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Chinese New Year in Macao

Marvellous Macao

From spectacular shows to World Heritage treasures

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26 June 2018 by David Ward

A Special Administrative Region of China, just 40 miles from Hong Kong, Macao (also spelt Macau) is one of the Far East’s most exciting destinations, and makes a perfect addition to a Far East holiday or stopover en route Down Under.

The Portuguese arrived here in the 1500s and it still retains a unique Portuguese-Chinese heritage and culture. Among its greatest treasures is the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Historic Centre of Macao, which boasts Taoist temples, baroque churches, elegant piazzas and the iconic Ruins of St Paul’s.


The 338-metre Macau Tower offers tremendous views across the Pearl River Delta from its revolving restaurant and observation deck, and other cultural attractions include the Macao Science Center and museums celebrating everything from history to art.

This year, Macao is putting the focus on food, having been designated a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy last November. Alongside Portuguese, Chinese and all kinds of international cuisines, Macanese dishes combine influences from China and Portugal as well as South America, Africa and India.


Few Asian destinations can beat Macao for sheer entertainment value with a dizzying number of bars and nightclubs, as well as glitzy casinos and shows including the spectacular House of Dancing Water, a breathtaking water-based show at the City of Dreams resort. There’s also an impressive events calendar, including annual festivals of food, film and light.


Visit the Macao Giant Panda Pavilion, enjoy a treatment at one of Macao’s elegant spas or shop till you drop at one of the bustling markets or glitzy malls packed with designer brands. In contrast, Macao’s southern countryside of picturesque hills and rural villages, valleys and beaches offers a slower pace in which to relax and recharge.


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Hong Kong and Macao Explorer

9-day tailor-made journey from £2,570 pp incl. flights

This itinerary contrasts Hong Kong's big-city dazzle and vibrant markets with Macao's hotchpotch of Portuguese and Chinese heritage architecture, old town culture and myriad cuisine. It's all done alongside 5-star Mandarin hotels with swimming pools, spas and gourmet restaurants.

Sydney, the Whitsundays and Brisbane

16-day tailor-made journey from £2,150 pp incl. flights

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Between the sights of Sydney and Brisbane, hop out to the Whitsundays to enjoy some island relaxation alongside hikes, cruises, kayak paddles and snorkelling trips.

Mandarin Oriental, Macau

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For design-driven, contemporary luxury on the edge of Macao's glittering waterfront it doesn't get much better than a stay in the Mandarin Oriental

Grand Lisboa Hotel, Macao

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Macao’s Portuguese heritage and urban glitz are encompassed in the Grand Lisboa Hotel, a bold interruption of the metropolitan skyline with its blooming-lotus style architecture. Featuring eight exquisite restaurants and a luxury spa, it's the perfect base to explore Macao's surprising charms.

Hotel Lisboa, Macao

Contemporary hotel

Hotel Lisboa is in central Macao, with opulent rooms of rich fabrics and handcrafted furniture. There’s six culinary offerings, from Portas do Sol’s Chinese haute cuisine to Guincho a Gale's authentic Portuguese gastronomy, and a free shuttle bus to explore Macao’s hotchpotch of European delights.

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