You'll need a minimum of 2 days to see most of what Macau offers, spending 1 day in the historic center and the next on Taipa, Cotai, and Colôane. Although it's easy enough to get around on your own, if you're pressed for time, Gray Line (tel. 853/2833 6611), in conjunction with MGTO, offers a 6-hour Macau Highlights Tour, with pickup and drop-off at the Macau Ferry Terminal. It costs MOP$118 for adults, MOP$108 for children and seniors, and takes in the ruins of St. Paul's Church, Senado Square, A-Ma Temple, Macau Tower, Taipa Houses-Museum, and Fisherman's Wharf, among other places. Other Gray Line tours concentrate on historic sites, Taipa and Colôane, cuisine, and shopping. For more information, contact Gray Line or MGTO (tel. 853/2833 3000; www.macautourism.gov.mo).

East Meets West

The Historic Centre of Macao, a World Heritage Site, celebrates more than 400 years of cultural exchange between the East and the West. Encompassing most of the historic old town, it ensures the preservation of both traditional Chinese architecture and the oldest Western structures on Chinese soil, with forts, temples, churches, mansions, squares, a library, cemetery, and a garden among 30 protected sites. Several of the most famous attractions are described above and in my walking tours below, but for a complete list of protected structures and a map, stop by the Macau Government Tourist Office for its Macau World Heritage pamphlet. Among my favorites: the A-Ma Temple, Moorish Barracks, Mandarin's House, Leal Senado Building, Senado Square, Lou Kau Mansion, the Protestant Cemetery, and Guia Fortress.

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At the other end of the spectrum is another "town," Fisherman's Wharf (tel. 853/2899 3300; www.fishermanswharf.com.mo), a fabricated village on reclaimed land in the Outer Harbour just a few minutes' walk from the Macau Ferry Terminal. It's divided into three zones: Tang Dynasty, with architecture and decor typical of the era; East Meets West, a fairy-tale rendition of history, with a man-made "active" volcano, an underground game center (daily noon-2am), and a 2,000-seat Roman amphitheater for concerts and performances; and Legend Wharf, with replica European, North American, and South African historic architecture. Mostly, Fisherman's Wharf is an excuse to shop and eat, with plenty of upscale opportunities for both. With regularly scheduled street performances and other events, it makes for an interesting stroll.


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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.