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Useful Notes / Macau

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A megacity in China that used to be a Portuguese trading colony. It was annexed by the People's Republic of China in 1999, meaning it was the last remaining European colony in Asia. Along with Hong Kong, it's one of the "special administrative regions" of China and part of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area.

Macau is today a major Boom Town and the gambling capital of the world, recently surpassing even Las Vegas. It prints its own currency, which means that after gambling all your money, you'll have to change it if you want to take it to China with youTraveler's tip . It is also famous for the Ruins of St. Paul's, Portuguese salty egg tart, egg roll and its mix of Portuguese culture as well as colonial architecture. In fact, quite a few Macau people have mixed Portuguese ancestry.

The majority of Macau is on an urban island (technically, they're two, but they have been joined by a strip), except for a part in the mainland. It's divided in four regions:

  • Macau Peninsula - The mainland's northern part. You have to cross huge bridges to get to the island from here. This is where most of the gambling casinos and touristic places can be found.
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  • Taipa - The northern island, mostly covered by a residential area where the people of Macau live.
  • Cotai - A strip of land constructed to join the island of Taipa and the island of Coloane. Works as a sort of buffer between the islands. Recently, they have started to build giant new casinos here. Its name comes from the islands it joins (Coloane-Taipa).
  • Coloane - The southern island is less hospitable, full of mountains, beaches and a natural reserve. Probably because of its mysterious nature, it was used as a pirate's hideout in the old days.

The Macanese flag

The flag's green field alludes to Portugal, its old colonial master; at the center is a white lotus, the symbol of Macau, a stylized rendition of Ponte Governador Nobre de Carvalho, Macau's first bridge, and below are the waters, symbolizing Macau's role as a port city; above this symbol are four yellow stars flanking a slightly larger one, alluding to mainland China.

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