Adventure seekers, foodies and culture buffs alike will all find something to keep them happy in this often overlooked Asian gem. If you're yearning for a unique and exciting travel destination, look no further than Macau, China.
Nestled in the heart of the Pearl River Delta, this vibrant city is a melting pot of East meets West, where ancient traditions blend seamlessly with modern marvels. From its glitzy casinos to its rich history and delectable cuisine, Macau is a feast for the senses that will leave you wanting more.
So get ready to pack your bags and explore the sights, sounds and flavors of this enchanting destination as we dive into five reasons why Macau should be your next must-visit city.
1. Visit one of Macau’s World Class Casinos
Macau is known as the "Las Vegas of the East" and for good reason. The city's casinos are a huge draw for tourists, offering classic games like baccarat, blackjack and roulette, and also Chinese staples, pai gow poker, keno and fan-tan.
Some of the most famous casinos include the Venetian Macao, the Wynn Macau and the MGM Macau, some of which you might recognize from their Las Vegas counterparts. While entry to the casinos is generally free, you'll need to bring cash to play – but make sure you set your limits and stick to them.
If you want to get your eye in before hitting the casino floor proper, or if you simply want to take a break from the hubbub in your hotel room, you can find dozens of faithfully recreated casino games online. Slots are as popular in Asia as they are in North America and the libraries of online slot machine games are sure to keep even the most ardent gamer occupied.
2. Take a Walking Tour
We love a walkable city and we’re not alone. These cities in the US have been ranked by their “walking score” which is believed to be the key to a happier lifestyle.
With a population of roughly 680,000 and an area of only 12 square miles, Macau is one of the most densely populated regions in the world and there’s something new to be discovered around every corner. For this reason, the best way to explore Macau is certainly on foot.
Joining a walking tour allows you to discover the city's rich history and culture, from its Portuguese colonial heritage to its beautiful gardens and temples (A-Ma Temple being the most significant). Led by guides with a wealth of knowledge of the local area, many tours are available, ranging in price from around $20 to $50 per person and some offer recommended snack stops along the way.
3. Enjoy the Food
Macau is a foodie lover’s paradise with a unique blend of Chinese and Portuguese cuisine – often dubbed the world’s first true fusion cuisine. Celebrate nearly 500 years of Macanese dishes and try these popular local delicacies: Portuguese egg tarts, “pasteis de nata” – head to Lord Stow’s Bakery, African chicken (the dish originates in Macau but gets its name from the Mozambican chillies used – which also arrived via the Portuguese colonies) and Macanese-style seafood.
Prices vary depending on the type of restaurant you visit but there are plenty of options to cater for every budget – from fine dining establishments to bustling street food markets.
4. Visit the Ruins of St. Paul's
This iconic landmark is a must-see for any visitor to Macau. The ruins of St. Paul's Church are all that remain of a 16th-century Jesuit Catholic complex that included a college and church.
The site offers an audio guide into the history of the construction and how it was all but destroyed by fire in 1835. St. Paul’s is often referred to as Macau’s acropolis and the 25 meter tall construction adheres to the architectural principles of divine ascension. Entry to the site is free, but it can get crowded during peak tourist season.
5. Experience the Nightlife
Macau comes alive at night as its dazzling lights reflecting off the Pearl River will testify, with plenty of bars, clubs and live entertainment destinations. Some popular spots include the sophisticated Wing Lei Bar at Wynn Palace serving unique cocktails, the unbeatable vistas from The Ritz-Carlton Bar & Lounge and Bass Karaoke Bar where you can belt out some of your favorite guilty pleasures.
It’s a non-stop city with something happening at all hours of the day and night so night-owls and early birds will feel equally at home. Prices vary depending on venue and event but expect to pay a cover charge on top of whatever you drink and eat.
Whether you're interested in exploring ancient temples or trying your luck at the gaming tables, you're sure to have an unforgettable experience in Macau. So why not add this vibrant destination to your travel bucket list? We guarantee you won't regret it!