Surrounded by waterways from a short, old canal to the north that borders mainland China with this SAR territory to Macau’s neighbouring southern islands of Taipa and Coloane, no wonder there’s a sea of possibilities when it comes to exploring the aquatic qualities of Macau city.
Ever since the first Portuguese traders arrived in the 16th century to put down stakes at this former Portuguese colony outpost – most notably the highly revered Portuguese explorer Jorge Alvarez — sea faring lovers have dipped their paddles for some cool discoveries.
Here’s a look at some of the favourite marine pastimes.
For history hounds
Head to the Macau Maritime Museum. Built on the site where the first Portuguese explorers landed, the site alone is significant. Today, see a lively harbour of sail boats and cargo ships that sail past this building which also resembles a boat with its white full sail. Explore five sections that include fishing techniques, technology and an aquarium gallery with four tanks devoted to different themes. We like the last tank showing a recreated sunken boat in the deep sea undoubtedly filled with sunken treasures.
For night gawkers
By night Macau’s skyline crescendos in brightly illuminated hues that cast incredible shadows onto the shimmering water. The best way to experience the ever changing night show is to take a harbour cruise. Local outfitters embark on a 60-90 minute sightseeing cruise to view spectacular scenery. Sights include the A-Ma Temple, Macau Tower and the Macau Taipa Bridge.
Nothing spells relaxation than laying down your beach towel at the Hac Sa Beach a.k.a. Black Sand Beach. Macau’s largest natural beach located on the southeast side of green infused Coloane island no longer has black sand (it’s golden) but still makes a great city break.
For jellyfish crusaders
The name spells it all – Moon Jellyfish Aquarium (main photo). Over at the Wynn Macau find one of the world’s largest water tanks devoted to moon jellyfish. Although not a local marine species these critters were brought in from Taiwan and Japan, they continue to enchant, casting off stunning neon blue tones. The glowing experience occurs as you’re checking in at the Encore Tower in the main entrance.
For everyone else
Check out the world’s newest water show, House of Dancing Water. Located in the City of Dreams, crowds gather for this thrilling extravaganza that combines all types of dance forms like ballet, Chinese acrobatics with amazing underwater performances and nail-biting high performance diving. Use your imagination for the other worldly encounters in this aquarium of dreams. If you’re familiar with Franco Dragone, the maestro behind Celine Dion and the current Lido cabaret show in Paris “Paris Merveilles,” then be prepared to be mesmerized. The story is about a fisherman living off the coast of Coloane and then dreams happen.
Wondering when you should go? Read this and plan your next trip around the Wushu Masters Challenge event in Macao.
Another of Macao’s attractions is it is compact and easy for families to get around.
Looking for Macao’s best bars? Here’s how to have a fun time after dark.
Looking for something to buy in Macao? Try one of these unique independent stores.
One of the best times to visit Macao is during this vibrant street parade.