Need to know Macau
Location: On China’s south-east coast, one hour’s ferry ride from Hong Kong.
Languages: Chinese and Portuguese are the official languages. Cantonese is most widely spoken but English is understood.
Population: 568,000 (2012).
Time zone: GMT +8 hours.
Currency: 1 Macanese pataca (MOP) = 100 avos; currently £1 = 12.38 MOP. The Hong Kong dollar is widely accepted, and has similar value to the Pataca.
Visas: No visa required if staying under three months.
Inhabited by Cantonese farmers and fishermen, Macau’s fortunes changed forever with the arrival of Portuguese settlers in the 1500s and it quickly became a significant trading post on routes between Europe, China and Japan. Rapid development in the 20th century saw Macau’s skyline begin to change, but it has retained its wealth of historic buildings and monuments. In December 1999, Portugal handed over administration of Macau and the territory officially became a special administrative region of China, so bringing to an end the longest-standing European enclave in Asia.
TRAVEL WITH COX & KINGS
Recommended tour: Macau short break – 6 Days / 4 Nights from £1,595 per person with flights to Hong Kong, ferry transfers and 4 nights at the Sofitel At Ponte 16 with breakfast and a full-day city tour.