Edmund Tan is the Chief Concierge at Conrad Macao, Cotai Strip, an up-and-coming travel destination. Here, he provides his not-to-miss recommendations to plan the perfect escape in the capital city.
What is the first thing that guests should do in Macao?
Most people only spend a night or two in the capital city Macao, try to cram everything in those two days and leave totally exhausted. Not good. A photo stop at the Ruins of St. Paul is an essential place to take photographs; then the rest of your time should be spent exploring the city and just relaxing.
What are the local signature dishes that people should try?
Curry Crab and African Chicken. These are classic local Portuguese dishes that you’ll not find in Portugal. Henri’s Galley on Avenida da Republica is our go-to place for them.
Where do you find the best selfie spots?
There are lots of great selfie spots in Macao. The old colonial-style buildings make great backdrops that are distinct to the city. One of my favorite selfie spots is one of Macao’s famous landmarks, the half-scale Eiffel Tower.
What do you always recommend for guests to do activity-wise?
Walking. Everything in the Historic Centre of Macau is within walking distance, and Macao is compact enough to see everything you need by foot in about five hours. My favorite route is the one where you can see and eat just about everything: Starting at the A-Ma Temple, walking through the Historic Centre, connecting to the neighborhoods of St. Lazarus and Horta e Costa, and ending at Fai Chi Kei.
What is the strangest or most challenging request you’ve received?
Flew to another country to deliver dinner? Done. Flew to another country to deliver luggage? Done. Dug up a wedding certificate that happened 50 years ago? Done. Procured two tickets to a sold-out Yo-Yo Ma concert? Done. Got someone from Singapore to London in two days with European airspace closed during the Eyjafjallajökull eruption? Done.
In the travel world, there’s a spotlight on Macao at present. Why?
I can think of many reasons: the food, the historical sights, its affordability, the state-of-the-art conference and convention facilities, the over-the-top integrated resorts, its accessibility to just about everywhere in Asia, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge. What else have I missed?
What is the perfect Macao souvenir?
If you are within a four-hour flight, definitely Portuguese egg tarts from Lord Stow or Margaret Café de Nata (they can be kept refrigerated for about three days), dried handmade noodles from Hei Lam Moon (Rua de Cinco de Outobro) or Chang Kei (Rua de Emenda). Must-buys include the shrimp roe noodles, scallop flavored noodles and Chinese macaroni (from Hei Lam Moon).
Book your stay at Conrad Macao, Cotai Strip to explore these recommendations and more.
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