Macao, a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China, is located west of the Pearl River Delta on the Southeast coast of China, 60 km from Hong Kong and 145 km from Guangzhou. The total land area of Macao measures 29.9 km2, comprising the Macao peninsula and the islands of Taipa and Coloane.
Macao SAR benefits from the “one country, two systems” principle after the Handover in 1999. In fact, this tiny SAR is growing in size – more buildings on reclaimed land – and diversity of attractions. Macao’s unique society, where co-existence of the Eastern and Western cultures complementing one other, continues to be its great advantage that keeps people coming.
Travelling to Macao
Visitors can travel to Macao by land, sea and air. You may take a direct or connecting flight to Macau International Airport or transfer to other city routes; in addition, a helicopter service flies directly from Hong Kong and Shenzhen to Macao. Many visitors travel to Macao by sea via Shun Tak Centre (Sheung Wan, Hong Kong), Hong Kong International Airport, China (HK) Ferry Terminal (Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong), Shekou (Shenzhen), and Fu Yong Ferry Terminal (ShenzhenAirport). Recently, the HongKong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge that connects Hong Kong and Macao by road has been in operation that shortens the travel time between these two SARs. Land crossings from Mainland China are made through the Border Gate on Macao peninsula and the Lotus Bridge in Cotai.
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Passports and Visas
All visitors must hold a valid passport or a travel document to travel to Macao.
All visitors are required to have a visa except nationals of countries which are exempted from a visa or entry permit. For more information on visa and entry permit exemption, please visit the website of the Immigration Service of the Public Security Police Force, Macao
A Macao visa can be obtained through the Embassies/Consulates of the PRC and should be used within its validity. Visitors may also apply for an entry permit or visa upon arrival at the immigration checkpoint. However, visitors from certain countries are required to obtain a visa in advance before their trip to Macao. For more information, please visit the website at http://www.fsm.gov.mo/psp/eng/AfMV.html.
There are three types of entry permit (i.e. Visa-upon-arrival) as follows:
1. Individual – MOP100 (MOP50 for children under the age of 12)
2. Family Passport – MOP200
3. Group – MOP50 per person for groups of at least 10 people organized by a single travel manager and presenting a collective travel document
The above information is for reference only. For further information on entry formalities, please contact the Immigration Service of the Public Security Police Force, Macao at (853) 2872 5488 or email@example.com, or visit the website at http://www.fsm.gov.mo.
The legal tender is Macao Pataca (MOP), which is approximately equivalent to US dollar (USD) at USD1 ≈ MOP8. Foreign currency or traveller’s cheque can be exchanged at hotels, banks and authorized foreign exchange dealers.
Electricity in Macao is at 220V, 50Hz. The power plugs used are of the three-pin, square-shaped or round-shaped type. It is suggested to check before using an electrical appliance.
Internet service is available at major hotels, public libraries and Information Counter at the Senado Square. In addition, the Macao SAR Government has provided citizens and visitors with free wireless internet access – “WiFi GO”.
Chinese and Portuguese are the official languages, with Cantonese being most widely spoken. The official languages are used in the government departments in all official documents and communications. English is generally used in trade, tourism and commerce.
Time in Macao is eight hours ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time.
To know more about Macao and its attractions, please visit the Macao Government Tourist Office website (http://en.macautourism.gov.mo/index.php).