When in Macau: Places for a no Gambler

Macau is Asia's sin city. Similar to Las Vegas in the US, the side-by-side casinos and hotels are its main attractions. So for guests who aren't gamblers at all, is Macau still a good destination?

The answer is yes. Despite the impression of a gambling city, Macau has a lot more to offer. So if you're the traveler who'd rather win more priceless memories than money, here are attractions in Macau that may take your eyes off the casinos:

Macau Fisherman’s Wharf



This Colosseum-inspired architecture is actually the first theme park in Macau. A notable site here is the recreation area called Roman Amphitheater where outdoor concerts and performances are usually held. 
There's also a relaxing waterfront with a few benches around where you can sit and look at the ferries passing by. The best time to go here is in the afternoon and then stay a little more at night to see the dramatic lights on.
It's open 24 hours. The entrance is for free.

Address: Outer Harbor, Macau Peninsula, Macau
To get here, ride either bus 1A, 3, 3A, 8, 10, 10B, 17, 28A, 28B, 28BX, 28C, or 32 that drops off at the entrance. 

Guia Fortress

The Guia Fortress, also known as Fortaleza da Guia (in Portuguese), is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Macau. It features a lighthouse and a small chapel called Capela de Nossa Senhora da Guia painted in white and yellow. They were built in the 17th century.

A museum was set up inside a small tunnel that provides historical facts about Macau focusing on the Portuguese era. It's air-conditioned and well lit so even though it's narrow, it doesn't give any claustrophobic feeling.  
It sits on top a hill and may require some leg work. But once you get on top, the view of the city is amazing.
The entrance is free. It's best to go here in morning to catch a beautiful sunrise.

Address: Wangdetang District, Macau Peninsula, Macau
There's no bus stop that directly goes to Guia Fortress (we actually took a taxi near Ruins of Saint Paul to climb here) but nearby bus stops include 2, 2A, 6A, 12, 17, 18, 18A, 19, 22, 23, 25, 25X, and 22.

A-Ma Temple


The A-Ma Temple is dedicated to A-Ma, the goddess of seafarers. It's also a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Macau for its significance in Macanese history. Historians say that the word "Macau" got its name from this temple. When the Portuguese arrived, they asked some fishermen for the name of the unknown land. The fishermen got mistaken and thought that they were being asked for the temple's name and so they replied “A-Ma Gau” (which literally means A-Ma Bay) where "Macau" was derived from. 

This temple obviously stands as a place of worship and praying. It's divided into pavilions that represent different Chinese beliefs such as Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism.

The temple is open from 7am-6pm. The entrance is free.

Address: Barra Square Calcada da Barra, Macau
You may either take bus number 1, 2, 5, 6B, or 7 to drop you off the temple.

Mount Fortress and Macau Museum

If you want to see a historic site in Macau, you may find this area very interesting. After visiting the very popular Ruins of Saint Paul's, go east and head to Mount Fortress, also known as Fortaleza do Monte or Monte Forte
It used to be a military base to protect Macau from invaders including the Dutch during the 1600s. The huge cannons are still on site and the brick walls, which served as watchtowers before, are well-kept in this area.

Getting to Mount Fortress may take a few climb of stairs since it sits on top of a hill. It’s best to go here in the afternoon. Entrance is free.
Right beside Mount Fortress is Macau Museum or also known as Museu de Macau. It houses a variety of artifacts, historical figures, and rich information about Macanese history.

Entrance ticket costs 15 MOP for adults (tip: It’s free to public every 15th of the month). It's open from 10am to 6pm everyday except Mondays. 

Address: Rua do Monte, Macau Peninsula, Macau
For more information about the rates and other museum information, you may check the official website.

San Malo

On your way to Senado Square or to Ruins of Saint Paul's, there's no way you won’t pass by this area. San Malo is perhaps one of the busiest places in Macau. It's a one-stop place for shopping, food trip, and sight-seeing. Actually, the narrow alleys of San Malo tend to get narrower with all the people stopping from one shop to the other! Braise yourself.

Don’t miss the free food samples: from beef jerky to Portuguese style biscuits. Some sellers even know the basic phrases in foreign languages to attract foreign customers.

For K-drama / Boys Over Flowers fans, remember when Geum Jan-Di flew to Macau to follow Gu Jun Pyo? One of the scenes was actually shut in San Malo. As you can see, this small pork bun store still displays a few snaps and video clips from the hit Korean series.

Address: Central District of Macau Peninsula, Macau

Since San Malo is considered as the downtown or city center, many bus routes go to this area. Some of the hotels even offer a free shuttle going back and forth here.

Aside from attractions mentioned above, you may also visit the beautiful Coloane peninsula in Macau.






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