The Cobblestone Streets of Macau, China

Jessica Peterson

I was happy to oblige when United Airlines asked me to travel to Hong Kong and Macau to do media coverage. I was treated like royalty, staying at a 5-star hotel, and eating at a Michelin star restaurant (the first Indian restaurant in Asia to receive this prestigious rating).

If that wasn’t enough, I lived a photographer’s dream when I hit the cobblestone streets of Macau. I was unprepared for the overwhelming charm of this Chinese city. I must’ve taken a thousand pictures on these streets alone. Who knew Europe existed in Asia?

Long billed as a gambling destination, I was surprised to find that Macau is a city rich with European history, having been occupied by the Portuguese for 500 years. One minute you’re in a multi-billion dollar entertainment complex like Sands and the next you’re walking down narrow cobblestone streets in search of hot street food. To call Macau diverse is an understatement.

Old Macau is an area that begs to be discovered on foot, camera in hand, belly empty. The Portuguese colonized this Chinese port city in the 1550’s. Our tour guide had a sunnier outlook on the melding of these two cultures, though the early history was admittedly bloody. Still, there is nowhere else in China where Portuguese and Chinese culture so thoroughly co-mingled to produce one-of-a-kind food, architecture, and people.

See also 10 Things You Must Do in Macau.

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The ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral

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Our fearless media team pounding the streets. Guess which foot is the camera man.

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The iconic Senado Square

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Photography by Jessica Peterson

Dress: Venus (similar)

Shoes: Zara (similar)

Bag: Ann Klein via Macy’s

Earrings: Forever 21

Sunglasses: Karen Walker

Travel sponsored by United Airlines. All opinions my own.

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Jessica Peterson
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Jessica Peterson

Jessica Peterson is a travel filmmaker, photographer, and journalist. She released her first documentary film about indigenous culture on Guam in 2016, after having lived nearly 7 years on the Pacific island. Jessica is currently on the Great American Roadtrip in her Airstream trailer.
Jessica Peterson
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  • Bethany Dickey

    These pictures are absolutely beautiful! I’m taking a solo trip to Beijing and Hong Kong in the fall and I was on the fence about a day trip to Macau…you’ve convinced me it’s a must-see!

    • Thank you, Bethany. I hope you love it. Stay tuned for a Macau giveaway very soon!

  • I think that I had an (inaccurate) perception that Macau was all glitzy casinos. But the photography here shows a very different side of the island. Very intruiging

  • Sonia Sahni

    Wow…I had no clue that Macau had this. We went to Macau and ended up seeing only the glitz. This place seems to have so much character. Loved the fountain pic!

  • Neha Verma

    As usual, totally love the virtual tour that your pictures take me on. Some of these so closely resemble the streets of my own town here in India. Lovely!

  • Raghav

    Brilliant and love how you captured the vibrancy of Macau. I was there as a small kid and although have been to HK, just never took the boat over to Macau. I hear it has really developed quite a bit now and is more of a playground of the rich and famous. Your photos though capture a very authentic and “vintage” Macau that is in touch with its culture.

  • Beautiful pictures! It really is like Europe and Asia had a child together. I know nothing about this place or even where it is but you’ve definitely piqued my interest…

  • Jean Bean

    I was so sad that I couldn’t make it to Macau when I was in Hong Kong. Now I really wish I had made the effort after seeing your amazing photos of Macau. It looks so vibrant.

  • LC

    Really love your photos. I don’t know much about Macau either. I love how colourful and ornate all the buildings are.

  • Shem Hooda

    I never thought a city in China would be so colorful and charming! The cobblestone streets really are a photographer’s dream — I wouldn’t be able to stop taking photos! Macau totally looks like it has some European flare!

  • Sounds and looks spectacular! How lucky are you to stay in luxury and be treated like a star. Very well done, seems like hard work pays off! And what beautiful photos you took! Indeed a photographers dream 😉