Macau Travel Guides


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Macao

 

Macau (also known as Macao ) is a Special Administrative Region of The People’s Republic of China, located in Eastern Asia on the estuary of the Pearl River, west of Hong Kong and south of Guangzhou ( Canton ).

 

Macau consists of a mainly rocky and hilly peninsula which is connected to China ’s Zhongsham island by a wide isthmus. It borders with China and the S. China Sea . However, the country’s terrain is mainly flat. Two bridges connect to Taipa which is the island to the south of Macau , and Macau ’s international airport is located off this island. A causeway then connects Taipa to the island of Coloane . It has the reputation of being the most densely populated place in the world with most of the population residing in the City of Macao. Its inhabitants are mainly Chinese with some Macanese (which is a mix of Portuguese and Asian races), Portuguese, and others. The main religion is Buddhist, with some Catholic and others. Portuguese Chinese (Cantonese) is the main language spoken along with Hokkien, Mandarin and other Chinese dialects.

 

Macau was colonized by the Portuguese in the 16 th century and is the oldest permanent European settlement in the Far East . The Portuguese paid China an annual fee for the use of the peninsula. In 1987 an agreement was signed by China and Portugal and in 1999 Macau gained status as a Special Administrative Region of China. However, Macau is not affected by China ’s socialist system because of its ‘one country, two systems’ formula and has a limited democracy which was put into effect for fifty years.

 

Macau ’s economy is mainly driven by tourism and gaming, along with exports of apparel, toys, shoes, textiles and electronics. Macau ’s name is a derivative of the name of the Ma Kwok temple, which was built in the fourteenth century. Macau lost a lot of income when its harbor silted up during the nineteenth century and Hong Kong subsequently took over in importance.

 

Macau is an interesting city and a perfect size to wander through and explore by foot. Most of the city could be seen in a day as the total area is approximately seven square miles. For great views of the city and countryside the remains of the façade of St. Paul ’s Basilica is a good location. Other must-see sites are the temple of the Goddess A-Ma and Lin Fong Temple . Situated close to the statue of the goddess A-Ma is the A-Ma Cultural Village . Trips can be made into China through Macau ’s barrier gate. Visitors to Hong Kong can take a ferry to Macau , which takes approx. three hours, or for a faster ride, take a hydrofoil from Kowloon or Hong Kong . There are several fortresses, temples and churches as well as beautiful gardens.

 

The Macau Grand Prix race takes place annually in November and the track goes throughout the town. For nightlife, the main entertainment is the casinos and clubs as well as the many world class restaurants. Dog and horse racing is also a popular pastime. For shoppers this is the place to be with many low cost and discounted places to purchase just about anything. There are also flea markets.

 

In December of 2005 the opening of Macau ’s themed attraction, Fisherman’s Wharf, was announced. The facility comprises entertainment, food, hotel, retail, marina exhibition and convention areas. The attraction is centrally located just a five minute walk from the Macau Ferry Terminal. Admission is free and it is open 24 hours a day. There are lots of rides and activities for children, as well as many entertaining attractions for adults. There is even an erupting volcano at night.

 

Weather / Climate
Macau ’s climate is classified as subtropical and with high humidity. Humidity is highest during spring and summer (Apr-Sept). Summer temperature is approx. 27-32 C. The temp. can get down to below 10C in Jan-Feb. Oct-Dec is reputed to be the best time to visit when it is typically dry and sunny and around 19-24C.

 

 


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