Macau
Las Vegas of the Orient
Macau Travel Guide, geography

Macau Geography

Macau lies along the southern coast of China, near the mouth of the Pearl River Delta and on the tip of a peninsula, formed by the Zhujiang (Pearl River) estuary on the east, and the Xijiang (West River) on the west.

Its location, 22 degrees north of the Equator (Parallel to Hawaii), is at the northernmost strip of the Tropic belt.

The tiny territory occupies an area of just 28 square kilometers and consists of three main regions: Macau Peninsula (Ilha de Macau) which is the territory's most populated area, and the islands of Taipa and Coloane that lie south to it.  A fourth region, known as Cotai (abbreviation of Coloane and Taipa), is a land reclamation project that actually connects the islands of Coloane and Taipa, making them into a single landmass.

 

Macau Peninsula was once an island, but land reclamations, which started as early as the 17th century, turned it into a peninsula, using a natural connecting sandbar and gradually turning it into a narrow isthmus that connects the city with mainland China.

  

Macau's terrain is generally flat, as a result of extensive land reclamation that made use of the territory's hills soil.  Numerous steep hills, especially on Coloane Island, mark the original natural land mass.  The highest point, Coloane Alto, rises to a height of 174 mtrs. above sea level.

 

Despite of being heavily populated, Macau has some "green lungs", especially on the Islands of Coloane and Taipa, where most of the forest covered hills did not change much. The territory's best beaches can also be found in Coloane Island.

 

Macau's neighbors are the People's Republic of China (PRC) to the North and the west (the city of Zhuhai is Macau's immediate neighbor, on the Chinese side of the border), and the Special administrative Region of Hong Kong, located 60 Kilometers northeast of Macau, on the other side of the Pearl River Delta.

 

The city of Guangzhou (Canton) is 150 km. away, on the banks of the Pearl River.

 

Both Hong Kong and Macau are former colonies that became special administrative regions of China.

 

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