–In collaboration with fellow writer Lauren Quincy
In recent years, most of what you hear about Macau comes from the success of Macau casinos. They are now among the most profitable in the world. While many do go to Macau strictly to gamble, there is still a world of history and culture that is largely overlooked by the modern tourist population. Below are a few of the best things to do while traveling in Macau.
With streets paved in cobblestones and lined with excellent examples of European architecture, Senate Square is a commerce hub for Macau. Here you can check out numerous small shops and restaurants and sample some of the local fare.
Built in 1488 the A-Ma Temple can be found at the southeast tip of the Macau Peninsula. Know for being among the oldest Taoist temples in the area, the A-Ma Temple was constructed and dedicated to the goddess Matsu, the goddess of seafarers and fishermen.
If you are looking for classic examples of Taipa history, then you need to check out Taipa Village. Here you can find ancient temples, colonial villas, traditional Chinese restaurants and shops, as well as old churches. For those that enjoy leisurely strolls, try the Avenida da Praia which has a lovely esplanade lined with trees.
San Paulo Cathedral
Known for being the iconic symbol for Macau, the San Paulo Cathedral is a great example of classic architecture. While only the facade remains intact for the structure, many come here to marvel at the wonder of the architecture that went into this structure.
Built somewhere between 1622 and 1638, the Guia Fortress is another wonderful example of classic architecture. The multi-purpose facility has a lighthouse, chapel, and military fort. The lighthouse was the last part built to the facility, build around 1864.
Museum of Macau
Located inside what is left of an ancient fortress, the Museum of Macau tell the history of China and Portugal and brings that history to life with stunning exhibits. One of the more rare and unusual exhibits you will find here is one dedicated to prize fighting crickets. Some of these crickets were so revered that they were provided with coffins and headstones after they died.