One of Asia's most cosmopolitan destinations, Macau is best known for its unique mix of Chinese and Portuguese heritage and as a fun-filled getaway for entertainment, fine dining and a flutter at one of its many glittering casinos.
With Hollywood A-listers Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese dropping in on the island this week, we thought it the perfect time to introduce five must-see spots in the former colonial outpost.
1.The Ruins of St Paul's
Among Macau's most famous landmarks, the UNESCO World Heritage listed Ruins of St. Paul's is a great place to start your exploring and soak up some of the island's fascinating history.
Originally built in the 16th century, all that's left today of the ancient cathedral is its iconic stone facade and grand staircase. Grab a Portuguese egg tart, or one of Macau's other yummy delicacies, and take a stroll through the once-magnificent structure that was destroyed by fire in 1835. Get there early to beat the crowds.
The picturesque pastel-coloured square in downtown Macau is a hub of activity day-and-night, filled with locals and tourists in what has been the old city centre since the 1500's.
A stop at the triangular-shaped pedestrian plaza is an ideal first-stop on a walking tour of local highlights like St. Lawrence's Church and the Macau Maritime Museum, reflecting the city's colonial and Chinese history. If that's not your thing, you can always check out a few of the designer boutiques nearby.
3. A-Ma Temple
Take some time out from Macau's hustle-and-bustle to reflect at A-Ma Temple, located on the southwest tip of the peninsula. A haven of serenity, it's one of the oldest and most famous Taoist temples in Macau.
The ornate red and gold structure, nestled in a lush tropical grove, is dedicated to a deity who protects sailors and seafarers. And although the original story is thought to have come from China, the Macanese have made it their own.
Want to get the blood pumping? Make your way to the top of the Macau Tower Convention & Entertainment Centre, locally known as Macau tower.
You'll not only get a cracking view from the top of the 233 metre-high observation deck, but there's also a range of restaurants, theaters, and shopping outlets. For those more adventurous, here's also the chance to do a skywalk or bungy jump.
5.Fortaleza do Monte
Just a short walk from the Ruins of St Paul's, atop one of the city's highest peaks, is the Fortaleza do Monte. Part of Macau's historic heart, the fort used to protect local priests from marauding pirates. These days, while the cannons still point towards the sea, tourists come for the panoramic view across the city.
Since 1998, the fort has also been home to the Macau museum, worth a visit to delve into some of the island's tumultuous past.
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