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24 hours in Macau (2)

Afternoon: soak up the atmosphere

Catch bus 6B southwest, past Sai Van Lake, for a visit to one of the city’s most atmospheric temples affordable China travel packages – 16th-century A-Ma Temple, dedicated to the goddess of the sea and fragrant with smoke from incense coils. Linger with the worshippers and scramble to the viewpoint overlooking the entire temple.

Cross the Sai Van Bridge, which connects Macau to Taipa and Coloane islands, also settled by the Portuguese, by taking bus 21A all the way south to the sleepy seafront Coloane Village. Duck into Lord Stow’s Café, renowned among the Macanese for its take on the local speciality of pastéis de nata (custard tarts). After a stroll along the beach, take the same bus back up to Taipa Village for a wander through the narrow streets, lined with Chinese shops, temples and colonial houses. Then head east along the tree-lined esplanade of Avenida da Praia to visit the Taipa House Museum China Educational tours for a look at the restored colonial villas – former summer residences of Taipa’s affluent Macanese citizens – and to explore traditional occupations such as firework-making and fishing.

Evening: gambling dens and bird's-eye views

ou’ll be feeling pangs of hunger by this point, but fear not: Taipa Village has an excellent dining scene for such a tiny place. Try refined António for the traditional Portuguese caldo verde and baked bacalhau com natas or, for a less expensive option, check out the informal O Santos, with its Portuguese sausage, chicken casserole and grilled sardines.

Macau, the only place in China where gambling is legal, isn’t called the 'Monte Carlo of the Orient' for nothing. This means there are plenty of options for after-dinner entertainment. The Cotai Strip that connects Taipa with Coloane is lined with casinos and luxury hotel/casino complexes, so you could head there to catch the House of Dancing Water show at the City of Dreams, followed by a night with the high rollers at the blackjack and poker tables of the Venetian – the world’s largest casino. Alternatively, if you felt that Fort Guia wasn’t high enough, take bus 26 from Taipa Village north to the 338m-tall Macau Tower China Photography Tours on the Macau Peninsula and get whisked to the observation deck on the 58th floor for unforgettable 360-degree views of the glittering Macau skyline. If you’re an adrenaline fiend, launch yourself off the outdoor deck on the 61st floor by means of the world’s highest bungee jump, or else stroll its exposed perimeter with nothing but a harness keeping you from the abyss.

A more relaxing way to finish the evening is to kick back with a cocktail and a view at Sky 21 Lounge, a short bus or taxi hop up Avenida Doutor Stanley Ho, or else by heading east along Avenida Dr Sun Yat Sen to the NAPE harbourfront nightlife district, where you can take your pick of stylish or casual nightspots.

More at such as Shanghai Sightseeing


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