Stunning Macau: A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Macau houses 25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, collectively known as the Historic Centre of Macau.

A day tour in Macau may not be enough to visit all these sites aside from its many other attractions. With our limited time, we were able to spot three heritage sites including Sam Kai Vui Kun Temple, St. Dominic’s Church and Ruins of St. Paul. We also spent time roaming around Senado Square, City of Dreams and Venetian Macau plus some delectable minutes at Macau’s Happiness Street (Rua de Felicidade) or the Food Street where we found Koi Kei bakery.

Note that Hong Kong dollars are widely accepted in Macau but Macanese Pataca (MOP) cannot be used in Hongkong, even at the Ferry. If you’re going to buy some goods, you can request to have Hongkong dollars as your change.

Ferry Ride to Macau

From Tsim Tsa Tsui, we took a ferry ride to Macau for one hour. At the terminal, you should present your passport and you have to fill out and submit a departure card. Arrival card will also be given at the ferry. At Macau immigration counter, you will again present your passport and submit your accomplished arrival card. With so many people at the immigration, lining up took us an hour.

Senado Square

After having our lunch, we first went to Senado Square and walked on its Portuguese-inspired pavement.  Though the square itself may not be so much of an attraction, there are actually a number of UNESCO World Heritage sites that can be found just around it. Among these, we were able to pass by Sam Kai Vui Kun Temple, St. Dominic’s Church and Ruins of St. Paul.

Sam Kai Vui Kun Temple

From Senado Square, we walked to Sam Kai Vui Kun Temple.

Dedicated to Kwan Yu, the god of war and justice, they say Sam Kai Vui Kun Temple is used by local Chinese merchants both as a meeting and worship place.

St. Dominic’s Church

We next passed by St. Dominic’s Church located at St. Dominic’s Square.

Built by Spanish Dominican friars, St. Dominic’s Church speaks of Baroque-style architecture. You can find paintings and sculptures at the third floor of the church.

Walking to the north, we reached the Ruins of St. Paul.

Ruins of St. Paul

One of the most famous landmarks in Macau, St. Paul’s Church was burnt down three times, leaving only its front façade standing still.

Also at the northern part of Senado Sqaure is what they call Rua de Felicidade or Happiness Street or the food street. There are a lot of shops where you can get a free taste of their food products.

Here we found Pastelaria Koi Kei, one of Macau’s largest and oldest bakeries. They have free samples for almost all their goods that visitors can try. We actually took home some of their cookies.

City of Dreams

After visiting some of Macau’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, we went to City of Dreams, one of the luxurious entertainment destinations Macau is really proud of. This is where the very famous House of Dancing Water is being performed. If given the chance to go back again in Macau, I will no doubt watch the show.

Venetian Macau

After City of Dreams, we headed to Venetian Macau, one of the lavish hotels you can spoil yourself with. It is also a world-class casino resort and a shopping destination.

The setting of the bridges and canals plus the Renaissance-inspired paintings all add to the Venetian atmosphere that makes tourists fall in love with the place over and over again.

We enjoyed watching some visitors having fun with their gondola ride. To wrap our day, we had some snacks at the food court, which is one of the most beautiful spots I had seen with its wonderfully painted ceiling with Venetian sky.

December 30, 2013