Travel Idea: Experience Macau 2018 with Hidden Gems and Discoveries

When you think of Macau, what do you think of? For me, I used to think of it as just a casino city with nothing more to it, but after visiting it a few times (my sister lives there!), my perception of it totally changed. It is in fact an ever-changing destination filled with new experiences and was designated by UNESCO in 2017 as a "Creative City of Gastronomy". Visiting the casinos might be one attraction, but there are so many other hidden gems and things you could experience there!

Macau for me sits in the best of both worlds - it is modern with a mix of cultural pockets, it has great food and there's something for everyone from families to couples or friends, even though according to Wikipedia it is the most densely populated region in the world 😱 I personally find that it is a much better place to visit than Hong Kong (too crowded and expensive) or China (too big and less developed). Recently I had a chat with my sister who sent me links/pics to all the wonderful new places you'll read below.

The plus point to visiting Macau from Singapore is the short and cheap flights and we have from here via Scoot, plus good accommodation at decent prices. As you can see from the wego, it costs less than $300 to fly out on a Thurs and come back on a Sunday - enough to see and experience the SAR (special administrative region) of China!

Wego has everything you need to plan your trip

Accommodations are really affordable there too, for the quality you get due to the intense competition. If I were you, I'll probably pick something from the Galaxy's 5 hotels - The Galaxy Hotel, Banyan Tree, Okura, JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton. 

all types of affordable accommodations

My first visit to Macau was in 2014. Since then, a couple more big hotels have finished building, of which Galaxy is one of them. This was what it looked like back then.

Now it looks like this (credit: Galaxy Macau website). What's notable is that it is housed on the Cotai strip, away from the typical casino belt. 

Anyway, speaking of hidden gems and discoveries beyond the typical casinos and attractions, I thought I'll list down some of the new ones that is seldom mentioned in your tour guides!

1. Immerse in Galaxy Macau's integrated resorts x 5 and F&B

After the massive construction, Galaxy and its group of 5 hotels is now considered Macau’s best integrated resort with the best selection of F&B outlets such as:

1a. Cha Bei - one of a kind in Macau. A luxury lifestyle concept cafe opened by the entrepreneur daughter of famous tycoon Francis Lui. Prices are not that high, and the experience is probably worth it!

Avocado Burger from Cha Bei
Gorgeous cutlery and cakes

1b. Passion by Gerard Dubois, from HK
1c. 8½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA (Michelin 1* but original 3* in HK)
1d. Fook Lam Moon 福臨門 (traditional Cantonese cuisine from HK)
1e. Lai Heen (Michelin 1* ultra fine dining Cantonese cuisine in Ritz Carlton, source
2. Check out three brand new hotels / F&B meccas 

2a. Wynn Palace (with a SW Steakhouse inside). I love the Wynn hotel brand when I stayed in one in Vegas. They have the fluffiest beds!

2b. MGM Cotai (housing a flagship Janice Wong MGM dessert restaurant, AJI - Peruvian Japanese fusion and Coast - contemporary cuisine by Graham Elliot)

2c. Morpheus (the latest ultra cool looking designer hotel by City of Dreams housing 2 Alain Ducasse restaurants). If I am a designer or chef, I'll definitely want to check it out.

3. Go cafe hopping with these seven 3rd wave cafes 
They are all within the same area on Macau main island, except the last one.

1. Terra Coffee House
Largo de Santo Agostinho, Macau, +853 2893 7943

2. Cafe Philo
炮兵街17號地下B座, Rua dos Artilheiros No.17B
Closed on Mondays

3. Single Origin
GF 19 Rua de Abreu Nunes, Macau +853 6698 7475

4. Bloom Coffee House
5 Rua de Horta e Costa, Macau, +853 6666 4479

5. Rethink Coffee Roasters (there are a few outlets)
GF-H Tsui Fung Building, Tai Fung Plaza, 76 R. de Berlim, Alamenda Doutor Carlos D’Assumpção, +853 6356 3838

6. Wonderwall Coffee 
Rua Do Volong No.54-A EDIF. Nga Loi RC-B Macau 澳門和隆街54號A (即荷蘭園石仔路)

And one more at the Old Taipa Village:
7. Quarter Square
89 Largo Maia de Magalhães, Taipa, +853 2857 6914 or +853 6290 5138

Pumpkin spice latte and Copper the Frenchie, Quarter Square's mascot

(Bonus) Be blown away by The House of Dancing Water at City of Dreams 新濠天地水舞間

I have mentioned this before on my blog, but this is the show that I recommend to everyone if they visit Macau because it still feels underrated. It is a fantastical water and light acrobatic show which will blow your mind away, just like it did for me. Prices start from S$73 but it is worth every dollar!

Discover these after you've been to the famous St. Paul Ruins, eaten some Lord Stow egg tarts from the OG shop at Coloane and taken a stroll along Senado Square. Ah, after sharing all of these I really feel like I need to go back to Macau soon and see these things for myself!

International Fireworks Competition in September

That's it! I hope you guys enjoyed finding out about all these new hidden gems and places to go to which you will not seldom see with this post. 
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