ABOUT MACAU

The Portuguese arrived and settled in Macau in the mid 16th Century. Thus, the city’s architecture, art, religion, traditions, food and community reflect the integration of Chinese, Western and Portuguese cultures. Macau became a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China on 20th December 1999 and exercises a high degree of autonomy under the principle of "One country, two systems". The SAR is growing in size with more buildings on reclaimed land, and in the number and diversity of its attractions. In 2005, The Historic Centre of Macau was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a result of its unique historical and cultural landscape. Macau is currently positioning itself as the World Centre of Tourism and Leisure as it develops into a quality international tourist destination.

Location
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Macau, a Special Administrative Region of China, is located at the Pearl River Delta on the southeast coast of mainland china, 60km southwest of Hong Kong. The city, which is just around 31 square kilometers in size, boasts a rich cultural heritage of Chinese and Portuguese cultures when the Portuguese first settled in Macau when it was just a fishing port some 400 years ago. Many of the European-style architectures with Chinese features, which really are one of a kind, are still very much well-preserved, especially

Macau is located in Guangdong province, on the western bank of the Pearl River Delta, at latitude 22º 14' North, longitude 113º 35' East and connected to Gongbei District by the Border Gate (Portas do Cerco) isthmus.

The Macau Special Administrative Region has an area of 30.3 sq. km, comprised of the Macau Peninsula (9.3 sq. km and connected to Mainland China), Taipa (7.6 sq. km) and Coloane (7.6 sq. km) and the reclaimed area COTAI (5.8 sq. km). Three bridges connect Macau to Taipa (one of them is 2.5 km long, the other one is 4.5 km long and the third one is 2.2 km long).

Besides the Border Gate (Portas do Cerco) - the visitor can access Mainland China through the COTAI Frontier Post. Immigration and Customs is located in the reclaimed area between Taipa and Coloane.


Time
Macau is eight hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and does not practice Daylight Savings Time.
Language
Chinese and Portuguese are the official languages, Cantonese being most widely spoken. The official languages are used in government departments in all official documents and communications. English is generally used in trade, tourism and commerce.
Currency

The Pataca (MOP) is divided into 100 avos and it is Macau's official currency. There are banknotes and coins in the following denominations:
Coins: 10, 20 and 50 avos; 1, 2, 5 and 10 Patacas. 
Banknotes: 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 Patacas.

By the decision of the Government the Pataca is linked to the Hong Kong dollar (HKD). The exchange rate is MOP103.20 = HKD100.00. There is an acceptable variation up to 10%. Roughly 8 Patacas is equivalent to 1 US Dollar.

Foreign currency or travellers' cheques can be changed in hotels, banks and authorised exchange dealers located all around the city. If the visitor needs to change money outside the usual banking hours, there are 24 hours exchange counters operating in the Macau International Airport (Taipa Island) and in the Lisboa Hotel (Macau). Banks open normally from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Most credit cards are accepted in many hotels, shops and restaurants.

There are no restrictions on the amount of currency, which can be brought in or taken out of the territory.

Climate
The climate is fairly warm and tropical in Macau. Annual average temperature is about 20ºC (68ºF) and ranges from 16ºC (50ºF) to 25ºC (77ºF). Humidity levels are high and average values vary between 73% and 90%.

Autumn (October - December) is the most pleasant season. Days are sunny and warm and humidity levels are low.

For more infomation please visit website of the Macau Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau

Communication
Internet Services
Macau is one of the most ‘connected’ cities in the world. The Wireless Broadband System is a dominant feature of Macau’s communications system and we want visitors as well as residents to take full advantage. Visitors can tune into free wireless Internet connectivity with the territory-wide WiFi Go service from almost anywhere in Macau – including museums, libraries, sports & activity centres, ports, and Tourist Information.

Telephone Service
Country code for Macau is 853 and outgoing international code is 00.
The Tourism Hotline on (853) 2833 3000 provides comprehensive information about restaurants, hotels, sightseeing and tourist spots, museums, entertainment, shopping, transportation, etc. 

Electricity

Electricity in Macau is at 230V, 50Hz. The power plugs used in Macau are of the three-pin, square-shaped or round-shaped type. (“Type G” British BS-1363 socket)