As a returning visitor to Macau, we wanted to experience something different, something unusual when we were here last month. Hence, we took an off the beaten path track to places most people haven’t heard of, and where the chances to meet another tourist are rather thin.
We downloaded this walking tour map from Macau Tourism website. The Step Out, Macau is an initiative to encourage visitors to explore the unknown parts of Macau. There are four types of interesting walking tours – a tour of historical trails, a tour of nature and creativity, a tour of east meets west and a tour of art and culture. We chose to do the nature and creativity tour as we have never been to the Guia Fortress before and our hotel is actually within walking distance to most of the destinations.
Download the Step Out, Macau app on Iphone/Android. The app can be use offline and there is an interactive map, with bus routes, wifi zone and detailed description of each destinations. It is proven to be very useful when we did our walk.
Watch this video to have an rough idea of the walking tour.
Estimated time: Around 150 minutes (The duration of stay is expected to be 5-10 minutes for each spot)
Route: Pou Chai Sim Iun(Kun Iam Tong) → Communications Museum → Macau Reservoir → Guia Cable Car → Guia Fortress → Tap Seac Square → Dr. Sun Yat Sen Memorial House → Lou Lim Ieoc Garden → St. Lazarus Church
We started our tour from Macau Reservoir instead of Kun Iam Tong. The tour is very flexible in the sense that you can just skip or even add in different places of interest, according to your own preferences.
It was a hot summer day, but the reservoir area is quite cooling with water sprinklers everywhere.
We strolled along the bank, enjoy the charming scenery of the reservoir and the Outer Harbor, and take pictures.
#2 Flora Garden & Guia Cable Car
We left the Reservoir Recreation Area, and walked along the Estrada de Cacilhas to the right, and proceeded to Avenida de Sidónio Pais, which leads to the Flora Garden. If time permits, visit the flora garden as there is a mini zoo inside.
We were very excited to take the cable car ride up to Guia Fortress. A one way ride costs MOP 2 and a return ride costs MOP 3.
Do you know that Guia Cable Car is the world’s shortest cable car and the only cable car system in Macau, with a whole trip of one hundred and eighty six meters, and a journey time of just over a minute?
Right after we alighted from the cable car station, we walked along the jogging trail and the view from top is spectacular.
After 10 minutes or so, we reached Guai Fortress and Guai Lighthouse. These are typhoon warning signs as during the earlier times, storm warnings were announced form the bell-tower of the hermitage.
Guia Fortress was built in 1622 and expanded in 1637. Here we took in a panoramic view of Macau and the breathtaking view of the Pearl River estuary.
The fort’s dominating feature is the lighthouse, built in 1865 and the oldest on the China coast. It is 52.5 feet high and has a light which can be seen for 20 miles in clear weather.
By the side of the Guia Lighthouse stands the Guai Chapel.
It is a beautiful ground so we spent a lot of time here taking photos and admiring the views. We even spotted at least 4-5 pairs of couples during their pre-wedding shoot here.
Go down the Guia Hill along the Estrada do Engenheiro Trigo, you’ll arrive at the Calçada da Vitória. The stone steps downward of Calçada da Vitória lead to – Tap Seac Square, the largest square of Macau.
The Instituto Cultural is a beautiful building in Southern Europe style.
As we left the square, we proceeded along the Avenida de Sidónio Pais past two blocks. On the right of the road, we saw a small park, the Victory Garden. As we continued along the Avenida de Sidónio Pais, we saw a yellow historical building, which is now the Traffic Department. On the other side of the road, there is the Dr Sun Yat Seng Memorial House. The House showcases his books, letters, photos, and old newspapers accounts of his life and other items. Unfortunately, it was closed when we were there.
We walked along the Rua de Antonio Basto by the side of the Memorial House, and turn left into the Avenida do Conselheiro Ferreira de Almeida, until we saw Macau Tea Culture House across the street, a yellow edifice featuring Southern European elements and a Chinese tiled roof.
Here visitors can learn tea cultures of China and the West, as well as having some tea while enjoying the scenery of the Lou Lim Ieoc Garden on the second floor of the house.
This is the original setting of the Kun Nam Tea House, established in year 1953 and closed down in year 1996. It was one of the three best tea houses in Macau back then.
We then continued to walk along the Rua do Tap Seac and continue to the Rua do Volong, where we finally saw the St. Lazarus Church, a Catholic church on the Calcada da Igreja de S. Lazaro and it is one of the three oldest churches in Macau.
Out of the St. Lazarus Church, we were at the St. Lazarus Parish, with many Portuguese buildings and Portuguese paving. A lot of movies have been filmed in this region of Southern European styles.
Other walking routes for your references. If you are a first time visitor to Macau, I will highly recommend the tour of historical trails as it covers most major tourist attractions in Macau. Visit Macau Tourism website for more information.
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