When you hear the name Macau, many of you will instantly think of money and casinos. In fact, this is what I first thought about when we were on our way to the 11 square mile peninsula / island in South China.
But little did I know, there is so much more to do in Macau than casinos! While the reputation of being the “Las Vegas of Asia” is true in some ways, now after visiting Macau, I think of it in a totally different light now…Macau is GREAT for Geocaching.
Arriving in Macau
Arriving in Macau, we initially didn’t have much of an agenda. We were on a quick weekend getaway from our home nearby in Guangzhou (two hours away), so we were just planning to go with the flow. We didn’t know much about things to do in Macau, except for the big name casinos such as the Venetian & the Wynn, and a bit of the Portuguese heritage. So as we do in any new destination where we don’t really know what to do, we let geocaching lead us around!
And after our visit and geocaching around Macau, I left having such a new appreciation for the rich mix of Cantonese and Portuguese culture in this small region in southern China.
Getting Acquainted with Macau
Casinos are fun and all, but we love getting to know the area and the history of a new country. We started off our day with what came to be our favorite food in Macau, a Portuguese egg tart. In my opinion, this is the only way to start your day in Macau! Then we set out toward the historic Senado Square in pursuit of our first Geocache in Macau.
Upon arriving at this famous square at the heart of old Macau, we realized that it was a part of a historic walking tour of Macau. The map of the sights and signage made us think that this could be a cool route to take as we explore the city of Macau. But after we set off wandering about and exploring the area, we couldn’t help but notice that all the geocaches were located along this same route.
It was then that we realized we were on an unofficial Geocaching GeoTrail in Macau!
While walking around the historic neighborhoods of Macau, we were simply in awe by the Portuguese architecture. Being in the heart of Asia and China, we couldn’t believe that we were staring at a beautiful Portuguese building dating back to the 1600’s. Also, everything is written in Portuguese and Chinese (and English), which was a little unusual considering we have been so use to seeing Chinese writings everywhere since moving to China last year.
Discovering Macau…and a Lot of Geocaches!
After a bit of sightseeing along the walking trail, it was time for us to log a Geocache in our 16th country. We followed our Garmin GPS and it lead us to a church. Another rare site in China, a catholic church (but there are quite a lot of them in Macau).
After reading about the history on the cache page, we went in to make the find. (The Cathedral, Macau GC4EWPY) was cleverly hidden near a park bench. After a bit of searching we made the discovery. Our 16th country to find a cache in! We signed the log, took some pictures, and continued along the historic trail to the next destination.
It was so much fun being on this unofficial GeoTrail in Macau, and learning about the Portuguese History of the area. This is what excites Liz and I when we travel abroad. There are so many different types of discoveries all in one walk.
It’s sightseeing, with a purpose!
After a couple more cache finds, we found ourselves at the bottom of a long stairway — leading up to one of the most iconic places in all of Macau. (The Ruins of St. Paul’s GC20BD5) is home to a great photo op, and seems to be the hot spot in macau for all tourists from all over the world.
Little do the other travelers know that this famous site is also home to a geocache as well. In fact, it’s one of the most favored caches in all of Macau. Unfortunately the structure was closed for construction. So we had to DNF this cache and we will have to come back to discover this highly favored cache, but we still made the best out of it.
A Unique Way to Experience Macau
After a couple more finds on this historic walking tour, we decided to take a detour and head up to one of the Forts here on Macau, (Mount Fortress GC20BD6). We knew there was a cache hidden somewhere up top, so we made our way into the historic Fort sitting high on the mountain overlooking Macau. It was a beautiful site and a great place to get a birds eye view of Macau — old and new.
It was a sight that I will never forget. To me, it was unusual to see the old and new mixed together. This picture right here speaks volumes.
As we wandered down the other side of the and back on the trail, we were couldn’t help but talk about how much fun this was. We were learning so much about Macau — history that we just didn’t have a clue about — and we were loving our Geocaching adventures too!
We even had a close FTF with a Third to Find (Jardim da Gruta de Camoes GC5Z5ZC) on our way back to the trail.
Read also Our FTF Adventure in Macau… FINALLY!
Thanks for a Great Geocaching Adventure in Macau
This unofficial GeoTrail in Macau had great caches at nearly all the historic sights on the trail. The fun part was that most all the caches were hidden in different containers. This helped to make our journey more exciting, and not monotonous like some GeoTrails can become.
The trail ended at a beautiful location with a picturesque photo op (A-Ma GC2KG0B). Geocaching around Macau gave me such an appreciation for the history of this area, that I honestly didn’t even know existed.
Now when someone mentions Macau, I don’t think of Casinos; I think of the Cantonese and Portuguese history mixed together. I also think of this awesome historic walking tour…and all of the great geocaches we found in Macau!