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Review of Mandarin's House

Mandarin's House
Ranked #4 of 254 things to do in Macau
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 27 July 2014

A fascinating place with lots of interesting nooks and crannies and some good entertainment - but can be a hot exploration in summer

Thank IanGoodwin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"lilau square"
in 12 reviews
"chinese architecture"
in 9 reviews
"traditional house"
in 4 reviews
"a ma temple"
in 15 reviews
"square meters"
in 3 reviews
"antique furniture"
in 3 reviews
"restoration process"
in 2 reviews
"living quarters"
in 2 reviews
"well worth the visit"
in 6 reviews
"its heyday"
in 2 reviews
"olden days"
in 2 reviews
"sun yat sen"
in 4 reviews
"free entrance"
in 3 reviews
"macau government"
in 5 reviews
"guided tour"
in 3 reviews
"unesco world heritage"
in 5 reviews
"great museum"
in 2 reviews

130 - 134 of 400 reviews

Reviewed 25 July 2014

The Mandarin's House is about halfway between the A-Ma Temple and the Largo do Sao Agostinho, and is an easy walk from either. Inside it a very large, very serene house where you can wander from room to room, through the courtyard, and up and down between floors. It's as if you had been invited into the elegant home of a wealthy mandarin during the last days of the old Imperial Chinese. (see photos) But because the mandarin worked with and studied Westerners, the house is an interesting blend of Chinese and European, like so much else in Macau. It's a very pleasant place to take a break from the crowds further downtown: very few people visit it, compared to the hundreds over at Sao Paolo and the Leal Senado. But there are two reasons while the mandarin's house is a particularly worthy destination while in Macau:

First, mint condition mandarin residences are rather thin on the ground nowadays, so this one's a rarity. The wealthy and powerful mandarins have had a tough last century in China, what with revolutions, collapse of law and order during the warlord period, the horrors of World War II, Civil War, and finally the victory of communists who had both the means and motivation to eradicate the entire mandarin class. Macau was the ONLY safe refuge during all of this: it even avoided WW II. That makes this a fairly remarkable piece of historic survival.

Second, the mandarin who lived here, Zheng Guanying, was also remarkable, not at all your typical mandarin. The Mandarin's House is also a museum where you can learn about the life, thoughts, and writings of Zheng. While largely unknown outside China, he was hugely influential in China, and his importance is receiving growing acknowledgement in the West. Though from a mandarin family, he went into commerce working for British firms in Shanghai and other places, and became one of Imperial China's more successful modern businessmen. He made a point of going down to the East Indies to observe what the Dutch were doing, and Indo-China to observe what the French were doing, and eventually moved to Portuguese Macao. And he wrote a thoughtful book, Words of Warning in Prosperous Times, explaining why the West was dominating China, and what China had to do to turn that around via reform. For example, instead of studying only the Confucian classics and calligraphy, Chinese needed to start learning science and technology: " "Oh woe! What they learn, is not what they need; what they need is not what they learn." Words of Warning was one of the inspirations for the Guangxu Emperor's last ditch effort to reform the empire 5 years later, the Hundred Days Reform. The book strongly influenced Sun Yat Sen and later Chinese revolutionaries, and Mao Zedong called it a source of encouragement for him in his early days. It's not too much of a stretch to suggest that 21st century China's state capitalism is the application of Zheng's prescription for national renaissance. There is a small gift shop near the entrance where you can buy books by and about Zheng, though the books tend to be either in Chinese or very expensive.

You can wander through the house itself in an hour or less, or take a bit more time if you want to go through the museum materials thoroughly, which I recommend.

5  Thank Vincent M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2014

One of the best sites in the historic center of Macau. It has been restored in a very nice way and gives you an impression how the Chinese population used to live.

Thank MarkyMAmsterdam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2014

Very impressed with the restoration of this house. Not a busy as the other tourist sites so can easily spend a couple of hours slowly wandering through the rooms. Worth a visit.

Thank Vstrawverries
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 June 2014 via mobile

Tucked away in a small street, not far away from Ama Temple. Once entering through the entrance into the courtyard it's like entering a different world. Admission is free, a staff will ask which country you are from for the record. Interesting architecture of a southern Chinese style mansion, but feels a bit bare since there is hardly any furniture or exhibits

Thank Kris A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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