Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Pumpkin Chilli

Happy Halloween! 


As it is Halloween, it called for a pumpkin recipe for dinner, so I made this yummy pumpkin chilli which we ate while sat under a duvet having the longest Harry Potter marathon and it was basically the most perfect evening.

What You Need

  • 500g ground minced beef
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can cannelini beans
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp chili powder

Steps

  • Fry the onion and mince until browned. 
  • Add peppers and fry for a further 2 minutes.
  • Add spices and mix into the vegetables.
  • Add pumpkin puree, undrained beans and tomato and mix. 
  • Simmer for 15-20 minutes. 
  • Serve, dressing with a little sour cream, cheese or cilantro.
Serve with rice or potato wedges.

What is your favourite pumpkin recipe? 
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Monday, 29 October 2018

What I Eat in a Day| Week Day

I've never done one of these posts before and I definitely not going to advocate my diet as an exemplary one, but I've been trying to lose weight for a while and what I'm doing is working, so I thought I'd share my average working day meals.

Breakfast

I start my morning off with a black coffee and a bottle of water. I'm trying hard to drink 3 litres of water a day so I make sure I finish one bottle before I leave for work. I never used to be a coffee drinker. I always loved the small but hated the taste but now I'm hooked and I'm not sure I could get through the mornings without it. I usually add about 1/3 of a sachet of sweetner to my coffee. 

A couple of hours later I have my breakfast. This is almost always some form of cereal - I am a HUGE cereal lover! Like I said, not exemplary, but it's working. At the moment I've been loving cornflakes but I often change this up. I love to have oats during winter and museli is another favourite. I add skimmed milk and sweetner to my cornflakes. 

Lunch

Since I came back to Beijing in the summer I have been making healthy quiche every day to have for my week day lunches and I love them. They completely keep me on track! Our school canteen is filled with all sorts of yumminess - we have a Western, Chinese and Italian station as well as a salad bar and a Subway style sandwich station so it can sometimes be hard to resisit, but having the quiche really helps. There are so many different varieties you can make, but I really love this ham and mushroom one which I make in cupcake trays. I usually throw in some salad from the salad bar to go with it. 

After lunch, while the kids are playing outside I always have a flask of coffee. The sweetness of the coffee makes me feel completely satisfied and full until dinner time and it always gives me the energy kick I need to get through the day.

Dinner

Dinner varies every night but it is almost always something involving a Colman's mix. I brought loads back in the summer and they have also really helped me to stay on track. This is the sausage casserole with mashed potato and cabbage. It's the perfect meal for cooler weather and is really filled too. 

After dinner, I have 1/4 of the sugar-free jelly which we always have ready in the fridge. Having the jelly makes me feel like I've having a desert so I don't crave cake and all of the sugary thing so much.

Snacks and Treats

I have a whole bag full of snacks/treats and I bring home one thing that I fancy each day. All of the snacks are around 100 calories. They are probably more of a treat than a snack to be honest, but having it is something I look forward too and I never feel deprived. These Asda brand snack shots are amazing. I especially love the sticky toffee and cranberry and white chocolate mixes and because there are so many in a pack, it takes a while to eat them. 

I also have 1 can of Diet Coke each evening, which is also like a treat because I love it. 

What are some of your favourite things to eat during your work day?
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Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Book Club: Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

I used to love reading but I never seem to make time for it any more. I'm trying to make time for reading each day and get back into it, and to help with this I'm going to write about the books I read on my blog.

To kick this off, I should highlight that I'm not the biggest fan of many of Sophie Kinsella's books, but I find myself going back time and time again because they are so easy to read and predictable. You know what you're going to get with a Sophie Kinsella book - it will make you smile, it will be funny and it will have a happy ending.

The Plot

Sylvie and Dan are happily married, have two twin girls, the perfect marriage and are living the dream. That is until they have a health check up which reveals they are both super healthy and have another 68 years of marriage to look forward to. Good news to most people you'd think, but not to Sylvie and Dan. 68 years seems like a very long time and they begin to worry about how they can maintain a happy marriage for that long. Then Sylvie comes up with an idea - Project Surprise Me! They plan surprises for each other to keep their marriage alive and spice up their life, but a surprise isn't always a good one, and Project Surprise Me leads to uncovering secrets they never expected.

The Characters

The characters in many of Sophie Kinsella's books are often the reason I grow frustrated with them. I usually find myself rolling my eyes at how stupid they are, but Sylvie is different. Sophie Kinsella has portrayed her in a way that makes her relatable and just like your average girl, with much less stupidity. As soon as you start reading, you can't help but like Sylvie, and as she narrates the story, this is important.

I also really liked Tilda too. She is that sarcastic, honest friend that we all have. The friend that we can just be ourselves with, gossip with and have fun with. She is a side character but very much helps to make the story.

And Dan, well he's just your average guy isn't he? He's nothing super special, but he's a good, honest guy. How can you not like him?

Finally, Sylvie's dad. Despite the descriptions by both Sylvie and her mum about how much of an incredible human her dad was, I can't help but take a bit of a dislike to him. He comes across as very controlling from the beginning, but the book gives just enough away to leave you suspecting without confirming your thoughts.

Marriage and Surprises

"How long is til' death do us part anyway" 

This is a question that Sylvie asks following the health check, and it's quite a good question. When you get married, nobody really has a number of how long that will be. Of course, everybody hopes it will be a long time, but when you put a number as big as 68 on it, I guess it would be easy to wonder how you can still be excited about your marriage after all of those years. 

I actually love the idea of Project Surprise Me, but unlike Tilda, I love surprises. I think it's nice to do different things and surprise each other to make your marriage and life exciting. Project Surprise Me is forgotten about half way through the book which is a little disapppointing as I think it could have been a great storyline in itself. The project seemed to be the introduction to the big discovery only, wheras I would have liked to see where the surprises went. 

The surprises are good. They are unique and interesting, but also comically problematic. The way each surprise is portrayed makes you feel present in the moment and you can imagine each of these surprises and how they played out. I definitely think it would have been great for this avenue to be developed more. 

My Thoughts on the Storyline

I always begin a Sophie Kinsella book feeling a little skeptical, because although I mlike many of her books, there are also many I find hard to finishe because I either can't stand the character or the storyline is just too predictable. Surprise Me isn't half bad!

There are lots of storylines in the book and there are a few times that I feel the storyline is lost as she goes off on a tangent a little. I do feel some oportunities are missed in her book and some of the storylines feel a little unfinished, but generally, I like the plot.

One of my favourite things about a book is when the plot completely throws you off, which is why Liane Moriarty is one of my favourite authors. Surprise Me doesn't completely throw you off track, but there were some unexpected moments. For me, the biggest was the story about Sylvie's dad - I knew there was something off about him, but it wasn't what I expected and I liked that!

Star Rating 

Have you read Surprise Me? What did you think of it? 
If you have any great book recommendations, let me know!
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Monday, 22 October 2018

My Dream Home

Image Credit

I'm in a place in my life that I wasn't sure I would ever arrive at. All of my life I've been pretty care-free and the grown up life just hasn't really entered my mind. I've loved travelling and not having any responsibilities, but all of a sudden I am craving those grown up things.

The thought of having my own home to decorate fills me with excitement and thoughts of family life keep creeping in. We've been talking a lot about the kind of home we want and spent hours trawling through Right Move at the properties available, and it's got me to thinking about my dream home.

Location

This is an important one for both of us, although we're not fully in agreement on the location we want. I would love to live on a little estate where everybody knows your name. I'm picturing an American-style neighbour hood where people havee playdates and pop over for pie and coffee and the whole estate decorate their house like this for every holiday.

But in reality I am moving back to the UK where that just doesn't happen (if anybody knows of somewhere where this does happen, let me know - I'm so there!) Paul wants somewhere with nature around it and that would be my second option, failing the happy little holiday village I dream of. We're lucky that my home town has countryside and the seaside very close so either of those options would work for us. We have our heart set on a gorgeous little village area which is surrounded by huge fields and is about a 7 minute drive from the seaside- the best of both worlds! The only problem with this area is that the houses are pricey but we have found some that are reasonable so we're praying that luck is on our side when it's time to buy.

Image Credit

Garden

Having a garden is really important to us. Neither of us are gardeners, and I am probably the only female in the world that hates flowers so we will never have a pretty garden but it's still an essential for us. I'd love to have a patio area where we can have bbqs and decorate with fairy lights and all of the cute things. But most importantly we want a big grass area which will be filled with kids toys. I remember having so many toys outside when I was a kid and spending so much time playing in the back garden. I want that for my kids too. Oh, and a firepit would be an absolute dream! The thought of roasting marshmallows on our very own firepit in autumn gives me all of the excited feelings.

Living Room

This is the most most important thing for me as it's the place we would spend the most time in. Firstly, the shape matters. I definitely don't want a long living room as theyre just not cosy! It needs to be a squar-ish shape so that the furniture can be arranged in a nice cosy way. I'd absolutely love a log fireplace, that would be a dream! Most importantly though, I want it to be cosy enough, but large enough that our kids can play in there too. Oh, and of course, it needs to have enough space to fit in the biggest Christmas Tree you've ever seen!

Image Credit


Kitchen

Everyone who knwos me knows that I'm no chef, but I really want to get better at cooking and make more effort and I especially want to bake more. Having lived with a tiny kitchen for the past 2 years, I now appreciate how important it is to have a good kitchen with lots of spaces and storage. I would love to have an island/breakfast space in my kitchen, you know, for when I'm Mary Berrying at life. I'd also love to have a dining room that was separate, you know, for all of the dinner parties I will host.

Bedrooms

The bedrooms aren't too important to me, as I think it's easy to turn a bedroom into what you want it to be. I've never really been the kind of person to spend too much time in my bedroom as I'm usually in the living room. We definitely want a house with 3 bedrooms so that our kids can have a room each when we have a family. Other than that, I don't really have any specific requirements for the bedrooms as the decor will make them cute and cosy.

Image Credit

Bathroom

Again, having a tiny bathroom right now as made me realise that I wan a decent sized bathroom in my own home. We'd definitely need a shower and a bath. I'd want it to be decorated very modern, with tiles and have the softest, fluffiest towels.

Conservatory/Playroom

I would love to have a conservatory that could double up as a playroom/games room. It would be great to have a second cosy seating area, but also, I don't want to be one of those mums that always has to tidy everything away. This would be the place where the kids could leave their models and we could leave out our half completed jigsaws. This would be the fun room!

Image Credit


Loft

This is an essential for me too. I fully intend to have huge boxes of decor for every holiday that exists, so storage space is an essential.

So that's it, my dream house! I never thought I would be the kind of person that would get excited over a house, but writing this post genuinely did get me so excited for the time when we have our very own home. Now I just need to get saving lots of pennies, because this dream house isn't going to come cheap!

What does your dream house look like?
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Friday, 19 October 2018

The Ultimate Beijing Bucket List (101 Things to Do, See, Eat)

Now that there is a limit on my time left in Beijing, with plans to leave Summer 2020, I've been making a list of all of the things I want to do. I want to leave knowing I have truly experienced Beijing!

I have already created my Beijing Bucket List and Beijing Foodie Bucket List which are the things that are top of my list of things to do, but I've also created the ultimate list! The ultimate list of 101 things to do, see, eat and experience in Beijing.

I'm excited to tick them off as I experience my final year and a half in Beijing!
Outdoors & Nature

1.    Summer Palace
2.    Beihai Park
3.    Badachu Park
4.    Fragrant Hill (Red Lead Festival)
5.    The Great Wall Badaling
6.    The Great Wall Mutianyu
7.    Jingdong Grand Canyon
8.    Jingdong Karst Cave
9.    Beijing International Flower Port
10.  Jingshan Park
11.  Shilin Gorge Sightseeing Platform
12.  Longqing Gorge
13.  Cuandixia Village
14.  Gubei Water Town
15.  Longtan Park
16.  Chaoyang Park
17.  Shidu Nature Park
18.  Explore Houhai Lake
19.  Shihua Cave
20.  Beidaihe Beach
21.  Honglou Mountain (And temple)
22.  Zhongshan Park
23.  Ritan Park
24.  Beijing Botanical Garden
25.  Yinshan Pagoda Forest
26.  Explore the Wild Wall
27.  Frozen Waterfall
Sights & Attractions
28.  The Forbidden City
29.  The Temple of Heaven
30.  Tiananmen Square
31.  Beijing Zoo
32.  Lama Temple
33.  Bird’s Nest
34.  Donghuamen Night Market
35.  Water Cube (at night)
36.  The Ming Tombs
37.  Tianjin day trip
38.  Wangfujing Shopping Street
39.  Drum & Bell Towers
40.  National Grand Theatre
41.  World Park
42.  798 Art Zone
43.  Marco Polo Bridge
44.  Confucius Temple
45.  Happy Valley Beijing
46.  Mao Memorial Hall
47.  National Museum of China
48.  Liulichang Culture Street
49.  Prince Gong’s Mansion
50.  Tanzhe Temple
51.  Qianmen Street
52.  Beijing Folk Museum
52.  CCTV Tower (views)
53.  The Pearl Market
54.  Palace Museum
55.  The Silk Market
56.  Dingduge Pavillion
57.  Chang’An Street
58.  Sanlitun
59.  Beijing Aquarium
60.  Nan Luogu Xiang
61.  Old Summer Palace
Events & Experiences
62.  Tuk tuk ride in the Hutongs
63.  Celebrate Chinese New Year in China
64.  Attend a Chinese Temple Fair
65.  Stay at The Brickyard
66.  Chaoyang Acrobatics Show
67.  The Legend of Beijing (Kung Fu Show)
68.  Beijing Peking Opera
69.  Longqing Gorge Ice and Snow Festival
70.  Yuyuantan Cherry Blossom Festival
71.  Lao She Tea House
72.  Boating on Houhai Lake
73.  Fly a plane over the Great Wall
74.  Camp on the Great Wall
75.  Tianman Flag Raising Ceremony
76.  Sing karaoke at KTV
77.  Golden Masked Dynasty Show
78.  Guoan Football Match
79.  Beijing Ghost Tour
80.  Boat trip on Kunming Lake
81.  Ride an ice bicycle on a frozen lake
Food & Drink
82.  Central Perk, Friends CafĂ© in Beijing
83.  Moon cakes during Mid-Autumn Festival
84.  Haidilao Hot Pot
85.  The Taco Bar
86.  Mr Shi’s Dumplings
87.  Dim Sum Brunch at The Ritz
88.  Bubbilicious Brunch at The Westin
89.  Temple Restaurant Beijing
90.  Jianbing for breakfast
91.  One Thousand and One Nights
92.  Da Dong Roast Duck Restaurant
93.  Rooftop drinks at Yin, New World Hotel
94.  Q-Mex
95.  Beijing Food Tour
96.  Homeplate
97.  8-Bit
98.  Lost Heaven
99.  Great Leap Brewing
100. The Bookworn
101.  Hutong Pizza

Beijing Bucket List Map
Follow this map to plan your trip and tick off as many things as you can!


And don't forget to print the ultimate Beijing bucket list to take with you on your trip!
Top Tips

  • When arriving at the airport, prepare for the craziness. It's busy and much less organised than you are probably used to. Don't be afraid to be assertive. 
  • Wait in the queue for a taxi - don't trust the vendors or guys who approach you. There is also an Aiport Express that takes you into town which is often quicker than waiting in traffic.
  • Booking a private driver for the day is pretty reasonably priced and you can tick off lots of attractions in a day. I recommend Peter who is based near the airport and has a fleet of drivers. He's very reliable - His WeChat ID is Tel13601292213 (which is also his phone number) 
  • Make sure you download a VPN, Didi (taxi app) and WeChat - check out more apps to download.
  • Always take tissues! Beijing toilets are not like Western toilets and toilet paper is not always provided. Always take a supply with you. 
  • Book a hotel in the city centre. Traffic can be crazy in Beijing so it's always best to stay close to the main attractions so you don't spend too much of your time stuck in traffic. 
  • Prepare for people to stare and take photos of you. It's rude to us, but it's not to them. It's generally non-threatening, they're just intruiged by the foreign person. If you're uncomfortable with it, they usually stop if you indicate for them to. 
  • People will spit. Not only will they spit, they will spit in the worst way possible. If you had lived in Beijing pollution as long as them, you probably would too (this is probably my worst thing about Beijing, I hate it!)
  • Keep an open mind! China is very different to what you have probably experienced and there are many positives and negatives of every place. 
Let me know what you think! Anything I've missed? Anything you didn't rate?
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Wednesday, 17 October 2018

The Ultimate Walking Guide to Macao's Old City

Getting to Macao

Getting to the ferry terminal
  • The ferry terminal is located at Shueng Wan. There are other ferry terminals but this is the only place where you can get a ferry to Macao. 
  • The closest subway station is Shueng Wan, which is connected to the ferry terminal. It is located on the island line and you need to be travelling in the direction of Kennedy Town. 



The Ferry to Macao

NOTE: YOU WILL NEED YOUR PASSPORT OR ID DOCUMENT TO TRAVEL
  • Getting to Macao is so easy using Turbojet who have ferries running every 15 minutes, beginning at 7am and ending at midnight.
  • There are other ferry companies that you can use and can be found in the ticketing hall of the ferry terminal, but Turbojet are the most regular and reliable.
  • It will cost approximately HK$180 depending on the class you choose to travel and the journey time is approximately 1 hour.
  • You will need to go through security and passport control before boarding the ferry and you will also need to do the same upon re-entering Hong Kong. You will also need to fill out an entry card so make sure you bring a pen with you.
TIP: I'd advise booking your return ferry in advance, especially if visiting at a busy time or public holiday. We got stung with this! We arrived at the terminal at 6pm and there were no available ferries until 10pm unless we were willing to upgrade to a higher class, which cost HK$400 each. If you're willing to pay them it's great to have the freedom to leave when you're ready, but if not, definitely book!

Tips and Need to Know Info
  • Currency - Macao has its own currency - Macanese Pataka. You don't need this as Hong Kong Dollars are accepted everywhere and many places only accept HK$. Make sure you have some change to pay for items, as you may get Macanese Pataka in change and it can be hard to get rid of. 
  • Day Trip - Visiting Macao in a day is long, tiring and hot. With so much to see and do you have to go non-stop to fit it all in. If you have the spare time, it's worth staying overnight so that you can see the island at a more leisurly pace. 
  • Transport - Public transport and free shuttles are available, easy to use and frequent so don't waste your money on a taxi when you get off the ferry. Simple cross the road and get on a free shuttle or go to the public transport station (on the same side as the ferry terminal) to catch a local bus. 
  • Arrival Time - Arrive early. By early afternoon the main attractions were absolutely heaving and we were moving along at a snail's pace. Also, if you want some Insta-worthy photos then getting there as early as possible is essential. 
  • Pre-Book - I can't advise this enough. As I mentioned, Macao in a day is long, hard and tiring (but fun!) so by the time you come to leave, you are exhausted. There is nothing worse than getting to the ferry terminal to realise you have to wait hours for the next ferry or empty your bank account booking a super class ticket. 
The Route
Take the bus from Macao ferry terminal to the A-Ma Temple, which is the first attraction on our walking tour. You can take bus number 5, 10 or 10A directly from Macao Ferry Terminal. 

NOTE: Public bus services are located on the same side as the ferry terminal. Don't follow the crowd over to the free hotel shuttles.

NOTE: If you wanted to begin the walking route at Senado Square then you can take the Lisboa free shuttle, followed by a 5-10 minute walk to Senado Square once you get off.
A-Ma Temple
Address: Barra Square
Opening Hours: 7am - 6pm

A unique temple, situated in a beautiful square and built on many levels, offers a different temple experience to many other in Asia. The design of the temple clearly shows it's age, built in 1488 it is the oldest temple in Macao and existed before Macao was the name of the island.

NOTE: The Maratime Museum is located close to the A-MA Temple so this is the perfect time to visit. We didn't, but if this is your jam then you are right by it.
Moorish Barracks
Address: Calcada da Barra

➫ From the A-Ma Temple, follow Calcada da Barra for around 3-4 minutes and you will arrive at Moorish Barracks.

Moorish Barracks was built in 1874 and used to house an Indian regiment from Goa. It's a stunning building and definitely worth including in your Macao itinerary. 
Lilau Square
➫ Continue on Calcada da Barra for another 3-4 minutes and you will reach Lilau Square.

Lilau Square has a huge Portugeuse influence and was one of the first residential areas of Macao. It's a beautiful square where you can get some great photos and relax from the heat for a while. 
Mandarin's House
Address: 10 Antonio da Silva Lane 
Opening Hours: 10am - 6pm, no admission after 5.30pm

➫ Step back onto Calcada da Barra and turn left onto Rua do Antonio to reach Mandarin House. This is about a 1 minute walk.

Mandarin's House was the family home of Zheng Guanying, a Chinese reformist and author. It shows a traditional Chinese style family home and was built before 1869.

NOTE: Opposite Mandarin's House you can find Karma Coffee if you are in need of a break from the heat or walking, or are just feeling a bit peckish.

St Lawrence's Church
Address: Rua de  Sao Lourenco
Opening Hours: 7am - 9pm

➫ Follow Rua do Antonio until you reach Rua de Sao Lourenco which is where you will find St Lawrence's Church. This will take around 3-4 minutes.

St Lawrence's Church is a fantastic building which stands out against the shops and cafes surrounding it. Not only is the building itself beautiful but the grounds are too. It was built in the mid-sixteenth century and is one of the oldest churches in Macao. When built, the area was a wealthy one which explains the church's grandness. 

Note: There are lots of cafes and shops selling traditional egg custard tarts along Rua do Antonio. Stop by along the way to sample one - they're a must try in Macao.

St Joseph's Seminary and Church
Address: Rua do Seminario
Opening Hours: 9am - 6pm

➫ Go around the back of St Lawrence's Church, following Rua de Sao Lourenco, turn left onto Rua da Prata and follow the road until you reach Rua do Seminario, where you will find the church. This will take around 2 minutes.

St Joseph's Seminary was the base of missonary work implemented in surrounding Asian counties and was established in 1728. A beaufiul building to explore.
St Augustine's Square

➫ Follow Rua do Seminario onto Rua da Alfandega and finally onto Calcada do Gamboa. Turn right onto Largo de Santo Agostinho where you will find St Augustines Square. 

Here you will find many great buildings and architecture to explore and photograph. 

Dom Pedro V Theatre
Address: St Augustine's Square
Opening Hours: 10am - 6pm (closed on Tuesdays)

The Dom Pedro V Theatre was built in 1860 and was the first western style theatre in China and is still used to celebrate important holidays and public events. 

Sir Robert Ho Tung Library
Address: St Augustine's Square
Opening Hours: 10am - 7pm, Sundays 11am - 7pm

This building was converted to a library by the Macao Government in 1918 after Sir Robert Ho Tung requested this in his will, leaving the property to the Macao Governemnt.

St Augustine's Church
Address: St Augustine's Square
Opening Hours: 10am - 6pm

St Augustine's Church was established in 1591 and played a large role in the community, organising many public events. Today, the church organises the Easter Procession through the city. 

NOTE: There are lots of great cafes by Augustine Square but your next stop has much more selection and better options to eat. There is a great juice bar where you can stop and have a drink if you're ready for a rest.
Leal Senado Building
Address: Avenue de Almeida Ribeiro
Opening Hours: 9am - 9pm

➫ From St Augustine's Square follow Calcada do Tronco Velho, veering right onto Rua do Dr Soares. Turn right onto Avenue de Almeida Ribeiro and you will find yourself at the Leal Senado Building, overlooking Senado Square.

The Leal Senado building was Macao's first municipal chamber and it maintain this purpose today. It is also a great place to get a view and photograph of Senado Square.
Senado Square

➫ Directly opposite the Leal Senado Building you will find Senado Square. 

Senado Square is a great place to relax for a while, surrounded by shops, restaurants and a great vibe. The buildings are beautifully designed and provide many photo opportunities. Stop here for a while and grab some lunch.

NOTE: Expect and plan for Senado Square to be busy, it is the urban centre. It will be especially busy during public holidays as this is usually where the celebrations take place. 

NOTE: The tourist office is located in Senado Square so it's the perfec time to drop in if you have any questions or need any help. You may also want to start your day off here to ensure you have everything you need.
Temple de Sam Kai Vui Kun
Address: Rua Sul do Mercado de Sao Domingos
Opening Hours: 9am - 6pm


➫ From Senado Square veer left and head past the Tourist Information on Rua Sul do Mercado de Sao Domingos and you will reach the Temple. This will take around 1 minute walking.

To reach the temple you will pass through a small market, known as St Dominic's Market. It's a small market but a great place to pick up some bargains. The temple is small, and we didn't explore it too much as there were a lot of people praying inside. This will only be a quick stop on your route but one worth seeing. 


NOTE: Head left from the temple and explore some of streets that run parallel to Senado Square, such as Rua dos Mercadores and Rua Oeste do Mercado de Sao Domingos. They offer a stark contrast from Senado Square with their Chinese offerings.


Holy House of Mercy
Address: Senado Square
Opening Hours: 10am - 1pm & 2.30pm - 5.30pm (Closed on Mondays)

➫ Head right out of the temple and wak back towards Senado Square where you will find the Holy House of Mercy. You can't miss it! This will take about 1 minute.


The Holy House of Mercy was established in 1569 and was responsible for many Western developments within Macao, such as the first Western-style hospital. 

Cathedral

Address: Cathedral Square
Opening Hours: 9.30am - 6pm

➫ From the Holy House of Mercy turn right on Largo do Senado and walk towards TV. de Sao Domingos, turning left when you reach it. Continue on until you reach Largo da Se where you will take a left, followed by a right onto Calcada de Sao Joao. Here you will find the cathedral. 


It is not known when the cathedral was originally constructed, but a brick exterior was developed in 1622. 


Lou Kau Mansion
Address: Travessa da Se
Opening Hours: 10am - 6pm (no admission after 5.30pm)

➫ From the Cathedral turn right and follow the road to Largo da Se where you will take a left. Take the next right onto TV. de Sao Domingos. Take the next right onto TV do Meio, leading onto TV. da Se where you will find the mansion. This will take 1 minute.


This was the residence of Lou Kau, a Chinese merchdant. It is a traditional Chinese style home which contrasts drasically to the Portugeuse buildings surrounding it in Senado Square.
St Dominic's Church
Address: St Dominic's Square
Opening Hours: 10am - 6pm

➫ Continue on TV. da Se then turn right onto Rua de Sa Domingos to reach St Dominic's Church. This will take 1 minute.


St Dominic's Church was founded in 1587 by a Spanish Dominican priest, originally from Mexico. This is also the place that the first Portugeuse newspaper was published on Chinese soil. 

Mount Fortress
Opening Hours: 7am - 7pm (Macao Museum 10am - 6pm)

➫ From the St Dominic's Church, follow Rua de Sao Domingos and follow the road around, bending slightly right. Keep following the road, staying on the same street with each of the turns until you reach Calcada das Verdades, where you will take a left. Keep following the road up until you reach Mount Fortress. This will take around 10 minutes.


The fortress served as the military defence system of Macao. It was built in 1617 - 1626 and it was well equipped to handle a seige lasting up to two years. The climb to the top of the fortress has many steps, but it offers a great view of the city, highlighting the large scale hotels, Portuguese influences and Chinese style buildings. 
Ruins of St Paul's

➫ Turn left from Mount Fortress and follow Caminho dos Artilheiros and follow the road round onto Estr. do Repouso. Turn left onto Rua dos Artilheiros and left again onto Rua de DomBelchior Carneiro. As you follow this street you will walk behind Mount Fortress. Turn left onto Calcada de Sao Paulo to reach the ruins. This will take around 7-8 minutes.


The ruins are what is left of the Church of Mater Dei which was destroyed in a fire  in 1835. One of the symbolic attractions of Macao, this is a must on your tour. 


NOTE: If you want photos without people you will need to arrive here very early. It was one of the busiest places in Macao.



Na Tcha Temple
Opening Hours: 8am - 5pm

➫ Adjecent to the Ruins of St Paul's you can find the Na Tcha Temple. Simply climb the steps to the runs and you will find it. 


The Na Tcha Temple is small but beautiful and its architecture highlights Macao's multicultural identify, with clear Portuguese influence while staying true to China.


Old City Walls

Right by the Na Tcha Temple you can get a glimpse of a section of the old city walls. This was built in 1569.



Unfortunately this was our last stop on our tour of old Macao before we headed to the hotels to explore a different side of the city, but there are a few more places that you should definitely try to fit in if you can. 

St Anthony's Church

Address: Santo Antonio Square
Opening Hours: 9am - 5.30pm

➫ From the Na Tcha Temple, follow Calcada de Sao Francisco Xavier and turn right onto Rua de Sao Paolo. This leads onto Rua de Santo Antonio. Continue to follow the road until you reach Largo de Santo Antonio, where you will find St Athony's Church.


St Anthony's Church was previously built of bamboo and wood and is one of the oldest churches in Macao. The church was a popular place for weddings within the Portuguese community.


Casa Garden
Address: Close to Cameos Square
Opening Hours: 9.30am - 6pm

➫ Opposite St Anthony's Church you will find Praca de Luis Camoes. Follow Praca de Luis Camoes and you will arrive at Casa Garden.


Casa Garden was the home of a rich Portugeuse merchant and was built in 1770. The house has a very picturesque garden.


Protestant Cemetary
Address: Praca de Luis Cameos
Opening Hours: 8.30am - 5.30pm

➫ Backtrack along the road you previously walked and turn left at Praca de Luis Cameos to reach the Protestant cemetary. This will take about 1 minute.


Guia Fortress

Address: Praca de Luis Cameos
Opening Hours: 9am - 6pm (Chapel 10am - 6pm, no admission ater 5.30pm)

➫ The walk to reach Guia Fortress is around 20 minutes. Follow Praca de Luis de Camoes and turn left onto Rua de Coelho do Amaral. Continue until you reach Rua de Tomas Vieira, turn right and walk across the roundabout. Continue on the road and you will arrive at Estr. do Cemiterio, followed by Filipe O'Costa. Turn left when you reach Calcada da Vitoria, followed by another left onto Estr. do Eng. Trigo. Veer right to remain on Estr. do Eng. Trigo and you will reach Guia Fortress. 


You can also take bus number 6, 7 or 17 to reach Guia Fortress. 


Guia Fortress contains a few sights to check out. Built between 1622 and 1638, it hosts the Guia Chapel and Guia Lighthouse. It combines a mix of Chinese and Western influences. 


That concludes the walking tour of Macao's old city, and you will likely be feeling very tired at this point. The attractions are fantastic and the walking distance isn't too far, but it does make for a tiring day. 


Check out this Google map with all of the attractions plotted out, as well as some possible side sightseeing options.


You could choose to leave your sightseeing there, however, there is still a whole other part of Macao to see - the casinos. You have two choices at this point:



  1. Take bus number 12, 22 or 28C to visit the Lisboa Casino, the oldest in Macao. 
  2. Take bus number 22 to visit The Venetian, one of the gradest casinos in Macao.
From the casinos you can catch the free shuttle buses between the different casinos or to the ferry port.



What do you think of the walking tour? Anything I missed? Anything you have seen that isn't worth the time? If you take this walking tour I'd love to know and see your photos so get in touch!
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