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Macau

Macau is located in the southeast of China, to be more precisely, on the western bank of the Pearl River Delta. It lies 38 nautical miles (70 kilometers) from Hong Kong and some 145 kilometers from Guangzhou.

With a population of about 450,000 inhabitants, approximately 70% are Chinese nationals and 28% are Portuguese passport holders. The official languages are Portuguese and Chinese, but English is widely used in business and tourism.

The weather in Macau is normally hot, with an annual average temperature of 20 degrees centigrade. With values ranging from 73% to 90%, humidity is rather high during most of the year.

Autumn (October to December) is the finest season of the year, with sunny days, mild temperature and low humidity. Winter (January to March) is cold, but one can expect to have some periods of clear skies as well. Humidity and heat start to increase in April, and this situation will last until September. It is precisely during this period that heavy rains and an occasional tropical storm are most likely to occur.

Recommended Scenic Spots

The Cathedral of Sao Paulo

The great ruined facade and staircase of the Church of the Mother of God, now popularly known as the Cathedral of Sao Paulo, or St. Paul's, is probable the most famous of Macau's sights. The cathedral is thought to have been designed by an Italian Jesuit in the early seventeenth century and built with the assistance of Japanese Christian artisans. In 1835, it burned to the ground during a typhoon, leaving only the magnificent facade and impressive staircase to testify to its former glory.

The Fortress of Sao Paulo Do Monte (Monte Fort)

This Fortress, which is situated almost at the heart of Macau, was built by the Jesuits at about the same time as the Cathedral of Sao Paulo. Monte Fort's moment of glory came during an attempted Dutch invasion in 1622 when a cannonball from the fort's guns landed in the invader's powder Keg, creating total confusion. Today, the fort houses a small observatory museum, and offers visitors a splendid vantage point from which to view Macau and the surrounding areas of China's Zhongshan District.

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