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Located across the Pearl River from Hong Kong, Macau was an overseas territory of Portugal until 1999. It is one of the world’s most densely populated cities and also known as Asia’s largest destination for gambling, taking in even more revenue than Las Vegas.
Besides sitting in front of a slot machine at the Venetian, there are some excellent attractions worth visiting. Here’s our top nine non-gambling things to do on the casino island.
1. House of The Dancing Water – The world’s largest water extravaganza show is staged in a theater that can seat about 2,000 people.
2. Historic Centre of Macau – Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2005, the Historic Centre of Macau is a unique combination of Chinese and Portuguese traditions.
3. Ruin’s of St. Paul’s Cathedral – Considered most famous landmark in Macau, the ruins of this 16th-century cathedral features a magnificent façade with intricate carvings by Japanese monks.
4. Largo do Senado – Located adjacent to the Loyal Senate building, this square is surrounded by neo-classical buildings painted in soft Portuguese colours.
5. Espaço Lisboa – A long-time favourite restaurant among locals and tourists. Try their honeyed goat cheese, fish stew and African chicken.
6. Sky 21 – Enjoy a drink with a spectacular view at this new bar that opened less than a year ago.
7. Taipa Houses Museum – Built in 1921, the museum complex consists of five houses displaying various artifacts and exhibits.
8. Sands Cotai Central – The brand new $4 billion property consisting of 6,000 rooms and suites from the Conrad, Sheraton and Holiday Inn brands and featuring convention space, casinos, numerous retail outlets, entertainment and dining options.
9. The Portuguese Corner Shop – A place where you can buy gold jewelry, olive oil and fragrant soaps imported directly from Portugal. Located at 8 Calçada da Igreja de São Lázaro, near St. Lazarus Church.
At night-time after all the sightseeing, you might want to visit Macau’s only gay bar Boom Bar, located on Taipa island.
Thinking of staying over in Macau for a night or more? There are many great-value hotels in Macau to choose from. Shop around and book early!