Despite being a mere stone’s throw away, Macau can seem like the land of the great unknown to many Hong Kongers. Asia’s own mini Vegas is a great getaway for last-minute weekend trips and with its decadent dining, beautiful Portuguese architecture and ever-growing skyline, this little island has a lot to offer!
While tourist attractions such as St. Paul’s Ruins are great places to visit, Macau’s central San Malo area can get a little overwhelmed with tourists on the weekend. So here’s our top six different things to do in Macau – from a Macau girl herself!
Get an adrenaline rush at the Macau Tower
For thrill seekers out there, this is the ultimate to-do of Macau; at 233m, the Macau Tower is currently the world’s highest bungee jump! Thrill junkies AJ Hackett have a number of heart-racing activities to keep your adrenaline pumping for a lifetime, so why not try the world’s only urban tower climb… or if that isn’t quite enough for you, try bungee jumping at night on Fridays and Saturdays to get the best view of Macau. If you don’t have the bottle to make the leap, there’s always the Skywalk X around the edge of the tower instead… oh wait, did we mention that there’s no handrail?! Book your chosen activity here – if you dare!
A Macanese feast at Albergue 1601
A Macau hidden gem, this Portuguese-Macanese restaurant is tucked away in the historical neighbourhood of St Lazarus’ Quarter (look out for the Chinese rabbit lanterns lit up outside!). You’ll enter via a divine courtyard that also houses an art gallery and a unique Portuguese shop, Mercearia Portuguesa, which sells original treats and gifts imported from Portugal; try their vast selection of soaps, we love them!
Albergue 1601 itself is decorated grandly and has private dining rooms perfect for intimate romantic dinners or long catch-ups with friends. Their fantastic selection of Portuguese and Macanese food and wine is just an extra addition to this gem, and they specialise in classic dishes and local favourites. Call +853 2836 1601 or +852 8103 1601 to book a table and get ready to feast!
Make a splash at The House of Dancing Water
You may have seen the various adverts plastered all over the Central ferry terminal before you boarded the boat to Macau, but this show really is worth a visit to Macau in itself! Located in the City Of Dreams casino complex, The House Of Dancing Water is directed by Franco Dragone (one of Cirque du Soleil’s original creators) and is a true spectacle. The purpose-built theatre houses a 10m deep pool, with a floor that just disappears before your eyes. With world-class acrobatics, incredible dives, astounding motorbikes and yes… lots of water, this show really will take your breath away! Be sure to book tickets in advance as it frequently sells out, and this is one Macau must-visit you don’t want to miss.
Sun, sea and sangria at La Gondola
Nothing beats the summery feeling of relaxing by the pool with the blazing hot sun shining down on you – so head to La Gondola Italian restaurant located on Cheoc Van Beach on Coloane Island (a stone’s throw from the infamous Cotai Strip) to get that summer feeling all year round! The restaurant has a great selection of Italian treats to munch on, but what makes this place an absolute gem is its superb panoramic views of the sea… and it is also set opposite one of finest Macau’s public pools to boot.
This isn’t just any public pool – the Cheoc Van Swimming Pool is one of Macau’s best-kept secrets. With an entrance fee of only 20MOP, what more could you ask for?! Bring your swimming gear and get ready for the perfect day with some sun, sea and sangria – cheers!
Decadent delights at China Rouge
Macau’s landscape is forever changing with its minefield of casinos opening left right and centre – but casinos are about much more than just gambling! With its grand opening last year, the Galaxy Macau has one of the most luxurious members-only performance lounges you could ever hope to visit in the form of China Rouge. This sensual venue revels in the glory of the Parisian-Shanghainese nights of years past with its lush décor and opulent vibe.
To truly feel like you have travelled back in time to true decadence, reserve a table in China Rouge’s swanky forbidden chamber, where business and pleasure meet. With their top selection of champagne, wines and cocktails, this truly is the best place to feel glamorous in Macau. Reserve a table by emailing [email protected], although don’t forget that a minimum spend is required.
Catch the waves on a junk
To escape a busy weekend, why not get your junk on Macau style? Leaving from a central Macau location, you can set sail around the island with up to 30 friends, soak in the ever-expanding skyline AND top up your tan! With a fully catered boat, complete with food, booze and a music system, what could be a better way to spend a day?
If you’ve done your fair share of Hong Kong junk trips this season, why not mix things up by sailing through the heart of Macau’s two islands, Macau and Tapia; otherwise, just remember to pack your sunscreen and get your junk on! Our favourite junk run by Sportiva Macau costs around $650 per head, including insurance; email [email protected] or [email protected]
Don’t forget to check out our top five Macau street eats here!
Sally is originally from Wales, lived in London for most of her life and jumped at the chance to work in Macau three years ago! She’s now totally fallen in love with this small ex-Portuguese colony… from the glamour and glitz of the casinos, to incredible food and bars on the back streets, what’s not to love? And Hong Kong just an hour away? Yes, please!