The world seems to be on pause when it comes to traveling. Thankfully, Korean dramas have become a source of comfort for people like us over the quarantine period. It’s not just about binge-watching, there’s a virtual travel journey experienced in every Korean drama. Ever since the overwhelming triumph of “Parasite” in the Hollywood arena and Netflix’s success with “Crash Landing On You”, we can’t seem to get enough of Korean content. Unbeknownst to many, Macau is actually a popular backdrop in many Korean dramas and also variety shows. This small SAR is in fact the perfect location for top-notch cinematography intertwined with unforgettable storylines. Walk the steps of Ruins of St Paul’s or stroll through Coloane Village to relive the beautiful tales of love that have moved us to tears!
Ruins of St. Paul’s
Not only is the Ruins of St. Paul popular as Macau’s trademark but also a popular location for movies and TV series. In the film still above are Jan Di and Ji Hoo of Boys Over Flowers episode 14. The iconic spot is also seen in episode seven of The Fugitive: Plan B by Daniel Henney and Lee Na Young. Although this is a location that requires a lot of patience and effort to reach in the afternoons and most especially during the weekends, it’s worth rediscovering. It’s usually swarmed by a mass of tourist groups and individuals. If you stroll along the pathway, you will be rewarded with tasty samples from the local shops with cookies and meat jerky. The cinematic location has always been synonymous with Macau’s scenery.
Ruins of St. Paul’s Company of Jesus Square, +853 6238 6441
Senado Square is the heart and soul of old Macau. This square is the most favorite spot for both tourists and locals. One reason for its popularity is also featured in the same episode of Boys Over Flowers. Ji Hoo exchanges his egg tarts for a guitar from a stranger in order to become a street musician and to help buy Jan Di’s interest in a calligraphy material. The poignant scene was well-received by Korean drama viewers making this Macau landmark adored on the small screen. Senado Square imbibes a similar ambiance to Portugal with unique street tiles allocated to Lisbon’s pavement. The unique architecture gives visitors a glimpse of the rich history and culture of the SAR.
Senado Square Largo do Senado, Macau
The Venetian Macao
The Venetian Macao holds the title for the largest casino in Asia and the second largest in the world. But that doesn’t stop this location from being even more popular with impressive design and interiors attracting tourists from all over the world. This place also set the scene in the romantic drama “Fated To Love You” featuring Jang Nara and Jang Hyuk as well as “Boys Over Flowers”. The spots were easily recognizable with the Grand Canal Shoppes and St. Mark’s Square showcased in many frames of the Korean drama.
The Chapel of St. Francis Xavier is one of the main highlights in Coloane Village. This quaint building was constructed in 1928 with a prominent baroque style similar to most of Macau’s major churches. The beauty and charm of the entire Coloane Village are unlike any other in Macau and possibly the region. The tranquil environment with traces of Portuguese influence teeming in its surroundings is possibly one of the reasons this location was chosen to conclude the Korean drama series titled “Princess Hours” or “Goong”. A memorable scene of the same show also included the stars sampling the famous egg tarts by Lord Stow’s Bakery. So heartwarming was the backdrop that the TV series won multiple awards in Seoul for the captivating show.
Coloane Village Coloane Village, Macau
Macau is often referred to as the “Las Vegas” of Asia for world-class gaming and entertainment. The city is filled with award-winning hotel properties, Michelin-starred restaurants, and luxurious leisure activities. This is probably why the 2016 South Korean espionage television drama series “Local Hero”, starring Park Shi Hoo shot several scenes in the spectacular SAR. Episode one itself unravels the beauty of the Macau landscape with aerial views of the Cotai Strip introducing an action-packed feeling to the TV series. With the plot of the film originating from a Macau operation, the city is showcased in a stunning view from Senado Square to the quaint streets of the SAR, and even high-end hotels including exterior shots of Galaxy Macau and the lined-up properties along the Cotai Strip.
The Macau Tower has attracted adrenaline seekers from all over the globe. And the South Korean variety show “Running Man” joined in the excitement shooting episode 133 in the incredible location. With Macau as their special destination, the casts climbed new heights in conquering their fears, in addition to searching for nine daggers in all of Macau. The AJ Hackett Macau housed in Macau Tower offers the highest commercial bungy jump in the world. The show sparked the interest of tourists visiting the city making it a must-try activity when visiting Macau.
This article was originally written by Hannah Estenilo in January 2018 and updated by Macau Lifestyle in September 2020.