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Country Facts

You'd be forgiven for thinking of Goa when you're in Macau. The cobble-stone streets, Art Deco buildings that house designer shops, baroque churches, fortresses, gardens and museums add to the charm of this former Portuguese colony. Heavily dependent on gambling and tourism for its economy, this sleepy, Mediterranean-style city has a character very different from its mother-country, China. To get under Macanese skin, read 'City of Broken Promises' by Austin Coates, watch 'The Bewitching Braid' by Cai Yuan Yuan and the opera and musicals offered up at the Macau International Music Festival in October.

  • Capital: Macau
  • Official Languages: Portuguese, Cantonese
  • Government: Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China
  • Currency: Pataca, but dollars are more acceptable
  • Time Zone: +8:00 GMT (2½ hrs ahead of India)
  • Telephone Calling Code: 00853

When To Go

Best time to visit: October to December (winter). The weather in Macau is similar to that of Hong Kong with an average temperature of 22.7°C an average high of 31°C in July and average lowest of 13°C in January and February.

What To Do

Macanese cuisine is a blend of Cantonese and Portuguese cuisines. Ingredients and seasonings include Chinese, European, South American, African, Indian, and Southeast Asian, with the heavy use of turmeric, coconut milk and cinnamon.

What to eat and drink
  • Porco a Alentejana: Pork and clam casserole
  • Galinha Africana: African chicken, cooked in coconut, garlic and chillies
  • Fried pork skin
  • Vinho verde: A young Portuguese wine that is dry, crisp and effervescent
  • Egg tarts


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