Traveling Luck for Macao S.A.R., China
Macau is located in Eastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and China.
Land in Macau is generally flat.
Chinese land covers an area of 28.199999999999999 square kilometers which is less than one-sixth the size of Washington, DC
As for the Chinese climate; subtropical; marine with cool winters, warm summers.
Chinese speak Cantonese 87.9%, Hokkien 4.4%, Mandarin 1.6%, other Chinese dialects 3.1%, other 3% (2001 census).
Chinese National Map
Colonized by the Portuguese in the 16th century, Macau was the first European settlement in the Far East. Pursuant to an agreement signed by China and Portugal on 13 April 1987, Macau became the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China on 20 December 1999. China has promised that, under its "one country, two systems" formula, China's socialist economic system will not be practiced in Macau, and that Macau will enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign and defense affairs for the next 50 years.
Macau's well-to-do economy has remained one of the most open in the world since its reversion to China in 1999. Apparel exports and tourism are mainstays of the economy. Although the territory was hit hard by the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis and the global downturn in 2001, its economy grew 10.1% in 2002, 14.2% in 2003, and 28.6% in 2004. During the first three quarters of 2005, Macau registered year-on-year GDP increases of 6.2%. A rapid rise in the number of mainland visitors because of China's easing of travel restrictions, increased public works expenditures, and significant investment inflows associated with the liberalization of Macau's gaming industry drove the four-year recovery. The budget also returned to surplus since 2002 because of the surge in visitors from China and a hike in taxes on gambling profits, which generated about 70% of government revenue. The three companies awarded gambling licenses have pledged to invest $2.2 billion in the territory, which will boost GDP growth. Much of Macau's textile industry may move to the mainland as the Multi-Fiber Agreement is phased out. The territory may have to rely more on gambling and trade-related services to generate growth. Two new casinos were opened by new foreign gambling licensees in 2004; development of new infrastructure and facilities in preparation for Macau's hosting of the 2005 East Asian Games led the construction sector. The Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between Macau and mainland China that came into effect on 1 January 2004 offers many Macau-made products tariff-free access to the mainland, and the range of products covered by CEPA was expanded on 1 January 2005.
Chinese natural resources include NEGL
essentially urban; an area of land reclaimed from the sea measuring 5.2 sq km and known as Cotai now connects the islands of Coloane and Taipa; the island area is connected to the mainland peninsula by three bridges
Chinese religion is Buddhist 50%, Roman Catholic 15%, none and other 35% (1997 est.).
Natural hazards in Macau include typhoons.
- There is no formal British Consulate in Macao. If you require assistance when you are in Macao you should contact the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong. Please see the Contact Details section of this travel advice for more information.
- The threat from terrorism in Macao is low. But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
- Around 50,000 British tourists visit Macao every year. Most visits are trouble-free. The main type of incident for which British nationals require consular assistance in Macao is for replacing lost and stolen passports. You should take sensible precautions against pickpocketing and other street crime.
- The typhoon season in Macao normally runs from April to October. Please see the Natural Disasters section of this Travel and Hurricanes for more information.
- We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake. Please see: Travel Insurance.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
The incidence of violent crime to foreigners is low but pickpocketing and other street crime can occur in some areas. You should take extra care of passports, credit cards and money in crowded areas. You should be careful of your belongings when checking out of hotels. Take extra care when visiting casinos late at night.
Macao Country Profile
LOCAL LAWS AND CUSTOMS
As a general precaution do not take photographs of military installations in Macao.
Dengue Fever has not been totally eradicated in Macao and you should take precautions against mosquito bites.
You should seek medical advice before travelling and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up-to-date. For further information on health, check the Department of Health’s website at: www.dh.gov.uk
Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)
There have been no reported cases of Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) in Macao during the current series of outbreaks. But the World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed cases elsewhere in the region. There have been human fatalities in China. Please view the China Travel Advice.
You should read this advice in conjunction with the: Avian and Pandemic Influenza Factsheet.
The typhoon season in Macao normally runs from April to October. You should monitor local and international weather updates from World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). You can also access: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov for updates. Please also see Hurricanes for more detailed information about what to do if you are caught up in a typhoon.