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New bus tours offer a simple way to explore Macau’s top attractions

Two hop-on, hop-off lines connect tourists to walking tours around historical sites

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 November, 2015, 9:31am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 November, 2015, 9:31am

Exploring Macau has become easier and more fun with the launch of two hop-on, hop-off circular bus tours. One takes tourists around key sites in the old city on the peninsula, while the other goes on a tour of the islands of Taipa and Coloane.

The “Step Out, Experience Macau’s Communities” Bus Highlight Tours, which are operated by Grayline Tours (Macau), have guides on board providing commentary about the sights in English, Cantonese and Putonghua. A one-day pass allows sightseers to get on and off the bus at Macau’s most important tourist attractions as many times as they like throughout the day. The Peninsula Line makes seven trips per day, while the Taipa and Coloane Line makes four trips per day.

The Peninsula Line’s first trip departs from the Macau Ferry Terminal at 10.30am, with the last trip leaving at 5pm. Each trip runs about 1 hour and 45 minutes excluding stops, which link sightseers to six walking tour routes.

The first two stops on the Peninsula Line are Macau Fisherman’s Wharf at the Harbourview Hotel and the Kun Iam Ecumenical Center in front of Vista Magnifica Court. One of Macau’s most popular tourist attractions, Fisherman’s Wharf features boutiques, cafes, restaurants and bars housed in vintage-style shop houses. At the Kun Iam Ecumenical Center, a statue of Kun Iam, the Goddess of Mercy, stands atop a man-made islet situated in the waters of the Outer Harbour.

One of the walking tours featured along this line, Legacy of Arts and Culture, takes sightseers between these two stops past some of the enclave’s most important and newer tourist attractions: the Macao Science Centre, the Macao Cultural Centre, the Macao Museum of Art, and the Handover Gifts Museum of Macao. The walk can be completed in less than 40 minutes, but tourists are encouraged to go inside the venues and explore the exhibits on display.

The next stop on the Peninsula Line is the Fortune Business Centre, which is opposite the side entrance of New Yaohan. Sightseers can embark on two walking tours from this stop.

The Footsteps into the Historic Centre tour follows the arc of Praia Grande, which is lined with ancient banyan trees, through historic Senado Square and past the stately General Post Office to the teeming shores of the Inner Harbour. Attractions include St Dominic’s Church, Kuan Tai Temple, a pawn shop, Opium House and Street of Happiness, which was once Macau’s red-light district but the gray and red structures there now house shops and cafes.

Among other stops on the Peninsula Line is the Pousada de Sao Tiago, a boutique hotel built within the ruins of an ancient fort. Cocktails on the terrace at sunset are a must, and sightseers can embark on the Crossroads of China and Portugal walking tour from the hotel.

Praca de Ponte e Horta at Hotel Sun Sun also links sightseers to the Footsteps in the Historic Centre walking tour. The Border Gate, which links Macau to the mainland, leads sightseers to the Enchanting Stories of Our Lady of Fatima Parish walking tour. Kun Iam Temple serves as a link to two walking tours: An Experiment of Creativity and Enchanting Stories of Our Lady of Fatima Parish. And Tap Seac Square by the Hotel Royal Macau connects to the Marriage of East and West in St Anthony’s Parish and An Experiment of Creativity walking tours.

The Taipa and Coloane Line also starts at the Macau Ferry Terminal and runs for 1 hour and 45 minutes, excluding stops. The first trip departs at 10.30am, and the last trip of the day begins at 5pm. It makes stops at the Taipa Temporary Ferry Terminal, Macau International Airport, Largo do President Antonio Ramalho Eanes (next to the Coloane Post Office), and Rua do Cunha (in front of the Taipa Municipal Market).

This bus tour line takes sightseers to two walking routes. The Bygone Days of Taipa Village tour takes about 25 minutes and leads to four Chinese temples, one Catholic church, several museums, Carmo Hall and Rua do Cunha, the main street of Taipa Village, which is lined with cafes and shops selling dried meats and Macanese-style cookies.

The Nostalgia in Coloane walking tour visits four Chinese temples, a Catholic chapel, the Coloane Pier, the Coloane library and the Largo do Presidente Antonio Ramalho Eanes, a colonial-era village square. The route takes about 30 minutes to complete.

Sightseers do not have to begin their bus trips at the Macau Ferry Terminal. They can also sign up at The Landmark Macau, Pousada de Sao Tiago, the Border Gate, Macau Fisherman’s Wharf, Hotel Sun Sun and Hotel Royal Macau on the Peninsula Line and at Macau International Airport on the Taipa and Coloane Line.

Both tour bus lines cost 100 patacas per day for adults and 50 patacas for children aged 12 or under and seniors aged 65 and above.