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Sightseeing in Macau

Besides the casinos, which have been doing swift business ever since gambling was legalized in the 1850s, Macau also offers the simple joy of sightseeing. From old historic forts to impressive cathedrals, beautiful temples to amazing museums, Macau has something for everyone.

Your tour of Macau should begin at the Historical Center of Macau , which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1995. This area covers 8 sq kms in the heart of the old district and comprises of the heritage buildings left behind by the Portuguese - Among the most popular tourist sites here are the beautiful blue-and-white tiled Leal Senado , the Senate, considered by most to be the best Portuguese building in Macau, Fortaleza do Monte a 17th century establishment constructed by Jesuits where an intrinsic part of Macau’s history is on display at the Museum of Macau , the 17th century church of São Paulo , now only a façade, but once thought to be the greatest church in East Asia. Close to these ruins are the remains of the Old city wall and the Na Tcha temple, a Taoist shrine that dates back to the 19th century.

Don’t miss out seeing the A-Ma Temple in Rua de Sao Tiago da Barra, which is most fêted among the temples of Macau and is located at the pretty little A-Ma cultural village. April is a great time to visit the A-Ma shrine as the celebrations for the annual festival are in full swing, enthralling the tourists with Opera performances and traditional rituals that represent the spirit of the local culture.

While you are on a temple trail in Macau visit the Kun Iam Temple , which is the oldest and wealthiest temple in Macau. The temple holds a fabulous statue of the Buddha of Longevity that is clothed in fine Chinese silk. From here head towards the Tam Kung temple that holds a four feet long dragon boat, crafted entirely in whale bone. Other than the boat the temple exhibits delicately carved sculptures and murals. You can visit this destination in April during the celebration of Tam Kung’s birthday and participate in the festive parade with dancing lions.

Experience the thrill of driving a top speed racing car at the simulation center of the Grand Prix Museum . More than 50 years old, the establishment showcases formula cars and bikes driven by the likes of Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard. Those interested in the history of Grand Prix championships can take a walk through the corridors of this building and examine the awe-inspiring pictures projected for the visitors.

Rediscover the beauty of oriental architecture and culture at the Lou Lim Iok Garden . Built in 19th century, the garden is a retreat from the bustling streets of the city. The water in the ponds lined with lotus flowers and filled with fishes invites visitors to take a nap in the arms of nature.

Spend a quiet evening in the park of Jardim Luís de Camoes , a destination rarely acknowledged by the guides. Named after a warrior poet, the site was the backdrop for a sequence in the movie Fist of Fury starring Kung Fu icon Bruce Lee. The park is immensely popular amidst the locals who come here to engage in recreational activities. If you’re here in the morning, you might receive some free Tai Chi lessons from practicing individuals.

At the end of your trip you’ll realize that Macau symbolizes the great cultural exchange of two diversely different cultures and this is reflected in the architectural legacy left behind and spans over 400 years of Portuguese and Chinese fusion.

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