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Macao, just 40 miles from Hong Kong and a Special Administrative Region of China, is one of Asia's most exciting destinations for travellers seeking cultural diversity, exquisite food and world-class accommodation and nightlife.

The Portuguese arrived in Macao in the 16th century and their influence can still be clearly seen in the UNESCO World Heritage Historic Centre of Macao. Within the maze of streets, alleys and picturesque piazzas, visitors will find Taoist Temples, 17th-century churches, and traditional Chinese homes, all within walking distance of each other. Highlights include the atmospheric A-Ma Temple and elegant Senado Square.

Read on to discover the unmissable experiences on offer in this unique and exciting destination.


Eat


Macao has become one of Asia's great gourmet getaways offering a perfect blend of East-West cuisine. Its unique mix of Portuguese and Asian ingredients and cooking styles has resulted in a melting pot of flavours. Today, visitors will find an amazingly diverse food scene with pretty Portuguese coffee shops, sizzling Chinese street stalls and award-winning international restaurants run by innovative and talented chefs.

Savour unique local Macanese fusion dishes combining elements of Portuguese, Indian, South American, Malaysian and African influences with local Chinese traditions; enjoy great Chinese food; and sample some of the best Portuguese food outside Portugal.

There are 68 Macao restaurants in The Michelin Guide Hong Kong & Macao 2017. With three Michelin stars, and ranked amongst the best restaurants in Asia are, Robuchon au Dôme and The Eight, serving exquisite French and Cantonese cuisine respectively - both located within the Grand Lisboa Hotel - plus a further five two-star, twelve one-star and twelve “Bib Gourmand” restaurants, awarded to restaurants that offer excellent value for money.


Enjoy


Macao comes to life when the sun goes down with a glittering choice of cool bars and nightclubs, vibrant casinos and spectacular shows.

The neon lights of the casinos and privileged views of Macao's dramatic skyline set the scene for rooftop cocktail bars such as at the stylish 38 Lounge bar at the Altira Hotel or Sky 21, located on the 21st floor of the AIA Tower featuring a dance floor with an alfresco deck and incredible views of the Macau Tower.

Highlights of the vibrant club scene include Pacha Macau at the Studio City Resort, which brings a taste of Ibiza nightlife to Macao, and the Club Cubic, which regularly welcomes DJ's of international acclaim. It is one of the largest hotspots in Asia, set over two floors in the City of Dreams, and houses Asia's first Perrier-Jou√ęt Champagne Bar.

Also to be found in the City of Dreams, the multi-million dollar water-based production The House of Dancing Water, is undoubtedly one of the world's most unique and spectacular shows.


Outdoors & Adventure


Macao offers a wide variety of outdoor attractions for those seeking a thrill, to the more gentle pursuits in its picturesque countryside or on a leisurely rickshaw ride. Walkers will find a network of hiking trails and golfers can tee off at the Macau Golf and Country Club, home to an 18-hole, par-71 championship course.

For adrenaline junkies, there is nothing quite like the Macau Tower, one of the world's tallest towers at over 330 metres high. Take a walk on the wild side with the SkyWalk X experience on the 1.8 metre-wide outer perimeter that encircles the tower, 233 metres above the ground with no handrail to cling onto. Or sign up for the world's tallest commercial bungy jump, where jumpers reach speeds of up to 200kmh during a five-second freefall.


Festivals & Events


Macao hosts a year round calendar of fascinating and colourful events and festivals that reflect its unique multi-cultural heritage and traditions through Chinese and Portuguese celebrations, and include the annual Chinese New Year celebrations and Dragon Boat Festival.

Key highlights of the year are the Macao International Fireworks Display Contest in September and the Macau Grand Prix, which takes place every November, and represents the climax of the Formula 3 calendar on one of the most challenging street circuits in the world. The Macao International Fireworks Display Contest sees expert teams from across the globe produce dramatic shows that light up the night sky above Macao's sparkling skyline.


Relax & Recharge


Macao might be best known for its mixture of ultra-modern attractions and nightlife alongside its unique Portuguese-Chinese heritage and culture, but the destination also caters for visitors in search of relaxation.

As you would expect from a destination with such a wide choice of luxury hotels, Macao is home to a host of elegant and peaceful spas offering a range of traditional and cutting edge treatments to boost health and wellbeing. From the ESPA spa at the JW Marriott Hotel Macau to the award-winning Banyan Tree Spa located in the same Galaxy Macau resort, sanctuary is never too far way.

Macao also has plenty to attract shoppers, from mega malls and designer boutiques to humble market stalls selling characterful goods. Within The Historic Centre of Macao, discover streets lined with antique shops and don't miss a visit to the foodie Red market.