Macau Government Tourist Office
9, Largo do Senado, GPO Box 3006
Tel: 315566, Fax: 510104 Cables:

Physical geography

Located on the southeastern coast of China at latitude 22° 14' north and longitude 113° 35' east.

The 19.3 sq. km. of the territory comprise the peninsula of Macau and, just to the south, the islands of Taipa and Coloane. A bridge of 2.6km with a new bridge recently built of 4.4kms connect the peninsula to the nearest island of Taipa, which in turn is linked to Coloane by a 1.4-mile long causeway.

At the extreme northern end of the peninsula, a narrow isthmus joins Macau to China. Some 40 miles to the east-north-east, across the mouth of the Pearl River, is Hong Kong.


The climate is moderate to hot, with an average annual temperature of just over 20°C (68°F) and a yearly mean variation between 16°C (50°F) and 25°C (77° F). The humidity is high with an average range of between 73 per cent and 90 per cent. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Economic geography</H3> In 1995 GDP per capita was estimated at 138.5 patacas or US$17.4, at current prices. Tourism's contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (including gambling) was 43 per cent. For the same year, the Territory registered an inflation rate of 8.6 per cent and an unemployment rate of 3.6 per cent. The sectors absorbing the biggest shares of the working population are manufacturing (21.7 per cent), restaurants and hotels (25.6 per cent) and public, social and private services (30.1 per cent). <P>Macau imports almost everything that it consumes and exports most of the products it manufactures. <P>Exports: (main products) textiles and garments, toys, electronics, footwear, cement, travel and ceramic articles and optical products. <P>Imports: consumer goods (foodstuff, beverage and tobacco), raw materials and semi-manufactured goods, capital goods, fuels and lubricants. <P>The new Macau International Airport (MIA) is a very important piece of infrastructure for the tourism of Macau and was inaugurated on 8 December '95. MIA has a single runway built on reclaimed land with a length of 3,360 metres and is designed to accommodate Boeing 747-400 aircraft and the passenger terminal building can handle six million passengers a year. For the time being, 13 air carriers fly regularly to Macau, covering 20 cities with a total of 254 flights arriving and departing from MIA per week. <P>The new Ferry Terminal, which opened in November '93 with the capacity to handle 30 million passengers a year, guarantees a better and more comfortable connection between Macau and Hong Kong. One heliport is located on top of the building, comprising two helipads suitable for helicopters to ensure flights to Hong Kong, Canton and Shenzhen even at night. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Demography</H3> The total population is estimated to be about 424,400. Ninety-five per cent of the population is Chinese, five per cent Portuguese, Europeans and people from other regions. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>A brief history</H3> Macau was first settled by the Portuguese traders between 1554 and 1557. Jorge Alvares was the first Portuguese to set foot in Southern China in 1513 and this visit was followed by the establishment of a number of Portuguese trading centres in the area. These were eventually consolidated at Macau which boomed with a virtual monopoly on trade between China and Japan and between both nations and Europe. Macau also served as a vital base for the introduction of Christianity to China and Japan. Although it has witnessed many changes during its 450 years of existence, Macau has always been a stronghold of Portuguese presence and culture in the Far East. Macau has proudly flown Portugal's flag even when the motherland's throne was occupied by a foreign king in the 17th century. When the Portuguese rule was re-established, after 60 years, the city of Macau was granted the official name of: 'City of the name of God, there is none more loyal'. <P>Macau is the oldest European missionary and trading centre in the Far East, and it is a distinctive and picturesque city offering the visitor a fascinating combination of Europe and the East. According to its organic law, Macau is a territory under Portuguese administration.</P> <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Religions</H3> There is complete freedom of worship in Macau. The main religions are Buddhism, Catholicism and Protestantism. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Languages spoken by nationals</H3> Portuguese and Chinese are the official languages. English is Macau's 'third language', used in trade, tourism and commerce. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Time</H3> Macau standard time: eight hours ahead of GMT. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Currency</H3> The pataca (composed of 100 avos) is the official unit of currency in Macau. It is available in coins and banknotes in denominations of: Coins: 10, 20, 50 avos: 1.5 patacas, Banknotes: 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1,000 patacas. Exchange rate: 103.30 patacas = HK$100. Roughly eight patacas equal one US dollar. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Official holidays (all offices closed)</H3> <P>1 January, New Year's Day - 7-9 February, Chinese New Year - 28-30 March, Easter holidays - 5 April, Cheng Ming Festival - 25 April, Anniversary of the Portuguese Revolution - 1 May, Labour Day - 9 June, Dragon Boat Festival (Tun Ng Festival) - 10 June, Camoes Day and Portuguese Communities Day - 24 June, Feast of St. John the Baptist (Patron Saint) - 17 September, The day following Mid-Autumn Festival - 1 October, National Day of the People's Republic of China - 5 October, Portuguese Republic Day - 10 October, Festival of Ancestors (Chung Yeung) - 2 November, All Souls Day (Port.) - 1 December, Restoration of Independence - 8 December, Feast of Immaculate Conception - 22 December, Winter Solstice - 24-25 December, Christmas holidays. <P>Besides government departments nearly all offices and banks are closed on official holidays. Some banks are also closed on Hong Kong public holidays. Shops are open all year round except on the first two or three days of the Chinese New Year, although every first of the month is the customary holiday for some shops. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>What one should not fail to see</H3> Ruins of St. Paul, Citadel of S. Paulo do Monte (Monte Fort) Border Gate (Portas do Cerco); Guia Fortress and Lighthouse Temple of Kun Iam; Temple of Goddess A-Ma; Lin Fong Temple- The Old Protestant Cemetery; Leal Senado (Municipal Council); Sun Yat Sen Memorial House; S. Domingos Church; Camoes Garden and Grotto; D. Pedro V Theatre; Lou Lim Ieoc Garden; Penha Church; Canidrome; Inner Harbour; Villages of Taipa and Coloane. Casinos, Pousada de Sao Tiago; Horse Racing; Four faces Buddha Shrine; Macau Maritime Museum; Taipa Folk Museum; Coloane Park; The Church of the Seminary, St. Lawrence Church and Grand Prix Museum. <H3>Hotels</H3> At end of the first half of 1996, the total number of establishments was 105; 41 hotels which can be further distinguished into 12 five and four-star, 12 three-star and 17 two and one-star hotels; two inns and 62 boarding houses. <P>The number of rooms available at the end of 1996 were 8,601. By the end of 1999 Macau will have 2,000 new rooms, most of them in the five and four-star category. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Most favourable seasons for sojourns and touring</H3> The months October to December are the best when the weather is pleasant and the humidity low. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>How to dress</H3> Lightweight clothes are recommended for summer. Woollen clothing and sometimes a top-coat for winter. Sweaters and jackets are necessary for cooler evenings, in March-May and September-November. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Main holiday resorts</H3> There are four hotels on the islands: Pousada de Coloane, built on the side of a hill overlooking the beach of Cheoc Van, the Westin Resort, with an 18-hole golf course, near Hac Sa beach, both on Coloane island and the Hyatt Regency Macau and New Century Hotel on Taipa Island. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Main holiday sports</H3> Boating, tennis, cycling, hiking, basketball, swimming. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>What to eat and drink</H3> Besides having a vast selection of excellent Chinese restaurants, Macau is a great place to sample genuine Portuguese cuisine. Of special interest are the dishes that are typical of Macau itself - the Macanese cuisine. Because of its privileged location, Macau is a great fishing port and seafood here is superb. To go with the food there is wine, excellent and cheap wines imported from Portugal. Eating and drinking is one of the pleasures of Macau. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>What to buy</H3> Macau's most popular buys remain jewellery (particularly gold), Chinese antiques, porcelain, pottery, electric gadgetry, watches, knitwear, etc. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Frontier formalities</H3> <H3>Passports and visas</H3> All persons entering or leaving Macau must be holders of a passport or some other valid travel document. <UL> <LI>Visas are required for all visitors except: <br>a) Nationals of Austria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, EU Countries, Finland, India, Japan, South Korea, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United States of America and Uruguay for a stay of less than 20 days; <Br>b) Hong Kong residents (British Commonwealth Subjects; for a visit of up to 20 days. <LI>Visas are available on arrival in Macau. There are three types: Individual - 000 patacas for an individual traveller for a single stay up to 20 days in Macau, children under 12 years of age pay 50 patacas. Family - 200 patacas for couples, husband travelling with wife and/or children (under 12) whose names are included in the parents' passports. Group - 5- patacas per person for bona fide groups of ten or more. <LI>Visas may also be obtained from Portuguese Consulates. Nationals of countries which do not maintain diplomatic relations with Portugal <I>must</I> obtain their visas from Portuguese Consulates overseas and may <I>not </I> obtain them after arrival in Macau. </UL> <H3>Health regulations</H3> International Inoculation Certificates are not normally required unless cholera or smallpox has been detected either in Hong Kong or Macau or in the area recently visited by the arrival. <H3>Customs</H3> Entry - the visitor is not usually bothered with customs formalities, but may be subject to a routine check. <P>Exit - There are no export duties on any article; antiques, gold, jewellery, radios, cameras, etc. The Departure tax is 22 mops for ferry passengers and 106 mops for helicopter passengers.</P> <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Main travel routes</H3> Macau is served by its own new international airport and also by Hong Kong airport. From Hong Kong Macau is reached by either jetfoil, jumbocats, hovercrafts, hi-speed ferries, turbo cats and helicopters. <P>All local touristic points are easily accessible by public transport or on foot.</P> <P>There are also the Islands of Taipa and Coloane which are connected to the city by public buses.</P> <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Miscellaneous</H3> <H3>China tours</H3> Foreign visitors can take day trips into China through the old historic Portas do Cerco (Border Gate). <P>Several Macau agencies are joining with the local branch of China Travel Service to organise daily tours to China, with a minimum of visa formalities.</P> <P>For further details write to China Travel Service.</P> <H3>Events</H3> Macau Arts Festival, March - Procession of our Lord of Pasassos, Feb - Procession of our Lady of Fatima, May - Feast of St John the Baptist, 24 June - Miss Macau Pageant, September - International Fireworks Festival, Sep/Oct - Intl Music Festival, Oct/Nov - Macau Grand Prix, November - Macau Intl Marathon, December. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Representatives abroad</H3> <I>Macao Government Tourist Office</I> <P>9 Largo do Senado, PO Box, 3006 Macau. Cable: TURISMO. Tel.: (853) 315566, 413355. Telex: 88338 TURIS OM. Fax: (853) 510104.</P> <P><I>Information counter at:</I><BR> Outer Harbour - Tel: 726416 <BR>Guia Lighthouse - Tel.: 569808 <BR>Monte Fort - Tel: 363057 <BR>Barrier Gate - Te.: 4900581 <BR>Penha Hill - Tel: 687759 <P>New Information Counter of MGTO: Located at new Macau International Airport (MIA), Tel. (853) 861304/5; Fax: (853) 861306 <P><I>Information counter at:</I> <BR>Kai Tak Airport - Hong Kong, after customs (Buffer Hall) in disembarkation area. Tel: 769-7970. <BR>336 Shun Tak Centre, 200 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong. Tel: 857-2287, 559-0375, 559-0147. Fax: (852) 559-0698. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Representatives abroad</H3> <H3>Macau Tourist Information Bureau in:</H3> HONG KONG: Room 3704, Shun Tak Centre, 200 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong. Tel: (852) 540-8180. Fax: (852) 559- 8513. <P>JAPAN: 4th/FI., Toho Twin Tower Building. 5-2, Yurakucho l-Chome, Chiyoda-Ku,Tokyo (100). Tel: (81-3)3501- 5022/5023. Fax: (81-3)3502-1248.</P> <P>MALAYSIA: c/o Discover the World Marketing, SDN BHD, Unit 10.03, Level 10, Amoda, 22 Jalant Imbi, 55100 Kuala Lumpur. Tel: (60-3) 2423922. Fax: (60-3) 2486851.</P> <P>PHILIPPINES: 264 Edsa extension, Pasay City, Metro Manila. Tel: (63-2) 521-71-78. Fax: (63-2) 831-43-44.</P> <P>SINGAPORE: 140 Cecil Street, 11-OIA PIL Building, Singapore 0106. Tel: (65) 2250022. Fax: (65) 2238585.</P> <P>THAILAND: G.P.O. Box 1534, Bangkok 10501. Tel: (66-2) 258-1975/484-2308. Telex: 82658 COCBK TH. Fax: (66-2) 258-1975.</P> <H3>Public Relations Representatives:</H3> KOREA: c/o Glocom Korea Co., Suite 1006, Paiknam Bldg., 188-3, Eulchir l-Ka, Chung-Ku, Seoul, Korea. Tel: 82-2-778-4402. Fax: 82-2-778-4404. <P>TAIWAN: c/o Compass Public Relations Ltd., 11 th Floor, No. 65, Chien Kuo North Road, Section 2, Taipei. Tel: (886-2) 516-3008. Fax: (886-2) 516-1971.</P> <H3>Macau Tourist Information Bureau in:</H3> AUSTRALIA: 449 Darling Street, Balmain N.S.W. 2041. Tel: (61-2) 555-7548. Toll Free: (008) 252 448. Fax: (61-2) 555-7559. <P>NEW ZEALAND: 1st. Floor, 20 St. Heliers Bay Road, Auckland 5. Tel.: 64-9-575 2700. Fax: 64-9-575 2620.</P> <P>CANADA: Suite 157,10551 ShellbridgeWay, Richmond, B.C., Canada V6X 2W9. Tel: (604) 231-9030. Fax: (604) 231-9031. <BR>13 Mountalan Ave., Toronto, Ontario M4J IH3. Tel: (416) 466-6552. Fax: (416) 466-6552. <P>HAWAII: 999 Wilder Avenue Suite 1103, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822. Tel: (808) 536-0719. Fax: (808) 538-7613.</P> <P>USA: 3133 Lake Hollywood Drive, Los Angeles, California 90068. Tel: (213) 851-3402. Toll Free: (800) 331-7150. Fax: (213) 851- 3684. <BR>Suite 2R, 77 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY10011. Tel: (212) 206-6828. Fax: (212) 924-0882. <BR>P.O. Box 350, Kenilworth, lL 60043-0350. Tel: (708) 251-6421. Fax:(708) 256-5601. <P>BELGIUM: Macau Tourist Representative in Benelux, Delegation de Macau, Avenue Louise, 375 BTE.9, 1050 Bruxelles. Tel: 322 647 1265. Telex: 62914 DELMAC B. Fax: 322 6401552. <P>FRANCE: Macau Information Tourism - Atlantic Association Sarl, 52 Champs Elysees, 75008 Paris. Tel: (33-1) 42564551. Fax: (33-1) 45614899.</P> <P>GERMANY: c/o Portugiesisches Touristik-Amt, Schafergasse 17, D 60313 Frankfurt am Main. Tel: (49-69) 23-40-94. Fax: (49-69) 23-14-33.</P> <P>ITALY: Investment Tourism & Trade of Portugal (ICEP).Largo Augusto 3, 20122 Milano. Tel: (39-2) 795 228. Fax: (39-2) 794 622.</P> <P>SPAIN: Investment Tourism & Trade of Portugal (ICEP). Gran Via 27-1, 28013 Madrid. Tel: 00-34-1-5229354/5224408. Telex: 27283. Fax: 00-34-1-5222382.</P> <P>PORTUGAL: Macau Tourist Representative in Portugal, A/C Missao de Macau, Av. 5 de Outubro, 115 R/C 1050 Lisboa, Tel. (351-1) 7936542; Fax: (351-1) 7960956 <P>UK: 6 Sherlock Mews, Paddington Street, London W1M 3RH. Tel: (44-71) 224 3390. Fax: (44-7 1) 224 060 1.</P> <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><P><I>We have been able to publish the present tourist information on Macau thanks to the co-operation of the Macau Government Tourist Office. </I></P> <!-- End of article --> <P> <CENTER><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="4"></CENTER> <P> <CENTER><A HREF=#TOP><IMG SRC="Countrypics/WhiteTopbut.gif" BORDER="0" hspace="5"></A> <A HREF="../../../watanetwork/NTOs/Countrieslist/"><IMG SRC="Countrypics/WhiteNTObut.gif" BORDER="0" hspace="5"></A></CENTER> </TD> </TR> </TABLE> </BODY> </HTML>