Map By www.chinamaps.info
Seventy kilometers off Hong Kong and forty-five kilometers away from Guanghzhou, Macao used to be a city under the administration of Xiangshan County in Guangdong before it was ceded to Portugal in 1557 as a reward of weeping out pirates endemic to the area. On December 20, 1999, after an absence of more than 400 years, this prodigal sun peacefully returned to China and is now a special administrative region of the PRC.
Macau is an extravagant fusion of east and west in lifestyles, architecture and food. The numerous cultural heritages, buildings, even the small alleys around the city bears witness of the transformation the island underwent over the centuries. Macau's prosperity and modernity is epitomized by the district around the Municipal Council. The Archway of St. Paul Church has become the symbol of Macau.
Macau is a globally known casino center and the sophisticated lottery and gambling industry has become one of the main sources of incomes of the region. Another great contribution to the island's annual GDP is the tourism industry.
While the mandarin and Portuguese are the official languages, the Cantonese is the local's daily language and widest spoken. Many of the island's residents are able to understand the mandarin. English is widely used throughout the region.