Macao

Macao is one of the oldest fusion cultures in the world - a unique mix of Chinese and Portuguese heritage. East meets West here and I think they've definitely got the best of both worlds! This ranges from UNESCO World Heritage architecture to traditional Chinese festivals of fireworks and dragon boats, and ultra-modern hotels and nightlife. Plus I would say the Macanese cuisine, with its unmistakable blend of eastern and western flavours, is worth a visit all by itself! x

Buy kam chinbéng egg crisps from beloved local pastelaria Pun Veng Kei and eat them by the Ruins of St Paul's

Visit Lord Stow's Bakery and indulge in their sinfully delicious egg tarts

Macao's name comes from the luck-giving goddess A-Ma and the temple named after her has stunning views across the Peninsula

Catch a show-stopping live performance - House of Dancing Water is one of the best

For in-depth insight into Macao's past, you can't do better than Macao Museum, a world-class cultural resource located inside the historic Mount Fortress

Make sure to reserve a table at António, one of Macao's most celebrated restaurants, and sample authentic Portuguese delicacies like spicy sausage cooked in brandy!

Meet Kai Kai and Xin Xin, two majestic giant pandas at Macao Giant Panda Pavilion

The panoramic views from 338m-high Macao Tower will ensure you get some unbeatable holiday snapshots - and daredevils can opt for a skywalk or bungee jump to complete the experience

Play the slot machines at The Venetian, Macao's biggest and glitziest casino

Macao was the very first European colony in China - and the very last. Nowadays it has the second highest life expectancy anywhere in the world (according to the CIA World Factbook 2012). Residents live on average to the grand age of 84.43 years old! And finally, one of Macao's most popular tourist buys is its famous almond cookie, a yummy speciality snack you can find on every street corner. So basically, all you need to live forever is a plentiful supply of cookies - great news!

Cheoc Van Beach
On the southern side of Coloane you will find the golden sands of "Bamboo Bay" surrounded by continue reading...

Largo de Senado
Right in the heart of Macao's Historic Centre, Senado Square is characterised by pretty continue reading...

Cotai Area
No visit to Macao is complete without a trip to the Cotai Area, an area of reclaimed land continue reading...

Taipa Village
Rows of original turn-of-the-century houses in bright pastel colours give Taipa Village its claim continue reading...

Rua de Sao Paulo
This road is ideal for keen bargain hunters, with over a dozen antique shops specialising continue reading...

Coloane Village is a quiet, unspoilt haven tucked away in the heart of Coloane Island. It has a thrilling past as the former hide-out of notorious Macanese pirates, but nowadays you're very unlikely to bump into Blackbeard on a street corner! The pretty town is made up of colourful houses, churches and temples, connected by a maze of narrow alleys just perfect for getting lost in. Coloane is also the best place to try some real Macanese food - look out for "African chicken", chili prawns, and anything with rabbit in it...

Macao has a distinct advantage as a shopping destination - as a "free port" it can offer international goods at duty-free prices. So head to a big mall like One Central to stock up on tax-free designer goodies and electrical products. Most of the big casinos have retail complexes attached - the perfect way to spend your winnings!

For Macanese products, try Taipa Flea Market, a weekly craft market ideal for picking up souvenirs. Macao is also one of the best places in Asia to buy jewellery, with reasonable prices and goldsmiths' work of the highest quality. Just make sure you buy from a reputable chain, such as Lukfook or Chow Tai Fook.

Sofitel Macao At Ponte 16 - Sofitel Macao is located on the picturesque waterfront, looking out across China and amidst the charms of the Old Macao historical quarter. Its spacious rooms are well-appointed and full facilities cater to guests' every need. With gourmet cuisine available at the restaurant, Mistral, and cocktails at dusk on Le Terrace, you might never leave the hotel!

Pousada de São Tiago - A boutique hotel in a converted 17th century fortress, this harbour-side retreat maintains an irresistible old European charm. Each of its twelve suites is decorated lavishly with rich fabrics and craved wooden furniture: the perfect place to get a taste of old-world refinement and romance.

Wynn Hotel - With 1014 rooms and suites across two buildings, not to mention eight restaurants, three bars and two spas, you are spoilt for choice at the Wynn Hotel. It holds a clutch of awards including Forbes Five Star Hotel, and you won't find a single fluffy dressing gown or complimentary pillow chocolate out of place. Put simply, this is the absolute and final word in luxury accommodation.

Mandarin Oriental Macao - A world-class example of elegance and contemporary design, the Mandarin Oriental hotel group can be relied upon to deliver in quality, service and style. Connected to the One Central complex with shopping, spa and dining facilities on hand, every convenience has been laid on for the ultimate relaxing stay. Particularly of note is its Vida Rica restaurant, where guests can enjoy a comprehensive menu of both Chinese and Western specialities.

Pousada de Mong Ha - This Portuguese-style inn set in tranquil grounds offers friendly, attentive service and a full range of facilities, all laid on by the students of Macao's Institute for Tourism Studies. The "Educational Hotel" is conveniently located near several points of interest - the Ox Warehouse arts venue, Kun Iam Temple and Almirante Lacerda City Market are all walking distance.

The Venetian - The Venetian's rooms are modelled on the Italian city, bringing to mind canals and Renaissance architecture. With marble floors and painted frescos to fool Michelangelo himself, rooms are decked out luxuriously with canopied queen-size beds and sumptuous private living rooms. Downtown Macao is just a bus drive away, and the hotel runs a complimentary shuttle service to Macao Ferry Terminal.


Cheoc Van Beach

On the southern side of Coloane you will find the golden sands of "Bamboo Bay" surrounded by protective hills and forests - this is the smaller but more beautiful of Macao's two beaches. At weekends this natural beauty spot is busy with tourists and locals alike, enjoying the water and sunbathing. There's also a handful of nice restaurants.

Largo de Senado

Right in the heart of Macao's Historic Centre, Senado Square is characterised by pretty Portuguese-style cobble stones and Baroque architecture. By day it is a great place to shop, eat and take in the atmosphere. At night, head to nearby Rua S. Domingos for a taste of Macao’s buzzing nightlife, as locals and tourists alike mingle and party.

Cotai Area

No visit to Macao is complete without a trip to the Cotai Area, an area of reclaimed land between Taipa and Coloane dedicated to leisure and pleasure. This stretch is home to a dazzling array of luxury developments – including designer shopping malls, casinos, shows and much more.

Taipa Village

Rows of original turn-of-the-century houses in bright pastel colours give Taipa Village its claim to fame as a historical treasure. But I think the real highlight of this quaint little community is Rua do Cunha, or "Food Street". Renowned among locals for its sweet treats, like mouth-watering almond cakes and peanut candy, this is also a great place to dine on authentic local cuisine.

Rua de Sao Paulo

This road is ideal for keen bargain hunters, with over a dozen antique shops specialising in Chinese rosewood furniture and authentic porcelain-ware. The road is also conveniently located for Koi Kei, Macao's famous bakery chain. After bagging yourself some antique treasures, head to Macao Soul, a chilled out jazz & swing bar with an excellent cellar of Portuguese wines.