Posted October 15th, 2013
LATEST WORLDWIDE TRAVEL NEWS
Update October 2013
The Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) has unveiled four new fascinating walking tours designed to take visitors off the beaten tourist trail and help them discover lesser known communities, savour local cuisines and discover the city’s culture like never before.
Available for free from MGTO tourist information centres and available for download from MGTO's website (www.macautourism.gov.mo), the four walking tours, titled 'Step Out, Experience Macau's Communities', are each themed to take in a different aspect of Macau:
Route 1 - A Tour of Historical Trails. This route mainly covers the area around which the Macau residents call 'San Ma Lou'- a unique area with traces of both Chinese and Portuguese residents' life. Sites include the UNESCO World Heritage listed Holy House of Mercy and St. Dominic's Church and Sam Kai Vui Kun once a former meeting place for local Chinese merchants and a former Opium House. The route gives plenty of opportunities to taste authentic snacks and food from clay pot rice and traditional desserts to salted fish and dried oysters.
Route 2 - A Tour of Nature and Creativity. This scenic route takes in landmarks such as the Pou Chai Sim Iun (Kun Iam Tong) temple whose origins can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty; the Guia Lighthouse, with panoramic views of Macau and the Pearl River estuary. It showcases the Macau Tea Culture House, where visitors can learn about tea cultures, the scenic Lou Lim Ieoc Garden featuring a variety of beautiful bonsai and finishes in the St Lazarus district, an area of interesting specialty shops selling local creative goods as well as one of the three oldest churches in Macau.
Route 3 - A Tour of East Meets West. This walk starts from Senado Square and among the many historic buildings highlighted are the Dom Pedro V Theatre - the earliest European theatre in China - the 16th century St. Lawrence's Church and the Mandarin's House, built in the style of a traditional Guangdong residence but with architectural influences from the West. Also included are the Moorish Barracks and the Ming Dynasty A-Ma Temple, the oldest building in Macau, which is close to Portuguese restaurants.
Route 4 - A Tour of Arts and Culture. Starting at the waterfront Macau Fisherman's Wharf dining, shopping and entertainment complex, this walk takes in the Macau Cultural Centre, Macau Museum of Art and the Macau Science Center which visitors can dip in and out of as they wish. Strolling past Nam Van Lake visitors will come to the 338m Macau Tower, with its spectacular views before reaching the Avenida da Republica, one of the most beautiful avenues in Macau with pretty Portuguese buildings including the world-acclaimed Pousada de Sao Tiago Hotel, and finishing at the A-Ma Temple.
Intended to be leisurely strolls, the shortest of the four walks takes approximately 90 minutes to complete while the longest takes approximately 130 minutes to complete.
Illustrated on specially created maps, the new walking tours are available for free at MGTO's tourist information centres as well as available for download from MGTO's website (www.macautourism.gov.mo). The website also features videos of the four routes to allow visitors to virtually experience the walking tours prior to setting off.
MGTO is also currently designing further walking tours, including an island tour, to be launched next year and Smartphone applications for each walking route will be available soon.
Update March 2013
A YEAR OF CELEBRATION IN MACAU
With nearly 30 million visitors a year and a unique Portuguese-Chinese heritage, Macau is firmly on the map as one of the most exciting destinations in the Far East – and this year is no exception with a series of significant anniversaries and events shining the spotlight on this Special Administrative Region of China throughout 2013.
This year marks the 500th anniversary since the arrival of the Portuguese in Macau in the 16th century. The European influences remain today – from the architecture to the food – making it a true “one of a kind” in the Far East. The destination’s distinctive blend of cultures is reflected in the Historic Centre of Macau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprised of over 20 historic Sino-Portuguese buildings, as well as the East-meets-West flavours incorporated in Macanese cuisine, which features influences from Portugal, China, South America, Africa, India and Malaysia.
In addition, Macau hosts a wealth of colourful events and festivals that further reveal its unique multicultural heritage and traditions all year round. In 2013, two of these esteemed events are set to be even more special as they celebrate important anniversaries. November marks the 60th year of the Macau Grand Prix, when tourists and locals will line the streets creating a party atmosphere as both cars and motorcycles separately race on one of the most demanding circuits in the world.
Other highlights taking place in 2013 include:
Macau Food Festival
The Macau Food Festival, featuring food from around the world, is held in Sai Van Lake Square. The festival combines delicious Asian, European and Macanese delicacies with exciting entertainment and fun for everyone. There is lots of choice for budding gourmands with tastes from around the world all on offer in one place, together with live musical performances, games booths and fireworks displays.
60th Macau Grand Prix
9th – 10th & 14th – 17th November 2013
Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2013, the Macau Grand Prix is one of the biggest events of the year and a favourite of motor sports fans. The world-class event, hosted by Macau since 1953, represents the climax of the Formula 3 calendar. Famous past winners include Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard. During the official days of the Grand Prix, the city buzzes with excitement as both car and motorcycles races compete on one of the most challenging street circuits in the world.
Macau International Marathon
1st December 2013
This popular marathon continues to attract local and international long distance runners to compete every year. The full course marathon takes in a stunning course that circles the Peninsula and crosses to the islands of Taipa and Coloane. Athletes can opt to compete in a full, half or mini marathon of just a few kilometres. During the race, hundreds of runners will pass streets dotted with historic Chinese and Portuguese-style buildings, as well as scenic coastal routes that showcase Macau’s natural beauty.
Just 40 miles from Hong Kong, Macau is located on China’s south coast and boasts a unique Portuguese-Chinese heritage that makes it like nowhere else in the world. It might be small but Macau packs a lot into its 11 square miles with an abundance of historical buildings, superb food, beaches, gardens, museums, spas, shopping malls, dazzling shows, and activities ranging from golf and hiking to bungy jumping. A Special Administrative Region of China since 1999, Macau blends the best of the past with new and exciting tourism attractions.