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The mixture of colonial Portuguese architecture sits beautifully alongside its East-Asian flair. Parts of Macau offer serenely traditional countryside, ancestral Chinese villages and pine-forested hills. Much of ’old’ Macau is preserved on its islands, including fishing boat building yards, colonial mansions, Chinese temples and floating fisherfolk communities. Yet Macau also entices visitors with its glitzy casinos and motor races, making for a fascinatingly unique destination. Macau was founded in 1557 during the great era of Portuguese overseas exploration.

Practical Information

Area: 28.2 km² (10.9 miles²)

Capital: Macau

Population: 513,427

Currency: Pataca (MOP symbol MOP$) = 100 avos

Government: Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China since 1999.

Tipping: A 10% service charge is added to most hotel and restaurant bills. A small tip should also be left.

Legal drinking age: There is no legal drinking age in Macau

Time zone: GMT + 8

Languages: Chinese (Cantonese) and Portuguese

Additional descriptions

Macao: Social customs

Entertaining generally takes place in restaurants and public places. It is rare to be invited to a private home, unless the person is wealthy. Spirits are standard gifts in return for hospitality. ApartRead more from the most formal occasions in restaurants and nightclubs, casual wear is acceptable.

Macao: Food and local specialties

Dine on everything from Portuguese dishes to cuisine from China, Japan, Korea and Indonesia. Local Macau food is spicy, a unique combination of Chinese and Portuguese cooking methods with influences ofRead more Indian and African spices. Portuguese red and white wines and sparkling vinho verde, as well as port and brandy, are usually offered. There are no licensing laws. Regional specialities:Bacalhau (baked, grilled, stewed or boiled cod). Caldo verde and sopa a alentejana (rich soups). Spicy, grilled Galinha Africana (African chicken). Galinha a portuguesa (chicken baked with potatoes, onions, eggs and saffron). Minche (minced meat with fried potato and onion).

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