On our first day, we explored the Macau city proper on foot. If it’s your first time there, let me guide you on a walking tour and explore the city on your own. You don’t need to spend a dime on those packaged tours which you have to endure with a few other tourists. Its better to discover the city on your own, trust me. First, a brief description of what to expect…
2) Moorish Barracks – is just around the corner of the A-Ma temple situated on Barra street. The Moorish Barracks was constructed to accommodate an Indian regiment appointed to reinforce Macau’s police force back in the early 1874. We didn’t go inside since it was closed at the early hour of 8AM. :)
3) Lilau Square - further up the road, the narrow street from the Moorish Barracks suddenly opens to the first Portugese residential quarters in Macau. There are even some houses there that still have inhabitants living and probably maintaining the houses there.
4) St. Lawrence’s Church – as we went further up the road, Barra street connects into Padre Antonio St. and Lourenco St. where the St. Lawrence’s Church stands. It was a beautiful, church built by the Jesuits in the mid 16th century and one of the three oldest churches in Macao. I love the neo-classical structure and Baroque decorative inspirations of the church, and I found out that the neighborhood where the church is located used to be fairly wealthy thus explaining the scale and wealth of the architectural treatment. Its just too bad that it is not permitted to bring cameras inside the church.. the inside is just as grand as it is on the outside.
5) St. Augustine’s Square - walk alongside the granite wall on Prata St and the adjoining Seminario St. and you will arrive at the junction of Gamboa Lane. Climb up the hill from there and the path will lead you to St. Augustine’s Square enclosed by a cluster of monuments. I just had to take a seat at one of the benches there and enjoy the surrounding views. I let hubby snap away with his camera while I take a much needed water break. Public toilets or comfort rooms can be found within the area ( I sense that you are going ask that on my comments section later on :).
7) St. Augustine’s Church – another magnificent monument in the St. Augustine’s Square, this church was established by Spanish Augustinians in 1591. We were so thankful for our trusted tripod at this time that we just had to have a photo ops in it’s facade.
9) Leal Senado Building – situated at one end of the Senado Square, which has a commanding view overlooking the entire square.
This is the last stop of our walking tour since we were already famished and lunch was just a few minutes away back to the Senado Square. :)
But if you still wish to continue the tour of the rest of the Historic Centre of Macau… from the Mount Fortress is the miniature Na Tcha Temple and Section of the Old City Walls. Further down the hill, the linear route ends at St. Anthony’s Church, The Casa Garden and the Protestant Cemetery. You can choose to hire a taxi or ride the bus to go to the Guia Fortress, Chapel and Lighthouse which stands on the highest hill of Macau which are all visible along the skyline of the peninsula.
Hope that helps you on your next visit to Macau. :)
Notable sources of info: “Macau Guide Book” published by the Macau Tourist Office