Take an exploratory walk around Taipa VillageMacau, China
Tucked away within a leisurely stroll of the bright lights of Macao’s contemporary Cotai Strip is Taipa, a former fishing village that gave rise more than a century before ritzy resorts became integrated into the city’s skyline. The tiny village presents a maze of narrow lamp-posted lanes, the quaintness of its cobblestone squares matched by the colourful facades of multi-storey Portuguese homes and restaurants – therefore, lending itself perfectly as one of the self-guided walking tour routes part of Step Out, Experience Macao’s Communities.
Food for thought comes in the form of the array of street eateries along these lanes, where vendors – some with Michelin rating – sell almost everything, from Durian-flavoured ice cream to the mouth-watering pork chop bun, a Macao favourite among visiting holidaymakers from around the world. Even the street art focuses on food – an appropriate subject in 2018, as it is the Macao Year of Gastronomy, in recognition of its recent designation as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy.
Taipa Village is one of eight self-guided walks in the Step Out, Experience Macao’s Communities walking tour routes by the Macao Government Tourism Office. Even better, they can be downloaded straight to your smartphone – no messing around with big maps and squiggly lines required.
At least six walking routes centre on the Macao peninsula, home to iconic sites like the Ruins of St Paul’s and the A-Ma Temple, while another walk concentrates of Coloane Island – otherwise known as the lungs of Macao – famous for its walking and cycling trails, picnic areas and beaches.
If you're the kind of person who prefers the tangibility of a hardcopy, however, all the walks are also listed in a handy pocket-sized guidebook with ample of information on the places to see and visit, such as the Museum of Taipa and Coloane History and the famous, lovingly restored 1921-built Taipa Houses included. These green and white painted former residences of senior civil servants are of the Portuguese architectural style and can be freely visited to wander through without forking out an entry fee. They, like many other sites around Macao, offer a good insight in the early twentieth-century history of the former Portuguese enclave, now a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.
Walk along a staircase from the Taipa Houses, and you will come across another charming square that fronts the yellow and white painted 1885-opened Our Lady of Carmo Church. This church is perched looking over Taipa Village and is a drawcard for newlyweds seeking photographs.
Evidence of Macao’s multi-cultural, east-meets-west values, traditions and qualities couldn’t be clearer than in Taipa Village. Within an easy walk of the Christian church are a number of tiny Buddhist temples, sandwiched between the Portuguese-designed houses. To think, the neon lights of such integrated resorts and hotels as The Venetian, the Galaxy and The City of Dreams are within eye-shot of such a quiet and culturally historical village.
- Macanese cuisine is one of the world’s earliest forms of fusion food (this includes their famous egg tarts – yum!)
- There’s a great mix of UNESCO World Heritage listed sites as well as the contemporary attractions and activities, ensuring there’ll always be something interesting around the corner
- Macao is a safe place, which makes getting lost on a self-guided walk that much more fun
- Free wifi in all hotels and major public houses so you can post those envy inducing Insta shots
- If you’re not confident walking around without a guide, this might not be the right tour for you
Fly Cathay Pacific, Virgin Australia or Qantas to Hong Kong with connecting TurboJetSea Express swift ferry service from either HKIA or from Hong Island or Kowloon to Macao (takes about 1 hour). Alternatively, fly via other Asian hubs into Macao International Airport (for example: Xiamen Airlines via Xiamen from Sydney or Melbourne). Integrated Macao resorts and hotels offer free shuttle services from Macao or Taipa ferry terminals as well as Macao International Airport. Keep in mind that a new road link between Hong Kong and Macao is set to open in the latter half of 2018 (no dates set).