GeographyFacts & FiguresPopulationLanguageWeatherTravelling to MacauVisasTransportation

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Macau Location

Geography

The Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) is a part of China’s territory. It is located on the southeast coast of China, to the west of the Pearl River Delta. Bordering on Guangdong Province, Macau lies 65 kilometers – just an hour’s ferry ride southwest from Hong Kong and 145 kilometers from Guangzhou.

Macau in the mapMacau has a total area of approximately 30 square kilometers, consisting of a narrow peninsula called Macau and two islands (Taipa & Coloane). The Border gate “Portas to Cerco” connects Macau to the People’s Republic of China through the city of Zuhai. Three bridges, Nobre de Carvalho Bridge, Friendship Bridge (Ponte da Amizade) and Sai Van Bridge, link Macau peninsula to Taipa and Coloane. Local time is same as Hong Kong and eight hours ahead of Greenwich. Be careful crossing the road, vehicles in Macau drive on the left. Mean Time.

Macau Facts & Figures

Facts & Figures

Macau is governed under the “one country, two systems” arrangement for 50 years from 1999 by an elected local authority before reverting to Beijing’s full control. Under this principle, Macau continues to have its own political system, legal, economic and financial affairs, including external relations with foreign countries (the Central People’s Government retains necessary power over the MSAR. For instance,the Central People’s Government shall be responsible for the foreign affairs and defense relating to the MSAR. Macau is the only place in China where gambling is allowed. It has become the world’s biggest gambling market, generating more Revenue than Las Vegas. Gaming represents half the economy and about 85 per cent of government revenue. 20 percent of Macau’s population is employed by the casinos. Since 1998 Macau has added land to its territory, approximately equal to the size of 700 football fields. People in Macau have the 2nd longest expected life span in the world at 84.43 as of 2012 census.

Macau Population

Population

The population of Macau is estimated to be 649,100 . Population density is 21.352/square kilometer, and the northern part of the peninsula is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Macau’s population is made up of about 95% Chinese, and the rest are mainly Macanese, which are people of mixed Portuguese and Chinese (and sometimes African) ancestry. The subtropical climate, small population and a high GDP per capita makes Macau the second country with highest life expectancy.

Language

Language

Though Cantonese is the most widely spoken language in town, English is also common, especially in tourism and commerce. The official languages of Macau, used in government departments, official communications and documentation, are Chinese (Cantonese) and Portuguese. Macau has its own dialect of Portuguese called “Macanese Portuguese” and a distinctive creole generally known as “Patuá”. On average Macau habitants have a good understanding of mandarin.

Weather in Macau

Weather

Macau is located in the subtropical climate zone and has moderate climate conditions throughout the year. Annual average temperature is about 23ºC (73ºF).
Humidity levels are high in the city, where the average annual relative humidity tops 79%. The average annual rainfall measures about 2,058 mm in Macau.

January, February and March are the winter months with relatively cold but sunny weather, when it slowly gets warm again in April. To keep warm, woolens are recommended along with a thick jacket or an overcoat.

May to September is summer season. The weather becomes very hot and humid with more rainy days and occasional tropical storms (known as typhoons). Visitors are advised to wear light cotton clothes for a pleasant journey.

October to December is the most pleasant season to visit Macau, when visitors can enjoy warm autumn days with low humidity.

Travelling to Macau

Travelling to Macau

Visitors can travel to Macau by land, sea and air:

By Air: Take direct or connecting flight to Macau International Airport or transfer from nearest city airport venues from Hong-Kong, Shenzhen or Zuhai. Airport is located in Taipa island. There are Helicopter services from Shenzen and Hong Kong to Macau.

By Sea: Ferries are run regularly between Macau, Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Many visitors travel to Macau by sea using ferry services via Shun Tak Centre (Sheung Wan, Hong Kong), Hong Kong International Airport, China (HK) Ferry Terminal (Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong), Tuen Mun Ferry Terminal (New Territories, Hong Kong), Shekou (Shenzhen), and Fu Yong Ferry Terminal (Shenzhen Airport).

By Land: Macau is a peninsula and connected to the mainland China through the city of Zhuhai. There are 2 borders by land in Macau: crossings from Mainland China are made through the Gongbei Border Gate (portas do Cerco) on Macau Peninsula and the Lotus Bridge border in Cotai that connects to Hengqin island and is part of Zuhai.

Travelling to Macau

Visas for Macau

Visas

All visitors must hold a passport or a valid travel document for travel to Macau. All visitors are required to have a visa except nationals of countries which are exempted from a visa or entry permit. For more information on “Visa” and “Entry Permit” Exemption, please visit the website of the Macau Immigration Services of Public Security Police Force.

A Macau visa can be obtained through the Embassies/Consulates of the PRC and should be used within its validity. Visitors may also apply for an entry permit or visa upon arrival at the immigration checkpoint.

Visitors from certain countries are required to obtain a visa in advance before their trip to Macau. For more information, please visit the website:

There are three types of entry permit (i.e. Visa-upon-arrival) :

Individual – MOP$100 (MOP$50 for children under the age of 12)

Family Passport – MOP$200

Group – MOP$50 per person for groups of at least 10 people organized by a single travel manager and presenting a collective travel document .

VISA-FREE FOR THE FOLLOWING COUNTRIES/ TERRITORIES:

For up to 180 days: United Kingdom

For up to 90 days: All European Union member states, plus Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Cape Verde, Dominica, Egypt, Ecuador, Grenada, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, New Zealand, Norway, Serbia, South Korea, Switzerland and Tanzania.

For up to 30 days: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, India, Indonesia, Kiribati, Malaysia, Monaco, Namibia, Philippines, Russia, Samoa, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, the United States and Uruguay.

The above information is for reference only. For further information on entry formalities, please contact the Macau Immigration Services of Public Security Police Force at Tel: (Macau area code) +853 2872 5488 or email: sminfo@fsm.gov.mo, or visit their website: http://www.fsm.gov.mo.

Transportation in Macau

Transportation

Buses and taxis are the major modes of public transport in Macau. Bus services are frequent and inexpensive, linking the Macau peninsula, Taipa, Cotai and Coloane. Route information in Chinese and Portuguese is posted at every bus stop detailing destinations, itineraries and stops. Bus fares range from MOP3.20 to MOP6.40 depending upon the distance travelled. Passengers should prepare adequate coins for the fare as no change is given on the buses, all of which are air-conditioned.

Taxis are also a convenient option, but difficult to get one on the streets during rush hours. They are easy to find near the airport/Taipa ferry terminal, the Hong Kong-Macau ferry terminal, and major gaming venues and hotels.

Macau taxi’s are black with a cream roof. The flag-fall charge is MOP17.00 for the first 1600 meters, with MOP2.00 added for every 260 meters thereafter. MOP2.00 is charged for waiting per minute at the passenger’s request. There is a MOP3.00 surcharge for each item of luggage carried in the boot.

There is a MOP5.00 surcharge for boarding a taxi at Macau International Airport or journeys from Macau to Coloane. From Taipa to Coloane, a MOP2.00 surcharge applies, while there is no surcharge from Macau to Taipa or from the islands to Macau.

Shuttle Bus: Very convenient way to get around. Most of the hotels and casinos in Macau also operate shuttle buses for their guests covering not only the Hotels but all the major transit points and main tourist places of Macau. The Shuttle bus are free and depart from all borders.

Currency in Macau

Currency

Macau’s official currency is the pataca (MOP), which is divided into 100 avos (cents) and linked to the Hong Kong dollar (HKD) by government decree at an exchange rate of MOP103.20 to HKD100.00, with an acceptable variation of up to 10%. Coins are issued in 10, 20 and 50 avos and 1, 2, 5 pataca denominations, and bills in 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 Pataca denominations. Visitors who need to exchange foreign currencies or traveler’s checks can do so at banks, hotels, or authorized exchange dealers, which can be found throughout the city. Roughly 8 Patacas is equivalent to 1 US Dollar. HKD is accepted almost verywhere in Macau, although we recommend using local currency MOP as the exchange rate for HKD and RMB will be always 1:1.

Union Pay, Visa, Mastercard is widely accepted everywhere in Macau. 24-hour currency exchange service can be found at the Macau International Airport and near the Lisboa hotel in the center.

Water and Electricity in Macau

Water and Electricity

With no source of water of its own, Macau relies totally on the Mainland China for water supply. Macau draws purified and chlorinated water, with distilled drinking water available in all hotels and restaurants. Usually local residents don’t drink tap water straight from the tap. They drink tap water that’s been boiled then cooled down. Tap water can e used to shower and brush your teeth. The city uses a voltage of 230V and a frequency of 50Hz. The power sockets used are square-shaped and round-shaped with 3- pin plugs. Check your electrical devices for compatibility before use.

Wifi in Macau

Wifi

Macau has extensive free wifi coverage throughout the city. Macau government provides citizens and visitors free access to the Internet through Wireless Broadband System “wifigo”. This wireless Internet access service is free of charge and can be accessible in public facilities, such as Major Cultural and World Heritage attractions, Museum, Parks and squares, Public transport terminals, sport locations, Hospital, Government buildings. Visitors can use daily from 8am to 1am in the next day, 45 minutes each connection limit. Majority of casinos also offer their own free Wifi services within their property. Macau telco CTM has launched free mobile WiFi hotspots on some public buses accessible through “Bus-Free-WiFi”. Upon completion of the registration process, passengers will receive an SMS with activation code from CTM which entitles to enjoy 30 minutes of WiFi service for free. The majority of Shuttle Buses from casino and hotels also have wifi.

Food in Macau

Food

Macanese cuisine is unique and offers something for every taste due to its multicultural roots. You might say Macanese cuisine is the birthplace of fusion cuisine. The food in Macau reflects its past as central spices trading port during 16th &17th century, receiving influences from Africa, Brazil, Malaysia, India, East Timor and China. Ingredients arrived from all over the world through Portuguese sailors and their traditional dishes and food took on new structures prepared and cooked with local and Chinese techniques. Macau is the perfect destination for the food and wine lovers that want to experience delicious street food, local restaurants or Michelin-starred restaurants.

Macau Useful Info

Useful Info

Country Code: +853

Time Zone: UTC+8 (same as China Standard Time)

Emergency: Tel: 999 / 110 / 112
Hospital Centre S. Januário: Tel: (853) 28313731
Kiang Wu Hospital: Tel: (853) 28371333
University Hospital: Tel: (853) 28821838

Macau International Airport

Opening Hours: 09:00-13:30, 14:15-19:30, 20:15-22:00
Tel: (853) 2886
Fax: (853) 2886 1437

Taipa Ferry Terminal

Opening Hours: 09:30-13:00
Tel: (853) 2885
Fax: (853) 2885 0310

Tourism Hotline: Tel: (853) 28 333 000 for immediate assistance
Police: Tel: (853) 2857 3333
Fire: Tel: (853) 2857 2222

Turbo JET:
Macau (853) 8790 7039
Hong Kong (852) 2859 3333

Cotai JET:
Macau (853) 2885 0595
Hong Kong (852) 2359 9990

Shopping in Macau

Shopping

Shopping in Macau City is the most important activity among tourists. Thanks to its duty-free policies and low taxes, Macau attracts a great number of world-famous fashion brands to establish stores and outlets in the city. Macau has become one of the best retail and lifestyle destinations in China, and is truly the home of the ultimate Shopping Experience. The best part for visitors is that the city is compact, making the best of Macau simple to explore and shop. From luxurious boutiques to elegant shopping stores and street style market outfit, Macau City is a shopping paradise and an exciting place for visitors. Tourists get a hands-on experience to buy souvenirs and other gifts for friends and family.

Read more about shopping in Macau

Architecture in Macau

Architecture

Macau is a vibrant mix of Portuguese & Chinese culture. Though Portuguese have contributed a lot to Macau architecture, the actual buildings with European designs were always given an Oriental touch. Shrine, temples and gardens in Macau show the glimpse of Chinese contribution to this city. As a result the unique combination in Macau architecture adds a romantic character to the city and charms a large number of visitors. With the liberalization of Gaming in 1999, Macau has taken a new economic model by inviting renewed gaming licenses to invest and develop Macau into a “Las Vegas of the East”, marking a transformation in Macau’s architecture.

Accommodation in Macau

Accommodation

Visitors can easily find amazing selection of accommodations covering all kind of specific needs and preferred budget range – from international 5-star brand hotels offering shopping malls and leisure facilities to chic medium-sized hotels. Visitors seeking basic accommodation can find a variety of budget hotels and pousadas in downtown Macao. Cotai has many integrated resorts, offering excellent weekday deals. Coloane is home to a handful of beachy inns and the city’s two hostels. Hotel rates are usually most expensive on Friday and Saturday nights because demand is higher with tourists coming to Macau to gamble over the weekend. If you are coming from Hong Kong, you can book through an agent at the Shun Tak ferry , getting a package deal including return ferry tickets.