It’s going to be a fantastic 2019 in the city of Macao. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) after this former Portuguese settlement was returned to China in 1999.
Expect a whole year of activities and events to celebrate this momentous occasion.
And with the opening of the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macao Bridge in October last year, it’s now so much easier for visitors in Hong Kong and mainland China to drop by Macao for a visit while enjoying the thrill of driving across one of the modern marvels of the modern world.
Also known as the HZMB, this 55km bridge and tunnel system – the longest sea crossing and fixed link in the world – connects the three major cities in the Pearl River Delta, namely Macao, Zhuhai and Hong Kong.
Visitors to Macao will be warmly welcomed by not only the city’s mix of Portuguese-Macanese charm and other cultural influences but also the myriad of food, sights and activities that can be found in this city that covers an area of around 30.8sq km.
Its petite size means everything a visitor wants to do or see or experience is close at hand, making it easy for families, senior travellers or special interest groups to go from place to place without wasting more time and money on travelling.
For the more mobile and the millennials who cannot sit still, this means they can get to squeeze in more adventures and experiences in one day.
And there are plenty to see and do in Macao in 2019.
But one event that visitors must mark on their calendar and not to be missed in Macao is its Chinese New Year parade, happening on Feb 7 and Feb 10. Expect some 13 to 15 floats parade through the streets of the city accompanied by over 1,000 performers from both local and international performance groups of various countries and regions.
There are also stage performances and even a fireworks display to liven up the whole atmosphere, making it a new year to remember for both locals and visitors alike. Spectator stands are available at the main stage area as well as along the parade route so that residents and visitors will not miss anything.
For those who are looking for a more leisurely trip with the family or alone, take a cruise with the newly-established Macao Cruise, which was officially launched on Dec 8, 2018.
Macao Cruise offers visitors a different perspective of seeing the landmarks in the peninsula – from the waterways. Travellers not only can escape from the hustle and bustle of the city for a while but also get to enjoy the enchanting city landscape and scenery while cruising on the tranquil waterways. The cruise takes visitors on a comprehensive tour connecting A-Ma Temple in the Macao Peninsula (under preparation), to Taipa and Coloane. They not only get a closer look at the points of interest along the way, but also gain a deeper and richer understanding of the multicultural aspects of this city and its surroundings.
For some family-friendly fun, drop by the Anim’Arte Nam Van at the Nam Van lakeside which has been transformed into a waterfront leisure hub. There are activities for the whole family as well as food and even souvenir hunting to be found around the lake and within the Nam Van Lakeside Plaza.
Shopaholics looking for some unique made-in-Macao products should check out the many shops at the plaza. Those more energetic can expend some energy on a pedal boat ride on the lake. And before heading back, catch the Cybernetic Fountain of Nam Van Lake show happening at 9pm and 10pm every Saturday and Sunday night.
Those looking for more retail therapy, Macao offers various street markets selling a variety of handicrafts and souvenirs as well as local delicacies that can be found in various parishes on the peninsula. Check out their opening times and dates as some opens daily while others only during the weekends or on specific dates. One of the more colourful street markets is the Taipa Flea Market in Old Taipa Village.
No visit to Macao is complete without indulging in a culinary experience of what Macanese cuisine is all about. From Michelin-star restaurant to street food and snacks, Macao offers an irresistible gastronomy of tastes and flavours culled from a fusion of Portuguese and Chinese cuisine with ingredients and seasonings assembled from Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia.
According to the Michelin Guide for 2019, there are 19 Michelin-star restaurants in Macao, enough to whet the appetite of any food connoisseur. Check out the Jade Dragon under chef Kelvin Au Yeung, which clinched the coveted third star last year after having received its first star in 2014 and the second in 2016. It joins Macao’s two other three-star establishments – Robuchon au Dôme and The Eight.
Meanwhile, at the major hotels, resorts and upscale malls, visitors can also indulge in a range of international cuisine, some of which are prepared by globally-acclaimed chefs such as Michelin two-star award-winning French-Argentinian chef Mauro Colagreco at Grill 58° in MGM Cotai. The chef is known for dishes driven by high quality fresh ingredients as well as his Mediterranean cuisine.
Whether it’s Japanese, Korean, American, French, Italian, Indian or Southeast Asian, the choice is as wide as your stomach can take in.
Find out more about what Macao has to offer this year at the Macao for Everyone – CNY Roadshow, starting this Friday (Jan 11) to Sunday (Jan 13), at the MyTown Shopping Mall in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur.
There will be a virtual reality experience game, food-tasting opportunities, ang pow origami making sessions, God of Prosperity appearances as well as Macao’s mascot Mak Mak handcraft. Visitors will also enjoy a special 20th Anniversary of MSAR Photo Opportunity at the roadshow.
Meanwhile, Muslim key opinion leaders such as Nabila Razali, Kyopropaganda and Akwa will be on hand to share their experiences of Macao.
For more on the roadshow, visit www.facebook.com/MacaoTourismMalaysia/ or call 03-21442500.