Mention Macau, and images of extravagantly themed hotels and larger-than-life casinos spring to mind. For years, this neighboring city has worked hard to build its name as the gaming capital of Asia, but we say it’s time to look beyond the glitz and glamor of our sister SAR — and explore a more authentic and cultural side of Macau.
Just a stone’s throw from the Cotai Casino stands Taipa Village, a cultural gem tucked away on tranquil Taipa Island. Here, you will be mesmerized by the pastel-colored houses, authentic street snacks and nostalgic Portuguese architecture. Read on to discover the best spots in this former fishing village.
A trip to Macau is not complete without a classic Portuguese meal. Nestled at the heart of the village, Portugália takes up three floors in a traditional Portuguese house. The Portuguese beerhouse, which originated from Lisbon, brought its traditional and unpretentious dining experience to Macau a few years ago. Portugália has become a favorite among locals and tourists, thanks to its relaxed and Bohemian atmosphere and its homey food offerings.
Try out the steak à Portugália, which is richly soaked in the restaurant’s secret buttery sauce and served with a side dish of French fries, rice, salad, or sautéed greens. The Codfish à Braz is a tantalizing mix of eggs, fried potatoes and onions paired with shredded codfish. This traditional classic is one of the favourite comfort dishes among the Portuguese.
Rua dos Mercadores No.5, Taipa Village, Macau.
Take a break from your food venture and see the different sides of Macau through the eyes of artists. Transformed from a traditional shop house into a modern art gallery, the Taipa Village Art Space strives to promote the cultural and creative industries in Macau by showcasing local and international artist’s work. Visit the gallery and check out the themed art and photography exhibitions, or take part in the interactive art workshops.
Taipa Village Art Space, 10 Rua dos Clerigos, Taipa, Macau.
Founded by four passionate young locals who seek to offer healthy yet delicious sweet treats, DiGREEN (Diamond in Green) features a selection of low-sugar snacks made from fresh and natural ingredients. Try out the signature popsicles and cones in flavors ranging from mango, durian and coconut to popcorn, black glutinous rice and white coffee. This innovative desserts shop also whips up coffees, frappes and other beverages to round out its menu.
58 Rua Correia da Silva, Taipa.
Forget luxury brands and high-end malls, and take a quiet stroll along the pedestrian-only alleyways and linger in cozy boutiques run by passionate locals. At Quarter Square, you can get your hands on a wide array of products ranging from organic and recyclable skincare goods to sleek designer homeware and everything in between. As a keen supporter of emerging designers and small manufacturers, the shop owners visit Europe regularly to source cutting-edge designs to fill their shelves.
No. 89 Largo Maia de Magalhães, Taipa, Macau.
Pay a visit to some of the most photogenic architectural structures in Taipa Village and learn more about Macau’s colonial background. Considered as a cultural relic and heritage of Macau, The Taipa Houses Museum is more than just a pretty face. These five iconic green houses feature the “Macanese Living Museum,” the “Exhibitions Gallery,” the “Creative Casa,” the “Nostalgic House” and the “House for Reception.”
Avenida da Praia, Taipa.