Location: Eastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and
Geographic coordinates: 22 10 N, 113 33 E
Map references: Southeast Asia
total: 21 sq km
land: 21 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative: about 0.1 times the size of Washington,
total: 0.34 km
border countries: China 0.34 km
Coastline: 40 km
Maritime claims: not specified
Climate: subtropical; marine with cool winters, warm summers
Terrain: generally flat
lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: Coloane Alto 174 m
Natural resources: NEGL
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 2%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 0%
other: 98% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: NA sq km
Natural hazards: NA
Environment - current issues: NA
Geography - note: essentially urban; one causeway and two
bridges connect the two islands of Coloane and Taipa to the peninsula
Macau is located on the southeastern coast of China with an overall
area of 21.45 sq. km. and comprises of a peninsula and 2 islands
in the Pearl River Delta.
The city of Macau is built on the peninsula which is linked to its
nearest island of Taipa by two bridges - 2.5 km and 4.5 km respectively.
Taipa is joined to the island of Coloane by a 2.2 km causeway.
The imposing gateway "Portas do Cerco" (Border Gate) built in 1849
on a narrow isthmus at the northern end of the peninsula, joins
Macau to China's Guangdong Province.
Macau's climate is moderate to hot, with an average annual temperature
of just over 20°C. The humidity is high with an average range between
75% and 90%.
Autumn (October - December) is the best season as days are sunny
and warm and humidity low. Winter (January - March) is cold but
The humidity starts to build up in April and from May to September,
the climate is hot and humid with rain and occasional tropical storms
(typhoons). It is best to avoid June and October as typhoons are
most common during that period.
Macau, also spelled Macao, is a Portuguese territory on the southeast
coast of China. It consists of the city of Macao, which occupies
a peninsula, and three small islands.
The territory has a population of 436,000 and covers about 15 square
kilometres. It lies at the mouth of the Zhu Jiang (Pearl River),
about 65 kilometres west of Hong Kong.
Colonized by the Portuguese in the 16th century, Macau was the first
European settlement in the Far East. Pursuant to an agreement signed
by China and Portugal on 13 April 1987, Macau became the Macau Special
Administrative Region (SAR) of China on 20 December 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.
Location, Size, Border, and Coastline: Macau is
located in the southern part of China's Guangdong Province, on the
tip of the peninsula formed by the Zhujiang (Pearl River) estuary
on the east and the Xijiang (West River) on the west. Macau is situated
sixty kilometers west of Hong Kong and 145 kilometers southwest
of Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province. It is immediately
adjacent to the Zhuhai Special Economic Zone. The region comprises
the Macau Peninsula and the islands of Taipa and Coloane. Macau
was once an island but gradually a connecting sandbar turned into
a narrow isthmus. Land reclamation in the seventeenth century made
Macau into a peninsula, and a barrier gate was built to mark the
separation between the peninsula and the mainland. Pre-colonial
records show that Macau totaled only 2.78 square kilometers but
began to increase as a result of Portuguese settlement. Land growth
has accelerated since the last quarter of the twentieth century,
from 15 square kilometers in 1972 to 16.1 square kilometers in 1983
to 21.3 square kilometers in 1994. Macau's size has gradually increased
as result of continued land reclamation, especially on Taipa and
Coloane. In 2000, the total land area was approximately 23.6 square
kilometers. There is a 0.34-kilometer-long border between Macau
and mainland China and a forty-kilometer-long coastline.
Topography: Macau has generally flat terrain resulting
from extensive land reclamation, but numerous steep hills mark the
original natural land mass. The modern high-rise skyline of Macau
obscures much of the hilly landscape. Macau's highest point is at
Coloane Alto (174 meters above sea level).
Climate: The climate is subtropical
and is hot and humid, with an average year-round temperature of
25°C and temperatures exceeding 30°C from June to September.
Temperatures rarely fall below 14°C (the average for January
and February). There is about 2,030 millimeters of rainfall annually.
Macau is exposed to tropical storms originating from the southern
Pacific Ocean during the summer. Major destruction occurred in September
1874, when a devastating typhoon hit Macau and high seas swept across
the low-lying area of the peninsula.
Natural Resources: Negligible. In the past, large
amounts of granite were extracted from Macau's hills for use as
Land Use: No arable land, pastures, forest, or
woodland. Because of this deficiency, Macau's people traditionally
have looked to the sea for their livelihood.
Environmental Factors: Dense urban environment.
Data as of August 7, 2000