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Top attractions

PUBLISHED : Monday, 27 June, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 27 June, 2005, 12:00am

Senado Square, St Paul's Ruins and the Museum of Macau

A popular first stop for visitors lies in the heart of town. Visit Senado Square which is bounded by St Dominic's Church and the old Leal Senado building, which now houses the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau. The square is also a venue for public concerts and exhibitions. A narrow cobblestone street lined with antiques, curio and souvenir shops leads to the ruins of St Paul's, Macau's most famous monument, and the Museum of Macau on the foundations of the 17th-century Monte Fort.

The Sands Macau - first of Las Vegas-style casinos

Showgirls in sequins and feathers, live bands, a 33-metre-wide video screen flashing fireworks and ocean sunsets and a 20-metre chandelier lend Las Vegas glitz, but waiters in traditional Chinese peasant hats and Chinese characters on the slot machines establish the US$240 million Sands clearly as a Macau casino. Stopping for a meal at the 888 Las Vegas Buffet is a good way for even non-gamblers to enjoy the sheer scale of the place and the buzz of excitement in the air.

A-Ma Village in Coloane Close to the world's tallest statue of the goddess A-Ma - which stands on a 170-metre high peak on Macau's Coloane Island - this cultural complex celebrates the legend of the region's favourite deity. The 7,000 square metre A-Ma Cultural Village was inaugurated during the Chung Yeung festival in 2001. Work on the complex started shortly after the 1998 inauguration of the statue, which stands nearly 20 metres high. The village, with its bell tower, drum tower, carved marble altar in the Tian-Hou Palace and museum, is reached via six sets of steps carved with Chinese motifs.

The award-winning Pawnshop Museum

The restoration of the Tak Seng On Pawnshop and its tower storehouse, in the heart of the city near Macau's historic and picturesque Senado Square, has preserved a cultural artifact associated with the region's commercial and economic history. The achievement was recognised last year when the Tak Seng On (Virtue and Success) Pawnshop won an Honorable Mention Award at Unesco's Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards ceremony. The original Tak Seng On Pawnshop was established in 1917 and belonged to prominent local merchant Kou Ho-neng. The project enabled the conservation of one of Macau's most significant heritage buildings and preserves memories associated with the history of the local pawnshop business.