A Walk Through Macau’s Historic Center

A Walk Through Macau’s Historic Center

For many people, the name Macau is synonymous with one thing only: gambling. Referred to as the Las Vegas of the East, Macau has actually overtaken its American counterpart in terms of revenue and size. Prosperous Chinese mainlanders cross the border via bus; the wealthy from Hong Kong utilize the speedy ferries (and even helicopters!) to arrive at its shores. And with the biggest and best names like the Venetian, Wynn, and MGM, it’s no wonder why dollar signs dominate visitor’s minds. Of course, there’s actually much more to Macau than high-end casinos and high-rolling gamers. Macau is also a former Portuguese colony, its original development to provide a trading port between China and Europe. It doesn’t take long to feel the Mediterranean influences that still permeate the peninsula’s streets as a result; in fact, it’s quite fascinating to experience the blending of Portuguese and Chinese cultures, jointly integrated into Macau’s street signs, food, and architecture. Perhaps the most obvious place to observe the confluence of East and West is via a stroll through Macau’s Historic Center.     A World Heritage Site, it is at times seething with tourists; however, visitors stroll through the celebrated streets for good reason. A walk through the area will reveal pastel-colored houses, cobblestone walkways, Chinese temples and Moorish barracks—just a few indicators of Macau’s rich cultural past.       As much as we love roulette, spending the day meandering through Macau’s Historic Center was a highlight of our time in the area. Well, that and the inexpensive Portuguese wine! Beginning at the A-Ma Temple and concluding at the Ruins of St....
Finding Quality Accommodation at Budget Prices: La Pousada de Mong-Ha

Finding Quality Accommodation at Budget Prices: La Pousada de Mong-Ha

While ambling hand-in-hand through the streets of Macau, we often imagined ourselves roaming the piazzas of Southern Portugal instead.  Again and again one of us would make a little comment on the pastel-colored houses, the cobblestone-laden alleyways or the streets bearing Portuguese names. In these moments it was as though we would close our eyes and suddenly awake in Europe, naturally donning a large-brimmed sunhat and picnic basket of cheese. But then a small detail, like the smell of incense drifting past via a nearby temple, would remind us that we were in fact firmly rooted to Asian soil. It was this mix of Eastern and Western cultures in Macau that truly enchanted us. It was also this mix of cultural influences we were looking for in a hotel. While we pondered the idea of staying at one of the top-notch casinos (the main reason most tourists find themselves in Macau) we ultimately decided we wanted accommodation that had more character—something that paralleled the vibrancy of Macau itself. Enter the Pousada de Mong-Ha, an educational hotel located just outside the heart of Macau. An educational hotel? That sounds a bit risky. We know. That’s what we thought when we first stumbled upon it, too. But with recommendations in the Michelin Hong Kong Macau Guide and awards from Trip Advisor and Green Hotel, the training hotel warranted another look. Additional research via the hotel website revealed that the Pousada de Mong-Ha was not only an educational facility, but also a hotel where history flourishes and traditional Chinese and Portuguese cultures intertwine. The description matched our requirements to a tee. We...
Sunday Snapshot  | The Other Side of Macau | Macau

Sunday Snapshot | The Other Side of Macau | Macau

I’ve been wanting a ‘twirling’ picture for about a year, ever since an adorable one on Pinterest caught my eye. While this photo might not be exactly the same, Dan and I still had a great time meandering through Macau and snapping an absurd amount of pictures along the way. This photo was taken right after the Moorish Barracks, and we love how you can see the Grand Lisboa peeking through the narrow street. In my next twirling picture I’m definitely wearing heals. ;-P Want to see your picture featured on our Photo Friday segment? We’re now accepting guest submissions! Just send us an email at acruisingcouple@gmail.com with your photo and a brief description. We’d love to have...