27 December, 2017

Sassy’s Guide to Taipa Village, Macau

27 December, 2017

Take a stroll through the enchanting alleys of Taipa Village.

Taipa Village is a great day trip destination if you are looking for something for everyone! It’s located close to the Cotai strip (casino central), yet it’s a charming rustic neighbourhood that retains a real historical feel to it. It reminds me of my childhood as it’s one of the few areas that hasn’t changed too much in the last few decades. The enchanting alleys of Taipa Village are filled with old walk-up residential homes, traditional Chinese shops, beautifully coloured pastel villas, stunning churches, ancient temples, huge amounts of restaurants and a very vibrant snack street.

Read more: Sassy’s Guide to NAPE, Macau

Sassy's Guide to Taipa Village, Macau

How to get there:

Rua do Cunha in Taipa Village, bus routes from downtown Macau (around Lisboa, Grand Lisboa, Wynn, San Ma Lo): 11, 22, 26a, 33. If you are staying at Galaxy, Venetian or City Of Dreams, it’s a short and easy 15 minutes to the Village.

Where to eat:

Street food and snacks:
If this is your first time to Macau, you can’t miss this famous snack street, Rua do Cunha. Located in Taipa Village, it is (in my opinion) the best place to try all the best snacks Macau has to offer. Rua do Cunha, also known as Goon Ya Gai, is located off the main street, running right through the centre of the village. It’s a closed-in street for foot-traffic only. Taxis and buses pull up nearby and then it’s a just short walk away. This is the village’s busiest street, where you will find some of the most amazing local finds. No trip to Taipa village is complete without sampling many of the delicious local snacks on offer. Most are made on the premises and there is something for everyone.

Read more: The Macau Foodie Bucket List: Dishes You Have to Try

Curry Fish Balls
Located along Rua do Cunha, ‘Hou Mei Mei’ (literal translation ‘very delicious’) has lines and crowds at almost any time of the day. Blend in with the locals and line up for some delicious fishballs. It has a range of other options available, but we like the fish balls. Grab your fish balls, top it with any sauce you like (we like curry), and wash it down with fresh sugar cane juice or iced lemon tea. Served in an easy takeaway bowl, there is no seating available, but there are benches nearby or you can eat as you walk.

Pork Chop Bun
Everyone knows about this iconic Macau snack! The delicious but simple Pork Chop Bun or “Chu Pa Bao”, as we locals call it, is found on almost every corner of the city and a few places in Taipa Village, but Tai Lei Loi Kei, is allegedly the origin of this delicious street snack. It’s been around since I was a kid and it’s the first place I tried back in 1992. It’s now become a destination all of its own, with crowds of visitors lining up each day to try one. It’s well worth the short line, but don’t worry – the line moves quick and it’s delicious!

Tai Lei Loi Kei, 35 Rua Correia da Silva, Taipa Village +853 2882 7150

Portuguese Egg Tart
The famous Lord Stow’s Bakery finally has a storefront situated on the main drag Rua do Cunha, so wait in line and grab some hot egg tarts to nibble on while you walk around.  You can also buy boxes to take home with you as presents for those back in Hong Kong, that’s if you don’t eat them on the ferry ride home.  There is no seating available, but a short stroll will find you with plenty of benches to rest on.

Lord Stow’s Bakery www.lordstow.com

Old Taipa Tavern (OTT)
Looking for somewhere to grab a drink after a long day of sightseeing in Taipa Village? Stop by Old Taipa Tavern (OTT) and enjoy a happy hour drink, grab some pub food or watch some live sports. This is where most of the local Macau expats come to hang out and catch up with friends. It has a large indoor seating area and some outdoor seating – which is very rare to find in the old village.

Old Taipa Tavern, 21 Rua Dos Negociantes, Taipa Old Village, +853 2882 5221

Bubble Tea
The bubble tea invasion has well and truly arrived in Taipa Village. There is one on almost every corner, so almost needs no introduction, and it’s a great alternative if you aren’t a coffee fan, along with being perfect for when you’re on-the-go. If you have visitors with you, it’s almost a right of passage to try one on a trip to Macau. You can take your pick from the different options available in the village, but we love the Macao Imperial Tea branch.

G/F 49 Rua Correia da Silva, Old Taipa Village, +853 2857 6371, 

Coffee Shops
Taipa village is home to many coffee shops and hipster, coffee-themed hangouts. While Macau is not typically known for its ‘coffee culture’, Taipa village is now home to some great places, that are well worth a short detour while you explore the village. Most don’t have places to sit, so it’s more of a takeaway coffee option. Some of my favourites are The Blissful Carrot, which is home to many vegan and vegetarian lunch and beverage options and some great coffee – it’s also my vegetarian pick for the area. It has cashew, almond, and coconut milk varieties available, as well as fresh juices. Fong Da Coffee and Quarter Square are located opposite each other and are home to not only tasty coffee, but you can pick up great pieces as gifts for those back home. Kafelaku Café, located on Rua Da Cunha, serves one of the most expensive cups of coffee – it is brewed from the beans of coffee berries which have been eaten by the Asian palm civet, or other related civets, and then collected after digestion.

Sassy Tip: Do the rounds and stock up on snacks and food then make your way over to the Taipa Village Houses and sit out looking over the lake. It’s free and there are a few tables and chairs around to sit on.

Sassy's Guide to Taipa Village, Macau

Taipa Village is home to a great selection of authentic Portuguese restaurants that have been around for decades. If you feel like a sit-down lunch you can’t go wrong at Portugalia, O Santos, A Petisqueira or Antonio’s. All delivering delicious Portuguese flavours such as seafood rice, duck rice, octopus salad, grilled chicken and Caldo Verde (a traditional soup).

If you fancy a bit of Macanese food then head over to Café Litoral for its African chicken, Minchi and various fusion dishes, and it also serves up Portuguese food. There are plenty of Asian food options such as Hotpot, Ramen, Sushi, and Korean BBQ all spaced throughout the village area, but if Italian is what you feel like, La Cucina Italiana is a great family-friendly option for fussy eaters.

  • Antonio 7 R. dos Clerigos, Taipa, +853 2899 9998, www.antoniomacau.comwww.facebook.com/AntonioRestaurantMacau
  • O Santos, 20 Rua de Cunha, Taipa Village, +853 2882 7508
  • A Petisqueira, 15 Rua de S. Joao, Taipa , +853 2882 5354
  • Café Litoral, B4 Wai Chin Ko, 53/57 Rua do Regedor, +853 2882 5255
  • La Cucina Italiana, 6-12 Rua do Pai Kok, Chun Fok Village, Taipa +853 2882 7818

Where to go:

Sassy's Guide to Taipa Village, Macau

Taipa Village is home to many great shops that stock a range of cool gifts to take back home. From key chains and refrigerator magnets to buying snacks at local bakeries, there is something for everyone. Taipa Village is also home to optical shops, pharmacies, beauty products, clothing shops, stationery shops, art galleries and much more. It’s not a huge area to get yourself around, but there is so much charm to this little village.

Taking Photos
Old Taipa village is an Instagrammers paradise.  There are colourful pastel buildings, historical streets and some beautiful traces of its Portuguese past spread out among the small corners and tiny streets. It is also home to some great street art and restaurants that have gotten creative with their exterior decorations. Look out for Café Litoral and the alleyways near the Taipa Village Art Space, you will spend hours around here snapping photos to fill up your feed.

Sassy's Guide to Taipa Village, Macau

The Taipa Village Art Space
This is a wonderful venue showcasing local and international artists. It acts as a cultural platform to promote Macau and its thriving art scene. There are beautiful pieces that you just might want to take home with you, too. It often has exhibitions on, along with interesting collaborations with local artists.

Taipa Village Art Space, 10 Rua dos Clerigos, Taipa, Macau, Tue – Sun 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm (Off on Mon) +853 2857 6118, www.taipavillagemacau.com/directory/taipa-village-art-space-2

Sassy's Guide to Taipa Village, Macau

Museum of Taipa and Coloane History
You can’t miss this bright blue/greenish building located right opposite one of the main bus stops. It’s a small Museum but worth a look, and is open daily (except for Mondays), from 10am to 6pm, with free admission for everyone.

Museum of Taipa and Coloane History Rua Correia da Silva, Taipa, +853 2882 5631, +853 2882 7103, www4.icm.gov.mo/cotaimuseum

Taipa Houses Museum
These are not only a wonderful part of Macanese history that were built in 1921, but also a great place to take some photos or sit down outside and enjoy the snacks you have bought. It faces out over the Cotai strip and is a different way to view the casinos in the distance.

Taipa-Houses Museum, Avenida da Praia, Carmo Zone, Taipa, Macau, +853 2882 7103 or +853 2882 7527

Our Lady of Carmel Church
This Church is unique because it stands on a hill overlooking Taipa Village right above the Taipa Houses Museum. Together with the lovely garden that surrounds it, it’s a great place to snap a few Instagram pics, or wander around. Admission is Free.

Our Lady of Carmel Church, Avenida De Carlos Da Maia, Largo Do Carmo, Taipa, +853 2882 7566

Tin Hau Temple & Pek Tai Temple
Built in 1785 during the Qian Long Reign, The Temple of Tin Hau is the oldest temple of Taipa, and built in 1844, Pek Tai Temple is one of the large-scale temples in Taipa. It’s dedicated to Pek Tai, Va Kuong, Goddess Kam Fa and Wealth God. Admission is free to both.

Tin Hau Temple, Rua Gov Tamagmin Barborsa, Macau
Pek Tai Temple, Largo Camoes, Taipa Village, Macau

Read more: Sassy’s Guide to Calçada do Amparo, Macau

Featured image credited to Taipavillagemacau.com via Instagram, image #1 courtesy of Sally Victoria Benson, image #2 courtesy of Sally Victoria Benson, image #3 courtesy of Sally Victoria Benson, image #4 courtesy of Sally Victoria Benson, image #5 courtesy of Sally Victoria Benson

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