Quite often, it is the unassuming travel destinations, the ones not so obvious that offer a truly exciting and value-for-money holiday. And you’ll never find this truer for Macau, selected as one of Lonely Planet’s Top 10 regions for “Best in Travel” in 2015.
Offering some of Asia’s best attractions, the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of Macau is just a mere 3 hours and 45 minutes via direct flight from KLIA2 and beckons the Malaysian traveller. Whether for romantic trip for two, a fun-filled family vacation, or a solo escapade to explore the city’s rich history and heritage (or all of the above), there is certainly more to Macau than most are aware of. Step out of the airport and prepare to discover a world of wonder across the 30.3 kilometres squared region’s old world charm and new world excitement.
For a quick guide, refer to the infographic overleaf to find out why there is more to Macau than most realise:
Unbeknown to most, Macau in 2014 alone, received over 30 million tourist arrivals, making it one of the highest and most visited tourist spots in Asia. Among the reasons cited for its appeal is that Macau is affordable, easy to get around, safe and is strategically located. Having ticked all the right boxes, it is no wonder that little Macau looms large on the traveller’s calendar.
In addition, there is something for everyone. History buffs will enjoy the well-preserved attractions but especially the World Heritage site area that is home to the world-famous Ruins of St. Paul’s, A-Ma Temple, and Senado Square.
These are just a few of traditional must-see places that stand tall and proud as guardians of Macau’s rich cultural heritage. The historic attractions sit comfortably with newer sites such as the Macau Tower & Convention Centre which features the world’s highest bungy jump at 233m (764ft).
Foodies will enjoy Macau’s delectable mix of Asian, Portuguese and African (yes, African) influences that certainly give an exotic twist to the local cuisine. As a suggestion, you may wish to sample Galinha de Africana (African Chicken), Portuguese tarts, almond cookies, and other tempting delights, which are mouth-watering and unique to Macau.
And for those into the arts, the month of May brings one of Asia’s best highlights on the performing arts calendar – The Macau Arts Festival (MAF), which showcases some of the world’s best performances featuring theatre, dance, music, cinema, art exhibitions and lots more.
Now in its 26th instalment, the MAF, themed “Encounter” for 2015, is an attempt to explore the linguistic diversity of the performing arts in all its forms and to transcend barriers of language, culture and medium to show that art is in effect one, and to be enjoyed by all.
This year, the MAF features 30 acts and visual arts exhibitions that together with the outreach programme, number to over 100 activities.
Dramatically lighting up the city every early summer, the MAF brings together theatre, dance, music, circus, multimedia, and visual arts in an artistic panorama of events.
A mix of local, regional and international performers from various regions and countries around the world present a diversity of programmes, including Cantonese Opera, Western classical and modern music, Chinese music and drama, Macanese drama, and a host of exciting artistic experiences enjoyed by enthusiastic multicultural audiences for an entire month.
The Asian premiere of “Lied Ballet” heralds the curtain-up of the MAF; “Trust”, also an Asian premiere, will be the closing show; “The Suit” showcases the master’s extraordinary denotation of theatrical space; “1699 The Peach Blossom Fan” perfectly demonstrates the inheritance of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Local plays promise to be equally fascinating: The MAF commissioned performance, “Fateful Decision”, provides a platform for the use and practice of original script on stage. This edition of the MAF has also commissioned WCdance from Taiwan with the piece “Aerodynamics”, which encourages the exchange and cooperation of artists from Macao and Taiwan. “Phaedra 2.0-Desires and Lies” transcends the boundaries of language and text.
A series of exhibitions will also be launched to demonstrate the diversity of art: The MAF programme includes several family-orientated programmes; “Savanna – A Possible Landscape”, “Transports Exceptionnels”, and “Dot” are some of the shows which will give both adults and children the opportunity to appreciate art together.
And that’s not all! The icing on the cake is that several performances are hosted by some of Macau’s enchanting and atmospheric UNESCO-listed World Heritage sites.
Watch the trailer here:
From a World Heritage Status District, the Macau Arts Festival, MMA fights, and the world’s highest bungy jump, Macau – the world’s top tourist destination – bids you welcome with 17 direct flights weekly from KLIA2.