Many people have the misconception that the only intersting things in Macau are the casinos. We used to think that way too, until we were tasked by Merck Serono to plan a team building race in Macau when we hosted their APAC Fertility meeting in Island Shangri-La Hotel in Hong Kong.
The very first thing that will strike someone who is visiting Macau for the first time is the architecture of the buildings. When traveling from the Macau ferry terminal on the coach to the Vernitian Hotel, it gave us the impression that Macau is like a mini Las Vegas in Asia.
One of the first places of interest in Macau that cannot be missed include is the Senado Square, where it is buzzling with life. It is a tourist spot now and you will find shops selling local snacks, portugese tarts, handicrafts, portuguese tarts and more portugese tarts. The famous St. Pauls Catheral (what remains of it) is a short distance away - about 10 mins walk if you do not get distracted.
Mount Fortress in Macau
Mount Fortress, also known as Fortaleza do Monte or Monte Forte, was built in 1626 by the Jesuit Fathers, on the top of Monte Hill. A brief climb (on stairs and walkways) from the ruins of St Paul will bring you to the top of the fortress. At the top of the Mount Fortress stands a museum (built in 1998) and a small cafe that sells beverages at suprisingly resonable prices. The platform of the Fort has been converted to a small park and it provides panaromic and breath taking views of mainland areas of Macau.
Mount Fortress is the most popular Forts in Macau as a tourist atttraction, probably partly due to it's close proximity to the ruins of St. Paul's and the intersting shops nearby.
Sao Paulo or Ruins of St. Paul's Catheral.
Built in 1617-26, when Macau was still under Portuguese rule, It is belived that the Macau Fortress was once part of the complex that housed the college and church of St. Paul's. During that period, the Dutch-Portuguese conflict was at its height and supremacy in the South China Sea will mean significant advantage in the war. That prompted the Portuguese to build the massive Mount Fortress to secure the peninsula of Macau and the nearby region.
When you visit the Mount Fortress, you will see a wide range of long range and short range cannons. Ironically, these cannons were used only once during the Dutch invasion of Macau in 1622. As the old chinese saying goes, "maintain a soldier for a thousand days and use him for one moment", I guess the same theory can be applied to Mount Fortress.
The Macau Museum at the top of the fort the history of Macau. It exhibits the way of life of the multi-racial and cultural communities in Macau. The first floor of the museum is dedicated to the prehistoric age until 17th century, where Macau was at its prime, as an important port for Asia and Europe. Level 2 exhibits the multi-cultural and social diversity of Macau, it's celebrations, festivals, commercial activities and traditions. Level 3 showcases the contemporary Macau, where you will see a better representation of what you will see in Macau today.
Other Interesting Places in Macau
The Macau tower, as depicted in the banner above).
The Guia Fort and Lighthouse (see below)
The San Vans Bridge (picture below)
If you will like to find out more about organising a meeting, seminar or event in Macau, please feel free to drop us an enquiry.