Discover the legends of the goddess of seafarers at this mixed tourist and pilgrim complex home to a temple, manicured gardens and a hilltop statue.
Follow the devotees that come to say their prayers to a famous Chinese deity on a visit to A-Ma Cultural Village. Learn about the history of A-Ma the sea goddess and her importance to the city of Macau and marvel at the Qing dynasty-style art and architecture. Set on 560-feet (172-meter) high Coloane Alto, which is Macau’s highest point, the A-Ma Cultural Village also offers stunning views of the city’s coastline.
A grand staircase leads up to the entrance to the complex. Note the stone carvings that stand in the middle of each section of stairs and portray Chinese symbols such as a double phoenix, imperial dragon and roaring lion. Two gruesome-looking lions guard the ornate pavilion-like main gate, through which is the temple courtyard. Before entering, take time to study the gate’s animal carvings and paintings of Buddhist characters.
Inside, visitors gather around a pool where a turtle sits with a bowl perched on its back. Join others in trying to throw a coin into the bowl. The resplendent Tin Hau Temple stands at the rear of the complex. Admire the carved wooden pillars of the colonnaded entrance, the marble altars and statues of A-Ma and other gods.
After appreciating the temple’s spiritual serenity, leave via the staircase and then walk up a short trail to the imposing A-Ma Statue. This 66-feet (20-meter) tall white-marble statue depicts the goddess in a ceremonial robe and headdress. Views extend down toward Hác Sá Beach and out across the South China Sea. Spot the mountainous landscapes of offshore islands and look back over the skyscrapers of Taipa island.
A-Ma Cultural Village is open daily and admission is free. A shuttle bus departs every 30 minutes from Estrada de Seac Pai Van, at the base of Alto Coloane. Drivers can use the free car park at the entrance to the village. An alternative way to travel here is to take a detour while walking the 5-mile (8.1-kilometer) scenic Coloane Trail.