Many travelers think that all there is to see in Macau is nothing but flashy casinos and ancient colonial structures that reminisce the city’s Portuguese past. Surprising enough, this small territory has lovely sceneries and old villages where life goes on at a gentle pace, one of which is the Coloane Village.
The old Coloane Village seems like a small territory where time stood still at some point and never really regained the pace, leaving a setting capturing a more rustic essence compared to the rest of Macau. Winding narrow alleys where small Chinese temples and old courtyard houses are lined up just as they were when the earlier lifestyle was mellow and drowsy-a time belonging to more than a hundred years ago.
Get dropped off the bus at the Village Square and walk towards the seaside promenade. To your right will be Lord Stow’s Bakery, which has made a name for itself as a local institution that makes the best tasting Portuguese egg tarts in Macau. Lord Stow’s runs a café just a few steps from the bakery where tired tourists can seat comfortably and enjoy mouthwatering pastries and a decent cup of coffee.
As soon as you reach the esplanade, make a left turn and walk for a couple of minutes until you see a small cobblestone paved pizza where your next stop will be, the Chapel of St. Francis Xavier. The chapel houses some ancient Catholic relics that remain worth seeing.
As soon as you walk out of the chapel, turn left to the alley and make another left turn on the fourth alley at Travessa do Pagode. A small Chinese temple is well worth the visit as it was built in honor of Kun Iam or the Chinese goddess of mercy. This intricate temple became so popular due to its beautifully designed moon gate which makes a nice photo op.
Move on by turning right at Rua do Estaleiro and then left at Travessa da Republica that will take you to the Tin Hau Temple. Built in 1677, the Tin Hau Temple is the Coloane Island’s most ancient temple dedicated to Tin Hau, which is the mythological protector of seafarer. Tin Hau is also known as A-Ma, which is known to grant protection to merchants and fishermen by turning bad instances into fortunate ones. Fishermen and sailors thus pay high regard to Tin Hau.
Walk back the same way you came and then make a left turn at Rua do Estaleiro. Walk towards a small and colorful Chinese temple that can be seen at the end of the street. The temple contains beautiful pieces of art and an ancient model of a boat made from whalebone. The temple is dedicated to Tam Kong which is believed to be the Taoist protector of fisherman and sailors.
From here, walk back to the seaside promenade past the piazza and the Lord Stow’s café and make your way to the village’s northernmost tip. About a minute past the famous cafe, another tiny temple called the Sam Seng Temple can be seen. Make sure to keep your eyes open for this small temple as it can only be noticed by its stone lions that guard its gates.
The same street will then lead you to a deserted pier adorned with stilt houses as local fishermen can be seen still salt-drying their hatch as they did the traditional way. Take a stroll back to the Village Square and thus end your trip around the Coloane Village.