Living in Macau
The city of Hong Kong and Macau are located extremely close to each other. Like Hong Kong, Macau also has its roots in colonial rule, but in this case it was the Portuguese that ruled Macau for 400 years.
Macau became part of China in 1999 once again. Since then it has continued to grow as one of the largest tourist attractions in all of China. It is the key spot for those in Hong Kong to come to relax on the weekends.
A rare blend of Portuguese architecture and culture with an Asian spirit and population can be enjoyed by expats living in Macau – nicknamed "The Oriental Las Vegas". Macau city has an extremely high Human Development Index (HDI), the world's second highest life expectancy rate and plenty of sights to see.
Politics in the Macau
Macau is a limited democracy. Though it is part of China, it enjoys its own autonomy. In 1999, China was given control of Macau by the Portuguese government.
China has a policy of one country, two systems. It is similar to Hong Kong. For the next 50 years, this allows Macau to stay relatively the same as it was. In 2049 the local government will likely be replaced via the Chinese Government. For the most part, Macau has not been impacted by its relationship with China though China does not have an exemplary record on human rights.
The Macau Economy
Macau is one of the richest regions in the world. As of 2015 its GDP per capita by purchasing power parity is higher than that of any country in the world, according to the World Bank. While greatly dwarfing other gambling centers/cities it is widely known as the pre-eminent gambling (or gaming) capital of the world.
Macau's economy has boomed rapidly in recent years, due to the opening of the gambling licenses. Thousands of tourists visit Macau each day, coming mainly from mainland China and neighboring regions.
Tourism is also one of the major sources of income in Macau and has grown significantly over the years. Other important industries include manufacturing, banking, construction, transportation and media.
Buying or Renting Property in the Macau
It’s extremely straight forward and easy to purchase real estate in Macau. Expect New York City prices if you are looking for a small apartment for an investment.
A one bedroom apartment can easily cost you a million dollars plus and in many cases two million dollars for a 3 bedroom. Most expats either rent or stay with friends.
If you are looking to save a little on real estate in Macau, choose an apartment on the fourth floor. The costs are a little lesser. The Chinese (Macanese) are very superstitious. The word four (sei) is very close to the word for death. Several thousand dollars or more can be saved using this tip.
Finding a decent apartment can be time-consuming. Make sure you plan your stay very carefully before coming to Macau.
Both Macau and Hong Kong have high prices for everything. Expats who come to Hong Kong looking for fun and adventure, leave very quickly due to the excessive cost of living.
Visa and Immigration
Schools in Macau
The Government of Macau offers free education to its residents for fifteen years. This includes a three-year kindergarten, followed by a six-year primary education and a six-year secondary education.
The literacy rate of the territory is 93.5%. The senior residents aged 65 or above are mainly among the illiterates. The younger generation, for example the population aged 15–29, has a literacy rate of above 99%.
Non-tertiary schools follow either the British, the Chinese, or the Portuguese education system. There are currently 10 tertiary educational institutions in the region, four of them being public.
Weather in Macau
Since Hong Kong and Macau are situated so close to one another the climates of the two are pretty much the same.
Macau has a subtropical climate that can be seasonal in temperature. The summers for instance, climbing high into the 90’s for both the temperature and even the humidity.
Expect an occasional typhoon and plenty of rain during the summer months. The winter time which lasts from January to February can be quite cold with temperatures sometimes hovering around 40 degrees.
The best time of the year for Macau is the fall, which is during the months of October to December. The temperatures are comfortable and the air is not as humid during this time.
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