I recently visited Macau (or Macao) for the second time. If you are visiting Hong Kong you have to tie in a visit to Macau, even if it is just a day trip. It’s only a one hour ferry ride from Hong Kong or a one hour drive on the new Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai, China bridge.
Did you know that Macau was once ruled by the Portuguese? It is now an autonomous territory of China (like Hong Kong). While the main languages are Portuguese and Chinese, the use of Portuguese is fading as the newer generations predominantly speak Chinese. As an English speaking tourist you can still get by with speaking English only.
I wanted to make the most of the day so I hired a car. It was not cheap at all and several times before, during and after I questioned whether it was worth it but decided that it was much better than becoming frustrated from having to figure out how to get to the different sites myself and not getting to visit everywhere I wanted to. The latter is something that happened during my first trip. This was my second trip to Macau.
The first one was a write-off. I only had lunch and the trip was really a token to activate my work visa (i.e. I arrived in Hong Kong, collected my visa from the office and left Hong Kong only to return a few hours later so that my work visa could be activated upon “arrival” to Hong Kong).
The Ruins of St Paul
This landmark is probably the most sought after tourist site in Macau. There were quadruple more tourist here than all of the other sites I visited and I was not ready for it.
Given that I was visiting on a weekday I thought there would be less tourists and the sites I visited prior to going to the Ruins made me believe I had made the right decision but, I was wrong. It was overwhelmingly busy that day. That fact, coupled with the curiosity a few tourists had about my melanin made my visit to the ruins short. I couldn’t even truly appreciate the famous landmark and only hung around for about 10 minutes before making my way to the next site, Senado Square, which was within walking distance.
Just a short walk from the Ruins of St Paul you can find this iconic spot. There’s nothing much to do but shop. It’s the perfect place to grab a snack or a small token from one of the few souvenir shops found amidst the popular retail stores.
I don’t enter temples or other religious sites and this was no exception. I did go past the gate but not into the temple itself. There was a good number of tourists leaving and arriving at the entrance. If you are interested in visiting temples then add this one to your list.
Our Lady Penha Church
Like most of the sites there’s not much to see here but, it is probably the best spot for the most breathtaking view across Macau. It is one of the most remote sites I visited in Macau. If I was not driven there I wouldn’t know any other means of getting there.
From here you can see the Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Center. How beautiful is this view? I was so enthralled by it that I didn’t make it inside the chapel.
Another location that is perfect for taking photos, nothing more. It seems to be a historic site of some sort but there’s not much information at the site itself to enlighten visitors to its history. However, it is on the must see list because it is intriguing to see. It reminds me of the days of the Roman empire.
Watch my YouTube video on how to spend 24 hours in Macau. Have you visited Macao before?