When you think of Macau, the first thing that probably comes to mind is gambling, and for good reason! Did you know that in one year Macau makes more than double in gambling than what Vegas does?
So while visiting the casinos can be fun (or maybe not so much if you lose), there is a lot more to see and do in Macau. So we are sharing Scatabout’s top 12 things to do in Macau (other than gamble).
1. Giant Panda Pavilion
Pandas are without a doubt my favourite animal, so I was excited to find out about the Macau Giant Panda Pavillion. Entrance to the grounds is free and you can see a bunch of other cute animals like monkeys, flamingos and red pandas. To see the giant pandas there is a small entrance fee of 10 MOP (less than $2USD). You are limited to a 1 hour time slot which you choose when you arrive.
Tip #1: Go at the beginning of the day for the 10am-11am session as you will witness the feeding at 1030am.
It is closed on Mondays and open every other day from 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm. And for all you panda lovers there is an onsite shop with heaps of panda merchandise.
2. Eat Dumplings
Our favourite thing to eat when we come to Macau is dumplings. Now you are going to groan when I tell you to go to Din Tai Fun. Yes it is a chain and yes is everywhere around the world, but the flavor of the soup in the xiao long bao in Macau in our opinion is the best! So check it out. There are two outlets one in Studio City and one in City Of Dreams.
3. Hac Sa Reservoir Park
For those that love to get outside, we recommend going to Hac Sa Reservoir Water Park. Only a short walk from Black Sand Beach, this reservoir has walking tracks, BBQs and even paddle boats. Unfortunately we went on a weekday and the paddle boats were not in operation but we still enjoyed the short flat 2km walk around the outside of the reservoir.
Tip #2: is to go on the weekend so you can enjoy the paddle boats, open from 10am to 5pm and a 2 person paddleboat costs 20 MOP (about $2.50USD) for half an hour.
4. Catch the SkyCab
Out the front of the Wynn Palace is a cable car ride called Sky Cab and the best thing about it is it is FREE! The SkyCab is open 10am to 12am daily and is about a 5 min ride around the performance lake where the fountain shows are.
Tip #3: Catch the SkyCab during one of the night time fountain performances which run every 20 mins between 7pm-12am.
5. Visit the Ruins of St Paul’s
St Paul’s used to be a college and a church in the 17th century. It is a free attraction with a museum out the back.
Tip#4: You will have to get up super early to try and get a photo with no one in it!
6. Relax at Monte Forte
Monte Forte is one of the oldest forts in Macau and was used to defend St Paul’s church from pirates. There is a really cute rest stop up here with a bunch of hammocks and the views aren’t bad either. There is no entrance fee to the fort.
7. Eat a pork chop bun
Macau is famous for these delicious pork chop buns. The pork chop usually comes in a normal bread roll, but I opted for a pineapple bun which was the perfect mix of sweet and savory.
Tip #5: be careful when you chomp down on the bun – the pork chop still has the bone!
8. Taste Bakkwa
Bakkwa is Macau styled dried meat similar to jerky but softer. It is sweet, salty melt in your mouth meat and you can try before you buy with many different flavours to choose from.
9. Eat a Portugese Tart
These portugese tarts have a nice flaky crust with creamy custard centre! If you like tarts then the ones in Macau are the ones to try!
10. Visit Guia Hill
From Jardim da Flora you can either walk up Guia hill about 15 mins or catch a very quick (1-2min) cable car to the top. The cable car is 5 MOP return so approx. 50 cents USD -making this seriously cheap! It is closed Mondays and operates 8am – 6pm every other day. When we went it was under maintenance so we walked up. At the top you can see the old forts, tunnels, the lighthouse and the expansive views across Macau.
11. Grab a drink
Did you know that while playing the tables in Macau the drink of choice is actually tea? It is not common place to drink alcohol in the casino. So if you are looking for an alcoholic beverage we suggest you check out some of the bars. Our favourite was The Ritz Carlton Bar and Lounge which was named as one of Asia’s top bars in 2018. It is on level 51 of the galaxy.
Tip #6: visit between 6 and 9pm on Sundays to Thursdays where you can enjoy their happy hour menu so you can save some dollars.
12. Visit Macau Tower
If you are looking to scare yourself silly, take a trip to Macau Tower. Here you can do a skywalk where you walk around the outside of the tower, a bungy jump, a sky jump (similar to a bungy jump but with a controlled decent), or our personal favourite the tower climb. Climbing 100m of ladders to the very tip of the tower this is the highest urban climb in the world. Check out our Macau tower climb video for more details.
So there you have it, there is a lot more to do in Macau than just gamble!