), when there is so much more to the destination. (Although I have to say my commission was on the MGM...).I just love Macau's combo of cultures.

    • lilian_sg profile image

      lilian_sg 6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks for the comments. Glad you all liked the hub!

    • mattdigiulio profile image

      mattdigiulio 6 years ago

      Great Hub, quite helpful.

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 6 years ago from Indonesia

      It's a very interesting place to visit.