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A Brief History of Macau

Fishermen from Fujian and farmers from Guangdong were
the first known settlers in Macau, when it was known as
Ou Mun, or "trading gate", because of its location at the
mouth of the Pearl River downstream from Guangzhou
(Canton). During ancient times port city was part of the
Silk Road with ships loading here with silk for Rome.

Even after China ceased to be a world trade centre,
Guangzhou prospered from seaborne business with the
countries of Southeast Asia, so the local entrepreneurs
welcomed the arrival of Portuguese merchant-explorers.
They followed in the wake of Jorge Alvares, who landed
in southern China in 1513, and set about finding suitable
trading posts.

In the early 1550s the Portuguese reached Ou Mun,
which the locals also called A Ma Gao, "place of A Ma",
in honour of the Goddess of Seafarers, whose temple
stood at the entrance to the sheltered Inner Harbour. The
Portuguese adopted the name, which gradually changes
into the name Macau, and with the permission of
Guangdong's mandarins, established a city that within a
short time had become a major entrepot for trade between
China, Japan, India and Europe.

It also became the perfect crossroad for the meeting of
East and West cultures. The Roman Catholic church sent
some of its greatest missionaries to continue the work of
St Francis Xavier, (who died nearby after making many
converts in Japan). A Christian college was built, beside
what is now today's Ruins of St Paul's, where students
such as Matteo Ricci prepared for their work as Christian
scholars at the Imperial Court in Beijing. Other churches
were built, as well as fortresses, which gave the city an
historical European appearance that distinguishes it to
this day.

Following the Opium War in 1841, Hong Kong was
established by Britain and most of the foreign merchants
left Macau, which became a quaint, quiet backwater.
Nevertheless it has continued to enjoy a leisurely
multicultural existence and make daily, practical use of its
historical buildings, in the process becoming a favourite
stopover for international travellers, writers and artists.

In modern times Macau has developed industries such as
textiles, electronics and toys, as well as building up an a
world class tourist industry with a wide choice of hotels,
resorts, sports facilities, restaurants and casinos. As in
the past, Macau's economy is closely linked to that of
Hong Kong and Guangdong Province, in particular the
Pearl River Delta region, which qualifies as one of Asia's
"little tigers". Macau provides financial and banking
services, staff training, transport and communications

Macau is a Special Administrative Region of the People's
Republic of China since 20 December 1999, and, like
Hong Kong, benefits from the principle of "one country,
two systems". The tiny SAR is growing in size - with
more buildings on reclaimed land - and in the number and
diversity of its attractions. The greatest of these
continues to be Macau's unique society, with
communities from the East and West complementing each
other, and the many people who come to visit.

Macau located at the west bank of Pearl River Delta in South China, is
the intersection of Mainland China and South China Sea. It is also located
at the south of tropic of Cancer. The winds directions in winter and
summer are opposite. Therefore, Macau is in the monsoon region and
from the climate classification is considered mild and rainy in summer.
The most comfortable period begins from the middle of October to

The winter season in Macau covers the months January and February.
The cold air from north Siberia continuously passes through the Mid and
South China into Macau region and brings us cold and dry northerly
winds. The urban temperature sometimes drops below 10ºC. Therefore,
the annual minimum temperature is generally recorded in these two
months. When the precipitation and rainy days are less it is because there
is lack of water vapour in the atmosphere.

March and April is the seasonal interchange period. The wind direction
along the coastal region of South China is mainly easterly to
southeasterly, which will increase the temperature and humidity. Beside
some occasional wet weather, fog, drizzle and low visibility days, the
weather is mainly fine in spring.

The summer in Macau is longer than the other seasons. Because of hot
and wet conditions, the bad weather such as thunderstorm and heavy rain
always occur from May to September. Waterspout can be seen
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