Macau as a whole can be divided into three parts: Macao Peninsula, Taipa Island, and Coloane Island. We have shared Nostalgia in Coloane in Macau before, and today we will share Bygone Days of Taipa Village with you.
Strolling along the narrow streets and lanes of the lovely old district, you’ll see a lot of historic buildings that offer you a glimpse of Macao’s old time village life.
1.I Leng Temple in Taipa
Built in the 26th year of Emperor Guangxu’s reign (1900), I Leng Temple, also known as Ka Sin Tong, is adjacent to Kun Iam Temple in Taipa and worships “I Leng” – the God of sacred doctors. The present idol in the Temple is the Emperor of Sacred Doctor, who is not confined to any ancient eminent physicians and pharmacists, but refers to general sacred doctors, including Hua Tuo, Sun Simiao, Bian Que, etc. While entering the Temple, you’ll see an elegant wooden sliding door, which is rarely seen in Macao today.
2.Kun Iam Temple in Taipa
The Temple was built around the 28th year of Emperor Guangxu’s reign (1902), according to an engraved marble. In the Temple stands a tranquil and valuable Kun Iam statue with burnished gold leaf. The statue has existed for over a century and was restored in 2004. Quoted from the Buddhist Scriptures, “Kun Iam” literally means “let’s listen to the miserable voice from this human world” and later becomes a popular doctrine of Chinese folk beliefs. Kun Iam, also known as the Goddess of Mercy, is believed to have infinite wisdom and supernatural power that offer salvations for human suffering.
3.Museum of Taipa and Coloane History
A comprehensive collection of exhibits are displayed at the museum. On the first floor, the exhibitions of the historical relics unearthed on Coloane, the stone architectural remains in the basement of the former Island Council Building, and the development of the villages, religions and culture of the islands provide an overview of the history and culture of old Coloane and Taipa. The exhibition rooms on the second floor have different themes, including the history of the former Municipal Council of the Islands, a look back at agriculture and handicrafts in the old days, the architectural features of buildings on Coloane and Taipa and the recent development of the two islands. It provides visitors with a better understanding of the modern political and economical development of Coloane and Taipa.
Address : Rua Correia da Silva, Taipa
Opening Hours : 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (No admittance after 5:30 p.m.). Closed on Mondays.
Fees : Free admission
Tel : +853 2836 6866
Website : www.icm.gov.mo/en
4.Tin Hau Temple in Taipa
It’s widely believed to be one of the oldest known temples on the island. There’s no way to locate the exact year it was built, but should be no later than 1785. It is because of a historical trace found on the old bell of the temple, upon which the inscription “Made in the 50th year of Emperor Qianlong’s reign (1785)” is crafted. The Temple is dedicated to Tin Hau (Heavenly Empress), popularly known as A-Ma , who can make prophecy in her mortal life and has the mythic power to save boats and drowning people from danger. It is apparent that the Goddess is much venerated by the fishing and trading population. It was originally a large and remarkable temple, where many precious relics such as old tablets, a bell and altars of incense were stored. In fact, only the Main Hall dedicating to Tin Hau remains in the temple today.
5.Pak Tai Temple in Taipa
As one of the remarkable temples in Taipa, Pak Tai Temple has a rich history stretching back to 160 years ago, according to a stele with carved inscription in the temple. A worship pavilion is set up for its followers to put tribute and offerings, which is rarely seen elsewhere on the island. In the old days, most of the population earned a living by fishing and thus they followed the precepts of Pak Tai, or literally known as the Northern Emperor, who is believed to have the divine power to withstand floods and fire, and hence the establishment of the temple. In celebration of Feast of Pak Tai on the 3th day of the 3rd month in Lunar Calendar each year, performances of Chinese opera are usually held in a mat-shed in front of the Temple. Also you can rent a bike nearby and enjoy the tour in this old neighbourhood.
It is a narrow but bustling pedestrian street in the heart of Taipa village. Walking on the street, you will see the original community of the Island and find countless famed old restaurants that offer plenty of traditional cuisines. This small maze of narrow lanes and alleys is always packed with tourists. The Street was turned into the first pedestrian zone in Macao in 1983. Since then, it becomes a popular place for shops selling desserts, almond biscuits, egg rolls, coconut flakes and peanut candies, some of which you can buy as souvenirs. Built in the early 19th century, the Old Market is now reincarnated as a local cultural hub that adds vibrancy to this neighbourhood – the interesting Taipa Flea Market sets up stalls every Sunday in the square, where you can find many pretty hand-made items. It’s definitely an attraction that you can’t afford missing.
Along the way up, you’ll see many colonial houses painted in hues of yellow, blue, and green that tell you old stories of this neighbourhood – cultural home of Macanese. These beautiful two-storey buildings scatter throughout this vicinity. Formerly known as the General Electric Bureau of the Island, Carmo Hall was once the only public power plant to generate electricity for residents in Taipa. In 2007, it was converted to a multi-functional activity centre where cultural performances, recreational events, key-theme talks now occur on a regular basis.
8.Our Lady of Carmel Church
Built in 1885, this church stands on a hill overlooking the sea, Taipa Village and the restored mansions of Old Taipa Praia.
Address : Avenida de Carlos da Maia, Largo do Carmo, Taipa
Opening Hours : 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Acclaimed as one of the top eight sites of Macao, the Taipa Houses represents the charming Portuguese architectural style in Taipa. The Portuguese residences along Avenida da Praia, together with the neighbouring Our Lady of Carmel Church and the garden, comprise a picturesque landscape in which the five green houses stand out as the most representative.
These five houses, built in 1921, once served as the residences of senior civil servants, also namely Macanese families; in 1992, they were acknowledged as a building complex of architectural value. Later, the government decided to revamp the houses completely as a museum site, opened to the public at the end of 1999 as the ‘Taipa Houses-Museum’.
In September 2016, the Macao SAR Government re-capitalised on these five buildings by transforming them into the ‘Macanese Living Museum’, ‘Exhibitions Gallery’, ‘Creative Casa’, ‘Nostalgic House’ and ‘House for Receptions’ from west to east, respectively. This project has converted the place into a combination of culture and creativity, with outdoor performances and leisure elements, making it a showcase of not only the culture of the Portuguese-speaking countries but of culture from all over the world.
Macanese Living Museum
The Macanese Living Museum recreates daily scenes from Macao’s past. The term ‘Macanese’ refers to the ethnic group whose Portuguese ancestors married Chinese, Malay and Filipinos from Southeast Asia, and Indians from South Asia, in Macao. The Macanese have their own dialect and lifestyle; while most of them share Western religious beliefs they are also deeply influenced by Chinese life patterns.
The Exhibitions Gallery shows exhibitions from time to time to enrich local people’s leisure life. In addition, it is available for consulates to borrow to serve as an exhibition and exchange venue for world culture and art, thus introducing more cultural tourism elements through exchanges between Macao and other countries.
The Creative Casa primarily serves as a platform for the exhibition and promotion of the culture and information of Macao and Portuguese-speaking countries, and the sale of specialty products. The ground floor displays and sells cultural products and publications with Portuguese characteristics and related to Taipa, and the first floor is a space for temporary exhibitions.
In the Nostalgic House, special exhibitions on the Macanese people and the Cotai district are organized from time to time in order to display the native culture, life, religion, architecture, and cuisine of the Macanese community and Cotai district in the past and present.
House for Receptions
The House for Receptions is not open to the public. It is a venue for official banquets, receptions and other activities.
Address : Avenida da Praia, Taipa, Macau
Opening Hours : 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., no admittance after 6:30 p.m. Closed on Mondays. ‘Creative Casa’: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m..’House for Receptions’ is not open to public.
Fees : Free admission
Tel : +853 8988 4000, +853 2882 7527
E-mail : email@example.com
Website : www.icm.gov.mo/en/housesmuseum
The above are the 9 attractions of Bygone Days of Taipa Village. Those who like Portuguese rhyme in Macau should not miss it.