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Macau: casinos and colonial atmosphere

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Macau is a city nestled on a peninsula and some islands that has become a special statute administrative region of China since late 1999, having been a Portuguese colony since 1557.

Macau is located along the coast of the South China Sea, at the Pearl River estuary (Zhujiang) and is made up of the Macau peninsula and the islands of Taipa and Coloane. The city is today important for tourism and gambling.

Macau is an ancient Portuguese colony, it presents an interesting historical part made of fortresses and churches. These are flanked by Buddhist and Confucian temples.

The most important historical buildings of the city have become part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among this historical heritage there are some Portuguese fortresses such as Fortaleza do Monte and Fortaleza Guia. The ruins of the Jesuit Church of San Paolo (Igreja de São Paulo), of which the wonderful facade remains. The Fishermen’s Wharf, the Macau Tower, the Old Protestant Cemetery.

If we exclude historic buildings, Macau’s biggest tourist attraction is its gambling and casino industry. Among these, the new and mastodontic The Venetian, the largest structure of its kind in the world. This temple of the game offers tourists an impeccable reconstruction of Venice in its natural state, with an internal and external navigable canal, the latter surrounded by an immense shopping area with the most important brands in the world.


The city can be reached in an hour by ferry from Hong Kong. Or through the new highway bridge that connects it directly to Hong Kong along the sea.

The city is also served by an International Airport (Macau International Airport). The airport is located on a strip of land torn from the sea located near the island of Taipa. Air Macau has its main base at this airport. The airport has flights that connect it with the main Far East and Southeast Asia airports. Countries connected by direct flights to Macau include China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and South Korea.

The climate of Macau.

  • 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.



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