Viva Macau: Macau Tower

Get the best 360 degree view of Macau and gather enough nerve to walk on those glass floors.

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Getting Here:

Taxi
Taxis are readily available at the airport, the ferry terminal and hotels, or simply flag one down on a nearby road. Taxis are metered and charge MOP 15 flag fall. There may be a surcharge when travelling between islands.

Bus
Buses are frequent and the routes 9A, 18, 23, 26, 32, MT4 will take you to the Macau Tower.

Note: This Macau trip was held last March 2013.

Viva Macau: Macau Fortress

Inhale the stunning view of Macau’s concrete jungle after a heart-stopping climb on the way to the top.

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Just a few steps away from St. Paul Ruins is the historic Macau Fortress (sometimes called Monte Forte and Fortaleza do Monte in Portuguese). It has been a silent witness of Macau’s rich colonial past over a hundred years ago and has claimed a spot as one of the the must-see tourist attractions in the country.

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Visitors flock to Mount Fortress to see what’s on top and since it’s just a stone throw away from the famed Ruins.

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The entire landscape of the park which is covered with lush of trees and patch of green grass was absolutely lovely and totally refreshing to one’s eyes. A morning run along the path or a leisurely walk with your adorable dog would be a perfect activity in this venue.

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Wooden benches are also available to provide comfort for every visitor’s tired feet. A good place to relax while enjoying the beautiful scenery below.

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Cannons bigger than us and tainted walls  heaves an old and historical ambiance that is what the fortress trying to depict.

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Perched on top of the hill is the Macau Museum (Museu de Macau in Portuguese).  From what I heard, it holds a variety of galleries that features Macau’s traditions, culture and history. Should we have more time, we could have explored what’s inside of this building.

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Along with the crisp air that filled my lungs, the view from the top is a glimpse of Macau’s everyday living. Bunch of glorious casinos, gray-colored apartments and an average neighborhood. There’s nothing much to do in the area but I still consider Macau Fortress worth a visit.

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Getting here:
From St. Paul Ruins, follow the green post signs leading to the Fortress.

Entrance Fee:
None

Note: This Macau Trip was held last March 2013.

Viva Macau: Ruins of St. Paul

Feel the remnants of the past as you stand face to face with one of Macau’s significant landmarks.
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Macau is a small country. Most of the tourist attractions are adjacent to one another so walking is the best way to hop on one place to another. Though of course, buses are just around the corner, thus, commuting is a breeze.

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Narrow alleys were filled with dainty shops and cute cafes. Most of them were still closed when we passed by.

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An inviting bakery that resides on the corner of the street caught our attention. The store’s name, Cafe Free, is already intriguing so we took a peek on what’s inside.

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Our curiosity didn’t fail us. The cafe is made up of every delightful pastry there is in the world. Some of them is too cute to eat, it is beyond doubt that this piece of heaven was made by skilled bakers. Did I mention that they are also giving away free coffee, thus, the name of the store. Such a clever game plan.

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In our continuous search for the famed Ruins, we were able to pass by a massive church, baptized as Macau Cathedral.

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It is a high-ceiling building with stained glass windows that yields a refreshing appeal as the walls are painted in white and light teal.  There’s no ongoing mass so we just say our prayers, took a few photos and off we went to our main mission.

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Outside the Cathedral was a modest park with few benches and a parched fountain in the middle. Few locals can be seen in the area, some are buying time, while for others, it’s a good place to relax in a cold March morning.

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After following the helpful signs, finally, we saw it. Parked at the top of the stone staircase, lay a beautiful church that has stood beyond the test of time. I am certain that if this piece of stone could talk, it would tell all the things that happened on that fateful day when it was destroyed by fire. But, ironically, all was left was a magnificent chunk of crafted boulder that was officially listed as part of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Grandiose Chinese New Year ornaments are still present in the area and offers a good venue for photo-ops.

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Though the facade was really spectacular, I can’t help to be inquisitive on what’s on the other side of the Ruins. So, to finally quench my interest, I went straight on the middle passage and see for the first time what really lies beyond this massive church.

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Nothing. Just several metal blue bars that serves as a backbone of the monument. After making a few steps, we found a series of pictures that clearly depicts the history of The Ruins of St. Paul’s.

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Situated below the stairs is the Macau Tourism and Cultural Activities Center, that grants a range of cultural and destination information services to visitors.

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Before going home, grab some pastries in Pastelaria Koi Kei. Their egg tarts and meat jerky just simply can’t be missed.

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When we visited Macau last year, there are few people strolling around the Ruins so it’s more conducive climbing those stairs and getting some souvenir photo with this important monument. This country has a rich historic past that is patent with its preserved architecture. Just make sure that when you click that shutter button of your camera you also capture the story behind it.

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Getting here:

From Senado Square, there are signs (in green posts) leading to the Ruins. These signs are in Chinese, Portuguese and English and are especially designed for every type of tourists.

Note: This trip was held last March 2013.

 

 

Viva Macau: Senado Square

Fondle the Mediterranean atmosphere as you walk through the paved town square that has stood for centuries.
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Labeled as the heart of Macau, Senado Square (Largo de Senado in Portuguese), has been one of the most prominent landmarks in this former Portuguese colony. The famed square was also part of the Historic Centre of Macau, which is included in UNESCO World Heritage List.  Today, it is still considered as a favored venue for various celebrations and events.
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When we visited Macau last year, it was Chinese New Year. The air was crisp and cold and Chinese New Year-inspired ornaments were noticeable in the area. Chinese lanterns were like reachable stars glowing in the middle of the night and the black and white cobblestones, cinched in a wavy pattern, added polish in this colonial setting.
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When my eyes roamed around the area, it isn’t too hard to notice that all signs were translated mainly in two languages: Chinese and Portuguese. The aura is like visiting two countries in one location. Such an amazing alloy of two cultures.
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It was evident from the historic buildings that the whole stretch was loaded with rich ancestry. The various architecture brims with elegance as the walls were painted white and yellow, and were completed with regal colonnades.
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Leal Senado

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Since there were very few people strolling around the vast space that evening, my sister was able to snatch an arresting panoramic view of the entire breadth.
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The next morning, since Senado Square is the jump-off point in going around the diverse attractions in Macau, we passed by the area again and get to see clearly the renowned Leal Senado, General Post Office, St. Dominic’s church, and Macau Business Tourism Centre in broad daylight.

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Everything was in bright red and glittering gold. The spirit of Chinese New Year has indeed enveloped the whole place. For a moment, we felt like we landed in a city of lucky charms and horoscopes.
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Chain of shops and restaurants were dispersed. From clothing brands, to jewelry outlets, to local food stores and even giant fast food chain, Mc Donald’s, can be seen. Though most of them were still closed by the time we arrived.
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Senado Square is one of those must-see tourist spots in Macau. And while you’re too busy rambling around this significant place, make sure to find time to grab your cameras and get that Instagram-worthy shot.

Getting Here:
Address: Senado Square, Macau
Bus routes nearby:3, 4, 6A, 8A, 18A, 19, 26A, 33, N1A

(Directions courtesy of Macau Tourism’s website)

Note: This trip was held last March 2013.