By Devashree Sanghvi, Thecrazyindianfoodie.
Glamourous casinos, quaint buildings, bustling markets, delicious food, breath-taking Sino-Portuguese architecture and warm people make Macao an absolute must visit. I was recently in Macao and fell completely in love with it.
Eat your way through this UNESCO city of gastronomy, take a leap from the stunning Macau Tower, walk around the charming Senado square, go back in time with Taipa village, watch cute Pandas in their natural habitat or experience Macanese nightlife as you get bedazzled by this beautiful city. There are numerous ways to spend your time here and I found the Top 10 reasons why you MUST visit this gorgeous destination:
1. Walk along Senado Square :
A world heritage site, this spectacular square is reminiscent of the culture and history of Macao. Inspired by Portuguese style architecture this square is a popular place for eating, shopping and exploring apart from many other cultural activities. A stroll along the lanes and by-lanes surrounding this Square will help you discover how diverse and beautiful Macao is. With a host of boutiques, street food shops, department stores and live performances, this is the perfect way to spend your evenings in Macao, especially with family.
2. Try your luck at casinos and watch spectacular shows at Cotai :
Asia’s very own Las Vegas, Cotai is where you can experience the glitz and glamour of Macanese nightlife. Studded with spectacular resorts and casinos, try your hand at gambling, shop at luxury stores, catch a show like the House of Dancing Water or go dancing at one of the many clubs this area has to offer. Whether it’s the size of The Venetian Macau or the sheer beauty of The Parisian Macau or the modern style of MGM, Cotai is an area that never fails to amaze.
3. Experience the rich and diverse cuisine of Macao :
Owing to its Portuguese and Chinese influence, the cuisine of Macao is very versatile and offers a variety of options to all food lovers. Being rightly labelled as the UNESCO city of gastronomy, Macao has a large variety of options to offer when it comes to food. We loved the egg tarts at Lord Stows Bakery, the Almond cookies at Choi Heong Yuen, Pork Chop Buns at Tai Lei Loi Kei, Italian food at Antica Trattoria, Japanese-Peruvian specialities at Aji (MGM Cotai) and authentic Portuguese dishes at Antonio’s a Michelin star restaurant. Read more only on Macanese food soon in a separate article.
4. Experience adventure at Macao Tower :
If you’re an adventure junkie like me a free fall bungee jump 223m straight down will give you a mad rush of adrenaline like no other. Whether its sky jumping or bungee jumping from one of the highest bungee jumping areas in the world, Macao is a paradise for adventure travellers.
5. Dine at Macao 360* revolving restaurant:
Take a break from all the crazy activities at Macao 360 * revolving restaurant that offers stunning views of the city skyline over a delicious multi-cuisine buffet. This is a perfect place for a date night with your partner as you dine amongst the stars.
6. Fall in love with Pandas at Macao Giant Panda Pavilion:
Nestled against a hillside in Coloane fall in love with Giant Panda’s and rare red pandas as you watch them in their natural habitat under temperature-controlled conditions at the Macao Giant Panda Pavilion. These cute, cuddly furballs are a large part of the Chinese and Macanese culture and are an absolute delight to watch.
7. Visit the Ruins of St Paul :
Proof of the western influence on Macau, these spectacular ruins were once one of Asia’s largest churches, like its very own Vatican. The sheer beauty of these ruins and their intricate carvings in the façade feel absolutely magical.
8. Try delicious Egg Tarts at Lord Stow’s Bakery :
A Macanese favourite, egg tarts are baked fresh and warm at this iconic bakery located on Coloane island with multiple branches all over Macao. Inspired by the Portuguese pastry called ‘ Pasteis de Nata’ this age-old recipe has been perfected over the years and these cute little bites of absolute deliciousness offer a remarkable experience to your palette. Lord Stows Bakery also has a Garden Café adjoining it serving mouth-watering European food.
9. Dive into culture with Taipa Village :
A stark contrast to the glitz and glamour of Cotai is offered by the stunning cobbled streets of Taipa village with its colourful houses, pretty museums, delicious street food, boutiques and more. Walk along beautiful lanes as you eat and shop your way around Taipa.
10. Stay at The Sofitel Macau :
Endowed by rich, French-inspired architecture and impeccable service, the spacious rooms at Sofitel Macau offer beautiful views of the harbour and surrounding areas. Complete with a lively casino, multiple restaurants, a spa and more, Sofitel Macau makes for the perfect place to stay at when in Macao. Read more about my experience at this property on the blog soon.
How to get to Macao: A direct flight to Hong Kong followed by a quick one-hour ferry ride to Macao is the best way to get there from India. You can also enter Hong Kong and take a ferry to and fro from Macao. Macao has visa on arrival for Indian’s and you don’t require a PAR visa unless you enter to or from the territory of Hong Kong. If you don’t wish to go to Hong Kong you can take a ferry directly to and fro from Hong Kong airport to Macao. For more info on ferries click here.
Best time to visit: Macao is blessed with pleasant and undramatic weather all year round.
Whether you’re on a budget or on a luxury vacation, travelling solo or with family, Macao has so much to offer everyone. It’s an absolute MUST visit. Thecrazyindianfoodie recommends.
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