A piece of Macau

Written by Joseff Musa

WGM takes a look at some of the most popular gifts in Macau’s many souvenir shops.


What do you get someone who has never been to Macau? Often, one of the city’s favorite delicacies such as Portuguese egg tarts, almond cookies and meat jerky make for a nice gift, but these Macau souvenirs only last a few days.

Instead, WGM decided to investigate the bustling, vibrant street that is Rua de Sao Paolo, one of Macau’s main tourist hubs.

If you’ve never visited Rua de Sao Paolo, we recommend checking out this famous street leading to the most famous of all Macau landmarks, the Ruins of St Paul’s. A short walk from another popular spot, Senado Square – home to some spectacular Portuguese-inspired architecture – this is also the place to find the many uniquely Macau souvenirs the local stores have on offer.

Speaking to the local shopkeepers, WGM learned that one of the most popular souvenirs are the Macau fridge magnets, named and modelled after the unmistakable blue and white street signs guiding the way across the city. Even against any other fridge magnet you can find around the world showing off each nation’s tourist attractions, the Macau street sign magnet is a stand out.

Another souvenir common in Macau is the colourful Portuguese Rooster – its body painted with a big red heart to represent justice and kind-heartedness. These roosters come in all shapes and sizes, including on key chains, bottle openers, tiles and much more.

Why a rooster you might ask? The story stretches back to the town of Barcelos in Portugal and an old story about a pilgrim who was mistaken for a thief, arrested and sentenced to death.

Before his execution, the pilgrim met the judge who was about to have his dinner and, pointing to the cooked rooster on the table, stated, “If this rooster stands up and starts crowing, it proves I am innocent!” The people all thought he was crazy, but suddenly the very fragrant rooster shook its body, stood up and crowed loudly. The pilgrim was immediately acquitted and escaped the grim reaper while the rooster went down in folklore as a symbol of justice, trust and good luck.

Of course, the miniature models of the Ruins of St Paul’s and Macau Tower are also popular souvenirs – often made from gold or silver-plated material or carved into a replica blue and white Macanese tile.

What better way to take a piece of Macau home with you?