Upon arriving in Macau the original Portuguese sailors inquired about the name of this newfound land. In a cross-lingual miscommunication the original inhabitants offered the name of the area surrounding the temple: A-ma-gao. From this point forward it would be known to the Portuguese as A-ma-gao, or, in its abbreviated form, Macau. Even today visitors are able to pay homage to a large statue of A-Ma (Mazu) residing in the temple’s Hongren Hall.
The oldest temple in Macau and the largest of those dedicated to A-Ma, the A-Ma temple is a secluded respite from the ultra-crowded streets of one of the world’s most densely populated areas. Tucked into the stone mountainside, multiple prayer halls, courtyards and pavilions all interconnect through a series of manicured, meandering walkways. Inside many of the halls the potent aroma of incense emanates from spiraled coils dangling from the ceiling like wiry, oversized beehives. In the upper courtyard temple-goers are treated to a sweeping view of the Macau Peninsula as well as the traditional Chinese architecture of the historic temple. Like many other sites in downtown Macau, the A-Ma Temple is listed as one of the buildings in the UNESCO recognized Historic Centre of Macau.
Macau is a formerly Portuguese outpost just minutes away from the Chinese border. With this location, it is now most influenced by the changes in the modern Chinese economy and culture. This tour explains the past, present and future of Macau. We spent a few minutes at a casino in the old part of town; if you want to see the spectacular Vegas-style Cotai Strip, plan on leaving the tour at the end and making your way back to Shanghai on your own -- easily done with complementary casino transport to and from the jet-ferry station.
Great day - all worked well. We were a bit concerned about our passports - but we were looked after by the operator very well. No problkems.
Very informative trip. The places we visited were interesting and quite unique from Hong Kong. Our guide Cisco was very knowledgeable about Macau. I loved his sense of humour and he was great in keeping the group on time. Overall the trip was well organised and as described.