Macau

Also spelled Macao, Macau is a small Chinese territory located across the Pear River that mixes the Eastern and Western lifestyle, architecture, and cuisine. It is known for its huge casinos, which generate more revenue than anywhere else in the world including Las Vegas. Until 1999, Macau was an overseas Portuguese territory. China let Portugal settle in Macau in the 16th century in exchange for clearing the area of pirates. For over 400 years, Macau was a Portuguese colony; however, Portuguese speakers won’t find it very useful when talking to locals, as the language isn’t mandatory. Cantonese is the most commonly spoken language followed by English. A big section of the city has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site, and there are also 25 buildings and sites worth visiting due to its cultural and historical value. The best way to take it all in is by walking as most of the buildings are next to each other. The heritage buildings, the Sao Paulo Cathedral, the Fort and the Macau Museum are near to each other, so you can see them individually if you cannot join a walking tour.

SAFETY INDEX

See others cities in China

Warnings & Dangers

Mid Priority-96 OVERALL RISK : LOW

Macau is quite safe and a non-violent city. You should not be concerned about personal safety as long as you follow the basics you would at home. Travelers are often victims of petty crime, but this can be prevented by taking precautions.

Mid Priority-96 PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH

Pickpockets and purse snatching are common in crowded places. We advise that you keep an eye on your belonging when you find yourself in busy and crowded areas.

Mid Priority-96 MUGGING RISK : LOW

Mugging and kidnapping against foreigners are extremely rare.

Mid Priority-96 SCAMS RISK : HIGH

Counterfeit currency is a significant problem in Macau. Always try to carry small bills or to use exact change.

Mid Priority-96 TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

Be cautious when taking a taxi, especially at airports. Avoid unlicensed taxis, insist that the taxi driver use his/her meter, request a receipt, and ask your driver to remove the bags from the trunk before you get out of the taxi and before you pay.

Mid Priority-96 NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

Typhoons in the summer are common in Macau. Although some typhoons do not touch land, the storms and winds can still cause major damages, flooding, and/or landslides. If you plan on being there between the months of July and September, make sure to monitor local and international weather updates from the Macao Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau.

Mid Priority-96 TERRORISM RISK : LOW

Terrorist attacks are unlikely in Macau.

Mid Priority-96 WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

Macau is a safe place to travel for female travellers, but it is always good to exercise precautions like you would in any other country.

Carte

WHAT TO DO?

Macau Peninsula

Located in the northern region of the city, the Macau Peninsula is the main hub for tourist activities.

Cotai

Cotai is between Coloane and Taipa. Here, you will find popular casinos like the largest casino in the world, The Venetian.

Coloane

This southern region is less developed compared to other districts. It is mostly a mountainous land that gives you the opportunity to go hiking. There are also two beaches, a resort, and Macau’s first golf course.

Useful Information

There are no specific difficulties for travellers entering China. The main requirements are a passport that’s valid for six months after the expiry date of your visa, and a visa. Citizens from 51 nations (including the US, Australia, Canada, France, Brazil and the UK) can stay in Beijing for 72 hours without a visa as long as it is a layover, they are traveling outside of China, have a third-country visa, and an air ticket out of Beijing. Similarly, travellers from the 51 nations can stay 144 hours in Shanghai, Nanjing or Gangzhou without a visa. For more information about the Chinese visa, please visit the Chinese Visa Application Service Center website. Hong Kong and Macau have a separate visa and entry administration. See entry requirements for Hong Kong here and here for Macau.
China’s currency is called “yuan” or renminbi (RMB, “the people’s money”). Denominations of bills: 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, and 1 yuan. There are ATMs in big cities and towns. China is still a cash culture, so do not rely on your credit card.
The rainy season typically begins in February and ends in September. July and August are the hottest months of the year; some provinces have reported heat alerts. The typhoon season in China is usually from May to November affecting the southern and eastern coasts.
China’s major airports are Beijing Capital International Airport, Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, Hong Kong International Airport, Xian Xianyang International Airport, Guilin Liangjiang International Airport, and Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport. If you’re looking for cheap flight deals, you can find some on JetRadar
As in any country, we advise travelers to get a travel insurance that covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of personal items. Learn more on our travel insurance page