Macau, and officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (MSAR).
China surrounds Macau along every border except for in the southeast. From there, Macau shares a border with the Pacific Ocean.
Vietnam is to the southwest of Macau, and the island nation of Taiwan is situated to the east of Macau.
Reason for Naming
The first known written record of the name "Macau", translated as "Ya/A Ma Gang" ("亞/阿-媽/馬-港"), is found in a letter dated 20 November 1555.
The local inhabitants believed that the sea-goddess Mazu (alternatively called A-Ma) had blessed and protected the harbor and called the waters around A-Ma Temple using her name.
When Portuguese explorers first arrived in the area and asked for the place's name, the locals thought they were asking about the temple and told them it was "Ma Kok" (媽閣).
The earliest Portuguese spelling for this was Amaquão. Multiple variations were used until Amacão / Amacao and Macão / Macao became common during the 17th century.
The flag of Macau was adopted on 31 March 1999.
The flag is composed of a green background with a white lotus flower above the stylized Governador Nobre de Carvalho Bridge and water, and an arc of five golden pointed stars above the lotus flower: one large star in the center of the arc with two smaller stars on each side of the large star.
The lotus was chosen as the floral emblem of Macau.
The Governor Nobre de Carvalho Bridge is a bridge linking the Macau Peninsula and the island of Taipa. The bridge is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the territory.
The water beneath the lotus and the bridge symbolize Macau's position as a port and its role played in the territory.
The five five-pointed stars represent the relationship Macau has with its sovereign state.
Chinese (Cantonese) is one of the official languages of Macao, the other one is Portuguese. The majority of the population speaks Cantonese Chinese and only 7% of the population speaks Portuguese as an official language in Macao.
Buddhism is the predominant religion in Macau as the cultural and historical backgrounds support or reflect Buddhism. Most of the people in Macau hold a great belief in Buddhism, other estimates show that Buddhism and folk religions together make up 92% of the total population.
Minority religions found in Macau are folk religions, Buddhism or Taoism, non-religious, Christianity, Islam, other beliefs.
Macanese pataca (MOP).
Devolved executive-led system within a socialist republic.
The climate of Macau is subtropical, with very mild winters and hot, rainy, and muggy summers. Winter, from December to February, is very mild, with highs around 18/20 °C (65/68 °F). The sun, which shines roughly half the time in December, gradually becomes less frequent, and there are more and more days with cloudy skies, fog, and drizzle. There may also be windy days. Some days can be pleasantly warm, while others can be cool, with the temperature dropping to around 10/15 °C (50/59 °F) during the day. The long summer, from June to September, is hot, humid, and rainy, with heavy showers or thunderstorms, although the sun shines on average for a few hours per day. The temperatures are around 30/32 °C (86/90 °F), and the heat is felt because of moisture coming from the sea. On sunny days, the temperature can reach 35 °C (95 °F). In July, there is often a pause, a period of good weather lasting a week or two. The best time to visit Macau is from mid-March to mid-April and from mid-October to late November.