Macau. Northern Macau

When in Macau, I mostly walk. Every time I cross the China-Macau border in Zhuhai, I have several choices. If I have time to stroll around, I just start to explore on foot. If I am a little bit in a hurry, I jump on a free shuttle bus to Gran Lisboa casino, from where it is just a short walk to the main historical part of the city. The third option is to bypass the sights located on the peninsula and head to Taipa, Cotai and Coloane, linked to the Macau peninsula by bridges. Also by free shuttle buses.

The northern part of Macau just next to the China border may be the city’s least interesting area, but it still hides some enticing attractions like the Ox Warehouse 牛房倉庫. An art space opened in an old slaughterhouse, it serves as an artist residence, workshop, gallery and event venue.

But the main drawcard of northern Macau is one of the most important and impressive temples in town.

Pou Chai Sim Un 普濟禪院 is also commonly known as Kun Iam Tong 觀音堂 which means “Guanyin Hall.” What stands here today was constructed in 1627, but it is said that the temple is much older and dates to the 13th century. There are three big halls and several smaller ones. The main ones are Mahavira Hall (with Sakyamuni) 大雄寶殿, Longevity Hall (with Amitabha) 長壽殿 and Guanyin Hall (with Avalokiteśvara) 觀音殿.

There is a serene garden hidden beside the aforementioned rooms, where an agreement between China and the United States was signed in 1844. The stone table on which it happened is still here today. The document is often reffered to as the Treaty of Wanghia, after the name of the settlement (locally spelled Mong-Ha, 望厦) this neighborhood belonged to.

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