Home : City Guide: Macau

Macau Introduction

Macau is located on the west bank of the mouth of the Pearl River, and separated from Hong Kong by the South Sea at a distance of about 60 km (37.3 miles). It was originally within the prefecture of Xiangshan County (the present Zhuhai City), Guangdong Province, and then had been occupied by the Portugal colonizers since the mid 16th century. On December 20th, 1999, it was returned to China as a special administrative region. Now it has become a famous free port for the businessmen of the world, as well as a frequent tourist destination for its charming scenery and distinctive cultures.

Macau is composed of Macau Peninsula, Taipa Island and Coloane Island, with a total area of only over 20 sq km. (4,942 acres). Macau Peninsula is the main part and the political, economic and cultural center of Macau. The Historical Center of Macao, which covers the old district with more than 20 Chinese and foreign architectures, has been listed as a world heritage. Here you can find the Chinese A-Ma Temple, Ruins of St. Paul, Lin Fung Temple, various Catholic and Christian churches and other historical buildings. Taipa Island is a land that has been developed later. The Macau International Airport, East Asia University and a large horseracing course are all set up there. Coloane Island is the perfect choice for the more primitive, natural and mysterious explorations.

Macau, like Las Vegas of America and Monte Carol of Morocco, is known as one of the three largest cities for gambling in the world. For those curious and itching visitors, various recreational cities, horse racing and dog racing courses are all accessible to try one's fortune. While for the more conservative travelers, seeing the well-known motorbike racing, enjoying the excitement of the seashore, and visiting night clubs, pubs and golf courses are also good choices. Additionally, various festive celebrations, such as the oceanic dragon boat matches in the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival (Lunar May 5th) and doing missa in some foreign religious festivals, are also very brilliant.

As a free port, Macau is also a paradise for shopping. For the low tariff, the prices of the goods there are relatively lower. Macao can also satisfy those who are very particular about food. This small land can offer Chinese dishes of Macau, Guangdong, Sichuan, Shanghai and foreign dishes of Portugal, Japan, Korea and Thailand, to name just a few.


Macau International Airport has opened air routes to many cities in China's mainland, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Korea and other counties. There are also helicopter flights between Macao and Hong Kong, which only take approximately 10 minutes. To get to Hong Kong and Shenzhen, ships can also be boarded. Coaches are also accessible between Macau and cities in Guangdong Province.

Ferries from Macau to Hong Kong are available at Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal and Taipa Ferry Terminal. Ferries to Hong Kong – Macau Ferry Terminal near Sheung Wan are scheduled on 00:15, 00:30, 01:00, 01:30, 02:30, 04:00, 06:15, 07:00 – 23:59 every 5-15 minutes, and those heading to China Ferry Terminal in Kowloon depart from 07:05 to 22:35.