Heritage Exhibition of a Traditional Pawnshop Business

396 Avenida Almeida Ribeiro, Macau
Bus routes nearby: 2, 3, 3A, 3X, 5, 6A, 10, 10A, 18, 101X, N3
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  • Opening hours

    • Monday10:30 ~ 19:00

    • Tuesday10:30 ~ 19:00

    • Wednesday10:30 ~ 19:00

    • Thursday10:30 ~ 19:00

    • Friday10:30 ~ 19:00

    • Saturday10:30 ~ 19:00

    • Sunday10:30 ~ 19:00

    • Public Holiday 10:30 ~ 19:00

  • Suggested time for visit

  • Remarks
    Closed on the first Monday of every month

People who know Macau would also know that pawnshops were very common in the city. What you may not know is that streets filled with pawnshop started to take shape back in late Qing and the early Republican period, as there has been a long history of pawnshop business in Macau. Located in Avenida Almeida Ribeiro, the exhibition is housed in this former pawnshop named “Tak Seng On”. Set up in 1917, the pawnshop was later preserved and renovated to restore its outlook.

“Tak Seng On” features a pawnshop and a storehouse. The architectural design and interior décor were similar to typical pawnshops found in early Republic period in China. The restored building has retained most of the typical configurations. Many visitors are keen to have some role-play fun, with one pretending to be the customer and the other, “Chiu Fong” (the clerk). The customer would stand behind the screen for privacy (also called “shady screen”) at the exhibition entrance and lift up the pledged articles for the clerk behind the elevated counter.

Together with the informative display boards and decor, other exhibits including the ticketing table, a table for wrapping up pledged goods account books, etc. are there to explain the operation of a pawnshop business.

Besides the pawnshop, we suggest you to have a proper look at the storehouse. Since the seven-storey tower was used to store the pledged articles, the foundation, building materials and even the plaster and torches at the bottom of the storage shelves are designed to be waterproof, fire-proof, anti-burglary and anti-pest. If you are interested to find out more about the traditional practices of pawnshop, e.g. worship of Guan Yu, or say the reason for prohibiting pet cats from pawn shops, do read the answers to these questions at the exhibition on the second floor of the storage building. While visiting, however, be aware of the narrow space in the storage tower which is served only by a single timber staircase.