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Useful Notes / Macau

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Macau (澳門, Oumún; informally 馬交 Máhgāau), also spelled Macao and officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (中華人民共和國澳門特別行政區; Região Administrativa Especial de Macau da República Popular da China), is 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 you.Traveler'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.
  • 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.

Besides those, there is also the Macau New Urban Zone (a series of 6 disperse landfills, 4 of which have already been completed, and 2 still being done) and the University of Macau Campus Area (which is technically part of the neighbouring Zhuhai, but the Chinese Central Government has rented its land to the Macau government, and Macau law applies there).

During the colonial era, the Peninsula was the City of Macau (or rather, Cidade do (Santo) Nome de Deus de Macau, Não Há Outra Mais Leal — "City of the (Holy) Name of God of Macau, There Is None Other More Loyal", because of Macau being the only city not to pledge allegiance to the Phillips of Spain when they were also Kings of Portugal during the Iberian Union — its local government was the Leal Senado or Loyal Senate) while Taipa and Coloane were both towns (and, with Cotai, part of the Municipality of the Islands).

The islands of Lapa, Dom João and Montanha (in Chinese, Xiao Hengqin, Dao Hengqin and Wanzai, respectively) were disputed between Macau and China, although before World War II it was the Portuguese who provided government services such as schools, leper colonies and missionaries, granted protection and collected taxes. In 1938 the Portuguese military officially occupied the three islands, but were forced out by the Japanese in 1941 and, later, the Chinese got them back. Nowadays, all three are part of Zhuhai, with Wanzai being united to the mainland via a landfill, and Xiao and Dao Hengqin being united to one another in the same manner and are now known as just Hengqin (which is where the University of Macau Campus Area is located).

Creators and Media associated with Macau:

Tropes associated with Macau:

Macau in fiction:

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.

The Chinese national anthem

De pé, vós que quereis ser livres!
Os nossos corpos e sangue serão nova Muralha!
Um perigo fatal ameaça a China.
A cada um compete o dever de lutar.
De pé! De pé! De pé!
Todos num coração
Contra o fogo inimigo, marchai!
Contra o fogo inimigo, marchai!
Marchai! Marchai! Já!

Arise, ye who refuse to be slaves!
With our flesh and blood, let us build a new Great Wall!
As China faces her greatest peril,
From each one the urgent call to action comes forth.
Arise! Arise! Arise!
Millions of but one heart
Braving the enemies' fire! March on!
Braving the enemies' fire! March on!
March on! March on! On!

  • Devolved executive-led system within a socialist republic
    • Chief Executive: Ho Iat Seng
    • Administration and Justice Secretary: Cheong Weng Chon
    • Assembly President: Kou Hoi In
    • Court President: Sam Hou Fai

  • Capital: Macau
  • Largest parish: Nossa Senhora de Fátima
  • Population: 682,800
  • Area: 115.3 km² (44.5 sq mi)
  • Currency: Macanese pataca (MOP$) (MOP)
  • ISO-3166-1 Code: MO