Welcome to Keith Yuen’s @travelinspiration360 exciting travel journal, where I’ll be sharing my recent adventure in Macao, accompanied by none other than my little brother Ken Lim, aka @shengxiangg. This was a special trip for us, as it marked Ken’s first time joining me in exploring the vibrant city of Macao. As we stepped foot in this captivating destination, we were eager to witness the changes that had taken place after the pandemic and to delve into the plethora of new places that Macao had to offer, places we had not yet experienced during our previous visit in 2019. It’s incredible how this tiny little territory manages to pack so much excitement, culture, and entertainment into its boundaries. Join us on this journey as we unveil the wonders of Macao, a destination that never ceases to amaze us, and discover new things to do in Macau, China. Explore the diverse Macau hotels, immerse yourself in the vibrant tourist attractions, and indulge in the unique experiences this city has to offer.
Macao, often known for its gambling scene, is a destination that surprises visitors with its diverse offerings beyond the glitz and glamour of casinos. Speaking from my personal experience of visiting Macao four times, I can confidently say that I have yet to set foot in a casino. What makes this place truly fascinating is its rich history, shaped by a captivating fusion of Portuguese and Chinese influences. The culinary scene is a delightful journey through the flavors of Cantonese and Macanese cuisines, showcasing a unique blend of Eastern and Western palates. Furthermore, Macao entices shoppers with its wide range of options, from high-end boutiques to bustling markets. For those seeking the pinnacle of luxury, the city’s integrated resorts offer an indulgent escape, combining entertainment, fine dining, and relaxation in one lavish setting. Macao proves that there is much more to explore beyond the gaming tables, making it a remarkable destination for any traveler. Here, Ken and I are going to share with you the new things to do in Macao after the pandemic!
For Thrill Seekers
1) Macao Tower
Little brother Ken and I decided to take our daredevil spirit to new heights as we embarked on the Macao Tower SkyWalk for the very first time. Standing 233 meters above the ground, we braved the 20-minute open-air walk around the outer rim of the tower. As we “enjoyed” the breathtaking view of Macao and Hengqin in Zhuhai, China, our guide cheekily threw five thrilling challenges our way. From tightrope walking to daring photo opportunities, it was an adrenaline-pumping adventure that certainly tested our limits. Let’s just say, this experience is suitable for the fearless and definitely not for the faint-hearted acrophobic souls out there!
GoAirbone’s indoor skydiving at Lisboeta Macao is a must-try for thrill-seekers. Despite having tasted the thrill of real skydiving in Australia, I was a tad skeptical about the indoor version. For Ken, however, it was a whole new world opening up; his first-ever taste of skydiving, albeit indoors.
The facility boasts an all-weather controlled, air-conditioned wind tunnel, making it a blissful escape from the typical hot and humid weather of Macao. This place allows you to chill out indoors while your adrenaline skyrockets, making it a unique blend of relaxation and excitement.
The whole experience simulates a heart-stopping 12,000-foot jump, but the process is refreshingly fast and simple. Pre-flight training, led by our enthusiastic training coach, quickly schooled us on the essential skills required for indoor skydiving. The best part? You can pick up these skills within mere minutes.
The epic session left us with a bounty of amazing photos and videos, all downloadable via email. A little piece of advice for those considering it: remember to flash your best smiles and strike your coolest poses while in the tunnel. You’ll thank me when you see the fantastic footage later! Trust me, indoor skydiving at GoAirbone is an experience you wouldn’t want to miss.
3) Studio City Indoor Water Park
Studio City’s Indoor Water Park is the newest addition to Macao’s fun-filled attractions. Having visited the outdoor water park back in 2019, I was completely blown away by the thrilling rides it offered right within the hotel pool. I mean, who would’ve expected such a thing? OMG indeed!
But now, let’s talk about their latest venture, the indoor water park. It’s a perfect haven for families, for those who’d rather avoid sunburn, and for everyone looking for some guaranteed fun, no rain, no typhoon. This place is open 365 days a year, without a single day off!
Boasting 16 attractions, this park is not short on adrenaline-pumping rides. With seven state-of-the-art water slides, an indoor surfing simulator, two wave pools, there’s something for everyone. But my personal favourite? The 250-meter action river, also known as the Starlight Rapids.
Adding to the fun, I also challenged myself with a 5-meter rock climbing wall. It’s not every day you get to climb a wall in a water park, right?
Opened just recently on April 28, 2023, Studio City’s Indoor Water Park is the latest sensation in Macao’s entertainment landscape. So, if you’re in town, don’t miss out on the wet and wild fun!
4) Macao Grand Prix Museum
For all F1 racing enthusiasts and motor fanatics, a visit to the Macao Grand Prix Museum is a must. This museum encapsulates the rich history of the Macao Grand Prix, presenting it in a way that boosts its charm and enriches the visitor experience.
In an exciting collaboration, Madame Tussauds Hong Kong has contributed to the museum’s appeal with wax figures of renowned racing drivers. It’s a surreal experience, coming face-to-face with lifelike replicas of some of the world’s most famous racers!
The Macao Grand Prix Museum is not just a static display of history; it’s an educational and interactive experience designed to engage visitors in the thrilling world of motor racing. One of the museum’s highlights is the close-to-reality Formula 3 simulator, which gives you a chance to experience the adrenaline of an actual race. And if that’s not enough, there’s also a virtual reality motorcycle racing setup.
In short, the Macao Grand Prix Museum offers a unique blend of history, education, and adrenaline-filled interactive exhibits. Whether you’re a long-time racing fan or new to the sport, there’s plenty to explore and enjoy.
5) Macao teamLab SuperNature
Spanning an impressive 5000 square meters, the 8 meter tall exhibition by the art collective teamLab is an immersive wonder to behold. My personal favourite is ‘The Infinite Crystal Universe’, a stunning spectacle of twinkling lights and mirrored reflections that transport you into another dimension.
Also enchanting are installations like ‘Valley of Flowers and People: Lost, Immersed and Reborn’, where you’re not only visually immersed in a vibrant flora, but you can actually smell the flowers!
In ‘Expanding 3D Existence in Transforming Space’, you find yourself awestruck amidst floating light spheres that redefine your perception of space.
And wait till you touch the Chinese characters on display – each character magically transforms into an elemental art piece. Indeed, teamLab’s installations never disappoint – they are a mesmerising blend of art, technology, and sensory delight.
For Luxury Aficionados
The Cotai Strip in Macao is a bustling hub of entertainment, brimming with luxury, excitement, and cultural experiences. Often compared to the Las Vegas Strip, the Cotai Strip is home to a dazzling array of world-class hotels, casinos, shopping malls, and entertainment venues, all beautifully lit and glittering in the night. The strip is a testament to Macao’s reputation as a global tourism hotspot, seamlessly blending the city’s rich Portuguese-Chinese heritage with its modern, cosmopolitan vibe. From thrilling performances and gourmet dining experiences to high-stakes gaming and luxurious spas, the Cotai Strip offers an unforgettable journey for every visitor.
The Londoner Macao, Parisian & Venetian
The Londoner Macao, The Parisian Macao, and The Venetian Macao are three iconic landmarks on the Cotai Strip that transport visitors to some of Europe’s most charming cities. The Londoner Macao encapsulates quintessential British charm, complete with recreations of famous London landmarks, traditional British pubs, and even a West End-style theatre.
The Parisian Macao captivates with its half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower, Parisian-style architecture, and a variety of French dining options.
The Venetian Macao, inspired by the romantic city of Venice, features gondola rides on canals under painted blue skies, lavish suites, and a grand shopping mall designed to emulate the city’s famous landmarks. These three resorts offer a unique European experience right in the heart of Macao.
Studio City Crystal Show is an immersive spectacle that, while not made of real crystals, offers a dazzling experience that might make you forget that detail. The show utilizes high-tech visuals and sound effects to create a mesmerizing spectacle that’s bound to leave you awestruck. It’s an impressive blend of art and technology that creates a captivating illusion of a crystal world.
The Banyan Tree at Studio City is a tranquil retreat right in the heart of the bustling city. If you’ve missed the authentic serenity of Banyan Tree resorts, this Macao branch won’t disappoint. Surrounded by lush, tropical greenery, it offers a peaceful sanctuary where you can escape the city’s hustle and bustle and immerse yourself in a world of relaxation and tranquillity.
Studio City Spa is a place of pure indulgence. The spa’s beautiful interiors are only surpassed by the luxurious treatments on offer. This oasis of calm offers a wide range of rejuvenating therapies designed to soothe both your body and mind. After a session here, you’ll walk out feeling refreshed, relaxed, and ready to take on the world again.
Studio City’s Golden Reel Ferris Wheel is a marvel to behold. Although I didn’t get a chance to experience it due to renovations during my visit, its towering height is undeniably impressive. Standing 130 meters tall and being the world’s first figure-eight Ferris wheel, it promises breathtaking views of Macao. I’m sure it would be a thrilling experience to see the city from such a unique vantage point!
Wynn Palace in Macao is truly a place to fall in love with. This luxurious resort offers a plethora of experiences that are both enchanting and unforgettable. One such offering is the free cable car ride, which gives you a bird’s-eye view of the resort and its stunning water fountain. This isn’t just any fountain, though. It’s the centerpiece of a spectacular water show that takes place every day, where jets of water dance in harmony with music and lights. The result is a magical spectacle that’s as beautiful as it is mesmerizing. Every visit to Wynn Palace is like stepping into a fairytale, and it’s easy to lose yourself in its charm.
For Heritage Explorers
When I visited Senado Square in the heart of Macao in 2019, I was instantly captivated by its vibrant blend of cultural heritage and bustling modern life. This UNESCO World Heritage site is like a living postcard with its wave-patterned Portuguese pavement and pastel-colored neoclassical buildings echoing Macao’s colonial past. After the pandemic, the square was once again teeming with people – locals and tourists alike, all exploring the myriad of shops, sampling from eateries, or simply soaking in the historical landmarks. The fun part for me was just walking around, getting lost in the energetic crowd, the countless shops offering a feast for the eyes, and the infectious buzz of the place. Even now, I can vividly remember how Senado Square was bursting with tourists and alive with activity. During festivals, I hear, the square becomes even more festive with decorations and special events, something I’d love to experience on my next visit. To me, Senado Square encapsulates the unique blend of cultures that make Macao so captivating and fun.
Happiness Street in Macao holds a special place in my heart. Steeped in history, this narrow street is a charming blend of Macao’s local culture and quaint aesthetics. What I particularly love about Happiness Street is the authenticity it exudes. As I walked along the cobbled path, I was surrounded by a variety of interesting local shops, each with their unique offerings – from traditional crafts to local delicacies, they truly capture the spirit of Macao.
The street is also a haven for those seeking Instagrammable spots, with its picturesque architecture and vibrant street art offering endless photo opportunities. For me, a stroll down Happiness Street is not just about exploring a locality; it’s about immersing oneself in the heart and soul of Macao.
Taipa Village – Cunha Street
Just a stone’s throw away from the bustling Cotai Strip, Taipa Village’s Cunha Street offers a contrasting, charming respite. I absolutely adore this street for its eclectic mix of interesting cafes and shops, each exuding a unique character.
As an art enthusiast, I was particularly drawn to the street’s vibrant wall art that turned the area into an open-air gallery. These murals, full of color and life, add a creative touch to the streetscape, making every stroll here an inspiring journey.
Of course, no visit to Cunha Street would be complete without sampling the local delicacies. I remember stopping by a local bakery to buy almond cookies, their sweet aroma wafting through the air and their taste — an exquisite blend of sweet and nutty flavors — still vivid in my memory. For me, Cunha Street isn’t just a street in Taipa Village; it’s a delightful fusion of culture, art, and gastronomy.
Taipa Village – Our Lady of Carmel Church
Our Lady of Carmel Church, nestled in the heart of Taipa Village, is a peaceful haven that I fondly remember from my visit. Taking a leisurely walk around this historical site, with its quintessential Macao colonial-era houses, was like stepping back in time. I especially enjoyed the tranquility that enveloped the area, a stark contrast to the bustling Cotai Strip nearby.
While strolling around, I noticed many newlyweds choosing this picturesque church as a backdrop for their wedding shoots, adding a charming layer of romance to the place. The church, beautifully preserved, stands as a testament to Macao’s rich history. One of the highlights of my visit was the stunning view of the Taipa Peninsula from the church.
For me, the Our Lady of Carmel Church and its surroundings offered a beautiful blend of peace, history, and scenic beauty, making my visit to Taipa Village truly memorable.
Ka Ho Village
Ka Ho Village, a lesser-known gem in Macao, holds a unique place in my memory due to its rich, yet sombre history. In the past, this village served as a refuge for leprosy patients to prevent the spread of the disease.
Today, it stands mostly untouched and unexplored, exuding an air of quiet solitude that’s rare in the bustling city. One of the landmarks that struck me the most was the Chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows, a tranquil sanctuary that seemed to echo the stories of its past inhabitants.
For someone like me and my brother Ken, a trailblazer at heart, Ka Ho Village offered an intriguing historical centre to explore. Despite its poignant past, or perhaps because of it, I found this village to be a fascinating testament to the resilience of the human spirit.
Address: Block A, Ground Floor, Quanshengxuan, 28D, Liansheng Rd (at /Nova Mall), Macau, China
My visit to Love Veggie Macao was undoubtedly one of the culinary highlights of my time in Macao. Having opened its doors in December 2021, this vegetarian restaurant offers an impressive array of dishes that ingeniously blend elements from various international cuisines. Each dish I ordered was a delightful surprise, an innovative twist on traditional vegetarian fare. I particularly fell in love with the tofu dish – its delicate texture and robust flavor were truly memorable. The curry, with its intricate blend of spices, was a feast for the senses, while the fried dumplings and pizza, each with their unique vegetarian twist, added to the overall gastronomic experience. The best part? Not a single dish I ordered disappointed me. If anything, my time at Love Veggie Macao has left me eager to return and explore more of their innovative vegetarian menu.
Address: San Wan Building, 16A Rua de Santo António, Macau
Just a few steps away from the bustling Ruins of St. Paul, tucked away in a quieter corner, is the Puffin Cafe, a haven for lovers of Western healthy cuisines. During my visit to Macao, this quaint cafe quickly became one of my favorite spots to escape the throng of tourists.
The menu was a delightful surprise, offering an array of dishes that were both wholesome and incredibly delicious. The Omnipork pastas were a revelation, a perfect fusion of taste and texture. The salads were fresh and vibrant, while the Omnimeat balls pastas were bursting with flavor. But the star of my meal had to be the baked cheese Portobello mushrooms – every bite was an explosion of rich, cheesy goodness that I still crave to this day. The wraps, too, were a delight, especially with the beautiful sauces they were served with. All in all, the Puffin Cafe offered a memorable dining experience that was a perfect balance of health and flavor.
Pin Yue Xuan Vegetarian Platter
Address: Shop 1016, Level 1 ,The Venetian Macao
My culinary journey in Macao reached an impressive high note at Pin Yue Xuan, housed in the iconic Venetian Macao. Known for its fine dining experience and reinterpretation of Cantonese culinary tradition, this restaurant may not be strictly vegetarian, but it sure knows how to impress a vegetarian palate.
Thanks to the gracious courtesy of The Venetian Macao, I had the pleasure of savouring the specially prepared Pin Yue Xuan Vegetarian Platter. The first dish was a trifecta of textures and flavors: deep-fried cordyceps flower, bamboo shoots marinated in pepper oil with nori powder, and bean curd deep-fried with salted egg. Each bite was an explosion of flavors that I still fondly remember.
The second dish was a comforting double-boiled morel mushroom soup with bamboo bird’s nest. The richness of the morel mushrooms paired with the unique texture of the bird’s nest was an exquisite combination that I found utterly delightful.
Next came the stir-fried asparagus with fresh French Blue-footed mushrooms and Chinese yam. The freshness of the asparagus, the earthiness of the mushrooms, and the slight sweetness of the Chinese yam made for a beautiful symphony of flavors that was both hearty and satisfying.
The fourth dish was a delicate steamed Japanese lily with pumpkin, a dish that impressed me with its simplicity and depth of flavor. The natural sweetness of the pumpkin paired well with the mild flavor of the lily, creating a harmonious balance.
The fifth dish was a gastronomic adventure in its own right: double-boiled nostoc with gum karaya served in a whole coconut. The dish was a perfect blend of sweet and savory, with the coconut adding a tropical twist that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Lastly, the ‘Petit Four’ was a perfect endnote to the meal. It was a symphony of sweet treats that was as visually appealing as it was delicious.
In short, my experience at Pin Yue Xuan was a culinary delight that I’ll cherish for a long time. Even though it’s not a vegetarian restaurant, they certainly showed a deep understanding and respect for vegetarian cuisine.
Sum Yuen Buddhist Vegetarian Restaurant
Address: MacaoEstr. Lou Lim Ieok, 5F
Sum Yuen Vegetarian Restaurant is a gem that oozes authenticity. Walking into the restaurant, I was immediately struck by the beautiful exterior and the many Buddha statues that added a spiritual touch to the interior, almost as if they were silently blessing every meal served. The restaurant had a nostalgic, traditional feel to it, a comforting reminder of the 古早风味 (old traditional style) of vegetarian cuisine that I had grown to love.
The menu was a delightful blend of tradition and innovation. The beancurd, prepared in an old traditional style, was a taste of nostalgia, a reminder of the simple, unpretentious dishes that have stood the test of time. Meanwhile, the fried mushroom stalk served as a mock chicken was an impressive nod to the versatility of vegetarian cuisine. The 古早风味豆包 (Old-traditional flavored bean wrap) was comfort food at its best, the kind of dish that leaves you satiated and happy. And, to my pleasant surprise, there was sushi on the menu! Who would have thought that a traditional vegetarian restaurant would serve sushi? Yet, it was there, fresh and flavorful, a delightful end to a memorable meal. Sum Yuen Vegetarian Restaurant was a beautiful blend of tradition and novelty, a place I’d happily return to.
Address: MO Joyride Diner, Level 1 Studio City, Estr. do Istmo, Macao
Joyride Diner at Studio City was a pleasant surprise during my visit. As a fan of western-style burger joints, I didn’t expect to find a vegetarian burger option on the menu. It was a delightful discovery that they catered to different dietary preferences. The vegetarian burger I ordered was delicious and mouth-watering, packed with flavorful ingredients that made me really enjoy my food.
However, the real temptation came from their sinful desserts. Indulging in waffles, banana splits, ice cream floats, and Oreos was a guilty pleasure that I couldn’t resist. Despite knowing they were fattening, I couldn’t resist the temptation and savored every sinful bite, leaving Joyride Diner with a satisfied smile.
Mercado Municipal Traditional Roadside Stall
Address: R.De Horta e Costa
Visiting the Mercado Municipal 1939 in Macao was like stepping into a gastronomic paradise, especially for a breakfast aficionado like me. This market, bustling with energy from the early morning, offers an array of local, authentic traditional Chinese breakfast options. The scent of freshly prepared street food, particularly the dim sum and chee cheong fun (rice rolls), wafted through the air, drawing me in instantly.
Having tried Singapore style rice rolls, which are simply dressed with soy sauce and sesame oil, I was intrigued by the Macao style. The rice rolls here are much softer, with a delicate texture that I absolutely loved. But the real game-changer was the sauce – a delightful blend of soy sauce, sesame oil, and an added twist of peanut sauce. Maybe the dedicated smiles from the chef and his wife make everything so delicious! haha
To my delight, the rolls can also be filled with a variety of ingredients like mushrooms, adding another layer of flavor. For me, the experience at Mercado Municipal 1939 wasn’t just about tasting the food; it was about immersing myself in Macao’s vibrant culinary culture.
Traditional Local Cafe (Cha Chaan Teng) Nam Ping Cafe & Long Wa Cafe
Nam Ping Cafe holds a special place in my heart. This old and traditional Macao cha chaan teng is a haven for vegetarian options. As a vegetarian, my choices were limited, but I found solace in the egg buns, egg sandwiches, and egg tarts they offered. Each bite was a burst of flavors, and the pineapple buns, in particular, were a delightful treat that I couldn’t resist. Nam Ping Cafe perfectly captures the essence of Macao’s traditional cafe scene and leaves me craving for more.
Another gem in the Macao traditional cafe scene is Long Wa Cafe. This teahouse takes you back in time with its nostalgic decor reminiscent of the 1960s.
The menu boasts traditional favorites like steam egg cakes, salty egg buns, custard buns, and yam buns. The atmosphere is cozy and charming, and each bite of their delectable offerings transports you to a bygone era. Long Wa Cafe is a true testament to the rich heritage of Macao’s teahouse culture, and I always find myself longing to revisit this hidden treasure.
In conclusion, our trip to Macao with my little brother Ken was an absolute delight. It opened our eyes to the fact that Macao is not just about its renowned casinos. Despite spending 4 days and 3 nights exploring the city, it felt like there was still so much more to see and experience. One of the highlights for both of us was the Cotai Strip, which offered a plethora of modern attractions and activities.
Personally, I was thrilled by the Macao Tower Skywalk, while my brother couldn’t get enough of the exhilarating GoAirborne experience. We were also excited to learn that Macao has even more development plans in the pipeline, promising even more exciting experiences for future visitors. Our trip to Macao was a fantastic adventure, and we both agreed that it would be well worth spending more days exploring this captivating city.
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