On visiting Macau for the first time, you quickly realise what a tiny island and peninsula it is. And if you have ever wondered how it is possible to race cars here, the annual Grand Prix Macau from 13-16 November is proof that this little city is capable of anything.
The 6.2-kilometre-long Guia Circuit winds through downtown Macau, with heart-stopping curves where the narrowest part is only seven metres wide, and the widest 14. Crashes, pile-ups, stoppages? You bet! Which is exactly why international race drivers come in for a real challenge, and every year there is a great turnout to witness this world event take place amidst the city's iconic landmarks.
From the spectators' stands, the Lisboa and Mandarin Oriental Bends are right in front, while to the east is the start and finish with the right-angle R Bend, followed by Fisherman's Bend, Dona Maria Ben II Bend and the Melco Hairpin Bend, thus named for the tiny loop that it makes, just north of the reservoir. The circuit then winds through lush Solitude Esses and comes to Maternity and San Francisco Hill before spectators watch their favourite drivers (and cars) race towards victory and claim the ultimate prize.
Two of the event's biggest draws are the FIA World Touring Cars Championship and Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia Series. RML Chevrolet's Yvan Muller, SEAT's Rob Huff, Castrol's Honda Tiago Monteiro, Tuenti Racing's Pepe Oriola, ROAL BMW's Tom Coronel, Honda's Eurico De Jesus, Chevrolet's Tom Chilton and many more outstanding drivers raced in FIA WTCC last year, while the Lamborghini race in 2013 saw Andrea Garbagnati, Massimiliano Wiser, Toshiyuki Ochiai and drivers from Hong Kong, China, Malaysia and beyond battle for the podium.
What makes this a truly international event is not only the roster of drivers, but also the sponsors. Bentley is the safety, medical, rescue and official cars supplier, while Ford, Mazda, Hyundai, Yokohama, Air Macau, Turbo Jet, will go all out to support the races. What to expect this year? Anything is possible so get your tickets now and experience Grand Prix Macau for yourself!
For the 61st Macau Grand Prix Ticket information, log on to www.macauticket.com or call +853 2855 5555 from Macau, +852 2380 5083 from Hong Kong, or +86 1392 6911 111 from mainland China.
What to See
Lou Lim Loc Garden
The city's famous Lou Lim Leoc Garden exemplifies Suzhou-style landscaping, considered the best in China. Go along Avenida do Conselheiro Ferreira de Almeida, past beautiful Portuguese buildings and enter through the Macau Tea Culture Museum. An intricately constructed 9-turn stone bridge goes over the central lotus pond and through the pavilions, which are not to be missed. Breathtaking lotus flowers and colourful carp in the pond are picture-perfect. Have a seat inside the pavilion and notice the striking contrast between the garden's miniature landscapes - grottoes, bridges and winding paths - and high-rises in the background. Iconically Macau.
Guia Hill - with a fortress, lighthouse and chapel - packs a lot of history in a single location. Guia Fortress was built between the 1620s and 1630s to protect Macau against Dutch invasion, and Guia Lighthouse, completed much later, in 1865, was China's first ever modern lighthouse. Behind Guia Chapel's simple façade, made of triangular pediments supported by pilasters, are beautiful frescoes depicting the colony's earliest multiculturalism.
Macau Fisherman's Wharf
Enjoy dining, shopping or just do some people-watching in Macau's very own Fisherman's Wharf. The outdoor area features an amphiteatre, a boulevard and a quaint wharf that offers unobstructed views of Nam Van Lake. Savour Portuguese, Macanese, Japanese, Thai, Indian cuisines and much more, as you shop for souvenirs, fashion and accessories. An amusement park and other entertainments provide a nostalgic experience unique from Macau's other glitzy attractions.
What to Eat
Ristorante il Teatro
An exclusive lift whisks you into Ristorante il Teatro's truly theatrical décor where wraparound booths, private dining rooms with balconies, and the view of the Performance Lake just outside your full-height window add to the drama. The Italian cuisine here is just as delightful, where signature dishes cover the Italian classics with a twist. From seafood and panzanella salad, stone-roasted John Dory with Dungeness crab risotto to US prime beef tenderloin, beautiful presentations reveal authentic flavours.
Rua Cidade de Sintra, NAPE, Macau
Tel. +853 2888 9966
Robuchon au Dôme
Awarded three Michelin stars for six consecutive years, Robuchon au Dôme upholds the highest standards in French haute cuisine. Grand Lisboa Hotel's theatrical dome, the stunning Swarovski chandelier, Baccarat floor lamps and Linley wine cabinets set the tone of your stellar dining experience. Signature dishes include pan-seared Kagoshima beef, warm soft-boiled egg with baby spinach purée and other noteworthy gourmet.
Grand Lisboa Hotel, Macau
Avenida da Lisboa, Macau
Tel. +853 8803 7878
With the best meat sourced from Japan, Australia, US and Holland and over 13000 wine labels, The Kitchen is a contemporary Michelin-starred steakhouse par excellence. While carnivores will be fully satiated, there is something for every palate: fresh seafood and lobsters caught live from the restaurant's tank, ocean-fresh sashimi, homemade bread and desserts, as well as dishes prepared right in the flaming ovens make the open-style Kitchen a show-stopper.
Grand Lisboa Hotel, Macau
Avenida de Lisboa, Macau
Tel. +853 8803 7777
Chef Lai Yau 'Tim' founded his own restaurant nearly 15 years ago, with excellent reviews from Chinese cuisine enthusiasts, foodies and Asia's largest tycoons alike. You can enjoy his beautifully presented dishes in locations throughout Hong Kong, Macau and Shanghai. From crystal king prawns to braised whole Yoshihama abalones, the authentically Cantonese fare is all about a luxurious twist on the most sought-after ingredients.
Hotel Lisboa Macau
2-4 Avenida de Lisboa, Macau
Tel. +853 8803 3682
Weary of the same old buffet line, or looking for an exotic taste? Square 8, a contemporary, dynamic venue recognized by Bib Gourmand, is where you can sample the A-Z's of Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisines. Specialties take you on a gastronomic tour from Indonesia to Thailand, and from northern to southern China. Seasonal menus zoom in on regional fare while dining promotions promise there is never downtime at Square 8.
Avenida Dr. Sun Yat Sen, NAPE, Macau
Tel. +853 8802 2389