Macau, located on the southeast coast of China, is a special administrative region of the country. Being Asia’s well-known gambling Mecca, it is a place to find the traditional Chinese culture while enjoying the exotic Portuguese buildings. The name of the city is derived from the word Magao (A-Ma Temple), which was the shrine dedicated to Mazu, a sacred sea goddess respected by the local people. It was said that in the middle of sixteenth century when the Portuguese first set foot there, one of the officers asked a fisherman the name of the land. The man misunderstanding the officer’s meaning, answered ‘Magao’ – the name of A-Ma Temple in front them. The word became the Portuguese name for the land and for nearly 400 years, the Portuguese ruled here prior to its official return to the People’s Republic of China on December 20, 1999 as a special administrative region.
The land of the city is quite small covering an area of just 27.5 square kilometers. The total population is 469,800 of which 95% are Chinese, the remainder being Portuguese and other westerners.
The majority resides on the Macau Peninsular where you can find a variety of both Oriental and Western cultural and historical places of interest and all sorts of old buildings that are either European baroque or traditional Chinese in style. The blend of people, culture and history has influences on every aspect of life in the city. A wander around the Peninsular will bring you into a world of antiques and fashion, traditional and modern, as well as tranquility and glitz.