Merry Christmas! As I sit here after hand grinding half a pound of coffee so we could have real coffee for Christmas, my arms are tired, but my fingers are ready for some typing! Anyway, last time I talked about where to stay, what to eat, and how to get there, so I just wanted to share some tips on what to do!
The biggest tourist area are the areas around the ruins of St. Paul as well as Senado Square. Most of the historical area is easy to access by foot, and I highly recommend using the Macau Tourism board walking tour app. I sort of took the things I thought looked good from the ‘Marriage of East and West in St. Anthony’s Parish’, Footsteps into the Historic Center’, and ‘Crossroads of China and Portugal’. We spent about half a day, maybe slightly longer to tour the historic area. Everything we did except for food was free. So tips from our day:
- Everyone will tell you to get to the ruins of St. Paul early. We did, and it was still packed full of tourists. It’s a must see here, but be prepared. This was one of the few places with big crowds.
- Climb up to the top of the fort adjoining St. Paul’s. It gives you a fantastic view of the ruins, a great view of the city, and you can see China! We got there by following the escalators and signs up to the museum, but then going up one more escalator past the museum entrance to the top of the fort for the lookout patio (it’s free).
- The steamed milk place I mentioned in the last blog is near Senado’s Square, so it makes for a lovely stop in-between St. Paul’s and the Square.
- The Pawn Shop museum was fun and free and ridiculous! Since Kevin’s been into Hardcore Pawn recently, we enjoyed the stop.
- We didn’t go by every stop on each of the walking tours, but instead just picked out the easiest of each to combine into one tour. I think we got to see the best of all the areas, and hit all the important sights.
- Lilau Square isn’t mentioned often as a spot to see, but we found it to be very picturesque and just a lovely example of what Macau is all about.
- There are some cute little local shops along the western side of Nam Van Lake. One of them, The Happy Shop, has cool souvenirs made by and packaged by people with Autism and other disabilities. It’s all the way down towards the end, so just keep walking along the water and you’ll get there. We got an awesome glass!
Taipa and Cologne
We went to Taipa our first day, and really only rode through Cologne. Anyway in Taipa:
- We took a free shuttle from our hotel to the Wynn in Cotai because it was across the street and the hotel desk suggested it. We had coffee in the Wynn and then walked about 30 minutes to the pork bun spot. Really, I suggest just taking the public bus. It will take you right where you want to go, and it’s like HK$3. I talked about all the food we had in Taipa in the last blog.
- There was a cool shop called Cunha Bazaar that has fun local products and souvenirs like a Panda character that likes to dress up in cos play. It’s right at the end of the little road with Lord Stows.
- Then we took a little walk up to the church on the hill, and down to the Taipa House Museum. It was a lovely little area with three old Portuguese style houses with different exhibits. One is set up with information and common furnishings of a typical colonial era house. It’s worth a visit, and it’s free.
- That evening we took the bus down through the town of Cologne, and over to Hac Sa Beach, where we had a lovely Portuguese dinner. I thought it was quiet and lovely. Much too cold for swimming for us.
Next time….the last chapter of Macau…Casinos!
For more awesome info and photos, check out: