Macau, located on the west coast of the Pearl River Delta in the southern province of Guangdong (China), is adjacent to the mainland city of Zhuhai and is about 60 kilometers west of Hong Kong. Macau includes the Macau Peninsula, Taipa and Coloane Islands. The Macau Peninsula is the “heart” of the territory and is connected to Taipa Island by three road bridges. Several major international hotel complexes are located on the reclaimed land between Taipa and Coloane, in a newly developed area known as Cotai. The Portuguese arrived in Macau and established their settlements there in the mid-16th century. As a result, architecture, art, religion, traditions, food and social life reflect the processes of integration of Chinese, Western European and Portuguese cultures. Macau became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China on December 20, 1999 and has been endowed with a high degree of autonomy in accordance with the principle of “One State, Two Systems”. The once tiny SAR is growing in size with new buildings being erected on reclaimed land, and the number and variety of local attractions is also growing. In 2005, Macau Historic Center was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List due to its unique historical and cultural landscape. Currently, Macau is positioning itself as a world center of tourism and recreation, in the process of its development, becoming a quality international tourist destination.
History: The Macau Special Administrative Region was established on December 20, 1999 as a result of the liquidation of the Portuguese colony of Macau, and became one of the two special administrative regions of the People’s Republic of China. As part of the PRC, Macau has considerable autonomy, having its own laws, legal, monetary, customs and emigration systems, as well as the right to participate in international organizations. The central government of the PRC is responsible for defense and diplomatic relations. Macau will retain this status for at least 50 years until 2049.
Geography: Macau is located on the coast of the South China Sea, in the Pearl River Delta. It includes the territory of the Macau Peninsula, the islands of Taipa and Coloane, with a total area of 28.6 km². Across the strait it borders the metropolis of Zhuhai.
Climate: Macau is located on the border of the tropical and subequatorial climatic zones, the average temperature in January is above 14 ° C, and in July about 29 ° C. 1800 mm of precipitation falls annually.
Population: The majority of Macau’s population are local natives or migrants from the neighboring province of Guangdong and their native language is Cantonese, but there are also some immigrants from the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries, as well as migrants from more remote areas of China. Although Portuguese is the official language and appears in most state-derived texts along with Chinese, it is little known to the majority of the population, and is only used to a limited extent in practice.
Culture: The picturesque center of Macau during the era of Portuguese rule reflects the clash of European and Chinese cultures and values. Eight squares and twenty-eight individual objects (the ruins of the destroyed Catholic Cathedral of 1582-1602, several Portuguese forts, the oldest lighthouse in China, etc.) were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2005. Macau has the right to independently maintain economic and cultural ties with other states, regions and international organizations, as well as conclude agreements with them. In confessional terms, 50% of the inhabitants profess Buddhism, 15% are Catholics. 35% adhere to other faiths or non-believers.
Transport: Macau is connected to Hong Kong and Guangzhou by high-speed ferry lines. There is also a helicopter link between Macau and Hong Kong. Macau Airport serves flights from many cities in China, as well as international flights. There are bus routes inside Macau. The movement of most passengers between Macau and the rest of China is carried out by walking through the Gongbei checkpoint to the neighboring city of Zhuhai (Guangdong Province), on the northern (Zhuhai) side of which there is a bus station of the same name with bus traffic to Guangzhou and other cities in the province.