10 Reasons to Visit Macau
From its Portuguese heritage to high-flying acrobatics, Macau offers a heady mix of culture, gaming and entertainment.
Updated April 28, 2013—Macau’s Cotai Strip is Asia’s answer to Las Vegas. With the same potent combination of gaming, entertainment, restaurants and larger-than-life spectacle, the Strip is just one reason to visit this former Portuguese colony. The city’s unique fusion of East and West is another. But if that’s not enough motivation, here are 10 reasons to go.
Water and dance
Macau’s most expensive show is also its most extraordinary. The House of Dancing Water was created and directed by legendary show-maker Franco Dragone and blends elements of theatre, dance, acrobatics and water stunts with Chinese mythologies and other Asian elements.
With almost 30 world-class casinos, Macau delivers nonstop action. Check out the Plaza Casino to experience the excitement and buzz of Macau’s new generation of casinos on the Cotai Strip.
Many people travel the short distance from Hong Kong to Macau to purchase Portuguese bread and the small Portuguese custard tarts called natas. To sample the Macanese specialty of African chicken, travel no further than Windows at Four Seasons. This baked chicken dish is peppered with a spicy tomato emulsion. And be sure to try Macau’s signature codfish, “bacalhau.”
Macau’s spot to see and be seen, Senado Square is one of eight charming piazzas in the Historic Centre. Relax over an espresso and people-watch in this Mediterranean-style enclave, lined with pastel neo-classical buildings.
A must for any visit to Macau, the Ruinas de Sao Paulo are considered the city’s symbol. The magnificent stone facade and stairway are all that remain of an early 17th-century Macanese church after it was destroyed by fire in 1835.
At the southwestern tip of Macau, the cliff-top A-Ma Temple dates back to the early-16th century. Find spiritual insight in pavilions dedicated to different Chinese philosophies, including Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism.
Upscale goods at lower prices are part of Macau’s retail reputation. Shops are renowned for offering designer labels at much less than in nearby cities. There’s also generous duty-free shopping, including at The Shoppes at Four Seasons, which features fashions from many high-end designers. Ask the Four Seasons Concierge for insider tips.
Bringing to life 400 years of Chinese and Portuguese history, the Macau Museum contrasts its setting in a 17th-century fortress with three floors of state-of-the-art multimedia exhibits.
For fans of live racing, Macau offers thrilling variety. More than 300 dogs run at the Canidrome, Asia’s only greyhound racing stadium. At the Macau Jockey Club, horses are imported from several countries to inspire international excitement.
Grand Prix racing
The Macau Grand Prix is a November tradition, setting hearts pounding with automobile and motorbike races. Year-round, car connoisseurs can visit the Grand Prix Museum, home to more than 20 Formula 1 masterpieces.