The Macau Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, shortened to Macau or Macao, is a small city-island on the southern coast of China. It is 70 km southwest of Hong Kong and 145 km from Guangzhou. It was the oldest European colony in China, dating back to the 16th century. The Portuguese government transferred sovereignty over Macau to the People’s Republic of China in 1999 and is now run as a special administrative region of the PRC. Macanese speak Cantonese natively.
Besides historical colonial relics, the biggest attractions in Macau are the casinos. Though many forms of gambling are legal there, the most popular game is Pai Gow, a game played with Chinese dominoes. Gamblers from Hong Kong often take a one-day excursion to the city. Ferry service by hydrofoil between Hong Kong and Macau is available 24 hours a day, every day.
The name “Macau” (?? Cantonese: Magau) is thought to be derived from “Mage Temple” (Cantonese: Magok), a still existing landmark built in 1448 dedicated to the goddess Matsu. The more popular Chinese name of