Unknown to many, with effect from 1st January 2016, Macau (Portuguese) has been renamed as Macao (English) and Macau Government Tourist Office is now known as Macao Government Tourism Office. Located at the southern coast of People’s Republic of China, Macao has so much to offer – Food, Architecture, Adventures…etc. Since my last trip to Macao in 2000, Macao has changed a LOT. I kid you not, let me share with you the ultimate guide on what to do, where to go and what to see in Macao. Nope, I am not referring to the adult gaming!
If you like fireworks, don’t miss the International Fireworks Display Contest that will be running annually on every Saturdays in September, on Mid-Autumn Festival and on China’s National Day. Every firework show encompass a splendid opening followed by spectacular fireworks performance from two different countries. This is an internationally acclaimed event that has drawn more than 100 outstanding teams worldwide to participate in this sparkling splendor of the night.
One of the best places to admire the breathtaking fireworks is said to be at Sky 21 in AIA tower. This is where you can enjoy their modern pan-Asian cuisine while enjoying the panoramic view of Macao skyline.
21/F, AIA Tower, 251A – 301 Avenida Comercial de Macao, Macao
Tel: +853 2822 2122
Opening Hour: Lunch: 12:00-2:30 pm
Afternoon Tea:3:00-5:30 pm
Happy Hour: 5:30-8:30 pm (except weekend and public holiday)
Dinner: 6:30-10:30 pm
Late Night (Weekday/Weekend & Holiday Eve): 3:00am/4:00am
One could ever have too much of egg tarts in Macao, especially the egg tarts from Lord Stow Bakery! Established since 15th September 1989, Lord Stow Bakery on Coloane Island is the baby of Englishman, Andrew Stow. The bakery’s name was simply given because during his time at Hyatt’s Afonso’s Restaurant, the local Portuguese dubbed Andrew “Lord Stow”.
Currently, Lord Stow’s has its presence in Macao, Hongkong, Japan and Philippines (Why Singapore don’t have?? sad). Besides the famous egg tart, Lord Stow’s Garden Café (the outlet behind the original shop) also serves up a good selection of brunch items! I had the breakfast burger and it was really good! 2 handmade beef patties, grilled and sandwiched between bacon, fried eggs, cheddar cheese and homemade English Muffin and tomato sauce! Both hearty and filling to give you the energy to continue your exploration of Coloane Island.
Lord Stow’s Garden Café
Address: G/F C Houston Court 21 Largo do Matadouro, Coloane Village, Macao
Tel: +853 2888 1851
Opening Hours: Open Daily Tues to Sun 9am – 10pm (9.30pm last order)
Mon 9am – 5pm (4pm last order)
Exploring Coloane Island
Coloane Island is one of the two main islands of Macao. So don’t forget to spare some time to explore the place.
Walking towards the the Ka Ho (九澳) area, northeastern part of the island, you will spot Sam Seng Temple (三圣庙), quaint little shops that sell preserved seafood such as salted fishes and an instagram worthy jetty (Ponte Cais De Coloane 路環碼頭) for you to take your #OOTD.
The stroll towards Chapel of St. Francis Xavier (路環聖方濟各堂) is another scenic places where one can’t help but to stop and take a few more pictures.
Exploring the small lanes near Chapel of St. Francis Xavier can also bring you lovely lanes with interesting street names such as Travessa Das Lindas 美女巷 (the lane of the beauties).
Taipa Food Street
After all the walking, I bet you will be hungry by now. Why not take a ride to Taipa Food Street (aka Rua do Cunha 官也街) where along the narrow street you will find shops selling almond cakes, phoenix egg rolls and peanut candy. If you are looking for souvenirs, there are Choi Heong Yuen (咀香園) and Koi Kei (鉅記) and their almond cookies and peanut candy are very well received!
Tai Lei Loi Kei 澳门大利来记猪扒包
How can one forget about the famous Macao pork chop buns when you are in Macao!? Those juicy, well seasoned and tender pork chop “kiap” (sandwiched) between fluffy buns. There are also several variants to suit different people who prefer other types of bread! There are currently several franchise outlets in Singapore, Macao and Guangdong.
Coffee lovers like me, don’t worry about not being able to get your caffeine fix. There are a good selection of specialty coffeeshop around Macao. I have stumbled upon one which is operated by the only European certified barista here in Macao! They are also the same peeps behind Communal Table, another popular coffee joint in Macao. I heard that their Earl Grey Chiffon Cake is really good and I regret not having it while I was there. =(
Single Origin – pour over and espresso bar
Macao, Rua de Abreu Nunes 19 R/C
Tel: +853 6698 7475
Exploring Macao Peninsula
Does colonial-style houses and cobbled streets appeal to you? If yes, St Lazarus district in Macao Peninsula would be a paradise for you! Artsy events and festivals are also held here on a regular basis together with a collection of different creative works! And yes yes yes, another #OOTD heaven!
The recently opened 3 storey Village Mall in Macao Peninsula is another place worthy for your time, all my artsy friends. Macau’s first cultural and creative mall is a myriad of local fashion brands, creative artworks, food, weekly fair with different theme, mini music concerts and more coming together with the concept of the traditional community focused village.
For those who are looking for some bonding family time together, perhaps you can also drop by the new Nam Van Lake waterfront leisure area – named ‘Anim’Arte NAM VAN’. Besides boat pedaling, there are Weekend Craft Market, Cultural and Creative Shop, Arts Pavilion, Indoor Craft Market and Book Market. For more information, you can hop on to Macao Government Tourism Office’s website.
Are you convinced Macao is more than what you think it is? Stay with me as I share more in Ultimate guide to Macao part 2.