MENTION Macau and many people think of poker machines and high rollers. But there’s more to this Chinese region than casinos, especially when you explore its Historic Area – a legacy of its Portuguese and Chinese heritage.
Think elegant buildings, temples, churches, parks and exotic eateries, all easily found by taking app-guided walking routes through this World Heritage Site. Also, there are Portuguese gems elsewhere on the island, plus the world’s highest bungy jump.
Walking around western Macau, where the Portuguese first occupied this island in the 16th century, is like stepping back in time. With narrow streets lined by Chinese and European-style buildings, its history leaps out at you.
The site many travellers head to first is St Paul’s — the remains of the first church the Jesuits established in China. Built in the 17th century, only the stone front wall of this iconic church remains – the rest of the structure perished after a fire in 1835. With a massive set of stairs leading up to it from the street below, surrounded by historical buildings, it’s a must-see.