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We spent half a day only in Macau. Must see areas are the colonial centre around Largo de Senado - see the old colonial buildings and squares. Very picturesque and well preserved. Also the “Ruinas de Sao Paulo” – the derelict church, destroyed by fire in 1835 and today symbolising Macau.
The Italian restaurant at the Lisboa is an extravagant dining spot. They have very good value - for a luxurious splurge - executive lunches. The Chinese garden is a pleasant spot for a read before wandering for a Macanese coffee into a coffee shop. Maritime museum is fun on a wet day!
Walking will be the best way to get around in Macau. It''s just five mins walk from the jetty, 10 mins from Senado Square and around the hotel, you can find various types of food (where one of the best Macaunese restaurant is just behind the hotel). In Senado square, one must try "Wong Chi Kei" restaurant for Canton noodles and another small restaurant before "Wong Chi Kei" for deserts such as boiled cow''s milk. Very good.
We live in Hong Kong so we are able to travel to Macau frequently, but this is the first time we have stayed overnight. The Westin Hotel has a wonderful shuttle service that leaves on the 1/2 hour from the ferry pier and from the hotel which is quite convenient. You can then take a taxi or walk to anywhere else you want to go. If it''s hot, take a taxi to your main destination and then walk around. It''s really inexpensive. Take your time in Macau and see all the sights, especially the fort and nearby ancient church ruins. It''s a great place to wander. If you stay at the Westin (or are out that way), you can walk on the beach to Fernando''s, a 15 minute journey (or take a short taxi ride). Fernando''s is a great (famous) Portuguese restaurant If you take taxi''s in Macau and don''t speak the language, a map with pictures helps. They are free at the ferry terminal and airport. Showing the driver pictures of the location is much better than trying to give street names (we have found).
Many interesting places to visit for a first time visitor. One impressive place to visit is the A-Ma temple on Coloane. Time was too short to visit all the places. Self drive is a good idea once familiar with the traffic.
Macau overall is a great place. The bus service is excellent and a great way to get around and see the islands inexexpensively. The Maritime Museum is superb. A helpful note. At the Macau Museum / Fortress it would be helpful to people who have bad legs to have better signs as to how to get the Fortress. The current signs means you have to climb stairs. But you can do it via the Macau Museum escalator as well. There is no sign telling you this.
Restaurants in the Sands Casino are excellent. However, because of very poor signage, they are underutilised. Portuguese food and wine is de rigueur in Macau. Try A Lorcha, the Hyatt hotel, the Sands Casino and the Litoral - all excellent. On a clear day visit the Macau Tower - superb views of the Pearl river estuary, Zhu Hai etc. It is almost impossible to avoid casinos, but if you want to, visit Hak Sha beach and the Westin hotel and tour the very many historical sites. Old Macau is being swamped by the new, so hurry.
Low cost and efficient public transport ($2.50 (HKD/patacas) agood way to sight see aound Macau, but beware, most buses do circular routes rather than staight back and forth. Also beware, the locals regard the Hong Kong dollar and the Macau Pataca as interchangeable so you can miss out by paying for your meals in HK$ and getting your change in patacas! i guess everyione is entitled to make a living, though! Enjoyed the 5 day stay exploring the back street shops and visiting thePortugese colonial sites.
Paradise for the gamblers: it''s casino everywhere in Macau! Despite the handover of Macau back to China, the Portuguese culture is still felt with Portuguese food, wine, road names, etc. It''s a small place and one will be able to cover the major tourist attractions within a day. Among the places I visited are: Ruins of St. Paul, Macau Tower, A-Ma Temple, Lotus Square, Leal Senado Square. For the engineers, there are 3 link bridges to admire. Overall, its quite a fascinating place.
Travel on the peninsula has to be by taxi (congestion is always the down side to Macau but go to Taipa and Coloane by bus). Fernando''s by the beach at Hac Sac is fabulous and A Lorcha food is wonderful but be warned the portions are huge.