Literary City Guide | MACAU, CHINA

Forgotten for more than a century, Europe’s first outpost in the Far East languished in the shadow of Hong Kong, the more robust, vastly richer British colony across the Pearl River Delta. But now Macau is being reborn as China’s Las Vegas, only much bigger.
— Ron Gluckman

Tour Guide: DUO CHEN

Born and raised in Fuzhou, Duo Chen firmly believes she inherited all her dad's adventurous spirit and her mom's curiosity. She is a lifelong learner and world explorer who loves to see the beauty of this world with a camera. Her idea of the best company, is the company of great books, great music, great food and open-minded people. She is also a self-taught freelance photographer working behind Since2012(Photos by Duo Chen)


Relationship to Macau: I moved here four years ago to study business at University of Macau.

Writer youd like to invite to dinner: Elizabeth Gilbert

Chef youd like to prepare the meal: My mom, grandma, and Jamie Oliver!

Writing soundtrack: Changes frequently, lately Ive been listening to The Piano Guys, a lot.

Pen or Pencil: Pen with black ink.

Coffee or Tea? I cant say no to either!

Paperback or Hardback? Paperback. Its light, cheap and handy for a student like me who likes to read in the subway or when Im waiting in line.

Good Reads


Pinto-livros. The bookstore smells like home. When I entered the bookstore for the first time, I thought I walked into my grandma’s lovely garden. The concept of this independent bookstore is to promote those less popular but excellent works carefully selected by the owner.

Hongda Bookstore. This place is a must go if you’re a food lover. There is a very good selection of cookbooks here. In addition, the bookstore also provides some of the best books about health maintenance. 


Hedong Library. As one of the main branches of Macau Central Library system, Hedong Library is the one and only landscaped-style public library in Macau. They have computers with wireless access, free Wifi connection, indoor and outdoor reading areas, multifunctional hall,exhibition hall and a massive collection of more than 100 thousands of books.

University of Macau-Wu Yee Sun Library. The WYS Library finished construction and opened in 2014 and it is currently the largest library in Macau. My favorite thing about this place is the atrium lobby where the natural sunlight shines through and brightens the whole building. They provide 3000 seats, a collection of over 5 million pieces/items, 24-hour reading area, printing service, online service and more. The Pacific Coffee attached to the library is also a nice place to rest.

Taipa Library. This is a well-stocked library with colorful interior design. It’s a nice place for families with children or teens to spend the weekends as they have an extensive children literature, facilities and multifunctional rooms especially designed for kids.


University of Macau(UM). At the university, a big reading activity is organized by UM Library and Student Affair Office every year. “This activity aims at promoting reading habits, enriching student life and encouraging students to read extra-curricular books, so as to enhance their all-round education which will contribute to their whole-person development.”

The Script Road-Macau Literary Festival. An annual event that brings distinguished authors, publishers, translators,film-makers, musicians and visual artists together. During the festival the venue is crowded with visitors and the agenda includes readings, guest talks, exhibitions, concerts, films and more.


MOD Design Store. If you’re fond of creative or maybe quirky stationary concept, you should definitely check this place out. Here you can even design your own postcards,greeting cards or notebooks by using their intricate stamps.

Good Eats


Margaret Café e Nata. Definitely one of my favorite places. The café is always packed. Situated right next to St Paul Ruins and Senado Square, Margaret’s Café is best known for their ice coffee, unsweetened milk tea and Portuguese egg tarts. People say those egg tarts are like little drops fron heaven!

Pacific Coffee. They have several stores in Macau. The one that locates behind our University Library has a bright, warm and cozy environment for students. They serve really nice turkey sandwiches and bacon salad. It’s a perfect spot for students to gather, chat or read.

Terra Coffee House. If you ever pay a visit to Macau, please do take some time off your itinerary to have a cup of coffee in Terra. The little house is hidden up the narrow alley at the top of a steep slope, but it’s absolutely worth it to make all the way to the spot. Delicious menu, lovely interior design and friendly staff who are passionate about coffee.

Cuppacoffee. Have a nice cup of coffee here will surely brighten your day. If you’re looking for great local coffee and local food that take you back to old Taipa village, you won’t miss it here.


Maetugal. One of the classic Portuguese restaurants in Macau, well-known for Portuguese sausage pizza buns, braised lamb shank and Tandoori shrimp.

Fruitarian. A popular local restaurant located at the center of the residential area in Taipa. International food selection, real budget meals, quick service. Perfect place to hang out with friends and relax.

Mitsukiya. If anyone asks me where to find the best Japanese food here, I’ll say Mitsukiya with no hesitation. Vintage restaurant design with great choice of traditional-style furniture and decor, beautiful delicate food, quiet and peaceful location.

Shengji Baizhouv(盛记白粥). This is where the locals eat. My personal favorite is homemade rice Zongzi stuffed with stew pork and salted egg yolk, drizzled with peanut sause or sweet sause. The menu is simple, but every dish takes you back to the 90s.

Fuqi Hotpot&Buffetv(阜岐日式火鍋放題). Fuqi serves great traditional Japanese recipes with fresh seafood and Wagyu beef. 


Lemoncello Gelato. This is the shop that turned me into an ice cream person. The oldest gelato shop offers the best low-fat, healthy ice creams made from freshest ingredients. Flavors includes more than 30 choices, like lime, Oreo coffee and berries.

Koi Kei Bakery. Although there is always a line at the door, those buttery egg rolls, seasoned juicy jerkys and crispy spring rolls are definitely worth the wait.

Lai Kei Ice Cream. Opened in the 1940s, Lai Kei is a family run Macanese shop offering traditional and authentic ice creams. The most interesting thing about the ice cream is probably the old school packaging. 

duo's 5 Favorites

 1. Favorite view: Standing on the rooftop at J building in the old campus in University of Macau at night, you’ll be amazed by the beautiful city lights on the other side of Macau island.

2. Favorite place to write: Usually I write in the dormitory, as I can listen to whatever music I want to, as loud as I want, in pajamas.

3. Favorite museum: Macau Culture Center is the place I always go for all kinds of exhibitions, shows and performances. It’s definitely the place where you can find lots of inspirations.

4. Favorite coffee shop: C’est La Fée. Highly recommended. The other day I found this coffee shop by accident at Senado Square. When I walked in I immediately fell in love as the smell in the shop was just amazing, like a mixture of vanilla coffee bean and freshly toasted butter waffles. I can sit here all day long.

5. Favorite thing about Macau: Autumn in Macau is the best time of the year, and the fact that it lasts only 2 to 3 weeks makes it more precious. Other than that, I also love that there are always some really nice food festivals all year around.