"MACAU" Concelho de Macau by Avieira67
Concelho de Macau Travel Guide: 687 reviews and 2,385 photos
With a population of about 544,600  and 30 km2, Macau comprises four regions: a Peninsula, or Macau City, connected to the mailand China, Taipa and Coloane Islands, and Cotai, an area of reclaimed land joining both islands, linked to the Chinese island of Hengqing by Ponte Flor de Lótus - Lotus Bridge.
After Portuguese arrived here, in the 16th century, an official trading arrangement was drawn up. As Portuguese ridded the area of marauding pirates, China emperor has decided to offer this territory to Portugal.
Macau soon became a centre of trade and of Christianity, with the Jesuit missionaries' Igreja de São Paulo hailed as the greatest monument to Christianity in the East.
Macau's economic woes were forever eased by the introduction of licensed gambling in the 1850s, and the arrival of successive waves of refugees boosted the tiny enclave's population.
On 20 December 1999, Macau became a Special Administrative Region of the Republic Popular of China.
Talking about the Península there are many historic sites worth a visit.
Taking Largo do Leal Senado as a starting point and Fortaleza do Monte & Museu de Macau as an ending point, you will pass by Igreja de São Domingos, Rua da Palha, Rua de São Paulo, and the famous landmark of Macau, Ruínas da Igreja de São Paulo, just beside the Templo de Na Tcha. To enforce your contemplation of these ruins and to gain some energy to climb the stairs to the fortress, visit the café in the Centro de Actividades Turísticas e Culturais and, intending to make a cultural meeting between EST and West, drink a cup of CHA along with a Pastel de Nata. These are, perhaps, the most visited places in the historic city centre.
Not far from Ruínas da Igreja de São Paulo, taking Rua de São Paulo, you will reach the Igreja de Santo António, at Largo de Luís de Camões. This square invites you to visit Jardim Luís de Camões, a garden where the Portuguese poet Luís de Camões wrote part of his masterpiece, Os Lusíadas, and Casa Garden.
Largo do Leal Senado is an amazing square and can be better admired very early in the morning, when almost nobody is there. Due to jet lag, I was used to visit this square around 04:30 in the morning. Admire the magnificient buildings of Santa Casa da Misericórdia, Pharmacia Popular, Leal Senado, Turismo, and discover other just looking around, such as the Catedral de Macau, one leg away in Largo da Sé, located behind Santa Casa da Misericórdia. Are we in Asia? Of course not, but somewhere in an European country, close to the mediterranean influences. This is incredible and makes Macau different from all other regions in China. In fact, Macau has, undoubtedly, the most beautiful European architectural complex of Southeast Asia.
Another interesting walking tour can also strat at this square and end at Templo A-MÁ, or at Ermida de Nossa Senhora da Penha. Cross the amazing Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro, or San Man Lo, the unofficial name known among Macanese and Chinese, to reach Largo de Santo Agostinho, a square behind Leal Senado building, where one can find the Igreja de Santo Agostinho, Bilbioteca de Sir Ho Tung, Seminário de São José, and Teatro Dom Pedro V. Surrounding this theatre, one reaches Rua Central. Turn right to Rua de São Lourenço, go straigh, passing Igreja de São Lourenço. Don't forget to contemplate Largo do Lilau and to visit the Casa do Mandarim. If you are lucky, as I was, you can assist a concert there for free. Take again the main street, pass again Largo do Lilau and go to Templo A-MÁ. If you have time enough, visit Museu Marítimo and climb to Ermida de Nossa Senhora da Penha to have great views of Macau. Also the Colina da Barra is worth a visit, namely for the colonial manor house Santa Sancha, the state guest house of the Chief Executive of Macau.
For other walks I can recomend a visit to Avenida do Conselheiro Ferreira do Amaral where some historic monuments adorn the Praça Tap Seac. Following this street, don't hesitate to visit the Casa Cultural de Chá de Macau and let yourself be invaded by Jardim de Lou Lim Ieoc, the most traditional Chinese garden in the city.
Take your time and go to Avenida Sidónio Pais, passing Casa Memorial do Dr. Sun Yat Sen, to catch the cable car, at Jardim da Flora, to bring you to Fortaleza da Guia, the highest hill in the territory, where you can see a Chapel, a light house and, of course, great views of Macau. Going down, rest at Jardim da Flora, visiting the organized Ecoteca. If time is no longer problem, follow Rua Coronel Mesquita, visit Templo Kun Iam Tong, one of the most important Buddhist temples in the territory, before climbing to Fortaleza and Parque de Mong Há.
When visiting the Mercado Vermelho, you can go as far as the border with China, visiting Jardim Dr. Sun Yat Sen and Portas do Cerco. Returning back to city centre, get off the bus at Avenida da Amizade to visit some tourist places according your preference. I strongly recomend Centro Ecuménico Kun Iam and Centro Cultural de Macau. I din't like A Doca dos Pescadores. If you are not going to Macau to "visit" casinos, I advise you a short visit to both Casino Lisboa & Casino Grand Lisboa, one leg from Praça Ferreira do Amaral
A visit to the Torre de Macau can be interesting if the weather is good, passing by the wounderful Palácio do Governador on Avenida da Praia Grande.
If you like municipal markets, you can visit the new Mercado de São Lourenço, but I prefer to visist and advise you the Mercado do Patane and the typical streets around it. Have a look at the Templo Hong Fung at Largo do Pagode and go North of this square taking Rua Cinco de Outubro, pass Rua do Tarrafeiro and look for Calçada do Galo to climb the stairs to an interesting Temple just before reaching Jardim de Luís de Camões.
Finally, and before going to the Islands, spend a time admiring the architecture on Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro, and visit the Clube Cultural - Cultural Club. Then, turn to Rua da Felicidade and be happy to stay in Macau.
Certainly, there are many other interesting place to visit, but you will find them easily.
At the past, there were 2 Islands, nowadays linked to Macau City by three bridges, but now these Islands - Taipa and Coloane - are linked by an area of reclaimed land - Cotai - where many casinos, such as Galaxy, City of Dreams and The Venetian were built recently.
- Pros:A meeting point between Europe and Asia
- Cons:The casinos
- In a nutshell:World Heritage List - Historic Centre of Macau - 2005
This small traditional Chinese Budhist and Taoist Temple was built in 1888 and is dedicated to the worship of the deity... more travel advice
This pharmacy was founded in 1895 by Pedro Nolasco da Silva. Under construction! more travel advice
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