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Thursday, March 09, 2017

10 Top Things to do in Macau

Macau, the Las Vegas of the East and one of the top gambling destinations in the world, is a special perk for Indian citizens as this is one of those countries where we get visa-free access. With easy Macau visas and cheap flights from India, it is no wonder that holidaymakers combine this gambling and cultural destination with a trip to Hong Kong.

Tricyclos of Macau and the casino night life

A Macau holiday includes everything from casinos, gambling, glittering nightlife, adventure, great food, shopping to a rich cultural experience in its old Portuguese town and a UNESCO world heritage site. Here are 10 of the top experiences that you should indulge in on your next holiday to Macau.

1) Walk the Macau Heritage Trail

Ruins of St Paul's church - one of the top attractions of Old Macau cultural trail

Even though Macau is famous worldwide for its casinos, I think its top highlight lies in its rich Portuguese past. With churches, a fort, colonial buildings and the Macau museum, this old part of the Macau peninsula is full of cultural and historical significance. You start at the ruins of the St. Paul’s church and then you slowly make your way through the tiny lanes and cobbled paths to the other attractions while soaking in this cultural flavor of Macau.

2) Try your Luck at the Casinos

Colorful Casino District of Macau

Be it poker, blackjack, roulette, boule, Sic bo, Fan tan, keno or slot machines, you are never too far away from trying your luck at any of the casinos in Macau. While there are close to 40 casinos in Macau, my favorites are ‘The Venetian’, Wynn casino, Casino Lisboa and Sands Casino. Most of the action takes place in the night and this includes the colorful lights, expensive cars, designer clothes and of course the heavy gambling. When you are there, do make sure that you are well dressed and try to spend responsibly, even though I know it is difficult.

3) Watch City Views from Fortaleza do Monte

Grand Lisboa and cannon from Portuguese fort, Macau

Macau may not have the skyscrapers of Hong Kong, but it is nice to see nonetheless. One of the better views of the Macau skyline can be seen from the roof of Fortaleza do Monte, the Portuguese fort located in the heritage part of the city. This is where you can see casinos, skyscrapers, slums and ruins all together from an ancient canon’s eye line.

4) Shop at Rua da Tercena

Busy Senado Square of Macau

For designer labels, one can head to the malls of Hong Kong or the five star hotels and casinos of Macau, but if you are interested in budget shopping and something more authentic from the land, you should head to Rua da Tercena near Senado Square. This is where you will find top quality t shirts for less than a dollar, tailoring shops, art, antiques and a full fledged flea market. Do remember that most of these places shut shop by 7 pm.

5) Be amazed by the Colorful Lights of the Casinos

Night Lights at Casino Lisboa, Macau

Like Las Vegas, the casinos of Macau are known to dazzle the spectators with an array of lighting, fountains, live performances and shows that are considered the best in the world. Water shows, laser shows, dragon shows and the iconic house of the dancing water form some of the top attractions. Each casino has its trump card. The City of Dreams, Venetian and the Grand Lisboa are my favorites for unique shows and experiences.

6) Do the 2nd Highest Bungee Jump in the World

Skyscrapers of Macau - different from that of Hong Kong

Macau is not just about gambling, culture and shopping, but it is also about adrenaline rushes. Macau tower, an iconic landmark is home to most of these adventure rushes. At a height of 233 metres, it offers the 2nd highest bungee jump in the world, a sky jump, a protected sky walk for all he normal people, bouldering and sport climbing. And while you are feel like an adrenaline junkie, you can soak in possibly the best views of Macau and its coastline.

7) Relish the Portuguese Egg Tart

The famous egg tarts of Macau

One of the Portuguese legacies left behind in Macau are its tarts, cookies and other baked items. The fresh, soft and hot Portuguese egg tarts are highly recommended and they make for great companions while you are walking the Macau heritage circuit. And so are the cookies and other baked goods, which not only are great power munchies, but are also fantastic souvenirs to carry back home to your family and friends.

8) Relax on the Hac Sa Beach

Gorgeous looking church in Macau old city

Macau is blessed with good nature too, especially through its small, but gorgeous coastline. The Hac Sa beach, Macau’s largest beach is known for its black sand is a great place for a swim. Popular with both locals and tourists, this beach makes for a great weekend getaway.

9) Take a Gondola Ride at the Venetian

Chinese, Portuguese and English at Macau

The Venetian is the largest casino in the world and the single largest single structure hotel building in Asia. Designed after Venice, this luxury hotel resort is all about opulence, grandeur and European design. You can stay here, shop here, play here or even take a gondola ride in one of its canals. It is definitely one of the best hotels in Macau.

10) Tour Macau in a Tricyclos

The colorfil Tricyclos of Macau

When you visit Macau, you will notice these colorful cycle rickshaws parked in front of the casinos and at other tourist attractions. Locally called as Tricyclos, these cycle rickshaws are a great way to explore Macau at a leisure pace both at day or at night. While during the day, you can hop on them to explore the old town, the beaches and the Macau tower, during the night, you can use them for casino hopping. Even if you don’t wish to hire them for a full day, you should definitely take a ride in this iconic form of transportation.



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