Macau (officially commonly written as Macao) is one of the leading tourist destinations. The region is known to have attracted over 39 million tourists before 2020 and is slowly creeping back up to that number in 2023.
Known as the ‘Vegas of the East’, the city is regarded as the new gambling capital of the world. Aside from having an expansive sprawl of casinos, the city had recorded gambling revenues three times that of the amount generated in Sin City in a given year.
It’s not all dinging slot machines and severe poker faces, however. Even if you’re not looking to spend time in casinos, there are many incredible and unique things to do. Here are ten activities and places to add to your itinerary if you plan to visit the city.
1. Bathe in Wine
Sangria is a world-famous drink originating from the partiers of Spain and refined tastes in Portugal. It is made using a blend of fresh fruit, ice, and red wine. A dash of brandy can also be added to the mix for the more adventurous or those looking for more of a kick.
While this fruity drink is refreshing any time of the day, it is more than simply a drink in Macau, especially if you visit the Spa at Grand Lapa Hotel. Here, you can enjoy a complete sangria treatment.
The spa offer includes getting a glass of the popular drink to enjoy. However, the primary treatment is a bath in the popular beverage—which may sound odd. Amazingly, vinotherapy (using wine) is incredibly good for your skin and is one of nature’s best moisturisers.
Because of this, this unique bathing experience will leave your skin looking and feeling fresh and let you enjoy a refreshing sip of fruity delight.
2. Stay in Michael Jackson’s Mansion
Known as the “King of Pop”, Michael Jackson passed away in 2009. Before his death, he wrote and recorded over 150 songs, including hits like “Thriller” and “Black or White.”
If you’re a fan of the legendary artist, staying at the Michael Jackson Mansion is a must when visiting the city. The mansion (or suite, to be more accurate) is located at the Sofitel Macau At Pointe 16 Hotel.
Decked out with MJ insignia and styling, the suite also has some incredible additional features. Amongst these is a dedicated karaoke room (filled with MJ songs, no doubt), a jacuzzi with spectacular river views, and a rainforest shower.
In addition to all these things, the suite is also fitted with the latest hi-tech conveniences you’d expect to see in an upmarket hotel in Macao.
3. Jump Into Thrills
For thrill-seekers, Macau has something to get the heart racing and adrenaline pumping. In fact, it is the only place to go if you’re looking to experience the highest commercial bungee jump in the world.
Located at the top of the iconic Macao Tower, the bungee experience offers a free fall of 764 feet (233 meters). Safety is assured thanks to the specialised bungee cord explicitly designed for such a long free fall.
To make this daredevil stunt even more memorable, the jump system uses a variety of guidance cable systems. These make jumping a reality in almost any weather and even let you experience the wind rush while falling at night.
For those looking for thrills who aren’t sold on falling from the top of a tower, there is also a skywalk that offers almost as much adrenaline paired with unrivalled views of the city.
4. Enjoy a World First
Ferris wheels are iconic for being in the shape of a perfect circle. However, in Macau, this isn’t the case. Here, you’ll find the first Ferris wheel in the world to be shaped like the number eight.
Built into the main structure of the Studio City building, this incredible feat of engineering features 17 cabins that are styled with a steampunk design. The highest point of the conjoined wheels is around 427 feet (130 meters) and will surely get your heart beating faster.
Simply seeing the giant figure-eight Golden Reel between the two towers will take your breath away. However, the spectacular views the ride offers will be what you’ll remember most and will make up for any apprehension about climbing onboard a cabin.
5. Sail Away on a Junk
Before evolving to be the world’s gambling capital, Macau was famous for its fishing industry and simple way of life. Part of this rich history is the traditional junk. While the name may sound confusing, a junk is a traditional Chinese fishing boat.
Hiring one of these will allow you to sail around the city, bask in the sun, and even take a dip in the refreshing waters around you. And if you’re on the water as the sun slips away, you’ll be treated to unbeatable sunsets and unforgettable views of Macau at night—a vision to behold. Thankfully, there are many places to rent a junk to sail away on, and making it a trip with friends and a few cold ones can make it even better.
6. Visit the Pink Dolphins
Known for their alluring pink colouring, Indo-Pacific Humpback dolphins are at home in the waters surrounding the city. Sighting these beautiful animals can be achieved by booking a private cruise and enjoying the calming motion of the waters and the marvels of the marine life around you.
7. Tour the Colours
One of the strangest parts of Macau is the Taipa Houses. These pastel-coloured homes are in stark contrast to the hi-tech design of the rest of the city. However, as part of the original Portuguese history of the region, they are a wonderful sight to behold and are perfect for any photographer to snap a few unique shots.
8. Taste Culture
At the Macau Tea Culture Museum, you can experience a traditional Chinese tea ceremony and indulge in tastebud-enticing refreshments. The museum will also teach you about the rich history of tea in the country and how Macau was pivotal in spreading tea to the West.
9. Support Local Talent
Previously a large, abandoned factory, the five-story Macau Design Centre is the perfect place to discover upcoming artists and see unique art pieces. Hosting various exhibitions annually, the venue is a must-see for anyone with creative interests.
10. Race Away
Aside from hosting the Macau Grand Prix each year, the city is also home to one of Asia’s most challenging go-karting tracks. At just under a mile long, this course lets you test your driving skill, experience the rush of speed, and have a blast trying to steal first place from your opponents.