Things to do in Macau

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Overview

Macau is a special administrative region of China located across the Pearl River estuary from Hong Kong and it remained in Portuguese rule till 1999. Portuguese traders first settle in Macau and rule it till 1999. Portugal transfers the control of Macau to People’s Republic of China on 20th December 1999 after signing a Joint Declaration which gives Macau a higher degree of autonomy till the year 2049. Since then Macau is officially under the suzerainty of People’s Republic of China and apart from defence and foreign affairs, Macau formulates its own policy regarding economy and commerce, legal system, law and order, immigration policy, taxation and infrastructure. Macau is renowned for legal gambling and casino with revenues surpassing the Las Vegas. Macau’s economy is based largely on tourism, garment and textile industry, banking and financial services and legal gambling. Macau is also the world’s most densely populated region with a population density of 18,428 persons per square kilometre. 95% of the population are Chinese and the remaining accounts for half Chinese and Portuguese ethnic groups also known as Macanese. Macau has high life expectancy and a very low rate of infant mortality. 

Macau has a vibrant culture with strong Portuguese influence evident in all religious festivals, music and art and cuisine. The mixing of Chinese and Portuguese cultures and tradition for many centuries has given Macau a vast collection of holidays, festivals and events. The biggest sporting event is Macau Grand Prix in November. Macau Arts festival in March, International Fireworks Display Contest in October/November and the Macau International Marathon in December are the major international festivals which draws huge amount of visitors. The Lunar Chinese New Year is the most important traditional festival and besides this there are many key religious celebrations which are celebrated with huge enthusiasm. Macau has managed to preserve its rich heritage and historical properties in the urban area. The Historic Centre of Macau was officially declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 15 July 2005. Macau is one of the most visited tourist destination of the World and it is visited in large numbers due to its legal gambling, high quality hospitality services, rich Sino-Portuguese culture, renowned cuisine and some amazing holiday experiences. 

How to Reach Macau

By Air: Macau International Airport located at Taipa Island is the main airport of Macau and connects the rest of the parts of China with regular flights of various Chinese low cost and private carriers. Low cost airlines like Air Asia, Tiger, Jetstar, Thai Airways and Philippine Airlines serve the region and connect Macau with various other international cities of the region. Macau's home carrier is Air Macau and it connects various Chinese cities and Hong Kong. 

By Ferry: The Macau Ferry Terminal located at the Outer Harbour is a busy terminal handling most of the sea traffic between Macau and Hong Kong and Chinese ports of Shekou and Shenzen International Airport. There is a lesser known ferry terminal in Macau, located at Pier No. 11 at the Inner Harbour. It is very near to the Macau city centre and can be easily reached on foot. This terminal mostly services boats to Shenzhen, Jiangmen and Wanzai across the Inner Harbour in Zhuhai. A third temporary ferry service serves Taipa, Cotai and Coloane connecting to Hong Kong and Shekou. The Taipa Temporary Ferry Terminal is adjacent the Ponte da Amizade Friendship Bridge on Estrada de Pac On. 

By Car: There are two vehicular entry points into Macau from China. They are the Portas do Cerco at the extreme north of Macau Peninsula which connects you to Gongbei in Zhuhai, and the Lotus Bridge which links the Cotai Strip with the Wanzai district of Zhuhai. You can only enter if your vehicle if it has both Macau and mainland China number plates and the driver carries both Macau and China driver's licenses. 

On the Map

Food

Foods of Macau

Cuisine of Macau is a deep fusion of local Cantonese and Portuguese Cuisine and is often known as Macanese cuisine. The foods are generally spicy, salted and result of a spice trade introduced by the Portuguese. Its ingredients and seasonings include those from Europe, South America, Africa, India, and Southeast Asia, as well as local Chinese ingredients. Typically, Macanese food is seasoned with various spices and flavours including turmeric, coconut milk, cinnamon and bacalhau, giving special aromas and tastes. Famous dishes include Galinha à Portuguesa, Galinha à Africana (African chicken), Bacalhau, Macanese Chili Shrimps and stir-fry curry crab. Pork chop bun, ginger milk and Portuguese-style egg tart are also very popular in Macau. Local Cantonese food is very much loved and is widely available. Being closer to mainland china many regional Chinese specialities are also widely available. Portuguese wine is widely available and is quite cheap and local Macau beer is widely available and goes well with salty and spicy Portuguese food.

More Information

Best Time to go to Macau

Macau is a all year round destination which attracts a large number of tourist from different parts of the world all came here to enjoy the gambling, hospitality, cuisine and learn about the unique Sino-Portuguese culture. On the weekend, Chinese visitors from mainland China arrive in Macau to enjoy gambling and shopping. The best time to visit Macau is certainly during the Lunar Chinese New Year. The entire island bathed in a festive spirit and the traditional culture and heritage is best admired and experienced during this festival. Besides this there are many international festivals like Macau Grand Prix in November, Macau Arts festival in March, International Fireworks Display Contest in October/November and the Macau International Marathon in December. Time your visit with the ongoing festivals and enjoy the very best of Macau. However, these festivals often draws huge crowd from all over the world and finding a hotel reservation and flights may be a demanding task unless planned and booked in advance.