Sunyang and Mocao Caves – China’s Natural Sights

Macau / China

For many centuries Macau belonged to the Portuguese. Here was settled their colony, which left its imprint on many architectural landmarks of the city. In ’99, it returned to China, so in the historical center, you can enjoy the harmonious union of different cultures. There is a lot to see and go to. There are many different temples and museums, beautiful squares and majestic buildings. But in today’s world, Macau is famous for more than just that. It is a city of nightlife, where a large number of entertainment complexes, nightclubs and all kinds of gambling establishments are concentrated. Entire neighborhoods under a common roof, suitable for a rich, interesting vacation. And interesting water shows, have long been the most expensive and most spectacular in the world.

So where to go in Macau first?

Macau / China

Senado Square.

The best place to start your journey is the old part of town. It is a central square in the historic district of Macau. It has everything for a pleasant walk, picturesque fountains, green alleys, lots of benches for rest and of course some interesting architectural sights. Most of the buildings here belong to the colonial era.

Macau / China Senado Square.

The ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

This cathedral, until the mid-1800s, was the largest Catholic church in all of Asia. After a terrible fire, only ruins remain, but that doesn’t stop all visitors to the city from visiting it. The remains of the temple are even listed as a UNESCO heritage site. The beautiful staircase leading up to the remaining facade with interesting sculptures looks simply monumental.

Macau / China Ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral.

The village of Coloan.

This village is located on the island of the same name. She has preserved the special color, which is why it is so popular among tourists. In its center is a beautiful square. It is paved with tiles of different colors that form waves. Tourists can admire several interesting sights, among which worthy of special attention is the chapel of Francisco Xaveria.

Macau / China Coloan Village.

The Giant Panda Pavilion.

This park is a very interesting place where the cutest animals, the pandas, reside. It is located on an area of three thousand square meters. There is a very beautiful landscape that creates a stunning picture together with the aviaries for these lovely animals. Pandas are very fond of sleeping, so it is best to come to these places in the morning. Then you can admire them to your heart’s content.

Macau / China Giant Panda Pavilion.

Macau Tower.

It is a modern tower, which gathered all kinds of institutions, from restaurants to a movie theater. It was built in 2001. In total there are 61 floors, which together make up more than 300 meters in height. For tourists it is a great opportunity not only to go shopping and visit exhibitions, or have lunch in a cafe, but also to admire the magnificent panoramic views of the city.

Macau / China Macau Tower.

Fort Guaya.

One of the interesting architectural sights is this fort, which was built in the 17th century. It served as a defensive fortress. After, there was built a beautiful chapel, which is fully decorated with magnificent frescoes. Tourists can also visit the maritime museum. Also next to the fort built the first lighthouse in Asia, on top of which is an observation deck.

Macau / China Fort Guaya.

Fort Monte.

Another defensive attraction that was built back in the 17th century. It was intended as a defense against attacks from the sea. In the construction were involved in the Portuguese, whose colony at the time was in Macao. Because of its location on a high hill, it has an even more majestic appearance. Inside you can see the former barracks and a few remaining cannons in the walls.

Macau / China Fort Monte.

Macau Museum.

Formerly, the museum building housed a former weather station. It is located within the walls of the fortress and was opened in 98. Despite the fact that it looks like a one-story building, there are two more floors under the ground, which housed interesting exhibits. Here you can learn more about the history of the city and the influence of the Portuguese. Also in the museum are everyday objects.

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Macau / Macau Chinese Museum.

Mandarin House.

This beautiful manor house once served as the residence of a Chinese official. It was built in the mid-1800s. Now it is one of the most visited attractions in the city. It is built in the tradition of China, but sometimes there is a European motif. It looks very beautiful and luxurious. Now tourists can visit it thanks to the museum, which opened in 2001.

Macau / China Mandarin House.

Macau Science Center.

The stunning modern building, which contains the main science center of the city, was erected in 2009. It has a futuristic style and is in the form of a cone. Inside it has no clear floors, here in e moves upward in a spiral. The galleries there will tell visitors about a variety of branches of science, from natural phenomena to robotics.

Macau / China Macau Science Center.

Taipa House Museum.

The territory of this museum consists of several luxurious villas. Families of wealthy Portuguese once lived here. They were built back in the 20s, but the buildings still retain their original appearance. The whole interior of them combines both Portuguese and Chinese style. After a little interior renovation, they have been turned into a museum displaying various works by local artisans.

Macau / Chinese Taipa House Museum.

Grand Prix Museum.

This museum is dedicated to all fans of fancy Formula 3 cars. In ’54, the city hosted its first racing tournament. Now, every November, an incredible event takes place in the city, during which only the best cars and incredible racers compete. It is this event that the museum, which opened its doors in ’93, is dedicated to.

Macau / China Grand Prix Museum.

Maritime Museum.

Another interesting museum is located in a stunning building that looks like a sailboat. It was opened in 90 on the spot where the Portuguese first came ashore. Here you can see a collection describing the lives of sailors, fishermen, the history of trade relations between the countries and much more. Also in the museum there are models of various ships.

Macau / China Maritime Museum.

Macau Museum of Art.

For art lovers this is the best place to see works of both local and European authors. A total of the building consists of 5 floors, which are thematic exhibitions. There are Chinese calligraphy, ceramics, paintings, and much more. There is also a library and many workshops.

Macau / China Macau Museum of Art.

The temple of A-Ma.

The goddess in whose honor this temple was erected was the patroness of all sailors. Because of the city’s connection with maritime affairs, this temple was built in the 14th century, situated on the slope of a picturesque hill. It is made entirely in the traditional Chinese style. Inside you can look at the prayer rooms, and outside consider the cobblestones of different colors that were brought in from Portugal.

Macau / China A-Ma Temple.

St. Dominic’s Church.

This church was built in the European style in the 16th century. In its construction participated Spanish monks. That’s why it looks more like a European temple, but very much in harmony with the urban architecture. The interior is worth special attention. You can see paintings and engravings everywhere, as well as many mirrors. There is a gorgeous bell tower at the top.

Macau / China Church of St. Dominic.

Macau Cathedral.

Another religious landmark that shows the influence of the Portuguese on the city. The cathedral was built in the 17th century. Then many times it was reconstructed. The last time it was rebuilt was in 38. Since then, its appearance has not changed. There are elements of Chinese architecture. For example, the facade of the building is completely decorated with Chinese plaster. Here was a scepter, which is the main symbol of power.

Macau / China-Cathedral of Macau.

Catholic Chapel of Our Lady of Pena.

This chapel is located in a picturesque place, on top of the hill of the same name. It was built for sailors, back in the mid-1600s. The majestic Order of Augustinians took part in the construction. It has a Romanesque style of architecture, which is complemented with Gothic elements. The inner courtyard of the chapel is decorated with sculptures of the Mother of God.

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Macau / China-Catholic Chapel of Our Lady of Pena.

Church of St. Lawrence.

Another religious landmark that shows the influence of the Portuguese on the city. It was built by the Jesuits back in the 16th century. It was originally made of wood. But in the mid-1800s it was faced with brick. It is shaped like a Latin cross. It consists of a main entrance and two chapels, which are located on the sides.

Macau / China Church of St. Lawrence.

The Chapel of St. Francis Xavier.

This beautiful chapel appeared in the city in the year 28. Nearby is a monument that commemorates the victory over the pirates. The chapel used to be used as a place to store very important and valuable relics. The bones of the saint after whom it was named are also buried here. Many relics have been moved to other temples, but the chapel still retains its former majestic look.

Macau / China-The Chapel of St. Francis Xavier.

The Venetian.

One of the most interesting architectural landmarks of China, which is a city block under one, common roof. It has everything that tourists are looking for. This is the numerous stores, a chic hotel, a concert hall, high-level restaurants, and even a casino. In the courtyards you can admire beautiful fountains, statues and entire squares. It’s a stunning place.

Macau / China-The Venetian.

Grand Lisboa.

In 2007, the city renovated its oldest casino. It now has a chic, modern look that looks like a lotus flower opening up. During the day, you can look at its gorgeous golden form, but at night, the building takes on a completely different look. It glows with thousands of multi-colored lights. Even if you are not a fan of casinos, it is still worth taking a peek at this luxurious structure.

Macau / China-Grand Lisboa.

Galaxy Macau.

One of the most visited places in the city, which acts as a huge entertainment complex. There are only a few analogues in the whole world. On its territory there are several hotels, a large number of different bars and chic restaurants, its own casino and much more. It rests only rich people. The main attraction of this place is a large swimming pool, which is located right on the roof.

Macau/China-Galaxy Macau.

City of Dreams.

The name of this complex translates as “city of dreams. This is another chic and very rich place that includes hotels, boutiques of famous brands, a casino and one of the most famous nightclubs. There are also two theaters that are famous throughout the world. In them you can see the chic water shows, which are accompanied by sound and light special effects.

Macau/China-City of Dreams.

House of Dancing Water.

This is a chic auditorium built specifically for the water show program. The stage here at one point turns into a solid pool. There is no show in the world more impressive or more expensive than this one. Every number here is art, worked on by a large number of people. Visitors can see underwater acts, biker shows, and more. All this is accompanied by the latest special effects.

Macau sights – what to visit first?

Macau is a small city on the map of China, known all over the world as one of the centers of world gambling. It has a special status and is the Asian “Las Vegas”. Hundreds of gambling establishments are concentrated on its territory and attract millions of tourists every year. Despite the abundance of casinos, the attractions of the metropolis are not limited to gambling – it has centuries of history, which is reflected in the monuments of architecture and religious buildings.

Macau

Macau Attractions

This particular administrative center of China has long been a European colony. From the 16th century until 1987, the island was Portuguese property, making it an interesting mixture of Chinese-Portuguese color and quirky buildings. And Western European motifs are evident not only in the architectural direction, but also in language, folk customs, traditions and the very mentality of the local population.

Ruins of St. Paul’s Church

This remnant of a once majestic structure is a trademark of Macau and a must-see. The temple was destroyed by fire in the first half of the 19th century, with only its facade and foundation surviving. Every year, the place attracts thousands of travelers who want to see a unique backdrop that simultaneously combines traditional European Baroque style and elements of Eastern culture. In the former church basement, there is a museum exhibit dedicated to the religious direction. St. Paul’s Cathedral has been officially added to the UNESCO list of international heritage.

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Ruins of St. Paul's Church Ruins of St. Paul's Church Ruins of St. Paul's Church

The area is also particularly popular with visitors to the city, thanks to the large number of souvenir shops and stores, as well as cafes with local delicacies. The main road is crossed by colorful old alleyways that lead to the main square.

Senado Square

Macau’s central square is a favorite destination not only for tourists but also for locals. Life is in full swing here. It is a very beautiful area paved with stone mosaics and surrounded by beautiful colorful buildings built in the classic Portuguese style. On the perimeter are:

  • Shrine of Our Lady;
  • the city’s main tourist office;
  • the museum complex of the Church of Mercy;
  • St. Dominic’s Church.

Traffic on the square has been banned by the authorities and it is now a completely safe pedestrian area. This place is also on the list of world architectural heritage of UNESCO.

Senado Square Senado Square Senado Square

Interesting to know! Today the square is used for city celebrations, concerts, exhibitions, festivals and all kinds of fairs. Hundreds of stores and souvenir shops are located along the streets adjacent to the Senado, selling themed products for all tastes and wallets.

Old Town

This is the name of the area around Senado Square on the map of Macau. The attraction is represented by numerous buildings, which are an unusual combination of old Asian neighborhoods and European style. The roads are paved with the familiar to us, paving stones in light and dark colors, intricately wrapped in a variety of patterns. The same applies to the gastronomic situation – all the streets, dotted with a variety of cafes, as the European orientation, and Chinese eateries. Pleasant aroma attracts the stores, where they bake Chinese cookies, right by the road are stalls, where they cook delicious and cheap street food. This place is striking in its contrasts. It is especially beautiful on Chinese New Year’s Eve, when everything is decorated with colorful lanterns and tangerines.

Old Town Old Town Old Town

Views of Macau from the Water

From the water a breathtaking view opens up onto the city – the majestic skyscrapers against a background of green mountains and blue sky, will not leave even an experienced tourist indifferent. Numerous pleasure boats and ferries can take you for hours around the coastal area and every minute Macau will open to you a new side. For those who want to see the city from the height there are observation decks on the roofs of most large hotels.

Macau

Casino

Even if you are not a gambler you will find something to see and enjoy in the gambling capital of China. This is not Las Vegas, but it is several times larger than Monte Carlo. You can’t take pictures, but it’s a must to walk through the luxurious interiors and spend your first dollar. Each casino is not just a gambling house – but an entire large-scale entertainment center, a landmark, with shopping areas, cafes, restaurants, fountains and hotels.

Interesting to know! You will be taken to each establishment by a specialized bus – all have color themed pictures with names.

The largest is the casino-feik Italian Venice, which we will describe in more detail below. Opposite is “Galaxy” – not as impressive in appearance, but original in interior – there are amazing water-light shows. It is difficult not to stop here for lunch – local cafes offer Chinese, Korean, Italian and other cuisines of the world. The Grand Lisboa Casino is unusual on the outside but quite standard on the inside, filled with various gaming areas and places to shop. There’s even one where you can visit a sham Europe – there are skillfully reconstructed quarters of European settlements. It constantly hosts exhibitions of contemporary art, you may be lucky enough to visit one of them.

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Macau

Each such institution is original in its own way. Marketers come up with more and more new shows, technological effects, impressive scenery, architectural masterpieces and much more that will make a tourist stay here as long as possible and spend as much of the saved up budget as possible.

Venice

The huge complex is a successful fake of Venice and the largest casino in the world. This landmark is often seen in photos of Macau and therefore deserves special attention. You get the impression that the canals, gondolas of quality mahogany together with gondoliers are written straight from Italy. You are transported to the sound of Italian opera without any accent. There are almost all world brands in the stores, there are more than 30 cafes for all tastes, 4000 slots and the same number of seats at the gaming tables. The interior decoration is unique and luxurious – interestingly decorated facades, old windows, cozy balconies, millions of lights, fountains, arches, columns, shiny tiles and amazing decorations just shock you. Even the richest Asian palaces cannot boast of such bright grandeur and original interiors.

Macau

Taipa Island

When you’re tired of seeing hundreds of eye-catching street signs and majestic royal buildings imitating China, head to Taipa Island. It is connected to mainland Macau by several bridges, so you can easily get there by bus. Visit the building museum, the panda zoo, the flea market and cute designer shops where you can buy souvenirs to take home. Almost the entire island is equipped with horizontal escalators, so you won’t get tired from long walks.

Taipa Island

Market

The Main Market (Red) is a must-see in Macau for all lovers of the exotic. The clothing and accessories aisles will not surprise you, but the seafood and fish department will. There you will see everything you ever knew about the aquatic world – turtles, worms, frogs, sea creatures of all different sizes, shades and shapes. Anything you choose will be prepared for you by local cuisine masters.

market

Park Guia.

One of the best viewing points in Macau is Guia Park. You can get there by taking a cable car. Along the way you can visit the fortress, buildings from the 17th century and stroll through the green area.

Guia Park

Museums

Those who are keen on races should visit the museum “Grand Prix” – a place dedicated to Formula 1. You will be amazed by more than 2 dozen cars, at different times, participating in the competitions. In addition to various paraphernalia, on the territory there is a racing simulator, where everyone can feel the drive and feel like steep racers. You don’t have to pay to get in, the museum is open from 10am to 6pm.

museum

To see the development of seafaring in China – visit the Maritime Museum, where you will see exhibits in the form of caravels, airplanes and other models of Chinese shipbuilding and dive into the history of the development of fisheries in Portugal and Europe. Admission is also free and the doors are open to tourists from 10am to 5:30pm.

What to see in one day

Macau, an impressive city. And one or two days are never enough to enjoy its beauties. Typically, non-gambling tourists leave it for the last few days of vacation and very wrongly. Asian “Las Vegas” is not like any other place in China and there is a lot to see. Some attractions have to be seen twice to appreciate how they change their appearance at night and in the sunlight.

The metropolis consists of two parts – Macau on the mainland and Taipa Island.

The first thing to do when arriving in the metropolis by ferry is to walk along the Fisherman’s Wharf promenade, which stretches from the ferry terminal to the Science and Technology Museum. It is a whole entertainment complex on the coast in the open air. Here you can do a little shopping, relax in the landscaped parks, have a cup of coffee and eat in the cafes overlooking the water.

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A few colorful photos of Macau can be taken when you move on to the Grand Lisboa Casino Hotel – a gorgeous shiny 8-story building of unusual shape is depicted on many avenues in the city – not to see it in person would be an unacceptable mistake. You’ll have the opportunity to walk around the many levels and enjoy the scenery from the window. Around the area are dozens of jewelry stores, where everyone can buy jewelry made of Chinese gold.

A promenade through the old neighborhoods is also a must. Start from Senate Square and walk to the ruins of St. Paul’s temple complex. The narrow streets give the impression that you are in a cozy European town. It is worth a visit both by day and by night.

Then it is worth looking at the large-scale city from the water or a bird’s eye view – for this it is worth taking a boat tour or climb to the top floor of the Macau Tower. For extreme people there is a fascinating attraction – a jump on a flexible rope from a height of 223 meters.

What to see in 2 days

If you have time to see all the above attractions, which, according to tourist reviews, is better to visit in the first day of arrival, for further acquaintance with Macau – go to Taipa Island. Stay one night in the chic Venice Hotel, a symbol of Chinese understanding of European and American luxury. The illumination and appearance of it are impressive: huge halls, decorated with arches, water channels equipped inside with real, full-fledged boats, royal facing of walls and floor, wide stairways, plants in amazing royal vases. The living area is located right inside the shopping center and casino – only here you can walk all day and not look at all the beauty of the place.

The second attraction, a must-see is the House of Dancing Water. According to the reviews of those who have been there, it holds a fantastic show. Tickets are better to buy in advance on the website or sale desks in the casino. Just before the show, you will only be offered the most expensive tickets at the entrance, although the cheapest viewing spots will be available.

It’s interesting to stroll through the old quarters where the souvenir shops are intricately painted with bright pictures.

Wildlife lovers should take a look at another attraction – the live pandas. For this you need to go to the very south of the island. It is best to do this at lunchtime, as at other times of the day, you risk catching the animals asleep.

Conclusion

Most tourists allocate 1-2 days to Macau city at the end of their vacation, preferring it to the hyped Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. Many people think that only those who like to spend their dollars in casinos are interested in this place. But it is not so. The modern city is equipped for the comfort of residents, stuffed with interesting innovations. What stands only a restaurant “Lua Azul,” making a turn of 360 degrees within an hour. Casino-hotel complexes also keep up, vying with each other, offering visitors a variety of shows, performances, entertainment, shopping of any format. Historic landmarks, old cozy streets to stroll through, and miniature souvenir shops are also available. Amazing by day, it is transformed at night by millions of lights and twinkling storefronts. Apart from the signs, nothing will tell you that you are in China. On the contrary, there will be a constant sense of European orderliness. A day is enough to see the main sites, but to fully immerse yourself in the holiday atmosphere and culture of Macau, you should spend at least 5-6 days.

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