1 - Pak Tai Temple
Pak Tai Temple was built in 1844 and has a rich history stretching back 160 years, according to the inscription on a stele in the temple. A pavilion is set up for followers to make tribute and offerings, acts which are rarely seen elsewhere on the island. In the old days, most of the population earned a living by fishing and thus they followed the precepts of Pak Tai (Northern Emperor), who is believed to have had the divine power to withstand floods and fire. In celebration of the Feast of Pak Tai on the third day of the third month in the lunar calendar each year, performances of Chinese opera are usually held in front of the temple. I found the smell of incense to be a little overpowering, but it’s a truly authentic temple.
2 - Taipa Village Art Space
Taipa Village Art Space showcases the work of both local and international artists. It’s a relatively small space, but has an interesting selection of works. When I visited, there was an exhibition on drone photography (see our Jan/Feb 2019 issue, page 13 for an example). In a city where, for example, faux Italian artworks in The Venetian tend to take centre stage, it is refreshing to see some work that is genuinely produced by local artists. Open daily except for Tuesdays from 12pm to 8pm.
3 - Joker’s Barbershop
Joker’s Barbershop & Grooming offers modern pompadour styling for gentlemen and is managed by three co-partners: Jet, Ming and Maurice. Jet and Ming’s speciality is British pompadour hairstyling, while Maurice, who has previously worked at stylist Tony & Guy, is an expert on American pompadour styling. Every detail of the shop, from the sofa, ashtray and hair cutter to the hair wax and treatment oil is designed to reflect the southern European atmosphere of its surroundings in Taipa cultural village.
4 - Tuga & Lola Wine & Tapas
Tuga & Lola Wine & Tapas abides by the principle that good wine should be able to be drunk at reasonable prices. This hole-in-the-wall store offers rare Portuguese and Spanish wines. Monica, the owner, has not been impressed with the limited choice of wine selection in Macau, so she and her husband travel to Portugal and Spain to obtain rare and good-quality brands, and source organic products directly from wine suppliers who share their passion for the grape. Customers can either take the bottles away or, for a MOP20/US$2.5 corkage fee, can drink the wines inside, perhaps paired with some delhi meats that are sliced in-house.
5 - Bella Taipa
Bella Taipa is a contemporary Italian restaurant located in a quaint and relaxing alley within Taipa Village, offering diners a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. On the restaurant’s rooftop, which offers great views of the village, I enjoyed a delicious four-course meal, including lobster salad, risotto, salt-baked fish and tiramisu. Diners can also sip a glass of iced Italian beer while watching their favourite TV channels in the bar.