Macau Must Do’s | When was the last time you paid our sister SAR a visit? I’ve been twice just this past month and let me tell you – every time I stepped off the ferry, I was immediately washed by an overwhelming sense of well being. In Macau, the pace is slower. Life is gentler and less frenetic.
There’s never been a better time than now for a summer Macau staycation, what with terrific hotel deals on Getaways. Due to timings and geography, I’d like to suggest the following activity highlights as a chronological, 1-day itinerary. Except for lunch, everything below is free.
Top 5 Macau Must-Do’s Right Now
Paint with Chagall at the Macao Museum of Art
Av. Xian Xing Hai
This exhibition features over 100 works by the early Modernist, Marc Chagall, created between the 1950s and the 1970s. It includes paintings, gouaches, lithographs, costumes and tapestries, showing the pre-eminence of light and colour in his works and transporting the viewer to a distant realm of illusion. There’s even an activity area where you can pin transparencies of Chagall’s work with stained glass onto a projector, and be inspired to create your own art.
Eat Thai Poolside BBQ Lunch at NAAM
Grand Lapa, 956-1110 Avenida da Amizade
A buffet in Macau can easily cost upwards of MOP500, but somehow this more bespoke and exclusive experience only costs MOP250+ per person. NAAM at the Grand Lapa is Michelin-recommended. The restaurant is decked in water fountains and tropical gardens. Some of the food is influenced by royal Thai cuisine, shown through highly precise fruit carving. But back to the BBQ, which is done on an octagonal tabletop charcoal grill – the fun and uniqueness factors are off the chains!
Learn Magic at Iong’s
7C-7D, R. De Inacio Baptista
I saw the magic caper thriller, Now You See Me 2, on a plane. It stars Woody Harrelson, Daniel Radcliffe and more – and large parts of it were shot in Macau. The scene below depicts Iong’s Magic Shop which, because of the movie, has become a tourist attraction. The shop has several thousand types of magic tools for anyone to purchase, no matter if you’re just casually interested, an amateur enthusiast or a world-class magician. Ready? 1, 2… Presto!
Step into the future at Hotel Morpheus by Zaha Hadid
City of Dreams, Estrada do Istmo, Cotai
This Macau must-do places you face-to-face with greatness. The Morpheus is arguably the territory’s most eye popping structure. Named after the Greek god of dreams, it was one of the final projects of the late architect, Zaha Hadid. Its most stunning feature is a free-form exoskeleton that hugs the twin towers and the connecting sky bridges, forming “voids” that bathe the interiors with natural light. This is avant-garde architecture at its most breathtaking.
See the “Eiffel Tower” at night
The Parisian Macao, Estrada do Istmo, Cotai
A real Parisian holiday takes quite a bit of planning, but seeing The Parisian Macao is only an hour-long Turbojet away. This French-themed hotel has a half-sized replica of the iconic Eiffel Tower – and let me tell you – it’s delightful. Once it’s gloriously lit and blinking rhythmically to some background music, it’s time to take out your phone, do a little dance and Insta your heart out. This is the most fun you can have on Cotai Strip in the evening without having to drop a dime into a slot machine.
My favourite hotel for Macau staycations is the Grand Lapa, named after Lisbon’s most elegant neighbourhood. Offering all the comforts of a contemporary luxury hotel (the resort is an absolute dream), it’s the perfect home-away-from-home for those who, like me, can only take garish casinos in small doses.