If the folktales of Macau’s connection to the sea ring true, than there could be no better place for the Maritime Museum than the Square of Barra Pagoda, dedicated to the Taoist Goddess A-Ma – Protector of fishermen and sailors. It is also believed to be the place where the Portuguese first landed thus igniting the fuse to the future explosion of Macau as an international tourist hot spot. The exact spot believed to be their landing place is where the Museum was erected, the building is in the shape of a sailing ship anchored in the waters of the Inner Harbor.
On the first floor of the Museum visitors can witness the traditions and way of live of the fisherman of Macau and South China. There are several types of ships, fishing instruments, and methods of fishing on display. There are also different varieties of fish and shellfish living in these waters and even a replica of a traditional fisherman’s home, where the whole family can be witnessed sharing in the tasks necessary to the fisherman’s daily activities.
Visitors should certainly take note of the “Little A-Ma Theater” which tells the legend of the Goddess in Cantonese, Mandarin, Portuguese and English.
The first floor is dedicated exclusively to the Great Discovery, emphasizing the Maritime History of China and Portugal as it was the sea that brought these two civilizations together. The voyages of Admiral Cheng Ho are present in interactive displays. During the Ming Dynasty in the 15th century, Admiral Cheng Ho charted India and Arabia from the sea, and reached the Eastern coast of Africa in his travels. The routes of the Portuguese discoveries of the 15th and 16th centuries are also on display, coupled with examples of the products traded in that era: tea, spices, porcelain and silk to name a few.
The second floor is dedicated to Maritime Technology and Transportation, illustrating the way Macau has always had a strong connection with the sea. Several traditional tools are on display alongside models of the latest and greatest ships of the present: The Jet-foils that now link Macau and Hong Kong being one example. Special attention should be paid to the monitor which enables visitors to learn about Macau’s weather, particularly during the typhoon season. During the typhoon season the formation of these tropical storms can be observed and tracked.
Upon existing the museum visitors will cross a gallery of aquariums showing the riverbed, the harbor waters, a coral reef and the seabed with the remains of an ancient shipwreck, all beautiful exhibits. Outside of the museum visitors will find several life-size exhibits, among which a dragon-boat similar to those raced during the Dragon Boat Festival, and used in international sport from the ancient Chinese tradition.
Address: Largo do Pagode da Barra, 1.
Opening hours: From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Last admission at 5:30 p.m.). Closed on Tuesdays.
Admission: 10 to 17: MOP5 (Monday to Saturday) and MOP3 (Sunday); 18 to 64: MOP10 (Monday to Saturday) and MOP5 (Sunday). Free admission: under 10, 65 or above.
Tel: +853 2859 5481
Fax: +853 2851 2160
Bus routes nearby: 1, 2, 5, 6B, 7, 10, 10A, 11, 18, 21A, 26, 28B, 55, MT4, N3
The Museum includes a nice esplanade by the river with a bar
Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Closed on Tuesdays).
On the ground floor of the Museum there is a shop selling souvenirs and books about the city of Macao, maps, etc.
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