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Shopping in Macau

Shopping in Macau is  a pleasure and an adventure. Macau is a place where you can purchase almost anything, and have a wonderful time doing it. Luxury items are cheaper here than in other cities in the region. Jewellery (particularly 24-carat gold), cameras, porcelain, electronic items, mobile phones, watches, cashmere sweaters and silk clothing are available at very reasonable prices.

It is also a great treasure trove for Chinese antiques and collectibles. You can find here ancient coins, 19th century stocks and shares, stamps and other printed material (Rua das Estalagens and Rua da Tercena); boxes of tea (Rua Cinco de Outubro) and coffee from around the world (Estrada do Cemiterio and Avenida do Coronel Mesquita); traditional shops where tea is displayed in wooden drawers and glass goblets; and countless old Chinese Pharmacies packed with traditional medicines (Rua de S.Paulo and Rua de Pedro Nolasco da Silva). These are just a few examples to illustrate how adventurous and fascinating shopping in Macau can be. Now it's up to you to explore.

Clothing - discount stores
Macau has more than a few hundred functioning textile and garment factories, most of which produce clothing for markets in European Union, USA, North America and Asia Pacific. Overruns and seconds are to be found in shops and market stalls, at prices a fraction of what they are in the world's leading boutiques. The range of clothing is enormous, however the most widely available are jeans, children's wear and sports clothes.

You can also find dressy jackets with Mandarin collars and frog fastenings traditional Chinese style in a wide variety of interesting and attractive fabrics at the markets around São Domingos near Senado Square, and in the Three Lamps district (Rotunda de Carlos da Maia) near the Red Market.

Furniture and Antiques - authentic or reproductions
There are many excellent shops selling authentic antiques and fine reproductions all over Macau, and in Coloane village, but the most convenient area is bounded by Rua de São Paulo, Rua das Estalagens, and Rua Stº António, all in the neighbourhood of St Paul's at the foot of Monte Fort.

Flea Markets
The most popular flea market in Macau is near St Paul's but a little off the beaten tourist track. Follow Rua de São Paulo to Rua das Estalagens and turn down the hill to the next narrow street. Go past the shops selling antiques, the tailor shops, and other small shops until the road reaches a fork.

Another flea market operates around Hong Kung Temple, located at the heart of the old Chinese Bazaar, between Rua Cinco de Outubro and Rua Guimarães.

The Best Neighborhoods to Shop: around historic Senado Square and the Red Market
Senado Square is the location of one of the newest municipal markets. On Avenida Almeida Ribeiro and the narrow streets leading off the main square you'll find a wealth of inexpensively priced goods of all kinds.

Clothing is the biggest item here, and you'll find vendors specializing in locally manufactured baby clothes, underwear, shoes, and accessories, as well as jeans, sweaters, T-shirts and sportswear in all sizes and styles.

Nearby, the Sun Star City, on Rua de Pedro Nolasco, and Sportstar, a two-storeyed arcade of specialty shops on Rua da Palha, offer a wide variety of clothing, watches, and stylish accessories like sunglasses, handbags, shoes and novelty items.

On the other side of Avenida Almeida Ribeiro is a shopping area for the more adventurous. Follow Rua do Dr. Soares uphill behind the Civic & Municipal Affairs Bureau building until you reach Rua da Felicidade. Turn right and continue down past the restored 19th century shophouses in Felicidade, once a thriving red-light district. This is a fascinating place to browse among shops selling jewellery, curios, dried beef and even live snakes.

The Red Market is located on the corner of Avenida Almirante Lacerda and Avenida Horta e Costa.This is a bustling market where vendors sell food of every conceivable kind.

Avenida Horta e Costa is a long street full of shops that begins at the Red Market and extends as far as the Flora Gardens beneath Guia Hill. The avenue has several up-market shops specializing in, among other things, clothing and shoes, electronic items and cameras. But the best bargains are found in the streets surrounding the street. The historic "Three Lamps" (Rotunda Carlos da Maia) and surrounding streets are full of tiny shops selling many kinds of goods at bargain prices.

Portuguese Wines - excellence at reasonable prices
The delights of Portuguese wine could fill a book, but for a brief introduction, visit the Wine Museum in the Tourism Activities Center before setting out to buy them. All supermarkets, and even the smaller grocery stores in Macau display many different kinds of Portuguese wine at prices ranging from about MOP$30 for an ordinary table wine to several hundred for a fine aged Port.

Art - galleries and shops
Macau has many resident artists and their work can often be seen in local galleries. Temporary exhibitions open to the public are held at the Civic & Municipal Affairs Bureau, Casa Garden, the ground floor of the Ritz Building, on Senado Square, and the Tourism Activities Centre.

Works shown at these exhibitions are usually for sale. Traditional Chinese paintings can be found at Chinese arts and crafts stores, and the one on Avenida Almeida Ribeiro near the Senado Square has a wide selection to choose from. For older works of art, browse through the selections on sale in several shops on Rua de Stº António.

There are many grades of gold available in Macau which is imported dutyfree and so can be an exceptional bargain. Silver, pearls, precious and and semi-precious stones are also dutyfree and available in abundance. In fact, the selection is limited only by the amount you want to pay.

There are many reputable jewellery shops near major hotels, on Avenida Almeida Ribeiro and on Avenida Horta e Costa. It is always a good idea to shop around and compare prices before making a high-priced purchase. Ask for a warranty card for jewellery and gold items and be sure to keep your receipts.

Traditional Chinese Delicacies
There are very few neighbourhoods in Macau where you won't find numerous shops selling dried meat and seafood, herbs and other traditional Chinese foodstuffs and medicines.

Dried sharks fin, mushrooms, shrimp, abalone and scallops can be found in the most popular shopping areas, like Avenida Almeida Ribeiro and Avenida Horta e Costa. The streets around Rua da Felicidade have more than their share of shops selling dried meat, with the best ones being to find; just follow the delicious aroma.

Cakes and Cookies
Taipa Island is famous for its traditional cookies, and in the old village there are shops that have been baking and selling the same fragrant sweet morsels for generations. In Macau you may find pastry shops at the Av. Infante D. Henrique, Av. D. João IV , Travessa de S. Domingos, and along Rua de S. Paulo, near St. Paul's. Many other delectable confections found in local shops make good presents with the "taste of Macau" for visitors to take home with them. A famous Portuguese specialty in Macau is "Pastéis de Nata", little egg tarts, which are sold at good cafes and bakeries in the city and Coloane. They are best when eaten warm from the oven.

Islands' Weekly Fair
The Islands' Weekly Fair takes place every Sunday in a picturesque area of Taipa Island, between Bombeiros Square and Camões Square in the heart of the old village.

There are many booths selling traditional crafts and souvenirs, food and beverages, brand name items and trifles, clothes, toys and other products. From 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., during the fair, there are cultural and recreational events at Maia de Magalhães Square.

There are convenient car parks and public transportation in the area.
Duty Free and top-of-the-market goods - what's available and where
The New Yaohan Department Store on Avenida Comercial de Macau has up-market boutiques selling high quality internationally recognized brand name clothing and accessories.

Another set of premium shops can be found a the Grand Canal Shoppes at Venetian Macau, on Avenida Infante D. Henrique and along Avenida Almeida Ribeiro. Hotel arcades, such as the ones in the Landmark, Lisboa, the Mandarin Oriental, Sintra, Wynn Macau and Four Seasons Hotel Macau are also good places to shop for top-of-the-market goods. In addition to brand name fashions, you'll find duty-free perfumes and cosmetics, high quality children's wear, and bargain-priced electronics.

There are duty free shops at the Macau Ferry Terminal, Macau International Airport, and on the mainland side of the Barrier Gate.

Museum Shops for Only-in-Macau Items
If you are looking for souvenirs that could only come from Macau, the museum shops are a good place to look. The Grand Prix Museum has some wonderful books, videotapes and other items connected to Macau's most important sporting event, and the world's foremost Formula 3 competition.

Other Museum shops, like the one at the Macau Museum, have a variety of souvenirs, many of them beautifully crafted and unique to Macau. The Maritime Museum offers fascinating books and imaginative gifts like model kits for the unique "lorchas" that plied the waters around Macau in earlier times and other beautifully designed souvenirs with a nautical touch.

Cultural Club is housed in an authentic old pawnshop (an valuable historic & cultural heritage) on San Ma Lo in the centre of Macau. It consists of five areas, the first and second areas are the "Pastry Gallery"and "Arts Plaza" with the souvenirs, postcards, fine arts, clothes and accessories. The third area namely "Jin Yong Library" where the famous Jin Yong specialized novels are housed. Inside the library, the fourth area namely "Water-Teahouse" provides a comfortable resting place for visitors and tourists to take a rest. The fifth area is the "Cultural Exhibition Hall". Painting, fine arts, Chinese folk arts exhibitions are held regularly.

Postcards, Books, Other Magazines
For some really interesting and good quality books and prints by authentic Macau artists, do not miss the little shop just inside the Civic & Municipal Affairs Bureau.

Many magazines published locally with editions in Chinese, Portuguese and English of good quality both for their photos and text can be found at local stores.

Cameras and Electronic Goods
Many reputable shops and all department stores offer the latest in electronic equipment and cameras. There are camera shops that are especially popular among visitors located on Avenida Almeida Ribeiro near the Senado Square and on Avenida Horta e Costa near the "Three Lamps". Prices are comparatively low for the wide selection of high quality items in these shops. Larger shops are recommended for reliability after-sale service and it is advisable to ask for a warranty card along with your receipt. Beware of brand names you do not recognize on items in the smaller shops; they may be impossible to repair if problems occur later on.

Handicrafts - traditional arts at bargain prices
There are several shops that carry handcrafted goods from China and other parts of Asia in Macau and perhaps the best of these is located on Avenida Almeida Ribeiro near the Senado Square.

A tiny shop selling hand crafted traditional tea utensils, clothing, and musical instruments can be found on Rua de Hong Chau in Taipa Island - it is worth a visit if only for its picturesque architecture and stone-lined rustic fountain. To discover more about the traditional Chinese tea culture, Macau Tea Culture House next to Lou Lim Ieoc is recommended.

Porcelains and Fine Ceramics
There are many wholesalers and retail outlets carrying a huge variety of tableware, vases, and novelty items at very low prices. Some factories will even custom make a vase or set of tableware with your family crest or in a pattern copied from your draperies. For more unusual pieces at good prices, try the many shops around Rua de São Paulo. Many interesting antique and one-of-a-kind pieces can also be found in shops on Avenida Almeida Ribeiro, right in the heart of the commercial district.

Shop with Confidence
Shop with confidence in Macau in shops with the "Certified Logo". These are participating shops at the Consumer Arbitration Centre established by the Macau Consumer Council, and they are certified shops as they do have no recorded consumer complaints. The Consumer Arbitration Centre will act as a middleman, to solve any complaints, of less than MOP$50,000.00, reported against these "Certified Logo" shops.

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