The Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) has added four new routes to its “Step Out, Experience Macau’s Communities” walking tours, to encourage visitors to explore Macau’s lesser-known districts and unlock the secrets of this fascinating East-meets-West pocket of Asia. The short and easy-to-follow routes offer visitors a glimpse into local life and take in hidden gardens, magical temples and stunning Chinese and Portuguese architecture and monuments.
The new routes join four existing tours, which have been redesigned, and together cover all corners of the total 11 square miles of Macau, which is made up of the Macau Peninsula and the islands of Taipa and Coloane.
All eight route maps are available to download via mobile apps for Andriod and iOS devices and can be viewed on www.macautourism.gov.mo.
The four new walking routes are as follows:
· Enchanting Stories of Our Lady of Fatima Parish (25 minutes): The tour of this old parish, where Portuguese and Chinese cultures coexist harmoniously, starts at the Arch of Barrier Gate and passes by the impressive 2,900 square-metre Areia Preta Triangle Garden; Lin Fung Temple, one of the three oldest temples in Macau; and the Ox Warehouse, an art gallery and performance space and meeting point for local artists.
· The Marriage of East and West in St. Anthony’s Parish (40 minutes): Beautiful Portuguese and Chinese buildings are the stars of this route. Visitors will pass by well known landmark monuments such as the Ruins of St. Paul’s and Na Tcha Temple, but also some lesser known gems – Tou Tei Temple in Sam Pa Mun, San Kio Garden, Casa House and the Protestant Cemetery.
· Bygone Days of Taipa Village (25 minutes): Macau’s bygone village life is perfectly reflected on this route of Taipa, the island located directly south of the Macau Peninsula. The stunning Taipa Houses Museum and its five Portuguese-style houses; the Catholic Our Lady of Carmo Church; and the maze of streets around Rua do Cunha or “Food Street” packed with restaurants serving traditional cuisine and local delicacies are a culture vulture’s paradise.
· Nostalgia in Coloane (30 minutes): Located on the southernmost part of Macau, Coloane is where to experience laid back village life, helped by its green landscapes, beaches and sea breezes. Stops on this walking route include the colourful baroque-style Chapel of St. Francis Xavier; the Ancient Temple of Tin Hau, the oldest temple on the island; andColoane Pier, which was once the ferry terminal between Coloane, Taipa and the Macau Peninsula before any roads and bridges were built.
The four existing walking routes have been re-designed to include more points of interest relating to culture, art, history and gastronomy.