Macau, the “Las Vegas of Asia”, is famous among tourists for its rich selection of entertainment, a huge number of monuments of various civilizations and an amazing mixture of cultures. An island of Europe in the heart of Asia, for more than four centuries Macau was a Portuguese colony, which left an indelible mark on both the culture and the economy of the country. Macau gained independence from Portugal just over 10 years ago, when in 1999 Macau became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China, retaining a large degree of autonomy: its own currency, government system, legislation, economic, customs and migration system, the right to participate in international organizations. Today this amazing country attracts tourists from all over the world.
Geography of Macau
According to listofusnewspapers, Macau is located in the Pearl River Delta on the coast of the South China Sea. The autonomous territory of Macau includes the islands of Coloane and Taipa, interconnected by an artificial isthmus of the Cotai Strip, and the Macau Peninsula. In the east, Macau borders on Hong Kong, located 70 km away, in the north and west – on China. The official border with China is located in the northern part of the peninsula and is called the Border Gate. There is also a checkpoint at the Cotai Strip. Parts of the SAR, separated by water, are united by three bridges. Ferries can also take you to Hong Kong and some cities in Guangdong. The total area of the SAR is 29 km2, the length of the coastline is 41 km. Macau was originally an island, but the sandbank gradually grew, eventually turning Macau into a peninsula. Most of the country’s territory is a plain formed as a result of the gradual reclamation of land, but there are also numerous steep hills, remnants of the former relief. The highest point, the Coloan Alto hill, reaches 170 m.
The area of Macau is 29.2 km. sq., occupies the 224th place in the world by area.
National currency – Pataca (MOP)
Official language – Chinese, Portuguese
Visa to Macau
Citizens of the Russian Federation need a visa to enter Macau. It can be issued directly when crossing the border: you will need to fill out a questionnaire in English, present a valid passport with at least 1 free page for affixing a visa, and pay a visa fee (100 MOP). The visa is issued for a period of up to 1 month and, as a rule, allows multiple entries into the territory of Macau. If you are planning to travel to Macau from mainland China, please ensure that you are allowed at least two entries into China. If you enter the territory of Macau, and you have a single-entry Chinese visa, you will not be allowed back into China on the same visa. When applying for a visa, you may be asked to confirm the availability of funds to stay in the country. With a high degree of probability, problems with obtaining a visa to Macau will arise among young unmarried women,
Weather in Macau
Macau is located on the border of tropical and subtropical climatic zones. The main characteristic of the spring-summer period, which lasts approximately from April to October, can be called heat and humidity. The average temperature of the hottest month, July, is plus 28-30 with a humidity of 80-95%. During this season, Macau experiences frequent rains caused by tropical cyclones and occasional typhoons and storms. In November-February, the temperature drops to +15 +17, and the humidity drops to 65-70%. The best time to visit Macau is March-April and October-November, when the humidity is moderate and the air temperature remains quite high.
Currency exchange in Macau
The official currency of Macau SAR is the pataca (MOP), which is equal to 100 Avo. The pataka is pegged to the Hong Kong dollar. As of January 2012 1USD= 7.99 MOP. Hong Kong dollars are also freely circulating, which are accepted for payment almost everywhere, issuing change in patacas, as well as Chinese yuan, although the exchange rate for the latter is not very favorable. Most hotels, shops and restaurants accept card payments, although cash is preferred in local markets. You can exchange money and withdraw cash from the card almost everywhere. Banking hours: Monday-Friday 9:00 – 17:00 and Saturday 9:00 – 12:00.
Voltage 220V/50Hz. Type D sockets (three round pins placed at the corners of a triangle), M (similar to the D socket but with larger pins), G (three rectangular pins placed at the corners of a triangle), and a small number of F sockets (European style sockets) ).
About 50% of the population professes Buddhism, 15% – Catholic Christianity, there is also a small number of Protestants.
The crime rate in Macau is quite low, although some simple safety rules are still worth following. It is not recommended to use public transport at night in Chinatowns in the north of the peninsula. A separate problem is organized crime, the Chinese “triads”, although their main interest is the casino. Due to the mix of languages, mainly Portuguese and Chinese, it is recommended to have a hotel business card with you in case you get lost. The dress code is quite democratic, although in some casinos it is necessary to follow the dress code: suits for men and dresses of moderate length for women. Photo and video shooting in most temples and museums requires additional payment or is prohibited. As a rule, it is forbidden to bring any photo and video equipment into the casino. Among the rules of decency, it is worth noting the tradition of accepting any object from the hands of the interlocutor with both hands. The number “4” is considered unlucky, and therefore the fourth floor is sometimes missing in buildings.
The level of medical care in Macau is quite high and, accordingly, expensive. It is highly recommended to take out medical insurance, only first medical aid is provided free of charge. Private doctors may require cash payment. With serious health problems, tourists are often flown to Hong Kong, mainland China, Japan, or South Korea.