Macao Travel Guide – Things to Eat, Play and Shop
Macao, a world-class destination that blends the rich traditions of Chinese and Portuguese cultures is a foodie paradise and has colourful events & festivals all year round. A UNESCO World Heritage Site with more than 20 historical locations of note, you will discover various magnificent heritages and unveil their wonderful stories.
This vibrant city is leaves people enchanted and fascinated with iconic cultural sights, thrilling adventures, entertaining performances, various city festivals and a foodie paradise with a wide selection of local snacks and delicacies. We picked some of our favourites and put together a useful travel guide for future travellers.
P/S Visit ExperienceMacao.SG’s facebook page to share your itinerary and may stand a chance to WIN a pair of flight tickets to Macao!
THINGS TO EAT IN MACAO
1. Pastel de Nata (Portuguese Egg Tarts)
Portuguese Egg Tarts is the most iconic of Macao! A crusty pastry with a rich egg-curd centre that is just lightly baked, but caramelized to perfection! Especially when the egg tarts first came out of the oven and served piping hot, you will love it!
Where to eat?
Lord Stow’s Bakery: http://www.lordstow.com
2. Pork Chop Buns
Juicy pork fillet in a slightly-toasted bun that packs a punch of flavours! A favourite amongst the locals, it is a must-try to complete the Macanese experience! If there is one stall to visit, that is definitely Tai Lei Loi Kei. They start selling their buns at 3pm everyday. The combination of a crisp freshly baked bun, together with tender and juicy pork chop makes a truly scrumptious snack.
Where to eat?
Tai Lei Loi Kei: 18, Largo Governador Tamagnini Barbosa, Taipa Village (near the bus terminus, on the corner of Rua do Regedor and Rua Correia da Silva)
3. Almond Cookies
Whenever tourists return home from Macao, they usually bring with them almond cookies. Its unique taste and the low price have attracted numerous tourists to become their loyal fans. Famous bakeries such as Koi Kei, Choi Heong Yuen and Yee Kee sells them. These aromatic cookies come with crunchy bits of almonds and guaranteed to melt in your mouth! You can also grab some Seaweed Pork Floss Rolls that will sure tease your taste buds.
4. Sawdust Pudding
Gelatina Mok Yi Kei is a well-known dessert shop famous for their imported Musang King Durian Ice Cream, Chilled Mango Sago Cream with Pomelo, D24 Durian Cake and Serradura. Serradura is a biscuit pudding that literally means ‘Sawdust Pudding’, the taste it brings is far from sawdust. Made with alternating layers of finely-crushed cookies and cream, it is pure satisfaction!
Where to eat?
Gelatina Mok Yi Kei (9A Rua do Cunha, Taipa, Macao)
Photo Credit: Ng Shi Ting
5. Shrimp Roe Noodles
A popular noodle dish in Macao that is packed with bold flavours. The thin noodles are boiled in hot water for about a minute, sprinkled with shrimp roe and lard oil added at the end. We love the chewy texture of the noodles!
Where to eat?
Wong Chi Kei (No.51 Ruya Cinco de Outubro, Macao)
Cheong Kei (68 (G/F), Rua da Felicidade)
6. Steamed Milk Pudding
Be it in Hong Kong or Macao, you should never miss the steamed milk pudding. Do you know, Yee Shun Milk Company actually originated from Macao and now has a string of branches across Hong Kong. The double-skinned milk pudding is a hearty and comforting dessert that is so silky smooth with a subtle milk taste. It can be served hot or cold and with a variety of toppings.
Where to eat?
Yee Shun Milk Company (7 Senado Square, Macao)
Bacalhau, or salted cod fish, is one of the most popular seafood choices in Portugal, and has infiltrated Macao’s palate as well. The salted cod can be prepared in many ways – either as appetizers or mains. In Macao, foodies usually like it deep fried into a ball as a delicious snack.
Where to eat?
Ou Mun Café, No. 12 Travessa do S. Domingos, Macao
WHAT TO DO IN MACAO?
1. Catch the most spectacular water show
The House of Dancing Water is the world’s largest and most spectacular water-based show. Inspired by the Chinese culture, you will be able to see water diving stunts, motorbikes acrobatic stunts, aerial acrobatics and etc. Show Time: 5pm (selective dates) & 8pm (Black-out dates applicable)
2. Take an artistic trail
St. Lazarus District has served as a base for the development of Macao’s cultural and creative industries in recent years. In the past, many of the poor and refugees lived here during World War II thus it came to be known as the ‘Shelter of the Poor’. Today, its galleries house various local art and creative design exhibitions as well as a Portuguese restaurant.
3. Challenge yourself on a Bungy Jump
The Macao Tower is the 10th tallest tower in the world with a height of 338 metres above the ground. At the outdoor observation deck, the tower dominates the skyline and offers breathtaking panoramic views of Macao cityscape. It offers thrilling adventures such as the bungy jump, skywalk, skyjump and mast climb, bringing it to a totally new level of excitement. Not for the faint heart!
4. Shopping time
Visitors will be spoiled for choices with several hundred luxury brand stores available at various shopping malls such as Wynn Esplanade, Shoppes Grand Canal, Shoppes at Four Seasons, Shoppes Cotai Central, The Boulevard in City of Dreams, One Central Macao and Galaxy Macao – The Promenades as well as New Yaohan Department Store.
For more budget shopping, head to S. Domingos District as lots of fashion apparel may be found in Sun Star City, Nga Meng Shopping Arcade and Ginza Plaza. Three Lamp District is also one of Macao’s most popular shopping areas and the best place to see how locals live and experience the city’s day-to-day life. The roundabout and its offshoots are packed with small shops, boutiques and street vendors that sells a wide variety of jewellery, clothes, shoes, cameras and electronic gadgets.
5. Visit the Senado Square
Senado Square is named after the Leal Senado Building (known as “Senatorial Pavilion” in the old times, predecessor of the IACM Building). In the centre of the Square stands a fountain, which was constructed in the 70s, and hence its nickname “the Fountain”. It has been Macao’s urban centre for centuries since the port of Macao was opened for trade and is still the most popular venue for public events and celebrations today.
6. Catch a magic show
The House of Magic is a one-of-a-kind multi-theater attraction housing magic acts performed by leading magicians from around the world. Featuring 4 live magicians in a three-theatre magic complex, it amazes visitors with an array of mind-bending shows. Also inside the complex is Shanghai Magic, a magically-themed gourmet restaurant features Shanghainese cuisine served in uniquely elegant surroundings. Show time: Approximately 90 minutes
7. Take a stroll along Coloane Pier
Rebuilt in 1873, Coloane Pier had been a crucial public ferry terminal between Coloane, Taipa and Macao Peninsula, where small vessels were berthed. In the old days, there was regular ferry service, bringing passengers from Macao and Taipa to Coloane. Now, with bridges built and land reclamation, the aroma of local dried seafood products may remind you of the bygone days at the Pier.
8. Not forgetting… 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 Macao’s “acropolis”.
EVENTS & FESTIVALS IN MACAO
Macao International Fireworks Display Contest
(Period: Every Saturday of September and 1st October)
Taking place on the Macao Tower Shorefront from mid-September to 1st October every year, the annual Macao International Fireworks Display Contest welcomes more than 100 international teams to take part. Many visitors choose this time of year to come to Macao to enjoy an exotic holiday illuminated by spectacular displays in the night sky that can be enjoyed from many vantage points on the Macao Peninsula and Taipa Island.
Macao Food Festival
Every year around November, the Macao Food Festival – sited in the rotunda opposite the Macao Tower – attracts local residents and visitors beguiled by delicious Asian, European, Mainland Chinese and local delicacies. Liberally salted with exciting live entertainment, games and beer competitions, this food festival has become a firm favourite for its uninhibited, relaxed and welcoming atmosphere of street stalls, booths and tents.
Macao Light Festival
The Macao Light Festival brings a journey of lights dazzling across various famous attractions in Macao including some world heritage attractions in town. The main highlights of the festival includes enchanting 3D mapping shows, romantic light installations and fun interactive games. Surrounded by fabulous lightings, visitors can experience the city’s enchanting ambience and walk through the journey of dazzling lights that are not only lively and colourful, but also fun and romantic.
Parade through Macao, Latin City
The “Parade through Macao, Latin City” is a cultural event that unfolds as a procession through the streets of Macao. Every year, several foreign performing groups as well as hundreds of talented local artists are invited to be creative participants. They lead the residents and tourists on this adventure through Macao’s streets and alleyways and bring songs and dances to the city’s historical quarters.
WIN A FREE FLIGHT TO MACAO
I hope I have given an overview of the food, entertainment, activities, heritage, events and festivals in Macao. If you love Macao or wish to visit the beautiful city, here’s your chance!
Visit ExperienceMacao.SG’s facebook page to tell us what you’d want to Eat, See, and Stay at while on your vacation in Macao with the hashtag #MacaoOnSocialSG, and you may be selected to receive a pair of flight tickets to Macao so that you can live your dream! Contest ends 5 July 2016, good luck!