Many travellers seem to think that Macau attractions consist of nothing but gaudy casinos and ancient colonial buildings from the city’s Portuguese past, but surprisingly enough, this tiny territory has also some lovely nature sceneries and old villages, where life still flows at a gentle pace…
This article will take you to a day tour in Coloane Village, a unique Macau attraction that is well worth visiting.
The old Coloane Village looks like one of these places where time has stood still, featuring a labyrinth of narrow alleys, lined by small Chinese temples and old courtyard houses, where lifestyle is still mellow and drowsy, just like it used to be more than a hundred years ago…
Drop off the bus at the Village Square and take a minute walk to the seaside promenade. On your right hand side you will see Lord Stow’s Bakery: A local “institution”, which made a name for itself as the best place in Macau for Portuguese egg-tarts (Past?is de nata)… Lord Stow’s also run a proper caf?, just a few steps from there, where you can seat comfortably and enjoy these mouthwatering pastries with a decent cup of coffee, or a luscious sandwich.
Turn left as soon as you reach the esplanade and walk along it for a couple of minutes, till you get to a small cobblestone paved piazza, where the Chapel of St. Francis Xavier stands. This historic chapel houses some ancient Catholic relics that are well worth seeing.
As soon as you walk out of the chapel, turn left to the alley and on the fourth alley turn left again, to Travessa do Pagode, where you can visit a small Chinese temple that was built in honor of Kun Iam (The Chinese goddess of mercy) and became popular thanks to its beautiful moon-gate, which makes a nice photo backdrop.
Turn right to Rua do Estaleiro and left to Travessa da Republica, which will take you to Tin Hau Temple. The temple, which was built in 1677, is Coloane Island’s most ancient temple and, as can be expected from a community of fishermen, it is dedicated to Tin Hau, the mythological protector of seafarers (Who is better known locally as A-Ma).
Walk back the same way you came, turn left to Rua do Estaleiro and proceed along it to the end, where a small and colorful Chinese temple can be seen. Dedicated to Tam Kong, the Taoist protector of fishermen and sailors, the temple contains some beautiful pieces of art, including an ancient model of a boat, made from whalebone.
From here, walk back along the sea, through Avenida de Cinco de Outubro, pass the piazza and Lord Stow’s Caf?, to the village’s northernmost end. A minute after passing the famous caf? you will arrive at another tiny Chinese temple, called Sam Seng Temple, which can be noticed only thanks to the stone lions who guard its gate.
The street will then lead you to an almost deserted pier, surrounded by stilt houses, where local fishermen still salt-dry their catch the traditional way and sell them from open racks…
A short stroll will take you back to the Village Square, where you can board the bus and move onwards.