Macau. Hidden central Macau
Venture just a minute or two off the main touristy area of the Senado Square, and you will find Macau that does not exist in guidebooks.
Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro is the main artery of this part of Macau – it crosses the Senado Square and leads to the casinos area. But we will walk into the opposite direction (west), towards the seafront. Colonial-feel arcades line parts of this noisy street. Turn into Rua de Cinco de Outubro (十月初五街) and things start to get less busy.
You will reach a square at the crossing of Rua de Cinco de Outubro and Rua das Estalgens. This is Largo do Pagode de Bazar (康公廟前地). There’s a fascinating temple here, where a mix of Buddhist and Taoist deities are revered, Hong Chan Kuan Temple 康真君廟 also known as Hong Kung Temple 康公廟. According to the legend, local residents decided to built this temple after they found a wooden statue of Hong Kung floating in the water. There’s plenty of things to see inside, including the “Liquor Ship Stone” (酒船石) over which people pour alcoholic beverages during festivities.
From here take Rua das Estalagens and walk east. When I was here last time, I accidentaly stumbled upon a small museum called Former Chong Sai Pharmacy (中西药局). I am not sure if it’s a permanent thing, so if you want to visit it too, check ahead. It featured an exhibition in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen’s birth. Besides Sun Yat-Sen life and his medical practice, you could learn about the conservation of the building, its architectural features such as the Chinese stucco and the “mother-of-pearl windows,” and about relics found during excavations, including Kraak porcelain. I found it at Rua das Estalagens no. 80 (草堆街80号).
If you continue further east along Rua das Estalagens, you will get back to the tourist core of the old town around St. Dominic’s Church. You can also continue to explore the nearby alleys such as Rua dos Ervanarios (關前街). Cheers.
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