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Getting Lost in Macau

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Macau has an intoxicating mix of colonial Portuguese and Chinese influence. From the architecture and cuisine with hints of flavours of Africa and South East Asia harmoniously blends into the local Macanese community who run multi generational local diners (the cha chaan teng) and restaurants serving amazing Macaunese + Chinese food. Macau is full of surprises - old juxtaposed against new. Most recently, young locals are creating a vibrant new café culture in the city,
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MacauAntonio da Silva10 Travessa de
This building is part of the Macau architectural heritage walk should you pick up the map. Since the government took over this building in 2002 with heavy restoration works, this former Zheng residence was a mansion inhabited by the scholar's...
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Macau, Rua de Abreu Nunes 19 R/C
The younger generation of Macanese entrepreneurs have been creating a new café coffee culture in the country. Run by a lovely local Keith - the only European certified barrister in Macau, he shares his passion for coffee, changing the menu...
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Taipa, Macau
If you're an architecture buff and tired of glitzy spanking new casinos, talk a walk around taipa, right at the round about of ICBC bank at Rua de tai lin, you'll find this circular curious building.
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號地下, 64 R. da Felicidade, Macau
Literally in an alley way, tables and chairs are placed in the little damp and dark corner while bowls and bowls of the smoothest congee is served up with its traditional fixings, pig's liver cooked a perfect medium rare, with tripe, mince pork...
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MO 路氹連貫公路, Estr. do Istmo, Macau
I haven't been to the show's equivalent in Vegas, but Franco Dragon's "Dancing Water show" is quite a spectacle - the technology and architectural built of the sets is amazing. I highly recommend it. Seat prices start at 60USD
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Macau
Apart from casinos and the horse races, there's the greyhound races - the only one in China that allows people to bet on dogs. I haven't been to a race myself as still unsure if it's ethical with conflicting reports on how the animals are treated....
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R. da Felicidade, Macau
On the opposite side of Senado square, walk up the little street, the first right street is rua da felicidade, Macau's former red light district - also how the street got its name "Happiness Street" from its former seedy, heady colonial past....
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St. Francis Xavier's Parish, Macau
You can smell the flavours of the sea from a couple of metres away. (plenty of salty, scampy scent) as the family that owns this little shop still do it the old way. They sun the shrimps and put them into large ceramic jars to make a sauce, then...
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Taipa, Macau
They do the traditional milk tea here very well - a piece de resistance of any cha chaan teng, whether in Hong Kong or Macau. Breads here are freshly baked daily and the sweet smells that emanate from this little shop should lure you in for a...
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Taipa, Macau
Early/mid morning walks on this route, pass the Hyatt Regency gives you views of the Macau harbour at the top and should take you no more than 45-60mins at leisure pace. At the end of the trail you could stop in Honolulu café for a local breakfast...
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St. Lawrence's Parish, Macau
On the quiet side of Leal Senado (Senado Square), Wander off to the left, (St Paul's Ruins is to the right uphill) and you'll find this hole in the wall local noodle house, right next to a Mahjong stall where the local old folks get together for a...
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Macau, 澳門花王堂前地
Macau is beautiful for walks after dark. With abit of imagination you could almost feel like you're in Portugal- cobbled stones, colonial architecture and lots of cathedrals and churches near Senado Square. Especially if the heat is unbearable, do...
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Macau, Macau Fisherman's Wharf
Diagonally opposite sites I.M Pei's Macau Science museum, and on the other side is the Macau art museum, this casino sits like a thorn between both museums with its wonderful whimsical gothic style exteriors. If you're an architecture/ photography...
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Macau
One of the underrated landmarks in Macau, it's a beautiful walk along the sea at sunset and very serene with the huge golden statue seemingly floating over the sea at high tide.
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Taipa, Macau
Simple blank notebooks with black covers curl with moisture to create a textured wall here. Desserts are fabulous (run by a Macanese couple, one half trained in Paris at Le Cordon Bleu) as are the pastas and sandwiches.
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Macau
It was one of those clear skies days in Macau when pollution and smog was low. If you go up to the circular top, you get stunning views of the West side of Macau as the sunsets.
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Macau
This odd building sits at the edge of Macau island at the upper floors offer stunning views of the city - best at dusk, where you see the sun setting over the golden Guanyin Goddess of Mercy statue. The interiors are stunning, and one of...
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Macau
Design, light and space, all thoughtfully thought through by I.M Pei. On weekdays, there is little foot traffic and perhaps the best time to take the kids there to play and learn fun facts about science.
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Macau
Located right by a the small square and next to the local pub, Old Taipa Tavern, this temple allows devotees to make offerings as well as throw fortune sticks to pick one up. My friend did it and got her fortune on one of those coloured papers...
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Macau, 新馬路美麗街20號A
Since moving to Macau 4 months ago, I've been combing the back streets and checking out every little eatery in the area. Veng Kei has the whole family - all 4 generations of them making noodles in the tiny shop and they make the best noodles in...
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St. Lawrence's Parish, Macau
I wasn't deterred by the queue of mainland Chinese tourists waiting outside the store and got in line to get up to L3 to catch Zhang Huan's exhibition. Not sure who curates the work there, but they always have an interesting collection of...
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Estrada do Istmo e da Universidade de Ciencia e Tecnologia de Macau, 2 Andar (L2) e 3 Andar (L2M), Sala F210 do Hotel Crown Towers, COTAI (City of Dreams), Macau
We lucked out and got a Private Dining Room that overlooked the kitchen. We watched the chefs prepare dimsum, make noodles while our servers enticed us with all sorts of tea to pair with our meal.
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Level 3, Nüwa Hotel, City of Dreams, Estrada do Istmo, Cotai, Macau
Each course gets better than the one before. Fresh, pristine dishes of simple ingredients made luxurious with truffles, caviar - the French classic techniques come through in these contemporary dishes and they are a real party in the mouth!
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St. Lazarus' Parish, Macau
Wedding biscuits, wife biscuits "老婆饼“,snacks, children recess time crackers, you name it they have it here. The lady at the shop is really friendly and you can try before you decide to buy.
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Macau
Almost every local I know shop for their seafood and fresh produce here. The three story building was built in 1936 and its name derived from the red bricks. While nothing fancy, there aren't many markets of this scale and layout in Macau, unlike...
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MacauAvenida Doutor Mario Soares, 90號號 Avenida Doutor Mário Soares n° 90, Macau
This is Macau's answer to Colette in Paris or Haji Lane in Singapore - local and international designer collections are available here as well bespoke stationery and souvenirs by local creatives.
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Taipa, Macau
This rundown building has been closed for years, but architecture typography buffs might find it interesting walking down this street. Firecrackers and fireworks used to be the country's largest export before Casinos arrived in Macau in the 1970s....
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1 Largo do Pagode da Barra, Macau
The exterior of this building is more interesting than the interiors. The museum has been repainted and looks as good as new with an interesting mix of Chinese and Portuguese architecture design. Located by the tourist landmark and UNESCO listed...
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2/F, Grand Lisboa Hotel, Avenida de Lisboa, Macau
The Eight is classy fine dining Cantonese located at the Grand Lisboa. The base of the chef’s cooking techniques lie in classic dishes done brilliantly – light, fresh, delicate and pristine – the best ingredients in their purest form, soups light...
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One of the few hotels that aren't attached to a casino, this Four Seasons resort offers respite from the casino madness with 5 outdoor swimming pools, a wonderful spa and is home to a 2 michelin starred Chinese restaurant Zi Yat Heen. There are...
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Macau, Avenida da Republica, Fortaleza de Sao Tiago da Barra
Located a little further away from the bling and adreneline rush of the casinos, the only Relais Chateaux in Macau was built in 1629, and served as a former fortress for the Portuguese. Sunday brunches on the terrace over looking the sea are...
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Macau, 博物館 前地112號
This museum by St Paul's ruins is definitely worth a visit. A very detailed and well curated history of Macau from the 1500s when the Portuguese arrived - the first of the Europeans in history, intercultural marriages, cuisine, culture and a...
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Rampa do Forte de Mong Ha, Macau
This little hidden gem is probably one of Macau's best kept secrets - a city full of glitzy casino hotels, this 20 rooms colonial era hotel built in the 1930s is staffed with hotel management students and offers respite from the crazy bling of the...
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PATIO DE CHON SAU is little area has transformed with lots of new designer boutiques, art galleries and a super cool sweet store. A little bit of a wonderland in the middle of old local housing, just 50m down from St Paul’s Ruins.
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396 Av. de Almeida Ribeiro, Macau
So pawn shops have been around for a very long time here and you’ve probably seen the emblem in neon and as badges around Hong Kong and Macau – it’s actually an outline of a bat holding on to a ball. The word bat in Cantonese Fu is homophonous...
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8 Calçada da Igreja de São Lázaro, Macau
Located in a charming bright yellow art deco style building with a courtyard (you can head opposite to Albergue 1601 restaurant for lunch al fresco when it’s nice outside). Take a night stroll through old parts of Macau and Taipa Village, you...
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Macau
Dark brick walls interiors creates the ambience of Portuguese dining as this restaurant has stood the test of time over the last decade. The restaurant falls under the category of Portuguese food, but there are sprinkling of Macanese dishes like...
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203 Largo de Monte Carlo, Macau
I think this is one of Macau’s best kept secret – a kick ass steakhouse and amazing dishes. Copa is located in the labyrinth that is Macau Sands that opened several years ago. It beats Morton’s at the Venetian as the latter we’ve had so many...
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Great lunch sets at this brasserie for 238MOP+, great service and a caricature artist comes by each table asking if you'd like a portrait. Nice ambience, beautiful set up, what's not to love?
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Bringing the hip and trendy café vibe to the old Macau Peninsula, Vanille is a welcome addition to the old and bustling street of local stores.
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Slim pickings in Macau, but there are tiny little pockets of wonderful places, spaces and things to do. Here are some ideas from an expat who has lived here for the last three years.
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If you have no idea what Macanese food is and want to find out, look no further. While APOMAC as a civil servant retiree club doesn't sound like a cool spot to go to, the food here is authentic and delicious - and one of the few establishments...
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While everyone is moving forward with simplifying with modernity, Botalic press is taking us back to old school beautiful type press printing and typography. Beautiful sets of cards and assorted stationery. They also run type press workshops and...
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While most children and girls come here for the Hello Kitty mania, the hokkaido milk egg tarts are really good and I'd highly recommend it. The butter cookies are good but gimmicky. I'd pass on the macarons.