6 unmissable reasons why Macao is your 2018 holiday hotspot
Combining old world charm with cosmopolitan culture, this Chinese city is a must-see
A rich history
Around an hour by ferry from Hong Kong and a four-hour flight from Beijing, Macao consists of the Macao Peninsula and the islands of Taipa and Coloane. A former Portuguese trading post in southern China, the city’s vibrant colonial history coupled with its location creates a unique blend of east-meets- west culture. You’ll experience centuries-old European-style buildings standing alongside ornate temples and cosmopolitan urban designs. From architecture to art, festivals and world-class cuisine, there’s something special to be discovered at every turn in this exotic destination.
A blend of culture
Taking a stroll around Macao’s UNESCO World Heritage listed Historic Centre. Senado Square will transport you to another world as you discover a fascinating blend of European architecture and timeless traditional Chinese culture. Cobbled streets and pristine colonial buildings sit alongside stores packed with antiques and tea houses serving up refreshing brews. Take some time out to people watch with a cup of something soothing or wander through the pretty gardens where the Macanese quietly practice the calming art of tai chi.
Old meets new
Spend some time exploring the heritage sights of the city. Contrast the European style ruins of 17th century St. Paul’s, once the largest church in Asia, with the still-used 16th century Chinese A-Ma Temple – stunning examples of Macao’s melting pot of east-meets-west culture. You’ll quickly discover that it doesn’t take long for you to then be surrounded by cosmopolitan urban design and modern architecture. Even the shopping experiences give you the chance to blend old and new – from shiny new malls to traditional side street flea markets.
It’s not just the historic centre of the city that’s received international recognition. The cutting-edge food-scene has too, with Macao recently being acknowledged by UNESCO as a Creative City of Gastronomy. The colonial heritage has fed into Macanese cuisine, with dishes a surprising combination of European, African and Chinese flavours. Surprisingly, some of Macao’s most favourite dishes include sweet Portuguese egg tarts and African Chicken – made with coconut and peanut paste, chili and garlic. Whether you want to snack on street-food in the markets or dine out at world-class restaurants serving up mouthwatering haute cuisine – there’s something to discover that suits every palate and budget.
A city of celebrations
Macao loves to party and has a packed calendar of colourful festivals and events. One of the highlights is the Chinese New Year Parade in February. This breathtaking event takes place in the historic centre of Macao and sees buildings adorned with glowing lanterns as Chinese lions dance through the streets. The day is topped off with a spectacular fireworks display, best viewed near the spectacular Macau Tower.
Want to find out more? Head to www.visitmacao.com.au to discover this fascinating holiday destination.