Finally you have decided to visit Asia and searching for ideas through usual resources covering needs of gay travelers. Well, you might miss quite nice place to visit – Macao. It has only one gay bar and is not high on the gay travelers popular destinations lists but it is really worth visiting. No, you don’t have to gamble while in Macao and there is more to see there than in Las Vegas folks.
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Macau is an autonomous region on the south coast of China, across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong. It has been given the nickname of “Las Vegas of Asia”. For over 300 years it was a Portuguese colony. Here you can see many amazing things like ancient Chinese temples and buildings with a mix of impressive architecture. The Macau Peninsula includes the old city center and further south are the conjoined islands of Taipa, Cotai and Coloane. Visitors can find preserved Macanese architecture in Taipa, the new megacasinos in Cotai and colonial villages and lovely beaches in Coloane.
The most treasured icon in Macao with a towering facade and stairway are all that remain of the Church of St. Paul, a 17th century Jesuit church. It was designed by an Italian Jesuit and completed by early Japanese Christian exiles and Chinese craftsmen in 1602. It was a fire in 1835 that destroyed almost everything. There are many interesting and spiritual carvings on the facade. Behind it is a steel staircase which visitors can climb to the top.
The Museum of Sacred Art and Crypt is a small museum found behind the ruins of St. Paul. There are carved wooden statues, silver chalices, monstrances and oil paintings on display. Among the oil paintings is a 17th century painting that depicts the martrydom of 26 Japanese Christians by crucifixion at Nagasaki in 1597. The adjoining crypt holds the remains of Asian Christian martyrs and includes the tomb of Alessandro Valignano, the Jesuit who founded the College of the Mother of God and helped establish Christianity in Japan.
For awesome views of the city and surroundings head for the highest point on the peninsula, Guia Fort. At the top visitors will find the amazing Chapel of Our Lady of Guia, built in 1622 and still retaining most of the original features like some of Asia’s most valuable frescoes. Next to it is the oldest modern lighthouse on the China coast dating from 1865. The lighthouse is a 15m tall structure which is closed to the public. If you prefer you can take the Guia cable car to the top. It runs from the entrance of Macao’s largest public park, Flora Garden.
Sir Robert Ho Tung Library is housed in a lovely building that was founded in the 19th century. It was once the country retreat of the late tycoon Robert Ho Tung, who purchased the house in 1918. The building has a dome, an arcaded facade, Ionic columns and Chinese-style gardens. It was given a modern extension by architect Joy Choi Tin Tin and the new four-story structure is all in glass and steel with Piranesi-inspired bridges connecting to the old house and a glass roof.
These are just some ideas what to do and see while in Macao. There is much more but it all depends on your interests and available time.
Oh, almost forgot to mention – the only gay bar in Macao – BOOM BAR
164 Avenida De Kwong Tung, Taipa 澳門氹仔廣東大馬路164號南新花園第五座地下M, Macao, China