About Macao 2007-09-05  MAIGOC

  a. Location

  b. Population

  c. Languages

  d. Climate

  e. History

  f. Macao in 1 minute


  The Macao 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, it locates 60km from Hong Kong and 145km from the city of Guangzhou. Local time is eight hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

  Due to land reclamation along its coastline, Macao has grown in land area from 10.28km2 in the 19th century to 27.5km2 today, which is equal to one-fortieth of Hong Kong and one twenty-third of Singapore. Macao consists of the Macao peninsula and the two islands of Taipa and Coloane. Three bridges, Nobre de Carvalho Bridge, Friendship Bridge (Ponte da Amizade) and Sai Van Bridge, link the peninsula to Taipa, while the two islands are linked by the six-lane 2.2km Taipa-Coloane Causeway.


  The population of Macao was estimated to be 508,000 as of 30 September 2006. About 95 percent of the population is ethnic Chinese. Originated from different provinces, they came mainly from Guangdong and Fujian. The remaining 5 percent includes Portuguese and citizens from other countries and regions.


  Chinese and Portuguese are the official languages in Macao, and more than 97% of the citizens speak Chinese (Cantonese). English is widely spoken.


  Macao's climate is warm and humid with a fairly wide variation in temperature over the year. From June to September, the temperature can rise to over 30ºC while it can drop to less than 10ºC from November to February. The average temperature seldom falls below 14ºC. Macao's weather is also influenced by tropical cyclones from the South China Sea and North Western Pacific Ocean during the typhoon season between May and September.


  Fishermen from Fujian and Guangdong were the first known settlers in Macao. In Cantonese, Macao is known and pronounced as Ou Mun, “trading gate”, because of its location at the mouth of the Pearl River. In Portuguese, “Macao” took a slightly different root. It originated from a temple that was built on the Inner Harbour, back then the seaward entrance of the fishing village, in honor of A-Má- the popular Goddess worshiped by Seafarers along southern China. The locals called the place “A-Ma-Gao” (A-MáHarbour), the pronunciation that was adopted by the Portuguese and gradually evolved into its current name: Macao.

  Portuguese arrived in Macao between 1554 and 1557. The blending of Eastern and Western cultures in the following 400 years and more, Macao has become a unique city featuring a lot of precious historical and cultural legacies.

  Macao returned to the motherland as a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China in 20 December 1999. The Macao SAR is founded upon the principle of “One country, two systems” and hence enjoying high level of legal, administrative and judicial autonomy.

  Nowadays, Macao are enjoying an unprecedented economic growth in a steadfast pace, yet the region still prides on its unique cultural background and a harmonious coexistence between Chinese and Portuguese cultures.


  Macao in 1 minute

  Official Name: Macao Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China

  Location: On the southeast coast of China to the western bank of the Pearl River Delta, 60 km from Hong Kong and 145 km from Guangzhou

  Area: 28.2km2

  Climate: Subtropical

  Population: 508,000 (as of 30 September 2006)

  Languages: Chinese and Portuguese are the official languages; English is widely spoken.

  Currency: Pataca (MOP) linked to the Hong Kong dollar; roughly 8 Patacas is equivalent to 1 US Dollar.

  How to get in: There are flights directly to the Macao International Airport, ferry boats coming from Hong Kong to the Macao Ferry Terminal, or by land via the gateway located between China and Macao.