I was hosted on a complimentary press trip. All opinions are my own.
In April I had the opportunity to visit Macao China to check out the Sheraton Macao Hotel; located in the heart of the Grand Cotai Central strip and whether you’re traveling with kids, your spouse, for business, or just simple pleasure the Sheraton Macao Hotel is guaranteed to meet your needs. It is the largest property in Starwood Resorts & Hotels portfolio containing a whopping 3896 rooms ranging from deluxe luxury suites to child friendly Dreamworks themed children’s suites.
While the hotel has plenty of amenities, pools, hot tubs, workout rooms and close proximity to all attractions located on the strip which boasts of Michelin 3 star rated restaurants, over six hundred stores for shopping, multiple shows that rival any that can be found in Las Vegas, gambling facilities, and activities and amenities for entertaining the kids; It can be hard to imagine ever wanting to leave and see what the city has to offer. In spite of all there is to do and see within a 10 minute walk of the hotel no trip to Macao would be complete without venturing out into the city.
Top 8 Reasons to Stray from the Cotai Strip
1. Alta de Coloane Temple
Just a few minute taxi ride from the Cotai strip the Alta de Coloane temple is an amazing hidden gem of Macao. Take a taxi to the intersection of Estrada do Alto de Coloane and Estrada de Seac Pai Van. There are two ways up to the temple the first is to take the free mini bus that runs every half hour or to walk the road or to hike the Coloane Traile. We ventured to take the bus. However After waiting an hour for the bus to pick us up at the top it did not return so we walked back down following the road. This took about 40 minutes.
2. Taipa Village and Flea Market
Taipa village is a 15 minute walk from the City of Dreams. If it’s your first time to Asia Taipa Village is a great way to ease yourself into what to expect before heading to downtown Macao. There are many shops and places to eat lining the streets and even a flea market. While I didn’t find anything super spectacular about Taipa village I found the areas surrounding it to be beautiful.
3. Walking Tour of Historical Macao Center
Many don’t know that Macau was at one time or another a Portuguese colony. It wasn’t until the 90’s that it was handed over to China. Because of this there are many sites to see and it’s one of the reasons that UNESCO has named many of these sites world heritage sites.
4. Macao Tower Bungee, Skywalk, and Tower Climb
Macao tower is visible from just about everywhere which means it gives you a great vantage of everything Macao has to offer. The tower stands at 338 meters tall and offers many opportunities for thrill seekers to enjoy. A J Hackett has joined up with Macao tower to offer a skywalk around the rim, the world’s highest bungee jump 233 meters, and rock climbing to the top of the tower for those not afraid of heights. While bungee jumping was at the top of my list this trip. I did not have time with my schedule due to the long line of jumpers ahead of me. Instead I did do the skywalk which I recommend to everyone! At first my legs felt weak as the dangled over the edge of the tower but soon I was sliding around and jumping over the edge as much as I could before being forced back inside so more could come out.
5. The Original Lord Stows Bakery
Nestled in Coloane Village near the Chapel of St Francis is the original Lord Stow’s Bakery. I highly recommend stopping in for a fresh made Egg Tart their original creation now famous throughout all of Asia. You can get them for about $1 USD each. While walking around with your egg tarts in hand it’s hard not to feel completely relaxed as you check out the small markets and European styled buildings that are nestled right up to the coast.
6. Walk to the Beach or Hiking Destinations
Macao has many trails which offer the opportunity to get out and see some nature. We took one in particular that walked us down to the shore of the South Chinese Sea. While we didn’t walk the entirety of the trail due to time constraints it leads to Macao’s black sand beach Hac Sa Beach.
7. Visit the Red Market
For a real Chinese shopping experience head to the Red Market to find out how the locals buy their vegetables and meats. We stopped in to pick up some fresh ingredients: garlic, tomatoes, eggs, etc. After shopping we stopped in at Pousada de Coloane to make a homemade Macaunese meal utilizing the items retrieved from the Red Market and some pre-purchased on our behalf. There’s something about buying meat from a place where they’ve been hanging on hooks all day that doesn’t sound appealing to me so I was happy to know that it was purchased elsewhere.
8. Grab a Good Bite
While out and about the town there are many good places to stop in to eat. We stopped in and tried the following two restaurants.
A Lorcha located right next to the A-Ma Temple provided us with a wonderful Portuguese styled meal where I tried many things for the first time including pig ears and anchovies.
Albergue 1601 located close to Saint Pauls ruins provided a much needed respite from the long march we’d taken all day to see all the sites in the historic district of Macau. Although it’s in the middle of the city this small restaurant seems worlds away. With its own large court yard and sprawling moss covered trees it feels like a home away from home.
Macao is a wonderful city with a lot of culture that was exciting to see. But after seeing all the sites and having been on my feet each day I looked forward to making my way back to the Sheraton Macao Hotel to relax and soak in the large tub in my suite. I recommend anyone planning a trip to Macao to check out the Sheraton Macao Hotel and book a room, you will not be disappointed.