Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Macau 2012 | 10 Must See and Do Things in Macau

I told you about the 10 Must Eat Food in Macau last week, and here's my list of 10 things you must do in Macau! Again, it's in no particular order, and certainly do-able even during short 3-4 days trips :)

1. House of Dancing Water {澳門水舞間表演}

This was most certainly the best theatrical performance I've seen so far, and even more brilliant than Voyage de La Vie. City of Dreams Macau's world-class flagship entertainment centerpiece, the House of Dancing Water is a breath-taking water-based show in a specially-built theater that has approximately 239 automated fountains and has a pool that about 17 million liters of water!! It draws creative inspiration from Chinese culture and I love the magical journey filled with incredible artistry, outstanding physical performance and beautiful special effects. Do book your tickets online before you arrive in Macau as tickets are often sold-out!

2. Historic Centre of Macau {澳门历史城区}

I touched on it briefly on my introduction to Macau but there's really so much to see here that you should take 1-2 days to explore part of the collection of collection of over twenty sites and monuments that exemplify the unique co-existence of Chinese and Western cultures in Macau. To cover all locations might take a week? I recommend you to see Senado Square, Ruins of St Paul's, Ne Tcha Temple and St Dominic's Church.

3. MGM Grand Plaza {Grande Praça}

A distinguishing feature of MGM Macau hotel resort is the gorgeous Grand Plaza located on the ground level with a glass ceiling and European-inspired architecture and art forms. Throughout the year, this place is transformed into themed wonderlands for various festivals & seasons. While I was there, it housed the whimsical The Magic of Butterfly Reinvention with an array of visual surprises that included the Butterfly Pavillion {home to about 1,000 butterflies from Malaysia, South America, Africa & China}, Giant Pinwheel Trees and Willow-Vine Sculptures.

4. Ice World {冰Fun世界}

Asia's biggest biggest indoor ice exhibition was open at The Venetian Macau from around May - Sep the last 2 years. Hopefully it will be available annually for visitors! This year’s exhibits included a wide range of fun themed areas and sculptures featuring some of Macao’s signature icons {e.g. Macau Grand Prix, A-Ma Temple, Pandas} and other famous international landmarks. Lil Pumpkin would have loved the ice labyrinth and Double Dragon Slide! All ice sculptures are carved entirely by the famous Harbin artisans.

5. Wine Museum of Macau {葡萄酒博物館}

 If you are a wine connoisseur and want to learn more about wine in Macau, this is the place to be. It is a rather small museum but is big enough to for visitors to learn more about the history of wine in Macau, different utensils used in viniculture and significance of wine in Portuguese tradition. There is even an area for you to taste a wide range of authentic Macanese wine and buy back some as souvenirs. Got a bottle of red back for my FIL!  

6. Macau Grand Prix Museum {澳門大賽車博物館}

Every November, the best Formula 3 drivers in the world compete at the Macau Grand Prix championships. If you aren't around that time but still want to be part of the action, visit this museum that is just a stone's throw away from the Wine Museum of Macau. It is open all year round {except Tuesdays} has a valuable collection of photographs, literature, trophies, and actual race bikes & cars that competed in and won the Guia Circuit, one of the most challenging in the world. Micheal Schumacher's F3 car is also in the museum! For speed junkies, try out the racing car simulators to experience racing on the tracks :)

7. Taipa Houses-Museum {龍環葡韻住宅式博物館}

Gosh, I really adore the traditional Portuguese-inspired architecture here! The row of mint green-and-white houses in this area is filled with memories from a bygone era when Macau was still a Portuguese colony. It's no wonder that so many film makers and wedding photographers like to use these beautiful houses as a backdrop. The various houses contain traditional Macanese furniture, collection of maps and memorabilia from Taipa & Colane, as well as costumes and musical instruments from Portugal.

8. St Francis Xavier Chapel {Igreja de S. Francisco Xavier}

 Located at the centre of Coloane Village, this chapel originally enshrined a relic bone of the saint. It has a facade painted cream and white, and looks out on a European-style square paved with stone mosaic. We didn't have time, but I'd love to sit at one of the open-air restaurants on either side of the square and just enjoy the simple ambiance & Portuguese cuisine.

9. Macau Tower {澳門旅遊塔}

The 338m tall tower offers panoramic views all over Macau from its observation deck and revolving restaurant, which serves a sumptous international buffet. If I didn't have a back operation years ago, I would definitely try out bungee jumping from here! It is the world's highest jump! Other activities offered also include Skyjump {a slower, decelerator style jump also from 233m}, Skywalk X {walking on the outer rim of the tower, still at the 233 meter level and with NO handrails} and the world's only Mast Climb to climb to the very top of the tower.

10. Sofitel Macau MJ {Michael Jackson} Gallery

MJ fans all around the would be elated to see about 40+ of the King of Pop's treasures exhibited all in one level at Ponte 16. It also includes his white rhinestone glove worn during his moonwalk debut. Admission is free and there's a small area selling MJ memorabilia as well.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but is something you can refer to if going to Macau for the first time. I do want to bring my family back and visit these places and others we didn't go to like Guia Fortress & Lighthouse and A-ma Temple.

Read more on my Macau travels here.

* Disclosure: The Surprising Moments in Macau trip was sponsored by Macau Government Tourist Office, thanks to omy.sg. No monetary compensation was received, and all opinions are my own. All photos taken with Panasonic GF5.




Aroha @ Colours of Sunset said...

Wow, those all look like amazing things! I've never really thought about going to Macau for a holiday (there are so many other places on the list I don't know how I'll ever do them all) but this post really makes me want to go! Thank you for sharing, looks like a great time!

Mandie said...

What an amazing place! Not somewhere that has been on my holiday radar, but you may have just changed that!!

Grace said...

I had always been intrigued by the Portuguese influence in Macau. Now I know I need to go there for the MJ gallery!!!

Ai Sakura said...

Aroha: I never thought about it much until this trip too. glad that you are inspired to go :)

Mandie: yay! good to know!

Grace: haha, and great thing is the MJ Gallery is free admission! There's an MJ cafe just a level below it too *wink*

Geraldine said...

Looks like a nice trip :) The Ice World should be a fun place to bring kids to.

Rhianna said...

Looks like a fabulous place to visit, will be adding it to the dream list of holidays I think.
Fairy wishes and butterfly kisses #teamIBOT

Bachelormum said...

I'm not quite there yet but it's on my list. Thank you for the wonderful insight x

EssentiallyJess said...

Question: can you drink wine at the wine museum? And if so, then why do you need the other nine places? ;)

Lisa said...

What an amazing place!

~Summer~ said...

Sounds like a great list, Ai! =) You accomplished so much in a few days! =)

Adrine said...

oh, nice!! I'm gonna put Macau on the list of places I wanna visit :-)