Explore Coloane Village
Painted in pastel yellow and white, with its distinctive baroque style, the chapel of St. Francis Xavier is one of the standout sights to see in the charming Coloane Village. Built in 1928, when Macau was a colony of Portugal, it was named after the missionary who brought Christianity to the East. The chapel used to contain some of the most sacred relics of Christian Asia before they were moved to the city’s Museum of Sacred Art and Crypt behind the Ruins of St. Paul’s. The chapel is located directly behind a monument commemorating a victory over pirates in 1910.
A-Ma Cultural Village
A-Ma Cultural Village is a 7,000-square-metre complex that honours the legend of A-Ma, the Goddess of Seafarers, from whom Macau is said to derive its name. Located en route to Alto de Coloane (the highest point in Macau) the cultural complex comprises a large ornate temple (Tin Hau temple) and a stone statue of the goddess A-Ma, which is the tallest one in the world. If you don’t fancy hiking up the hill, you can always catch the bus. Free shuttle buses from the nearby Panda Park run up and down the hill every 30 minutes.
Go panda watching
Another popular attraction that draws visitors to Coloane is the Macau Giant Panda Pavilion located in Seac Pai Van Park (the largest natural green area in Macau). The 3,000-square-metre facility is home to two giant pandas, their newborn twins, and even a couple of red pandas. Don’t miss the chance to catch a glimpse of these beautiful but rare bears.
Visit Macau’s highest point
If you’ve got a head for heights and are interested in snapping some great photos, you may consider hiking to Alto de Coloane – Macau’s highest point. Follow the 8 km (5 mi) Coloane Hiking Trail, which takes hikers to the summit (171 m/560 ft above sea level) where you can enjoy panoramic views looking out to the South China Sea.
Hac Sa Beach
It might come as a surprise, but the casino capital of the world has beaches. Indeed, on the south side of Coloane Island is Hac Sa Beach. A great place to come for a stroll, escape the crowds, and enjoy the refreshing sea breeze. The name ‘Hac Sa’ is a translation from the Chinese words, 黑沙, which literally mean black sand. The beach is a kilometre long and was once famous for its black sand. It’s now more beige in colour since the local government added yellow sand to prevent erosion. The water is relatively clean and suitable for swimming (the dark sand makes it look dirtier than it really is).
Try Macau’s egg tarts
Coloane Village is home to the original Lord Stow’s Bakery – creator of the city’s own edible icon: the Macau egg tart. More than 25 years after selling their first tart, the bakery produces more than 13,000 a day and is more popular than ever. It’s one of the key attractions that draws tourists to venture from the casino strip to the picturesque village of Coloane. Next door to the bakers is Lord Stow’s Café, and they have opened several other outlets selling the tasty tarts across the city.