Macau is not always the first destination that comes to mind when traveling to Asia, yet the former Portuguese colony will undeniably surprise and mesmerize you. The presence of the Portuguese in the Chinese created a unique fusion of culture between the East and the West. So, you will discover in Macau a mix of Portuguese and Chinese cultures as well as traditional and futuristic architectures.
Let me take you to Macau, the hidden gem of Southern China.
The A-Ma temple
A-Ma temple is the oldest Chinese temple of the city. Build in 1488 prior to the Portuguese colonisation, the Taoist building is surrounded by trees, mountains and sea, which are important elements of the current of thoughts. The temple is the fortress of A-Ma, the goddess of sea-fare. Stories say that the city owes its name to the goddess: when the Portuguese first landed by the temple, their mispronunciation of A-Ma actually created the word “Macau”.
The Guia Fortress
For those who plan on visiting all the UNESCO World Heritage sites, Macau is the home of one of the most intriguing registered monuments. The Guia Fortress was built in the 17th Century to protect the city from foreign invaders. This gold and white lighthouse offers an impeccable view of Macau’s modern district, and the building is also a symbol of the Portuguese presence in the city.
Jardim de Lou Lim loc
Although Macau is filled with beautiful examples of European-inspired architecture, it has actually been a Chinese Special Administrative Region since 1999. If you are curious to discover a Chinese garden, Jardim de Lou Lim loc won’t disappoint you. Built in 1906, the garden used to be the home of a local merchant named Lou Kan, and was then donated to the Macau government. Echoing the mixed identity of the city, you will find Victorian and Chinese structures surrounded by a carpet of lotus flowers. The garden is a unique sanctuary providing peace and quietness to visitors.
The City of Dreams
The City of Dreams is one of the most impressive building complexes you will visit in Macau. Of course, I recommend going at night to watch the show of lights. The complex is currently composed of four towers: the Hard Rock Hotel, the Crown Towers Hotel, and the two towers of the Grand Hyatt Macau, which are the 2.0 version of a Vegas-style luxury casino hotel. The City of Dreams is probably one of the most extraordinary high tower complexes to be found in Macau, and is known worldwide for its international tournaments and spectacular House of Dancing Water performances.
The Grand Lisboa Hotel