Things you didn’t know about Macau
Macau was in our wish list since last few years but we could make it only now. No regrets; the least we can say is, we enjoyed it to the hilt. We realized what we knew about the place was so little. Macau is not a one day affair. It has so much more to offer. Heritage, history, food, culture, and what not. We explored a good deal of Macau. During our exploration, we came across some interesting things and facts about this small country.
1) Macau, as long as we consider it as an independent country, holds the world record for highest density of population. Around 20000 persons to a square kilometer. (It is still less than Mumbai probably!)
2) Macau is also ranked the richest country in terms of PPP (purchasing power parity) by the World Bank.
3) People of Macau speak Cantonese and not Mandarin.
4) China is at stone’s throw distance; at some places just across the lake, at other places Macau shares a land border.
5) Like Hong Kong, Macau allows two of its commercial banks to print their own currency notes, Banco Nacional Ultramarino and the Bank of China.
6) Macau used to be a Portuguese colony till 1999 and hence most sign boards are in Portuguese. On the other hand, despite Portuguese influence and Portuguese being one of the national languages, most Macanese cannot speak or read this language.
7) When you speak of expats from South Asian countries (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka etc.), who have settled in Macau, Nepalese are in majority. They are employed everywhere… restaurants, hotels, shops, and other places. Most of them came here around 10- 12 years ago and speak fluent Cantonese.
8) The most common local snack on the street of Macau is the delicious Egg Tarts. It can possibly be called the national snack. Not only the locals snack on it, the tourists also fall for it.
9) During meals or even snacks, every café or restaurant, however small it is, keeps the supply of Chinese tea flowing for free.
10) You can have a simple egg sandwich for 8 Macanese Patacas (~INR 60), of course tea comes free!
11) Getting around in Macau is pretty easy. The shuttle buses run by the five star hotels and casinos can take you around to most of the touristy places free of cost. Also, the local buses are very frequent & inexpensive and taxis are always at your service.
12) Tourists come to Macau for its glitz, but there is much more to experience beyond these.
13) The old town of Macau is a UNESCO World Heritage site and it is well maintained. Very much walkable too!
14) Macau is a very popular weekend destination, that tells us why every hotel and restaurant has separate rate cards for weekdays and weekends.
15) The Macanese culture is quite similar to Indian culture. They normally live in joint families. They also long for a son. Keeping a tutor after school hours is a norm. Learning English in schools is very common. Most of the couples are working couples. Dinner time is normally around seven in the evening.
16) Generally people have two names. One in Chinese and the other in English which has more or less the same sound or meaning as the Chinese one.
17) Macau offers an excellent service to the tourist at no cost. As mentioned above, getting around in Macau is easy and almost free. Most of the five star hotels run some shows or exhibitions for free for the public.
You can read more in “Things you didn’t know about” series by clicking the following links.
Things you didn’t know about …
Rules of Jungle
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I was waiting for this article. We do not know much about Macau and this really opened my eyes.
It had surprises for me as well. More is coming. 🙂
There’s so much to write about.
Beautiful post, Nice to read.
Great Post! I had been to Macau but only thought of it good for Casinos. You brought remarkable points here.
I purposely did not want to write about Casinos. 😀
Nicely written post. I was almost on tour. Thank you Nisha ji.
I wish there was few more photos. What say?
It is just a glimpse Tushar ji, many more articles and photos to come. 😀
informative post !
Did you know any of them before?
Great Eye opner. I too always thought Macau was only casinos. 🙂 Now that I know better will plan something.
Awaiting more of your breathtaking photos !
Thank you very much.
I always look for something beyond the obvious. It was an eye opener for me as well.
Nice to know more about Macau.
I am glad that you liked it. 🙂
Macau is the last of the cities in world that still has it Old Charm intact even with all the glitz around… perfect city for an international espionage novel setting….:)
I agree with you. I feel we know so little about this world. Have you been to Macau?
Interesting post Nisha …specially egg tart 🙂
Glad that you liked. Wait for my full post on those delicacies. 🙂
Nice post, very informative… and once again, great pictures to illustrate! 🙂
Thank you very much.
Is the next post up on your blog? 😛
Tomorrow I shall visit.
Nice Article Nisha… I will go to Macau someday 🙂
When I asked a local how many Indians do they see on an avg. She said she saw Indians only during IIFA awards. We need to change that. 🙂
Going there in June. Thanks for this post.
Great. Do let me know if you need any more info.
Not many Indians go there. We need to change that.
There is so much more to Macau beyond the glitzy casinos and resorts. Not many realise this and skim the surface on their visits. The history and culture that Macau has is indeed fascinating and needs to be explored and understood in more detail. our visit there was a short one and we hope to get back there again for a more leisurely exploration.
Is Macau an independent country, or a protectorate? I hadn’t really thought of it as independent country or as a destination in its own right but you’ve just bumped it up mys list
This made me remember how sad I was cause during my visit in Hong kong, I was supposed to visit Macau as well, bud due to unforeseen adversities, I wasn’t able to reach Macau. Anyway, I enjoy this post like as If I experience Macau while reading your post. I truly agree with all your points here as well. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.
You’re right. I didn’t know most of these things about Macau! What stood out most to me was that it’s an independent country – what?! I always thought it was just part of China. And how awesome that you can find egg tarts there – those were one of my favorite things I ate in Portugal. Interesting post!
Super interesting! I had no idea they spoke Cantonese more than mandarin. I also wasn’t aware of the perks foreigners get while there. I have been to Hong Kong a few times but have yet to make it over to Macau. Next time – it’s so close!