Some people tend to stereotype people who visit museums as boring, nerd, reserved, introverts or sometimes classy. That isn’t entirely true. Museums appeal to people from different walks of life, different generations, and different social classes. People are attracted to visit museums because they are curious, they are hungry to learn about history, ancient cultures, the past, the old ways, and almost anything under the sun. They are all born famished of knowledge and are all eager to fill the void with information that continue to fascinates each and every one of us.
One fine listless off day, my wife and I decided to do one of the things we haven’t done together in Macau, and that was to visit Museums. My wife admitted that she wasn’t really a fan of Museums but she’s curious and yielded to my request. Macau has more than 20 museums and one whole day was not enough to visit all of it so we’ve chosen to visit only a few that captured our interests. Museums in Macau are not as sophisticated or as grand as what they have in some countries in Europe or in USA, but, if you are interested with the fusion of East and West, particularly of Portuguese and Chinese, then, visiting museums in Macau is worth your time and effort.
Museu de Macau (Macau Museum)
For our first stop, we headed to the biggest museum in Macau, the Macau Museum. Located at the hill of Mt. Fortress and directly adjacent to Ruins of St. Paul’s is the biggest museum in Macau that chronicles the Portuguese occupation, settlement and fusion with Chinese cultures and tradition.
Macau Museum wonderfully stages the early life of Macau people – ancient occupation, ancient houses, early infrastructures, old customs, and ancient traditions – to the occupation and governing of Portuguese up to the remnants of Portuguese influences of the modern day Macau. This three-storey building is a living testament of the great differences between the East and West cultures forced to bond together, adapts with one another and eventually live and grow together.
For a MOP15 entrance fee, the museum will let you go down the memory lane and will leave you in awe and be fascinated with how rich and beautiful the old Macau was. The first floor of the museum will show you Macau’s origin and how two civilizations met halfway and created a dynamic culture and traditions, on the second level are the ancient crafts and traditions of the city and on the third floor is the result of the influences and shows the contemporary life of Macau. This is a suitable place for history aficionados and for the whole family as well.
Wine Museum and Grand Prix Museum
After Macau Museum, we headed to Rua Luis Gonzaga Gomes, 10 minutes away from the city centre to visit not just one but two museums. Wine Museum and Grand Prix Museum share the same building, which is cool by the way, and has a modern feel like atmosphere and ambiance.
It is common knowledge that Portuguese is very fond of wines. Drinking a glass of wine a day is not anything unusual, that is why they are very particulars in choosing the best qualities of wine. Here, in wine museum, you will learn the origins of different kinds of wine and the processes of making it. Different regions in Portugal have different wine specialties, and the uniqueness of each and every wine is evident on its taste, strength, and smell. You can try and taste wines and it also has a wine shop in which some wines are only found there.
Grand Prix Museum
For over six decades now, Macau has been conducting this yearly event and has seen a lot of familiar and most famous racers like Michael Schumacher and Doy Laurel and is one of the staple yearly events in the city. The museum was established to showcase the most impressive cars and motorcycles that were used throughout the event history. The museum houses quite a number of cars and memorabilia that would appeal for everyone. After a fine stroll at the wine museum head straight to the adjacent exhibition room to be delighted with most magnificent cars and motorcycles available for public to see.
Handover Gifts Museum of Macau
From mid-16th century, Macau has been under the Portuguese colonization until 1999 when its sovereignty was completely surrendered to China, thus, making it a special administrative region. When the sovereignty was handover back to China, different regions of the country, including Hong Kong and Magnolia, had presented gifts to celebrate the momentous event. Different kind of gifts were given by different regions of China and each gift was personalized according to regions’ natural resources and local products.
The museum is walking distance from Wine and Grand Prix museum and the impressive architectures, interior and exterior, houses these valuable gifts. It also shows how each region of the country welcomed back Macau with open arms and how important it was for the Chinese history. Be amazed with some of these amazing handover gifts from different amazing cities and provinces of China.
Macau Museum of Art
For our fifth and final visit of the day, we walked straight to the adjacent building, the Cultural Centre of Macau, where Macau Museum of Art is situated. The museum features impressive painting of local artists that depicted the everyday life of Macau. It was a bummer that the third level was under maintenance that time, so, we contented ourselves with the painting exhibits on the first level. I am not really one who can articulately describe each painting, but from an outsider’s perspective, everything was impressive. It doesn’t take a genius to appreciate the talent and hard work, one artist put into crafting an impressive painting. I just hope I could verbalized and explained the meaning of each and every painting we saw.
Like what I’ve mentioned above, it was the first time for us to do this, and it sure was worth it. The day has proven to be very educational, informative, and eye-opening for us, in the sense that we know very little about our world – history, arts, culture, facts, trivia. It was the first time but sure wasn’t the last.