Coloane island is a very quiet, easy paced, thinly populated, picturesque hillock perched in the the China Sea. It is indeed in deep contrast to the Las Vegas of the east, the mainland of Macau, to which it belongs.
It has a few beaches and caves which were once inhabited by pirates, making a living by plundering the colonial European ships sailing through the bay into Macau or to mainland China. Later it served as a leper colony to keep them in isolation and perhaps to scare away the pirate inhabitants.
Maybe these were the reasons for its slow development and thin population that it has today. Traveling there is simple and taxis from Macau do two way trips. I chose the convenient, air conditioned, public transport bus which is very, very cheap. The buses take you to the center of town and places of interest are just a few hundred meters from each stop. .Arriving here I noticed that this island is pure and simple yet strongly retaining the essence of a typical Portuguese town.
The town center has a roundabout with a park and a simple fountain which adorns the front of the village administrative office. The promenade from here is paved with pretty mosaic all along the shore line of the Bay where it reaches a pier and an old Chinese temple.
Between the pier and the town center is the picturesque Portuguese style square around a fountain and pillar, with beautiful arcade, having pillars holding arched porticos to the shops. The St.Francis Xaviers church forms the square center. The church is small and has a museum which gives some details of the route of St.Francis Xaviers missionary expedition. It also narrates the martyrdom of several catholics in Nagasaki Japan and how many fled to Colaone and Macau.
Christmas in this church is said to be very festive with a decorated crib and statues of the holy family, shepherds and angels adorning it. St. Francis Xavier whom I consider as missionary traveler, died on the island of San Chuan, 50 miles from here. Narrow lanes woven around the church and in the village still hold some old, heritage buildings.The town has a nice bakery of renown called the Stow bakery and a few small time shops which cater to small essential needs.
There may not be much to see or do in Coloane, but once you enter the Town center and walk across the promenade you begin to experience a walk into the past which is completely serene and when you are at the church square, you will cherish the typical Portuguese heritage.Sitting in one of the shops under the portico of this world heritage square I enjoyed the quite tranquility of this village. It has atmosphere, and the cool sea breeze while sipping on my drink. I watched the bay and the soft ripples of the sea which echoed the silence of Coloane. This is a deep contrast to the big gambling stakes and the accompanying hustle and bustle of Macau.
Travel is many things to many people. Sometimes it is the hustle and bustle. Sometimes it is finding a place to just relax and feel the pulse beat. Is it worth visiting? Why not? Do we not want to feel our own pulse beat ?