Coloane Island: Arboretum, Agrarian Museum, Cultural Village

When in Coloane Island: An Arboretum, Agrarian Museum, and Cultural Village

It's easy for Macau's quiet and quaint spots to be overshadowed by the glitz and glamour of its casinos, grand hotels, and luxury shops, but make no mistake, this is no reason to think these sites are lesser gems.

Coloane Island can be your respite from the hustle and bustle of Macau. Situated in the southern part of the region, the small island is known for its significant temples, churches, colonial buildings, parks, and a few museums. It’s best to go here if you want to soak up in culture, preferably stretched out on a long, slow afternoon. Here are some things you can do when you’re on the island!

Learn Something New at the Natural and Agrarian Museum

Natural and Agrarian Museum Coloane Macau
Photo by Website/Macao City Guide

Nature lovers will appreciate the Natural and Agrarian Museum in Coloane, which houses about 200 exhibits concerning geography, ecology, and specimens of plants and animals. According to the Macao Government Tourism Office, it is the first-ever museum of nature on the island, and has served the public since March 21, 1997.

This museum is divided into two cottages, one that features displays on the region's vegetations, agrarian lifestyle, and environment, and the other to showcase the different birds and insects that live in Macau, as per Macao's City Guide. One thing to look out for while in the museum is the "Giant Sweet Potato." Measuring 1.4 metres in length and weighing 20 pounds, this huge root vegetable was discovered by staff from the Civil and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) in March 2002 at a construction site in the Ilha Verde district. The museum is free and is open daily from 10 AM-5 PM except Mondays.

Go on a Nature Walk at Coloane Arboretum

Coloane Macau Arboretum
Photo by Website/Macao City Guide

Situated in the west of Alto de Coloane, the Coloane Arboretum is a haven for all horticulturists! Apart from the Nature and Agrarian Museum, the arboretum is a must-visit if you want to learn more about Macau's plant life. As per Macau Nature's website, this ecological park began to be built in 1986 and has become the go-to for scientific research and implementation of scientific programmes and initiatives. Coloane Arboretum spans 6,500 square metres and is home to 39 plant families and 88 species. For a quiet morning or afternoon, plan a visit to the park and appreciate its wonder in peace. It is open daily all year long.

Explore A-Ma Cultural Village

Don't forget to go to the magnificent A-Ma Cultural Village when on the mountaintop island of Coloane! The 7,000-sqm village is named after A-Ma (also known as Tin Hau or Mazu), the Goddess of Seafarers, and is a celebration of her legend. It was constructed in May 2001 and today houses the Tin Hau Palace, which features a main hall, bell tower, drum tower, dressing hall, and altars, among others. It is also the home of the world's tallest Mazu statue. Tourists and locals alike venture to A-Ma Cultural Village not just to learn about the rich story of A-Ma and pray, but also to take in its beautiful architecture and view of the island.

Read Books at the Coloane Library

Coloane Library Macau

Bookworms, there's something for you, too! The Coloane Library is a stunning and elegant structure built in 1911. The 170-sqm white and yellow building was once known as the Coloane Public Elementary School and features a Portuguese style. It can seat 22 people inside and houses almost 8,000 volumes. It's perfect to go here if you have young kids around, as most of its collection comprises children's books and famous novels, as well as newspapers and magazines. Apart from reading and borrowing books, the library also offers internet and photocopying services, suitable for students in Macau!

Pray at the Chapel of St. Francis Xavier

The baroque Chapel of St. Francis Xavier is one of the most popular sites in Coloane. You'll know you've arrived at the chapel when you see its distinct white and cream facade, blue doors, oval windows, and bell tower. It is located just behind the monument that commemorates the triumph of locals against pirates in 1910. The Chapel of St. Francis Xavier houses "some of the most sacred relics in Christian Asian, as per the Macao Government Tourism Office, which include a bone from St. Francis Xavier's arm, as well as bones of Martyrs who were persecuted in Nagasaki in 1597 and casualties of the Shimabara Rebellion in 1637. The Chapel of St. Francis Xavier is open from 9:30 AM-5:30 PM.

Eat at Pousada de Coloane

You can't go to Coloane without filling your stomach with delicious food! Hotel Pousada de Coloane is a 1930s beachside manor house that is known for its greenery and stunning sea views. Its restaurant of the same name, Pousada De Coloane is all about serving traditional Portuguese cuisine, the kind that mothers from Portugal would concoct in their kitchens. Apart from its traditional Portuguese menu, it also offers a list of regional wines from Portugal and some vegetable dishes for those who are vegetarian. Go here to view the restaurant's menu.

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