Macau’s history as a former Portuguese colony and SAR of China provide it with a rich hybrid of traditional and modern influences. As its stature as one of the world’s foremost gambling destinations has grown, so has its reputation for providing entertainment on par with the leading destinations around the globe.
There are a wealth of choices available to visitors, both in terms of the broad range of cuisines available to sample, as well as numerous day and night diversons to enjoy during your stay.
This article will take you through some of the more interesting highlights of this unique location for travellers both on a modest budget and for those who wish to splash out and indulge themselves during their trip. Here are our poker travel tips:
Much of the local Macau cuisine is a blend of its traditional Portuguese roots and the neighbouring influences of Cantonese cuisine. However due to its rise as a popular world destination, there are now cultural influences from around the globe reflected in its cuisine.
Here are some of the places to eat that come highly recommended.
IFT Educational Restaurant,
Colina de Mong-Ha
IFT offers local Portuguese-Macau fusion food, and is touted as perhaps the best value restaurant in Macau, where customers can expect to pay a mere $10-$30/ head. Its exceptional value is due to the IFT being used to train staff, though you will notice little sign of inexperience as you enjoy your meal.
IFT is an excellent choice for those on a budget.
Vida Rica at Mandarin Oriental,
Avenida Dr Sun Yat Sen
Vida Rica’s stylish decor has earned it many plaudits from satisfied customers, and its high-quality International menu with a Chinese slant is sure to satisfy the hungry diner. Prices are reasonable and with great views of the harbour, there is much to savour here for the discerning restaurateur.
Avenida da Republica, Fortaleza de São Tiago da Barra
Offering up-market Spanish cuisine, La Paloma will hit the spot for those who want to sample some of the best Spanish recipes delivered in clean-cut, sparkling surroundings. Whilst the food does not come cheap (expect to pay around $140/head, the excellent service, generous portions and clean-cut surroundings make the expense seem worthwhile. Try to get a table near the windows so as to enjoy the fine views of the inner harbour waterway during your meal.
Rua de S. Joao, no. 15, A/B, R/C, Taipa
A small, unobtrusive restaurant tucked away in the backstreets of Taipa, A Petisqueira offers traditional Portuguese fare such as Secretos na Brasa (boar steak) and Bacalhau à Brás (shredded cod, onion and potato bound in scrambled egg) and comes highly recommended as one of Macau’s best-kept secrets.
The Centre of Macau
The centre of Macau is a World Heritage site, its many forts, churches and other buildings of historical note attesting to its complex and fascinating past. Many of these can be visited for free, and those interested in exploring Macau’s roots should consider visiting the ruins of St Paul’s on the Rua de São Paulo – a 17th century Jesuit church and one of the most impressive monuments to Christianity in Asia.
The oldest temple in Macau is the A-Ma temple (Rua de São Tiago da Barra), its history stretching back to the early arrival of the Portuguese to the area. These are just a few of the notable buildings, sculptures and art concentrated in the centre of Macau. If time allows, be sure to pay this unique area a visit.
The Bubble, City of Dreams Casino
A laser, light and fire extravaganza, The Bubble tells the legend of the Jade Emporer and four Ocean-dwelling Dragons in spectacular fashion and is a sight not to be missed. Even better, there is no cost attached as there are free nightly shows.
Xanadu Bar, Sands Casino
203 Largo de Monte Carlo
Housed within the Sands casino is the spacious Xanadu Bar, where visitors can take a break from the gaming action to be entertained by an eclectic melange of diversions. From acrobatic dancing girls to live pop and R&B bands, there is something for everyone at the Xanadu bar and with drinks and refreshments very reasonably priced, it is worth putting on your “to-do” list whilst in Macau.
Block I, Trinidad, Fisherman’s Wharf
A late night, high-energy fix of entertainment can be found at Fashion Club, where the clientele dance the night away to contemporary electronic and house music with dancing girls adding a touch of glamour to proceedings. There are regular slots for famous DJs from Hong Kong and further afield and with the stylish interior decoration of silver beads, glass and mirrors, there are few better places to enjoy a late night drink and dance.
Vasco Bar, Mandarin Oriental Hotel
956-1110 Avenida da Amizade, 2/F
For a more relaxed environ, consider the subdued Vasco Bar, whose laid-back lounge bar interior is complemented by gentle Jazz and easy listening music. This is a great place to unwind with a few cocktails and traditional Portuguese finger food after a hectic day in Macau.