My 5: Coloane Village, Macau.

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1. Coloane Village, February 2018. It’s almost criminal to think that thousands of people come to Macau and see out the entirety of their visits in the neon bubble of Taipa Island’s towering hotel-casinos. Sure, Macau is world famous as a gambling mecca and shopper’s paradise, but it also boasts some gorgeous rural scenery. Most unforgivable of all, it’s just a fourteen-minute drive (ninety minutes if you’re walking) from The Venetian down to sleepy little Coloane Village.

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My 5: Street Steel Heavy Metal Bike Gallery, Macau.

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1. Street Steel Heavy Metal Bike Gallery, Macau, February 2018. I’m not really into motorbikes. In fact… let me revise that… I couldn’t care less. But Wonderboy LOVES them, so I knew we’d be checking out this exhibition from the moment he saw the big billboard: “The only motorcycle exhibition in the world 24 hours open for free!”

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My 5: St. Lawrence’s Church, Macau.

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1. St. Lawrence’s Church, February 2018. I don’t think Wonderboy and I managed to see ALL the churches in Macau, but we must have gotten close. This one, towering above Rua de São Lourenço, is one of the peninsula’s oldest structures dating back to the mid sixteenth century.

2. St. Lawrence’s Church, February 2018. It’s an impressive neo-classical structure peppered with touches of baroque details. This is the main room, Hall of the Soothing Winds, where the families of Portuguese sailors used to gather to pray for the safe return of their loved ones out at sea.

3. St. Lawrence’s Church, February 2018. St. Lawrence is the patron saint of navigation, a sea god in the eyes of the Portuguese who protects people. Images of the old dude decorate the altar, a bible clutched in his left hand, a staff in his right.

4. St. Lawrence’s Church, February 2018. For me, the thing that really sets St. Lawrence’s apart from the other churches we saw was its gorgeous garden bursting with palm trees, rose bushes and all manner of exotic plants.

5. St. Lawrence’s Church, February 2018. Check out the beautiful glass panels showing engraved scenes from the bible. The church and garden is free to enter and open from 10:00-18:00 (Monday to Friday) & 10:00-13:00 (Saturdays). It’s closed on Sundays.

For more on my time in this amazing corner of China, check out my other articles on Macau.

Like these? Then why not leaf through my many other 5s from across China.

I’ve also written a short story series called Challenged in China.

 

My 5: Macau Tower, China.

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1. Macau Tower, February 2018. For unparalleled three hundred and sixty degree views across Macau Peninsula, Taipa Island and Hong Kong, head over to Macau Tower, a cloud-piercing 338-meter needle created by Moller Architects.

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My 5: Guia Hill, Macau.

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1. Guia Hill, February 2018. While a visit to Monte Fort is a must for anyone touring Macau, you’ll almost certainly be more charmed by the comparatively peaceful experience of Guia Hill in the peninsula’s central east region. An undemanding winding path takes you up to the top in under fifteen minutes.

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My 5: St. Dominic’s Church, Macau.

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1. St. Dominic’s Church, February 2018. Located right in the heart of Macau’s bustling Senado Square, this 16th century baroque church is one of the peninsula’s biggest hitters, with a steady flow of visitors swarming in and out throughout the day.

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My 5: Nam Peng Cafe, Macau.

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1. Nam Peng Café, February 2018. This legendary breakfast spot is an absolute must for anyone wanting to tap into an old school Macau dining experience. Located in a rough and ready back alley (85 R. de Cinco Outubro) a five-minute walk from The Ruins of St. Paul’s, this is the place to come for a delicious, no-nonsense feed and for an unparalleled spell of people watching.

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