MACAU – A heritage trail through Portugese Chinese history

Macau is a huge densly populated city and one of the special administrative regions of China. It’s a beautiful place full of history and makes a great 2-3 day trip from Hong Kong. The central core of historical buildings are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I visited Macau three years ago during my annual year trip to China with my son. Join me on a mainly photo journey through Macau’s history.

MACAU - A heritage trail through Portugese Chinese history

A bit of Macau History

Macau has been one of the first overseas colonies in Asia, more specific a Portuguese colony. It has been a colony till 1999 surpassing Hong Kong. If you walk the streets and pretent the Chinese signs are not there you might think you walk in Europe.

MACAU - A heritage trail through Portugese Chinese history

It was in the 16th century that Portugal was granted the rights by China to start a colony. In return Portugal would protect the area from invaders like pirates. The Dutch tried to capture Macau in the early 17th century but did not succeed. Macau played an important role in the opium wars and also the Second World War. Portugal was negotiating with the French to trade it with another colony but the Chinese did not agree. In 1999 China got back all control but leaving some to Macau, but that’s on paper. In the streets you will find some activists, as you can see in the photo below, that “promote” the current situation between China and Macau. Today Macau is one of the wealthiest cities on earth due to gambling. There is however also a lot of history to see which is well worth a visit also if you do not gamble.

MACAU - A heritage trail through Portugese Chinese history

The Heritage Trail of Macau

The heritage trail I walked the first day started at A-Ma Temple from which Macau got its name. It ended at the ruins of St. Pauls Church and the Mount Fortress just next to it, the two icons of Macau. The places I visited amongst some minor ones along the route were:

1. A-Ma Temple
2. Moorish Barracks
3. Lilau Square
4. St. Lawrence’s Church
5. St. Joseph’s Seminary and Church
6. St. Augustine’s Square
7. St. Augustine’s Church
8. Dom Pedro V Theatre
9. Sir Robert Ho Tung Library
10. Senado Square
11.  “Leal Senado” Building
12. The General Post Office Building
13. Holy House of Mercy
14. St. Dominic’s Church
15. Ruins of St. Paul’s
16. Na Tcha Temple
17. Section of the Old City Walls
18. Mount Fortress
19. Macau Museum (Museu de Macau)

MACAU - A heritage trail through Portugese Chinese history

The trail is well marked and maps are available from the tourist offices. It takes a day to see everything in this area. For now, enjoy the photo gallery of  Macau. It’s just a small place but there are so many places for photography. A selection of mine in the gallery.

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Did you visit Macau too or do you have questions? Please leave a comment at the bottom of the page. Love to hear from you!

Further reading

Sometimes it’s impossible to cover every single place of interest, activities, food, and others that might be relevant. In the below list you find a list of relevant links with further information about Macau which I have carefully curated. These will help plan your trip even better.

  • Did you know Macau is very close to Hong Kong? It is and you can easily reach Macau by boat, helicopter or by bridge. If you plan a Macau day trip, then check these day trip from Hong Kong tips for more information.

Gallery Macau Heritage Trail

Click an image for a full screen gallery of more photos taken during this trip. If you like to use any photo for commercial, private or editorial use please contact first for permission and/or pricing.