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Planning Your Trip

Called the “Las Vegas of Asia,” Macau has become well-known throughout the world as a hot destination for fun and revelry. But in addition to all that, it has a rich and intriguing history informed by its significant Portuguese influence. Here’s what to pack.

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Day Trips

Whether you want to visit UNESCO World Heritage sites, hike the mountains, go on a shopping spree or sprawl out on the beach, there’s something in Macau for everyone.

 

 

 

  • Pack swimsuits, cover-ups and sunscreen to spend an afternoon lounging on the sand at Hac Sa Beach. The more adventurous can partake in the variety of watersports offered there.
  • Bring a good camera to capture the stunning panoramic views from the top of Macau Tower and the glittering skyline at night.
  • For shuttling between Macau’s many notable landmarks, opt for comfortable sneakers, lightweight and breathable layers, and a small cross-body bag (to keep close to you in crowded areas) to fit your essentials.  
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Evening Chic

If you plan on partaking in Macau’s nightlife or dining in one of its many Michelin-starred restaurants, you’ll be expected to dress the part. While James Bond-level glamour isn’t required, pack a few elegant separates.

 

  • Some casinos adhere to strict dress codes. That means no shorts, sleeveless tops or flip-flops.
  • For sophisticated dinners, men should wear a jacket and tie. Ladies, bring a couple of cocktail dresses, a nice pair of heels and colorful accessories.
  • To make sure you don’t lose your purse while playing the Baccarat tables or dancing in a club, consider bringing a compact clutch with a strap.  
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Cultural Considerations

Macau, much like Hong Kong, is more westernized than other parts of Asia. However, even among the busy cosmopolitan city streets, you’ll come across ancient monuments and historical relics.

 

  • Be mindful when entering cathedrals and temples and bring a sweater or scarf to cover bare shoulders.
  • Pack a foldable carry-on to bring home the souvenirs you won’t be able to resist buying.
  • Consider picking up a book on Macau to learn about its unique colonial history and get a better sense of the places you’ll visit during your trip.  
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Don't Forget:

With a climate very similar to Hong Kong’s, Macau can get extremely hot and humid. Protect yourself with ample sunscreen and sunglasses. Also, be ready for the occasional rain shower with a small umbrella and a few waterproof items of clothing.  


Because Macau was a Portuguese territory for over 400 years before it was given back to China in 1999, all around the city you’ll see a beautiful juxtaposition of Chinese and Portuguese history — and wonder how they can blend together so seamlessly. From must-see treasures to the most enticing restaurants, below are some suggestions to add to your itinerary.

Dining Reservations

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Macau is only 11.7 square miles in size but packed with an extraordinary 19 Michelin-starred restaurants. The Ritz-Carlton, Macau’s Lai Heen, on the 51st floor of the hotel, was just awarded its first, and offers stunning views of the landscape below. For a mouthwatering selection of dim sum, go to the Eight, the city’s first and only three-Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant. Credit the man who brought fine dining to Macau (Joel Robuchon) at the other three-Michelin-starred establishment, Robuchon du Dome. For traditional Macanese food, which blends Chinese and Portuguese techniques, head to Riquexo. And don’t leave without trying a few of Macau’s famous Portuguese egg tarts. The best ones are at Lord Stow’s Bakery.

Nightlife

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Known as the gambling capital of the world with the largest gaming revenue (yes, more than Vegas), Macau is a haven for night owls. If you’re feeling lucky, step onto the floors of one of the city’s many casinos and try your hand at Baccarat — the most popular game here. If you prefer to dance the night away, do it at Club Cubic, the largest in the city with a regular rotating lineup of international DJs and performers. Then for a nightcap (or two), settle into a plush sofa at The Ritz-Carlton, Macau’s sky-high Bar & Lounge, where a gin and tonic trolley will come to your table and make you a custom concoction.   

Spa Appointments

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Take a break from the never-ending diversions of the Cotai Strip at The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Macau, which recently won a design award for its pretty space inspired by both Chinese and Portuguese architecture. Relieve stress with the Jade Reviver, which uses the gem and a powerful combination of essential oils to revitalize and brighten your skin. Rebalance your body with traditional Chinese reflexology with the Reflex Meridien Massage, then plot your next steps while soaking in one of the vitality pools.  

Museum Tickets & Cultural Sights

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The most iconic site of Macau are the 17th-century ruins of St. Paul’s, once a Portuguese church dedicated to the Apostle Paul. It’s among the list of over a dozen monuments that make up the Historic Centre of Macau, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Others include the charming Senado Square, lined with pastel neoclassical buildings and mosaic-tiled floors, and A-Ma temple, built in 1488 to honor the sea goddess Mazu. Art lovers will find an impressive collection of Chinese painting, calligraphy and ceramics at the Macau Museum of Art.

A former Portuguese colony, Macau is a city of fascinating cultural wealth that blends unique Portuguese and Chinese elements in everything from its cuisine to its architecture. Situated across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong, the Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China melds Eastern and Western influences for a wholly unique experience. Sample Portuguese cuisine in the mosaic-tiled Senado Square, explore a 15th-century temple and 17th-century fortress, and spend a luxurious day at the spa before a Michelin-starred meal and a night at the lounge.


Day Trips

With a storied past, picturesque coastline and a crop of luxury casinos, Macau offers engaging culture and lively entertainment. But thanks to the high-speed ferry, this Chinese Special Administrative Region is also less than an hour from Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Traverse the Pearl River Delta for an exciting day trip to explore more of beautiful Macau.

 

 

 

 

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The Perfect Weekend

On the southern coast of China, about an hour-long ferry ride across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong, Macau — officially Macau Special Administrative Region — is a vibrant blend of Asian and European influences. A Portuguese colony for over 300 years, glittering new casinos share the landscape with a mosaic-paved square and ancient fortress while restaurants might specialize in Michelin-starred Chinese cuisine or traditional Portuguese dishes like cod fritters and egg tarts. Sample both amazing cultures in one perfect weekend in Macau.

 

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