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Macau: Frommer's Favorite Experiences

  • Following the Mosaic Pathway to St. Paul's Church: From Largo do Senado, Macau's main, colonial-era square, follow one of the wavy-patterned mosaic tiled streets through the old city uphill to the ruins of St. Paul's Church, Macau's most photographed facade.

  • Dining on Local Macanese and Portuguese Specialties: African chicken, spicy prawns, sole, and codfish are just some of the culinary treats for the visitor to Macau, all available at very reasonable prices. Portuguese wine, the perfect accompaniment to both Macanese and Portuguese food, is also a bargain.

  • Splurging for a Room at a Resort Hotel: After the traffic and crowds of Hong Kong, there's nothing more relaxing than gazing at the sea from your hotel room, sunning at an outdoor pool surrounded by greenery, and feeling tension and aches melt away under the expert care of a masseuse. Macau has several resort hotels.

  • Learning about Macau's History at the Museum of Macau: Macau's history museum is a delight, built into the ruins of a fortress and highlighting not only the history of Macau but also unique Macanese traditions, culture, architecture, and cuisine.

  • Visiting Lou Lim Iok Garden Early in the Morning: Get to this Chinese garden early in the morning, when you're apt to see the locals going through the motions of tai chi, playing traditional Chinese music, and taking birds for walks in cages.

  • Strolling through Macau's Fisherman's Wharf: This huge combination entertainment/shopping destination features restaurants, souvenir shops, a small amusement park, a man-made volcano, street performances, and more, nestled in a village-like setting along the waterfront.

  • Swimming on ColɄane Island: Two public beaches, Cheoc Van and Hac Sa, feature lifeguards on duty, dining facilities, and public swimming pools. Afterward, retire for a drink or a Portuguese meal at Fernando's, a beach shack on Hac Sa.

  • Observing the Chinese Gambling at the Ornate Floating Casino: This moored boat is abuzz 24 hours a day with gambling fever. Drop by and observe the Chinese gambling, or try your luck with the slot machines on the upper deck.

  • Watching the Sun Set from Macau Tower: This 220m-high (722-ft.) Space Needle wannabe looks out of place in tiny Macau, but you can't beat it for its views: 55km (34 miles) on clear days. Come for a drink in its lounge or dinner in its revolving restaurant. Or, for the truly daring, there are adventure tours outside the tower, including a climb up its mast.

  • People-Watching after Midnight: After the sun goes down, Macau's nighttime revelers head to the Docks, a string of bars and discos with sidewalk seating. But the action doesn't really start hopping until after midnight.

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