- Macau Fisherman’s Wharf
- Penha Church
- A-Ma Temple
- St. Paul’s Ruins
- Monte Fort
- Hac Sa Beach (Coloane, Macau)
In the southern Guangdong province of China lies the autonomous territory of Macau (澳门). Macau was once under the Portuguese during 1550’s to 1999. Since 1999, Macau is considered a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, meaning that the territory enjoys a high degree of autonomy with no or less control by the Central Government of China.
Macau is considered the “Las Vegas of Asia” with its main skyline dotted with world-renown hotels and casinos as noted in the first photo. The main languages are Cantonese and Portuguese. During our stay in Hong Kong, we visited Macau as a quick one-day trip (about an hour trip via ferry from Hong Kong). We arrived in the Outer Harbor area of Macau and rented two passenger vans since we traveled with several family members.
The weather was hot and humid, which warrants sun protection and plenty of water to keep hydrated. The first stop we visited was Macau Fisherman’s Wharf. According to Travel China Guide, it is a theme park and shopping area that utilizes different architectural themes: Dynasty Wharf (Tang dynasty), East Meets West Wharf (European), and Legend Wharf (a gaming area).
The vans took us to a panoramic sight on the hill, where Penha Church is located. It afforded a great view of the Macau Tower and the surrounding high rises. The church itself dates back from the 1622 and is still in use today.
After enjoying the view, we headed to A-Ma Temple— the oldest temple in Macau that reflects Taoist, Buddhism, Confucianism, and other folk beliefs. The temple was dedicated to Mazu, the goddess of the sea.
Since we were exhausted by the weather, we then headed to Dom Galo, a Portuguese restaurant, for a late lunch.
Once refreshed, we headed to St. Paul’s Ruins. The ruins was once the facade of the Church of Mater Dei from 1602 to 1640, which was destroyed in the fire in 1835.
We also visited nearby Monte Fort, a Jesuit fortress shaped as a trapezoid built during 1617 to 1623. It has several cannons at the top and a small museum within.
As the evening drew closer, we asked the driver to take us to Lord Stow’s Bakery to pick up some Portuguese egg tarts.
Then, the van took us to Coloane, where the Hac Sa Beach (Black Sand Beach) is located. We briefly walked around the beach and enjoyed the cool breeze.
Our tour was to come to an end. Our final stop was the casino strip; a Las Vegas look-alike. Along the way, driver took us through the construction site of several new high rises: casino hotels and high rises. Macau appeared to be constantly growing. At the time that we visited, the tourist season had died down, so it appeared rather quiet. After saying farewell to the driver and guide, we rested a little and enjoyed the egg tarts. Once refreshed, we took the bus back to the ferry terminal and made our way back to Hong Kong. That night we went to have dinner in Mong Kok before returning to the hotel.