Some quick information about Macau (SAR):

1. Area: 24 sq. km of land.
2. Population of approximately 450,000.
3. GDP $12 Billion.
4. GDP per capita of US$22,000.
5. Time Zone: GMT/UTC +8
6. Country Dialing Code: 853

Previously occupied by Portugal Macau became the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China on December 20, 1999. China has promised that, under its "one country, two systems" formula, China's socialist economic system will not be practiced in Macau, and that Macau will enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign and defense affairs.

Getting to Macau is convenient. Scheduled jet-foil ferry service and helicopter service is available from Hong Kong and ports of China. Macau is also served by its national carrier and other neighboring airlines to Macau's international airport.

Macau has a sub-tropical climate, with a yearly average of 20°C. Macau is cool and humid in winter, hot and rainy from spring through summer, warm and sunny in fall. From April Macau starts to get muggy again, maintaining a yearly humidity average of between 70% and 90%.

Transportation within Macau, primarily taxi is safe, reasonable and regulated.

Cantonese is spoken by 87.9%, followed by Hokkien 4.4%, Mandarin 1.6%, other Chinese dialects 3.1%.

Macau's monetary unit is the Pataca (MOP$). The Hong Kong Dollar is also widely accepted at the same exchange. Foreign currency exchange is available for most currencies at hotels, most large department stores, banks, and authorized money changing shops. International credit cards such as Visa, Diners Club, Master Card, and American Express are accepted.

You should taste the territory's native cuisine, Macanese food - a blend of Portuguese and Asian elements. The Portuguese elements include fresh bread, imported wine and coffee, as well as an array of dishes ranging from vegetable soup to dried salted cod. Macau restaurant's most interesting Portuguese colonial dish is probably African chicken, a concoction of Goan and east African influences, comprising chicken grilled with peppers and spices.

There are old historical hotels mixed in with the newest and most updated 5-star hotels in Macau. Many of which are casino-hotels. No matter where you stay, you will not be far from a casino and you will find a high level of customer service with a smile. Language is not a barrier as most all major hotels offer translation and multi-lingual employees and concierge services. Most hotels in Macau offer dual voltage capability or converters.

Macau continues to enjoy a casino-led economy, with billionaire Stanley Ho monopolizing the franchise since the early 1960s until recently. Gambling accounts for a whopping 40% of government revenue and is the draw-card for a large proportion of Macau's eight million annual visitors. Recently, the Sands and Wynn's casinos have opened up the Casino wars to outside investors. Gambling Macau-style has changed dramatically since the Macau Sands Casino opened. Sands Macau is a subsidiary of the Venetian company that owns its namesake hotel-casino complex in Las Vegas. Sands brought Vegas to Macau. Since then, the tourists have taken it to a level beyond Vegas. Emphasizing entertainment above gambling, Sands Macau is the first in a 25-billion-pataca (US$3 billion) wave of new casinos openings in the coming years. Recently, Wynn's Casino opened in Macau. It is a smaller version of the Wynn's Casino in Las Vegas, but in no way is it a lesser property. Twenty-five Vegas-style casinos are planned.

If you get tired of casino life, you can always enjoy the historical aspects of Macau.A-Ma Temple- Called Ma Kok Miu in Cantonese, this striking temple is dedicated to the goddess A-Ma, better known as Tin Hau.; Kun Iam Temple- Dating from 1627, this is the oldest and most interesting temple in Macau. The likeness of Kun Iam, the goddess of mercy; Lou Lim Ioc Gardens- Among the best of Macau's gardens is cool and shady Lou Lim Ioc Garden with huge shade trees, lotus ponds, bamboo groves, grottoes and a bridge with nine turns (to escape from evil spirits who can only move in straight lines); Ruinas de Igreja Sao Paulo- The facade and majestic stairway are all that remain of the Ruinas de Igreja Sao Paulo (Church of St Paul), a Jesuit church built in the 17th century. However, its wonderful statues, portals and engravings present a 'sermon in stone', which some consider to be the greatest monument to Christianity in Asia.

Macau has an active nightlife and bar-hopping scene. The Docas area is located between the Cultural Centre and the Wynn Casino Hotel Resort. The Docas waterfront area has dozens of restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs. The best bars and restaurants are located around the Avenida Sun Yat Sen.

Several Macau hotels offer sauna facilities. In addition, there are several independent sauna/spa facilities throughout Macau. Some are better than others and you should ask for recommendations.

Come to Macau for the Tour and the Tournament of Champions, but stay to enjoy its diversity, museums and history. Let us help extend your stay in Macau for you and your family.