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Why Macao Is the Hidden Gem You Need to See Next

Sponsored by Macao Government Tourism Office

Sep 16, 2020

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The Macau Tower

The Macau Tower

With fascinating history and art, multicultural cuisine, and several new hotels, this bustling city in Asia makes for a rewarding dream trip.

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An alluring place where East meets West, Macao is the result of more than 400 years of cultural exchange between Europe and China. In this melting pot of a city—located off the coast of Southern China, just 40-minutes from Hong Kong—Portuguese plazas sit next to Buddhist temples, brightly colored villas house traditional Chinese gardens, and cobblestone streets lead to vibrant outdoor markets.

Macanese Cuisine

This UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy also boasts unique cuisine that blends Portuguese and Chinese influences, along with African, Indian, Malaysian, and Brazilian flavors. Visitors eager for a taste flock to the city in November for the annual Food Festival, when stalls hawking local delicacies fill the rotunda opposite Macau Tower.

Equally exciting are other events like Chinese New Year with its lion dancers and floating lanterns; the Arts Festival in the summer, when both local and international artists show off their latest masterpieces; and the autumnal Feast of Buddha, highlighting a more spiritual side of Macao. Whenever you visit, however, you’ll find something to love about this special place. Read on for even more reasons to make Macao your first trip when you’re ready to travel again.

The city is embracing the new normal

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Thanks to a swift response, the pandemic situation has been stable in Macao for several months. Since March, the majority of local businesses have reopened, and hotels and resorts have implemented multiple preventative measures—from temperature screenings and social distancing, to disinfecting room keys with UV sterilizers—to keep travelers as safe as possible. The city has also imposed strict measures to prevent future community outbreaks. In this way, Macao has proven itself more than capable of battling the spread.

The Ruins of St. Paul’s

History and art are always on display

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the inclusion of the Historic Centre of Macao on the World Heritage List. To celebrate, the Cultural Affairs Bureau organized a variety of activities based on appreciating the city’s history. A thematic festival honored the spirit of Macao with game booths, performances, exhibitions, workshops, and stalls selling cultural products, while World Heritage Sites like the Sir Robert Ho Tung Library and Mandarin’s House opened to the public for special events.

Travelers can get a feel for Macao’s captivating heritage by visiting attractions like the Guia Lighthouse, Senado Square, and the Ruins of St. Paul’s. They should also know that Macao recently became a member of the Organisation of World Heritage Cities, ensuring that its cultural heritage will be managed and preserved in the best way possible going forward.

Infinite Crystal Universe by teamLab SuperNature

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For art enthusiasts, teamLab SuperNature recently debuted at The Venetian Macao. The brainchild of an art collective of Japanese “ultratechnologists” known for their wildly popular, Instagram-worthy installations, the permanent, immersive art space features enormous works of digital art that explore new perceptions of the world as well as the connection between humans and nature. Come here to experience works like Infinite Crystal Universe, where light points create a 3D world that spreads infinitely in all directions, and Valley of Flowers of People, which features video installations of flowers blooming and dying to represent the changing seasons.

The Taipa Village Art Space boasts marvelous displays and events all year long, including a photographic exhibit by Luso-American artist Hugo Teixeria called “Involuntary Landscapes,” which is currently on display until October 2, 2020. Through his collage-like images, Teixeria takes viewers on a journey across Portugal and California, exploring two different cultural identities and the memories that were lost when his family emigrated to the United States in the 1970s.

MGM Cotai

New hotels boast impressive food, art, and design

Opened in March 2019, the Mansion at MGM Cotai features long-waited luxury VIP accommodation, hidden away within MGM Cotai. The Mansion, together with MGM Cotai, includes 16 Skylofts and 27 ultra-luxurious Mansion Villas sharing space with the world’s largest indoor art garden. MGM Cotai’s exhibit “The Spectacle” features 25 LED screens displaying digital works by the world’s top artists. And nine food and beverage outlets, like Grill 58, run by two-Michelin-starred chef Mauro Colagreco, provide plentiful dining options. The hotel is even home to Asia’s first “dynamic theater,” which can seat up to 2,000 people and has the world’s largest hi-def LED screen.

Travelers can also look forward to the Grand Lisboa Palace (projected to open in late 2020), which will house the Lisboa Palace Hotel, Palazzo Versace Macao, and the Karl Lagerfeld Hotel, plus Michelin-starred restaurants, a shopping mall, and various entertainment.

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Another highly anticipated opening planned for 2020 is the Lisboeta Macao, an integrated resort and theme park with three hotels, the first zipline in the Asia Pacific region to overlook the center of a city, the first skydiving operation in South China, and the first IMAX theater in Macao. And then there’s The Londoner Macao, opening gradually over this year and next. The British-inspired reinterpretation of the Sands Cotai Central resort, it will showcase recreations of iconic British structures like the Palace of Westminster as well as four hotel brands (one with two floors designed by David Beckham), 20 dining options, 200 stores, three spas, and four health clubs.

Ready for a next-level trip? Plan your East-meets-West experience—from food and art to history and hotels—at Visit Macao.

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