The island of Taipa, to the south of Macau and linked to it by an imposing high-arched bridge, makes for a fun outing. Formerly a Chinese customs post for vessels putting in at Macau and for decades the traditional site of fireworks factories, the town itself contains large numbers of Chinese shops and Portuguese colonial buildings, along with a popular horse-racing track. Other highlights include the Buddhist Shrine of the Four Faces and Pak Tai Temple, built in 1844 and notable for its rich decoration and its two life-size guardian figures. Of the island's many smaller temples, Tin Hau is the best known and was built some 180 years ago (it's notable for its highly ornamented shrine containing a figure of the goddess). Finally, a must-see is the fully restored colonial Taipa House, home to the Taipa House Museum with its interesting displays of furniture and furnishings typical of old Macau homes.
Acclaimed as one of the top eight sites of Macao, the Taipa Houses represents the charming Portuguese architectural style in Taipa. The Portuguese residences along Avenida da Praia, together with the neighboring Our Lady of Carmel Church and the garden, comprise a picturesque landscape in which the five greenhouses stand out as the most representative.
These five houses, built in 1921, once served as the residences of senior civil servants, also namely Macanese families; in 1992, they were acknowledged as a building complex of architectural value. Later, the government decided to revamp the houses completely as a museum site, opened to the public at the end of 1999 as the ‘Taipa Houses-Museum’.
In September 2016, the Macao SAR Government re-capitalized on these five buildings by transforming them into the ‘Macanese Living Museum’, ‘Exhibitions Gallery’, ‘Creative Casa’, ‘Nostalgic House’ and ‘House for Receptions’ from west to east, respectively. This project has converted the place into a combination of culture and creativity, with outdoor performances and leisure elements, making it a showcase of not only the culture of the Portuguese-speaking countries but of culture from all over the world.