Macau or Macao is an administrative region with special status in China by the end of 1999, after having been a Portuguese colony since 1557. Macau is situated along the coast of the South China Sea, at the estuary of the Pearl River (Zhujiang) and is formed by the Macao peninsula and the islands of Taipa and Coloane. The city is now important for tourism and gambling.
Macao can be reached by an hour by ferry from Hong Kong, the city ancient Portuguese colony, has an interesting historic part with fortresses and churches, these are flanked by Buddhist and Confucian temples.
Besides historical Chinese and Portuguese world-heritage relics (Fortaleza do Monte, Guia Fortress, Macau Fisherman’s Wharf, Macau Tower, Old Protestant Cemetery, Ruins of Jesuitic St. Paul’s Church (Igreja de São Paulo), Macau’s biggest attraction is its gambling industry and casinos, including the new and huge The Venetian, the largest facility of its kind in the world, which offers tourists a flawless reconstruction of Venice in water, with a navigation channel which is outside and inside, the latter surrounded by a huge shopping area with all the most important brands in the world.
FLIGHT INFORMATION: Macao is served by the Macau International Airport (Aeroporto Internacional de Macau). The airport is located on a strip of reclaimed land located near the island of Taipa. The airline Air Macau has its main base at this airport. The Macau airport has flights that connect the city to the main airports in the Far East and South-East Asia, the countries linked by direct flights to Macau are China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and South Korea
- Area: 29 sqkm.
- Population: 520,000 (2008 data) 95% Chinese.
- State Capital: Macau.
- Languages: The official languages are Chinese and Portuguese.
- Religion: Taoist, Buddhist and Confucian (all togheter 90%), Christian 10% (Catholic 9%, Protestant 1%).
- Currency: Macanese Pataca (MOP)
- Time: UTC +8 hours.