What is Macau’s cultural scene like?

©iStock/faiwong

With all the ongoing excitement over Macau being the new Vegas, you'd be forgiven for thinking that there was little else to see or do but gamble. However, the city is surprisingly rich with culture, and boasts a year-round roster of entertainment that doesn't involve entering a casino. Events include the International Music Festival in October; the annual Macau International Fireworks Display Contest in September; and the famous Formula 3 Grand Prix held every November — a glamorous motorsport carnival that is often compared to Monaco's yearly Formula 1 race. Still not convinced? Check out one of the many performances by major music acts — such as Avril Lavigne, Linkin Park, Sting, Celine Dion and Beyoncé — or Cirque du Soleil and its amazing acrobatics show Zaia, all of which have been held under the towering roof of the Venetian.

  • On June 5, 2013
    Paulo Barbosa answered the question: Paulo Barbosa

    What's new in Macau?

    Paulo Barbosa The new factor in town, with largely unknown implications, is the Hengqin island new development zone. Very close to Macau, the mountainous island is three times larger than Macau’s total area. Until very recently one could find remote oyster fishermen village communities there. But all is changing since the Beijing central government decided to grant a part of the island lands to be developed by the Macau Special Administrative Region. The huge campus of the Macau University is being built there and it will fall under the region’s jurisdiction. Nearby the campus, a brand-new city is being built from scratch. The local government stated that the Hengqin new development zone will play a supplementary role to Macau, accommodating millions of visitors.
  • On June 5, 2013
    Paulo Barbosa answered the question: Paulo Barbosa

    What's new in Macau?

    Paulo Barbosa The new factor in town, with largely unknown implications, is the Hengqin island new development zone. Very close to Macau, the mountainous island is three times larger than Macau’s total area. Until very recently one could find remote oyster fishermen village communities there. But all is changing since the Beijing central government decided to grant a part of the island lands to be developed by the Macau Special Administrative Region. The huge campus of the Macau University is being built there and it will fall under the region’s jurisdiction. Nearby the campus, a brand-new city is being built from scratch. The local government stated that the Hengqin new development zone will play a supplementary role to Macau, accommodating millions of visitors.
  • On June 5, 2013
    Paulo Barbosa answered the question: Paulo Barbosa

    What are the best rooftop bars in Macau?

    Macau is known to have many rooftops, but unfortunately most of them are located in residential buildings. My pick for best rooftop bar is the sophisticated Sky 21. The name derives from the location on the 21st floor of the AIA tower building.
    The panoramic balcony offers excellent views of Taipa Island and the Nam Van area. Another pick would be the Hard Rock Hotel pool bar, called Wave. Some of the seats are partially immersed in water, which makes Wave a perfect place to enjoy a cocktail during the Summer months.
  • Just now

    NEW FOLLOWERS

    Andi Berens
  • On May 29, 2013
    Paulo Barbosa answered the question: Paulo Barbosa

    What are the five best things to see and do with kids in Macau?

    Macau’s sea water quality is muddy due to the Pearl River influence, so the favorite pastime for the local youth is not to hang around the beach but instead to visit one of the recreational pools operated by the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau. Every year they are visited by over 200,000 persons. These pools are safe for children, since each of them has at least four lifeguards. They include small pools adapted to the little ones. The scenic Cheoc Van pool, located close to the sea and the beach, is perhaps the best option. Nearby, at the Hac Sa beach, there’s a park with recreational sport facilities. It’s the best place in Macau to do a barbeque with all the family.
    Regarding educational activities, the Macau Science Center (designed by the famous architect I.M. Pei) includes a Planetarium and Space Theatre that generates impressing high definition 3D effects. The museum has activities specially tailored for children. For the kids fascinated with the car racing world, the best option is the Grand Prix Museum, which displays a collection of machines that were raced on the Guia circuit. The museum also includes a BD presentation and two racing car simulators.
  • On May 29, 2013
    Paulo Barbosa answered the question: Paulo Barbosa

    What is Macau’s cultural scene like?

    Despite some independent art productions, centered around places like the Ox Warehouse and the gallery of the Association Art for All, the Cultural Affairs Bureau continues to be the dynamo of the local cultural scene. The bureau is responsible for events like the Macau Arts Festival and the International Music Festival. The first is held during the month of May and features many local acts. The International Music Festival, scheduled for the months of October and November, will celebrate the 27th edition and it is characterized by the variety of musical genres. New cultural  facilities are expected to open soon, like a classic movie house.
  • On May 29, 2013
    Paulo Barbosa answered the question: Paulo Barbosa

    What should be packed for a trip to Macau?

    Many of the city attractions are within walking distance and it’s sometimes difficult to get taxis. The best way to see the Unesco world heritage sites is to walk and visitors should expect to walk a lot. Hence, an obvious advice is to bring comfortable walking shoes. A camera is also useful to explore the picturesque streets and alleys.
    Reading fans should bring their books because it’s difficult to find a bookshop with many English titles. Visitors that intend to walk extensively in green areas like the Coloane island trails should include in his backpack refreshments and light snacks. There are no shops nearby and the trails are one of Macau’s only places where it’s possible to be alone and even to get lost.
  • On May 29, 2013
    Paulo Barbosa answered the question: Paulo Barbosa

    What are the five best things to see and do in Macau?

    The mix of heritage sites and casinos makes Macau unique. An afternoon spent in the Senado Square area is like a history lesson. The unusual number of churches reminds of the period when the small peninsula was the center of the Roman Catholic Church in the Far East.  Monuments of Chinese and Portuguese origin are a living proof of the melting pot that happened here.
    Another thing to do besides sightseeing is gambling.The gaming industry gained such a dimension that it is hard to avoid the casinos and their promises of instant wealth.
    The Macanese cuisine is well known and visitors should taste it. There are many restaurants that will leave the costumers satisfied, or even asking for more. Shopping antiques in the old quarter and spending time in one of the luxurious spas located inside the casino-resorts are also good options
    .
  • On May 24, 2013
    Paulo Barbosa answered the question: Paulo Barbosa

    What is the best time to visit Macau?

    March and April can be good months to visit Macau. After the frenzy during the Chinese New Year, the city gets a bit more quiet and the weather is moderate (by local standards).
    During the following months temperatures and humidity rise up to a point where air-conditioning deprivation is almost unbearable. August is perhaps the hardest month to walk around town and some visitors may find themselves suffering from heat exhaustion. 
    The heat and humidity get lower in September and milder temperatures remain until mid-November, when the Macau Grand Prix is held. From December to March it can get cold, but it is nothing that a good coat won't fix.
  • On April 28, 2013
    Paulo Barbosa answered the question: Paulo Barbosa

    What new dance shows are in Macau?

    Staged in a purpose-built theater that allowing many special water effects, The House of Dancing Water is a show that mixes dance, theatre, acrobatics and stunts. It opened in 2010 at Cotai’s City of Dreams resort after an investment of over USD 250million. Since then the show has had many revamps. The audiences seem to love this Franco Dragone's production. The founder of the famous Cirque do Soleil (that had a show running in the neighboring Venetian resort until recently) developed a like for Macau, where he is also helping to run the applauded Taboo at Galaxy 's China Rouge. Taboo is a cabaret show full of sensuality and very appropriate to be staged here.
  • On April 28, 2013
    Paulo Barbosa answered the question: Paulo Barbosa

    What are the best museums in Macau?

    My favorite museum in Macau is the Maritime Museum. It opened in 1987 and is a legacy left by the Portuguese administration in Macau before the handover. Macau started as a small fisherman’s village and all its history is related to the sea and the Pearl River. Besides depicting the lives of the local fishing community (a large community until recently), the museum explains about the evolution of navigation and shows many rare models of ships of all ages. The museum was placed near the A-Ma Temple, right where it is said that the first western ships docked. Located on Mount Fortress the Museum of Macau opened on April 1998 and houses a rich display of Macau’s history. The large collection of artifacts is displayed over three levels. The first floor showcases the early history of Macau, before the Portuguese got here during the 16th century and the initial interactions between the two cultures. The second floor shows how the Macau people lived in the past, focusing on the local customs. The upper level is more contemporary. Besides the museum’s collection, visitors also can see many exhibitions of art themed on Macau. One of the best recently held focused on the work of George Chinnery, an English painter who lived many years in Macau during the first half of the XIX century.
Next