From November 8 to the 16, the usually laid-back Macau will become a racing mecca. Head over for the first weekend and stay for the second. If you think Macau is too small to keep you entertained for a week, think again Day one (November 8) Visiting Macau during the Grand Prix without attending a race is a bit like going to a restaurant without eating. The vroom of engines and the sound of rubber screeching on the track should get you in the mood for some racing action. If you need to brush up on its history, visit the Grand Prix museum (Rua Luis Gonzaga Gomes, 431 basement, 853 7984 130, currently closed for renovation but due to open in time for the Grand Prix). The event is documented from the beginning to present day, and it even has simulators of the Guia circuit. Next door at the Wine museum you can sample some of the 50-odd varieties available for tasting. You can also stock up on duty free. The first day of racing includes practice and qualifying sessions for the Macau and Hong Kong Classic Cars Race and the Historical Sports Racing Cars. This is the perfect opportunity for avid car fans to catch sight of vintage cars taking to the track once again. On all race days (except November 14), Hotel Lisboa will open its poolside to the public, which has a prime spot overlooking the famous Lisboa Bend. A buffet lunch will be served and soft drinks flow all day. Ticket prices (from $380 up to $1,500 according to race days) include two alcoholic drinks. Call 800 969 130 for reservations. Day two (November 9) Final races for the Historical Sports Racing Cars take place from noon onwards. Before settling in your seat, head to Guia Hill for a bird's eye view of the circuit, and Macau - this is the highest point of the enclave. From Flora Garden (near Avenida de Sidonio Pais, bus 2, 4, 19, 22) a cable car goes to the top, or you can walk up the steps. Once at the peak you will come to Guia Fort, built in 1637 to defend the border with the mainland. The main feature of the fort is the lighthouse, and there is a small chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Guia. Head back for lunch or dinner at Pizzeria Toscana (Grand Prix Building, Apoao do Grande Premio de Macau, 853 726 637). The restaurant is located at the back of a car park used as a base by Grand Prix teams, and diners are certain to see a few team members popping in for some excellent pasta and pizzas. Day three (November 10) Shopping: part one. Food, furniture, clothes and jewellery are some of the best bargains to be found in Macau, and most are available in Largo do Senado Square and the surrounding perimeter. In the square are several outlets selling seconds or discontinued clothes made for designer labels by the local textile industry. Wines, ports and spirits can be found at Soi Cheong Lda (No7 Rua S. Domingos). There are plenty of cafes where you can stop for lunch. The best are along Travessa de S. Domingos. Try cafe Pizzeria Toscana at No11, or O Barril which is over the road. Cafe Ou Mun (No12) does good espressos and pastries, and is well-frequented by the Portuguese. There is also a Chinese stall on the street that does a good line in lunches. Dominating the square is Sao Domingos church. It is worth stopping for a look inside. Architecturally it is one of the best churches in Macau, and contains a museum of art, showcasing some pieces found during renovations at the church a few years ago. From the church turn on to Rua de Sao Paulo, where there are a cluster of furniture shops. Most carry similar pieces, from small jewellery boxes to large chests and wardrobes, and will manufacture furniture to specific requirements. Bargaining is expected but some owners are more lenient than others. Be wary of buying anything labelled antique, unless you know a reproduction from a copy. At the end of the street are the famous ruins of St Paul's. There is little left except the front facade, and the steps leading up to it where families congregate to feed the pigeons. The street to the left (Travessa da Fortuna Sao Paul) has more furniture and other shops selling artefacts. To the right of the ruins you can walk up through the gardens to Monte Forte and the Macau museum. Day four (November 11) After a leisurely breakfast at Cafe e Nata (great egg tarts and coffee, Gum Loi Building, 17 Rua Commandante, 710-032), head to Taipa for some architectural history. Begin at the Taipa House Museum (Avenida da Praia, 853 825 314 or 827 527), where there is a row of restored 1920s buildings. Once home to government officials and wealthy Macanese, they are open to the public and illustrate life as it was during that time. From the road follow the zig-zag path to the neo-classical Our Lady of Carmel church, a typical example of colonial architecture in a great spot overlooking the sea. Walk along Avenida Carlos da Maia and follow the road to Calcada do Quartel, and to Rua Correia da Silva. This is Taipa village, a pretty mix of Chinese and colonial architecture and importantly, where you will find Rua da Cunha - or Food Street. Plenty of restaurants including O Santos (No20, 853 825 594) and Galo (No45, 853 827 423), line the street serving Macanese, Portuguese and Chinese food. A Petisqueira (15 Rua S. Joao, Taipa Village, 853 825 354) is just off the street and is also good. Macau Jockey Club (853 820 868) is on Taipa and weekday race meetings are usually held on Tuesday evenings so you can end the day with a flutter. Day five (November 12) Explore the countryside of Coloane. Hire a mini-moke (see page 10) or from Hotel Lisboa take a bus marked Coloane or Hac Sa and get off at Coloane village. Walk a few paces to Rua das Gaivotos, past the village houses and to Avenida 5 de Outubro. From here, walk along the promenade (on the right side you can see China) to the village square. The pretty chapel of St Francis Xavier is here, and there are a couple of cafes where you can get a drink. Walk along Rua dos Negociantes, pass the few shops selling antiques and dried foods to the bus/moke stop. The rest of the afternoon can be spent in a number of ways: water sports at Cheoc Van beach finishing with dinner at one of the nearby restaurants (take a bus to Cheoc Van beach, or you can walk the coastal path south from Coloane village. This takes about an hour); at Seac Pai Van Park is a nature trail, aviary and children's zoo; or head to the black sands of Hac Sa beach, and get a head start in the queue for dinner at Fernando's (Hac Sa Beach, Coloane, 853 882 531) - the perennial favourite with locals and tourists. Day six (November 13) Shopping: part two: The second weekend of racing begins today, which includes Macau's first Formula 1 demonstration. If you have tickets to any of the races, walk the tour between races. Along the length of Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro (the main street adjacent to Large do Senado Square) are shops selling jewellery and food products (beef jerky and Chinese cookies are a good find here), and there are also a number of well-known clothing outlets. At No390 is the Cultural Club. The beautifully restored building was once a pawnbroker shop and now houses a pawn museum, gift shop and tea house. Back on the main road you can turn left to Travessa do Aterro Novo, which leads to Rua da Felicidade, a former red-light district now a quaint thoroughfare bustling with restaurants and budget hotels. Lunch options include Restaurante Vinha (Alm Dr. Carlos d'Assumca, 393 Edificio Dynasty Plaza, 853 752 599) and Naam Thai Restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental, Macau (956-1110 Avenida da Amizade, 853 567 888). If pampering calls, book a spa treatment. Spa Philosophy (327-331 Avenida Xian Xing Hai, Nam On Garden, 853 728 330) currently has a two-course menu that includes a scrub or body glow, and choice of massage (MP$698), or you can add a third facial treatment (MP$1,098 for three treatments). Mandarin Oriental Spa (956-1110 Avenida da Amizade, 853 567 888) also has a wide range of good treatments. Day seven (November 14) Today's racing programme includes motorcycle and Porsche Carrera Cup qualifying rounds, as well as Formula 3 practice and qualifying rounds. Make sure you've got tickets in your pocket for at least one. A place on a Lisboa stand will give prime viewing at one of the tightest corners on the track. It's also convenient for some post-race gambling at Macau's best-known casino. Tourist attractions nearby include the A-Ma temple on Rua da Barra. This is one of the buildings selected on Macau's application to be included on the Unesco World Heritage List, and a popular spot with tourists. The Maritime museum (where the Portuguese first landed) is near the temple. Inside, exhibitions are devoted to the life of fishing folk in the region, and voyages of discovery. Walk along Rua de S. Tiago da Barra to the Pousada de Sao Tiago. Once a fort, the site is now a hotel incorporating original walls and a chapel in the design. The hotel terrace is a good spot to stop for a drink before heading for the track action. Day eight (November 15) If you feel tension and excitement in the air, it's because it is the penultimate day of the 50th Grand Prix. Today's action includes the 37th Motorcycle Grand Prix, a historic cars parade and another Formula 1 demonstration. One of the quickest bends of the track is at San Francisco Bend, overlooked by San Francisco Barracks. Today the pink-washed walls serve as headquarters for sections of the police force. Nearby on Avenida da Praia Grande 975 (853 714 007) is Club Militar, a 19th century neo-classical building with louvered windows and an elegant facade, and a large, breezy restaurant serving palatable lunches. Day nine (November 16) Two weekends of racing reaches its climax today, with the 50th Grand Prix tournament. Between the morning and afternoon legs, scheduled events to whip crowds into a heightened frenzy include a Formula 1 demonstration. A detour from the track on the same side of town is the Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Centre. Not only a tourist attraction (the observation lounge on the 58th floor offers great views of Macau and the mainland), it houses a number of restaurants and cafes including Restaurante Vila Porto de Macau, 853 968 899, Cafe Madeira, 853 963 399, and 180? lounge) it is proving a popular venue for business conferences. Already under its belt are the seventh Macao International Trade and Investment Fair, a Chanel fashion show, and the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries.