Taipa Village – the other side of Macao
Tiny Taipa Village presents a maze of narrow lamp-posted lanes, quaint cobblestone squares and colourful facades of Portuguese homes and restaurants
Tucked away within a leisurely stroll of the bright lights of Macao’s contemporary Cotai Strip is a former fishing village which gave rise more than a century before the integrated resorts became part of the city’s skyline.
Tiny Taipa Village presents a maze of narrow lamp-posted lanes . . . the quaintness of the cobblestone squares matched by the colourful facades of multi-storey Portuguese homes and restaurants.
Food for thought is the array of street eateries along these lanes, vendors – some with Michelin rating – selling almost everything from Durian-flavoured ice cream to the mouth-watering pork chop bun, a Macao favourite among visiting holidaymakers from around the world.
Even the street art focuses on food, which is appropriate considering 2018 is Macao Year of Gastronomy, in recognition of the recent UNESCO Creative City – Gastronomy designation.
Taipa Village is among eight self-guided walks suggested in the Macao Government Tourism Office’s Step Out, Experience Macao’s Communities walking tour routes, which can be downloaded to the SmartPhone.
At least six walking routes centre on the Macao peninsula, home to such iconic sites as Ruins of St Paul’s and the A-Ma Temple, while another walk concentrates of Coloane Island, the lungs of Macao, famous for its walking and cycling trails, picnic areas and beaches.
All walks are also listed in a handy pocket-sized guidebook with ample of information on the places to see and visit, the Museum of Taipa and Coloane History and the famous, lovingly restored 1921-built Taipa Houses included.
These green and white painted former residences of senior civil servants are of the Portuguese architectural style and can be freely visited to wander through without forking out an entry fee.
They, like many other sites around Macao, offer a good insight in the early 20th century history of the former Portuguese enclave, now a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.
Walk along a staircase from the Taipa Houses, and you will come across another quaint square which fronts the yellow and white painted 1885-opened Our Lady of Carmo Church. This church is perched looking over Taipa Village and is a drawcard for newlyweds seeking photographs.
Evidence of Macao’s multi-cultural, east-meets-west values, traditions and qualities couldn’t be clearer than in Taipa Village. Within an easy walk of the Christian church are a number of tiny Buddhist temples, sandwiched between the Portuguese-designed houses.
And to think, the neon lights of such integrated resorts and hotels as The Venetian, the Galaxy and The City of Dreams are within eye-shot of such a quiet and quaint village.
• Walk to Taipa Village
• Taipa Houses
• Street art
• Street sign (Portuguese style with Chinese name as well)