Parks and Gardens
Parks and gardens are important in any country. These places allow people to enjoy nature, the fresh air, and the beauty of landscapes. The presence of public parks also shows that leaders care for the welfare of communities as both the old and the young can do their recreational activities here. On the other hand, gardens serve as home to the endemic flora and fauna each country can be proud of.
Macau is known for its may parks and gardens. Its architectural designs as well as landscapes are stunning and unique from each other. Each famous park or garden has its own highlights too. Most also serve as the perfect place for strolling around, jogging and even doing Tai Chi and yoga. Playgrounds, pools, wildlife, libraries — these landmarks have it all for every traveler. You can never go wrong with the decision to visit the following parks and gardens featured below:
Lou Lim Leoc Garden
If you are fascinated with the practice of taichi, you should visit Lou Lim Leoc Garden. You will also hear people playing Chinese music and see a lotus pond and bamboo groves here. It is a garden designed with a breathtaking Suzhou style, the most famous classical Chinese architectural design. Because of its fascinating miniaturized landscape as well as its feature of being enclosed by a high wall, it is no surprise that locals and tourists flock in this beautiful destination.
Lou Lim Ieoc Garden was built by Lou Kau, a wealthy Chinese merchant during the 19th century. It is a famous garden in Macau that is considered by many as the “most Chinese” of all gardens. After it was inherited by his son Lou Lim Ieoc in 1906, the family fortunes declined and the tending of the garden was not consistent. Fortunately, the government purchased the area, restored the ruins and made it accessible to the public in 1974.
The landscape consists of narrow paths due to surrounding bamboo groves and flowering bushes. Its large pond is also filled with lotus flowers and golden carp, a type of freshwater fish. Across this pond, there is a zigzag, nine-turn bridge that will lead you to Lou Lim Ieoc Garden Pavilion, its large Victorian-style pavilion is where many art and craft exhibitions and recitals are held. It also served as a place where the Lou family used to receive guests, including the well-known Dr. Sun Yat Sen.
Mong Ha Hill Municipal Park
Mong Há Fort is a more recently built fortress located at the Mong Há Hill at the northern end of Macao. Its construction started in 1841 upon anticipating an invasion following the Anglo-Chinese War and was finished in 1866. The fortress was used until the 1960s when it became abandoned. Now that it is converted into a park called Mong Há Hill Municipal Park, its “wild character” or natural aesthetic is still preserved. Moreover, the park has beautiful flowerbeds, grass and walkways surrounded by old fortress walls. Upon visiting, you will definitely experience a good view of the north end of Macau.
New paths have been opened to provide more convenient public access. In order to reach the hill area, you can go through a ramp off Avenida Coronel Mesquita. This ramp leads to the Pousada de Mong Ha Hotel and the central square where you will find a fountain and an artificial lake. It is in the square where you will also have access to several paths of the park, offering many choices to every visitor.
One of the most interesting paths is the one that passes through some old military structures. It also contours the hill, letting travelers be in awe of nature’s beauty which has been preserved through the years due to it being inaccessible to the public. Another must-trodden path is the one that passes by an artificial lake, a grotto, a small area suited for children and the new Ecological Center. It is a learning center you have to visit to get acquainted with its mission to instill the importance of nature and its preservation on the minds of people.
Garden of Montanha Russa
For those who long for a quiet retreat from the urban life and the bustling suburbs, the Garden of Montanha Russa is a well-known garden in Macau that might be located in a busy area, but is still a serene place for relaxation. It is situated next to the New Protestant Cemetery in the north side of the city. Lovers would also go here for dates because of its secluded benches and romantic ambiance.
You will love the various tropical and European trees surrounding the park and the fresh air that these provide to every stroller in the area. The garden is also named from an animal; “russa” is the Chinese word for “snail.” This term is used to describe the small spiral path that winds up to the hill top, and because the garden is designed on top of a small hill during the end of the 19th century, it has earned its name.
The Garden has two entrances: one at the side of Estrada de Ferreira do Amaral facing Dom Bosco (Yuet Wah) College, with the statue of Father Dom Bosco erected on the slope close to the entrance and another at Estrada da Bela Vista. There is an artificial spiral elevation in this garden where people can walk either as a form of exercise or unwinding from a tiring day. Children can also play in the park’s playground and parents can watch over them in a café next to it.
Vasco Da Gama Garden
The Vasco da Gama Garden is a small garden that used to be a part of the 500-meter long and 65-meter wide avenue which Avenida Vasco da Gama built in 1898 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Avenida da Gama’s fleet to India. The garden was created at the end of 19th century, and has ficus rumphii trees surrounding it. Some of these trees still exist in the present, giving a more beautiful look to this avenue.
You will discover a sculpture from 1911 of this Portuguese navigator’s bust that was sculpted by the famous artist Tomás da Costa. It is a main attraction in the garden that truly stands out. There is also a recent man-made lake at the lower level of the garden and a fountain with waterspouts surrounding this bust sculpture. The pillar where the sculpture stands is fitted with flights of stairs so that people can have access to it. The base of this pillar has a huge relief in marble featuring the first scene of chapter 5 of The Lusiads, an epic written by Portuguese poet Luís Vaz de Camões.
Vasco da Gama Garden has a main plaza with a children’s playground. It also has a fitness training area for those who want to exercise. The four corners of the plaza is embellished by flowerbeds making it a beautiful sight to see.
Also one of the main sites that one should not miss upon visiting this garden is the swimming pool next to it that is called as “New Garden Swimming Pool.” Formerly known as “Estoril Swimming Pool,” it is where a famous fight between two martial arts masters named Wu Kung Yi and Chan Hak Fan transpired in 1954. The former is a Tai-Chi master while the other is a White Crane-Style Kung Fu master, and the duel was a charity event for the homeless organized by a committee leader in the past, Ho Yin. There was a fire in the Shek Kip Mei, a shanty-town of Hong Kong, which left many locals homeless, so funds have to be raised to provide them with shelter and other basic needs.
Sun Yat Sen Park
The Dr. Sun Yat Sen Municipal Park is formerly known as Canal dos Patos Park, as it is beside Portas dos Cerco, the largest park in Macau. It is a multi-functional park named after the widely known revolutionary forerunner of China, Dr. Sun Yat Sen. He is also known as China’s “Father of the Revolution" or "the Father of the Republic."
A bronze statue of him is placed in the park from 1990, and one will be amazed by the fusion of western and eastern styles in its landscapes. The artificial lake, zigzag bridge, pavilion, among others, have an eastern design, while the sports facilities and greenhouse have a western design.
The park is located at the north end of Macao, near the old gate that marks the Macao’s border with China. Some of the famous attractions on the park are the following: an aviary, a Victorian-style greenhouse, winding walkways, flower gardens, a fung shui forest of trees, and a bronze sculpture called "Permanent Handshake.” This famous sculpture was installed in 1996 to represent the friendship between Portugal and China.
The park is also a place for recreational activities like playing sports and going for other physical activities; it has a swimming pool, a children's playground, and multi-purpose sports fields.
With a 570,000-square-meter area, it also used to be a landfill since the early 1950s. In 1987, it was transformed into the park. It also houses a library inside called “Dr. Sun Yat-sen Municipal Park Huang Yingjun Library,” named after the contributor of books and overseas Chinese in Peru, Huang Yingjun. The library is home to 5,000 books that are divided into two categories: adult reading and children reading.
Seac Pai Van Park
The largest natural green belt of Macau is the Seac Pai Van Park. It used to be a farm until the Civil and Municipal Affairs Bureau of Macau decided to convert it into a multi-purpose country park. Around 40 acres of land, this park is best known not only for being the first country park of the city, but also for its Macau Museum of Pandas.
This is a must-visited park because of its beautiful surroundings and aesthetic value. Various plants and flowers can be found here, and one will be educated about botany and become appreciative of nature here. It is also fascinating to know that the park also has a Museum of Nature and Agriculture, a kid’s zoo, botanical garden, among others. Those who want to stroll around with their family or just know more about biology will enjoy being in Seac Pai Van Park.
The two pandas in Seac Pai Van Park are donated by the Chinese Government of China, and these adorable creatures have become one of the park’s main attractions. On the other hand, the Museum of Nature & Agriculture features the rural life and the natural resources of Macau through displaying samples, scripts, and other models. The botanical garden complements this museum as it showcases various kinds of flora and fauna—from medical plants and rare plants to fragrant flowers.
Its zoo also boasts of various livestock and wild animals like the tarsiers. Many activities can truly be done here, as the park has areas for cooking BBQ and having a picnic. Walkways, children’s playground, nature’s beauty . . . what more can a traveler ask for? Seac Pai Van Park indeed has it all.
Taipa Central Park
In the heart of Taipa Island, this super park is considered as various locals’ favorite public area where they could find serenity away from the busy residential neighborhood scene. Various trees and flowers cover this 28,000-square-meter park, and it also houses two playgrounds children will definitely love. Slides, swings, and monkey bars can be found here, as well as a swimming pool with a fun area intended for kids who just want to have fun.
Taipa Central Park also has a gym, tracks for you and your furry friends’ jogging and walking sessions, basketball courts, and yoga lawn. Those individuals who want to work out but do not have exercise equipment should not worry, because the park has these equipment. If you have pets, there are two dog lawns in the park.
There is no need to bring snacks and water here. If you do not want the hassle of preparing meals beforehand, this park is for you. It has many snack and drink machines around, so you can just go here, grab your desired food and drinks, and relax at the park’s picnic tables.
If you arrive here on a rainy or cool day, the park’s underground library has a charm that you just cannot miss, especially when under this weather. The underground library has four zones for every book lover to explore. One of the main attractions here is the children’s zone with a tree house. Books in English both for kids and adults are also available, so you do not have to worry about not understanding its contents.
Dr. Carlos d'Assumpção Park
Dr. Carlos d'Assumpção Park is a waterside park that has beautiful fountains and ornamental ponds, providing a great view of the Outer Harbour as well as Taipa Island. It stretches from the Avenida de Amizade to the Kun Iam statue, a bronze statue situated at a man-made island at Outer Harbour’s shoreline. The statue is 20 meters tall, and it represents the goddess as she emerges out of a lotus flower.
Opened in 1996, the park was constructed—following the design of landscape designer Francisco Caldeira Cabral—to commemorate Dr. Carlos d'Assumpção. You will be welcomed by many palm tree and benches where you can relax either on your own or with the love of your life. There is also a children’s playground where young ones can have all the fun that they want.
For those who want to spend time alone and ponder about life, the park has secluded arbors and its benches are far from each other. This is truly a perfect spot for meditation and reflection. This park also provides fast WiFi connection. Connecting to the Internet is free here, as the local government are responsible for this handy feature.
At the end of the park, a computerized musical fountain is situated at its periphery. Shaped like a fish, it has a metallic platform with 70 nozzles where water comes out with a choreography that follows the rhythm of the music
Hac Sa Park
The Hac Sa Reservoir Park has been a popular recreation are because of its stunning surroundings and various facilities for all kinds of park visitors. Through the years, it has been known as a great place for family outings and dates with friends and other loved ones. Picnics and camps are held in its picnic areas and camping grounds and exercise challenges are also organized in its walking and fitness trails.
You may challenge yourself as you work out in the more elevated areas of the park. Reaching these spots are worth it because it provides you great views of Hac Sa Bay from above. Also another challenging fitness goal is to survive the 1.5 km Hac Sa Reservoir fitness trail with nine fitness stations. If you want an easier trail, you may opt for the jogging trail around the reservoir instead. Long Chao Kok Family Trail, another fun-filled trail, is a 45-minute walk divided into three paths: Rockview Path, Seaview Path, and Red Leaves Path. Families will be able to witness the serene mountains and sea in Coloane here.
There are available pedal boats, paddle boats, and canoes for rent in Hac Sa Park. You can rent and ride this by reaching Jacaranda Kiosk and splash around the reservoir. A great mountain view awaits you here too. After all these adventures, you can also go for a BBQ meal in the BBQ area of Hac Sa Park.
Moreover, you may also visit Hac Sa Beach after your adventures in the park. It is Macau’s largest natural beach that is famous for its black sand, and it is also part of the Hac Sa Park. Because of its location on the southeast side of Coloane Island—far from the bustles of city life and the noise of all the casinos present in Macau—this is a great park for relaxation and me-time.
Garden of the Surrounding of Monte Fort
The landscape of the garden surrounding Monte Fort is fascinating and charming. The fort has an area of around 10,000 square meters which appears irregularly quadrilateral, featuring a public park/garden, an observatory, and the Macau Museum; the top platform of Mount Fortress is where the Mount Fortress Garden is situated. As you stand on the fort’s platform, you can have an excellent, breathtaking view across the wonderful City of Macau. The Great Lisboa and the Macau Tower are some of the well-known destinations that look great when viewed from the fort.
This landscape, together with the Monte Fort, is also a famous tourist attraction one must definitely visit because the garden offers this panoramic view of the city and a sense of Macau history and culture. Constructed by Jesuits during the 16th Century, Monte Fort is considered as the most significant defense structure in the city. You will see preserved cannons lined up in the low protective walls of the fortress. To know more about the area’s history as an important site that blocked the Dutch from invading the city, you may visit the Macau Museum as well.
Green grass, lush old trees that towers around the garden, and the serene open space itself will make you feel more relaxed as you go around the area. Because the area itself is historically and culturally relevant and of value, the garden will have more impact on every local and tourist who visits this famous destination.