Heritage China - CNTO

Fact Sheet

Fact Sheets

Fact Sheets

Formal name: The People's Republic of China (PRC)

Capital: Beijing Constitution: After the founding of the PRC, four Constitutions have been formulated successively in 1954, 1975, 1978 and 1982. The present Constitution was adopted in 1982 and amended four times, most recently on March 14, 2004.

Top legislative power: The National People's Congress (NPC) and its Standing Committee. Representing the people and all levels of people's congresses in China, the NPC supervises all state-level institutions. Its powers include electing the President of China.

Head of State: President Hu Jintao elected March 15, 2003.

Top administrative body: The State Council, which is the cabinet or chief administrative body of the PRC that includes the heads of all governmental agencies. Headed by Premier Wen Jiabao.

Military: The People's Liberation Army (PLA) includes the Army, Navy, Air Force, and the Second Artillery Force. Hu Jintao is chairman of the Central Military Commission of China, the country's top military agency and commander of its armed forces.

National flag: Red flag with five stars.

National emblem: Tiananmen gatetower under five stars, encircled by ears of grain and with a gear wheel below.

National anthem: March of the Volunteers. Decided upon as the provisional national anthem of the new China on September 27, 1949, at the First Plenary Session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the song was officially adopted as the national anthem of the PRC on December 4, 1982, by the NPC.

National Day: Chinese celebrate October 1 as National Day in honor of the founding of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949.

Other national holidays: Spring Festival (the celebration of Chinese New Year, generally between the last 10-day period of January and mid-February) and International Labor Day (May 1). Major holidays in China are occasions for family reunions and traveling. Starting in October 1999, China's three official holidays became "Golden Weeks" each with seven days vacation made possible by working four extra days before the commencement of the holiday and afterwards.

Land size:
 China has a landmass of 9,600,000 sq km.

Location: In the east of the Asian continent, on the western shore of the Pacific Ocean.

Border countries: Korea, Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tadzhikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam.

Climate: Extremely diverse; tropical in the south to sub-arctic in the north.

Geography: Mountains, high plateaus, and deserts in the west; plains, deltas, and hills in the east. The highest mountain in China is the highest mountain in the world: Mount Everest. The mountain towers above all others at 8,844.43 m.

Animal: The giant panda is considered a Chinese national treasure. Just over 1,000 survive in the wild, most of them in Sichuan Province. The giant panda is one of more than 100 species of wild animals found only in China, including three endangered monkey species that are almost as rare as the panda: the black leaf monkey, the Guizhou golden monkey or snub-nosed monkey and the Yunnan golden monkey.

Flower: China does not have an "official" national flower, but the tree peony can be regarded as a national favorite. The tree peony (mudan) received the most votes in an unofficial survey conducted in 1994 in every district in China asking people to select a national flower. Other ornamental plants originating in China include the azalea and rhododendron, camellia, gardenia, hibiscus, chrysanthemum, etc.


Bird: More bird species live in China than any other place in the world. Shaanxi Province's red ibis is also a national treasure. Only some 1,500 of this highly endangered bird species exist. Other cranes found in China include the Siberian white, common, black-necked sarus.


Tree: The oldest tree in the world is China's gingko, which first appeared during the Jurassic Age some 160 million years ago.

Population: China is the world's most populous country with a population estimated at about 1.30756 billion by the end of 2005, one-fifth of the world's total. This figure does not include the Chinese living in the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions, and Taiwan Province.

Population density: The population density is about 135 people per sq km, roughly four times greater than that of the US.

Population ethnicity: 91.6 percent of Chinese people are Han. The non-Han population includes 55 ethnic minorities, of which the major groups are the Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uygur, Yi, Tujia, Mongolian, and Tibetan.

Population distribution: Most of the population of China lives in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River, Yangtze River and Pearl River valleys, and the Northeast Plain. In 2000 a "go-west" campaign was launched by the government to help its relatively backward western and central areas catch up with more affluent eastern China.

Religions: The number of religious worshippers in China is estimated at well over 100 million, most of whom follow Buddhism. Other major religions are Daoism, Islam and Christianity in both Catholic and Protestant forms.

Languages: Standard Chinese(Mandarin) or Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect, Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, and Hakka dialects, as well as minority languages. In 1958, the First National People's Congress approved, at its Fifth Session, the adoption of the Pinyin (Scheme for the Chinese Phonetic Alphabet) for spelling Chinese names and places in Roman letters, but the Pinyin system was not popularly used until the late 1970s. Pinyin is now widely seen in China, and it replaces earlier Romanization spelling systems.

Political parties: The Communist Party of China (CPC) is the country's sole political party in power. Hu Jintao became general secretary of the CPC at its 16th National Congress in November 2002. Founded in July 1921, the CPC today has more than 70.8 million members. There are eight other parties.

Top advisory body: The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference(CPPCC). Representing all ethnic groups and a broad range of political and special interest groups, the CPPCC provides advice on social issues and exercises democratic supervision over the government.

Administrative divisions: China is made up of 23 provinces, five autonomous regions, four municipalities directly under the Central Government, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao. The 23 provinces are Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan, Zhejiang; the five autonomous regions are Guangxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Xinjiang and Tibet; the four municipalities are Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai and Tianjin.

Currency: Renminbi (RMB)/yuan

The Country

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World Heritage Preservation in China

With changes taking place in social and economic conditions, a growing number of ancient ethnic traditions, cultures, customs, modes of living and environments are suffering from increasing serious threats of destruction. It is detrimental not only to unique and precious cultural heritage but also to the historical, social and psychology dignity of local nationalities. On November 6, 1972, the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at its 17th session adopted the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. In 1976, UNESCO set up the World Heritage Committee, an inter-governmental cooperative body, under the Convention. The committee is responsible for including cultural and natural treasures of outstanding universal value on the World Heritage List.

World heritage is divided into three types: natural, cultural (including cultural sites) and the combination of natural and cultural heritage. All sites on the World Heritage List receive financial and technical aid. In the meantime, they become better known worldwide and are protected by pressure from the international community.

China ratified the Convention in 1985, becoming a contracting party, and became a member state of the World Heritage Committee on October 29, 1999. In 1986, China began to identify and nominate sites on its national territory to be considered for inscription on the World Heritage List. So far, the number of its sites on the List has reached 40.

Nomination and inclusion of natural and cultural properties on the World Heritage List is nonetheless the final goal of world heritage work. World Heritage conservation is a continuous process. Listing a site does little good if it subsequently falls into a state of disrepair or if a development project risks destroying the qualities that made the site suitable for World Heritage status in the first place. The final goal of highlighting those most valuable representatives and carriers of information and beauty throughout history and in our natural environment arouses mankind's attention to protect and preserve them for future generations.


Cultural Heritage


Groups of separate or connected buildings which, because of their architecture, their homogeneity or their place in the landscape, are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art or science

Groups of buildings:

Architectural works, works of monumental sculpture and painting, elements or structures of an archaeological nature, inscriptions, cave dwellings and combinations of features, which are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art or science


Works of man or the combined works of nature and of man, and areas including archaeological sites which are of outstanding universal value from the historical, aesthetic, ethnological or anthropological points of view

Natural Heritage
Natural features consisting of physical and biological formations or groups of such formations, which are of outstanding universal value from an aesthetic or scientific point of view.Geological and physiographical formations and precisely delineated areas which constitute the habitat of threatened species of animals and plants of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation. Natural sites or precisely delineated natural areas of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science, conservation or natural beauty.

List of World Heritage Sites in China

NumberNameLocationCategoryApproved date
1Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, including the Forbidden
City and Mukden Palace
2Peking Man Site at ZhoukoudianBeijingCultural1987
3Summer Palace, an Imperial Garden in BeijingBeijingCulturalCultural
4Temple of Heaven: an Imperial Sacrificial Altar in BeijingBeijingCulturalCultural
5Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, including the Ming
Dynasty Tombs and the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum
6The Great WallBeijing etcCultural1987
7Mausoleum of the First Qin EmperorShaanxiCultural1987
8Mogao CavesGansuCultural1987
9Mount TaishanShandongCultural
10Temple and Cemetery of Confucius, and the Kong Family Mansion in QufuShandongCultural1994
11Mount HuangshanAnhuiCultural
12Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui - Xidi and HongcunAnhuiCultural2000
13Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest AreaSichuanNatural1992
14Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest AreaSichuanNatural1992
15Mount Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic AreaSichuanCultural
16Mount Qingcheng and the Dujiangyan Irrigation SystemSichuanCultural2000
17Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries-Wolong, Mt. Siguniang and Jiajin MountainsSichuanNatural2006
18Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest AreaHunanCultural1992
19Ancient Building Complex in the Wudang MountainsHubeiCultural1994
20Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, including the Jokhang Temple and NorbulingkaHebeiCultural1994
21Mountain Resort and its Outlying Temples in ChengdeHebeiCultural1994
22Lushan National ParkJiangxiNatural1996
24Mount WutaiShanxiCultural2009
25Ancient City of Ping YaoShanxiCultural1997
26Yungang GrottoesShanxiCultural2001
27Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected AreasYunnanNatural2003
28South China KarstYunnan,Guizhou,
29Old Town of LijiangYunnanCultural1997
30Dazu Rock CarvingsChongqingCultural1999
31Classical Gardens of SuzhouJiangsuCultural1997
32Mount WuyiFujianCultural
33Fujian TulouFujianCultural2008
34Longmen GrottoesHenanCultural2000
35Yin XuHenanCultural2006
36Historic Monuments of Dengfeng in The Centre of Heaven and EarthHenanCultural2010
37Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo KingdomJilinCultural2004
38Historic Centre of MacauMacauCultural2005
39Kaiping Diaolou and VillagesGuangdongCultural2007
40China DanxiaHunan,Guangdong,
41West Lake Cultural Landscape of HangzhouZhejiang provinceCultural2011

Site of Xanadu

Inner MongoliaCultural2012
43Chengjiang Fossil SiteYunnan provinceNatural2012

Macau Introduction


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.

Portugal's golden age in Asia faded as rivals like the Dutch and British took over their trade. However the Chinese chose to continue to do business through the Portuguese in Macau, so for over a century the British East India Company and others set up shop here in rented houses like the elegant Casa Garden. As Europe's trade with China grew, the European merchants spent part of the year in Guangzhou, buying tea and Chinese luxuries at the bi-annual fairs, using Macau as a recreational retreat.

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 support.

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 is located in Guangdong province, on the western bank of the Pearl River Delta, at latitude 22º 14º North, longitude 113º 35º East and connected to Gongbei District by the Border Gate (Portas do Cerco) isthmus.

The Macau Special Administrative Region has an area of 29.5 sq. km, comprised of the Macau Peninsula 9.3 sq. km and connected to Mainland China), the islands of Taipa (6.8 sq. km) and Coloane (7.6 sq. km) and the reclaimed area COTAI (5.8 sq. km). Three bridges connect Macau to Taipa (one of them is 2.5km long, the other one is 4.5 km long and the third one is 2.2 km long).

Macau is located in Guangdong province, on the western bank of the Pearl River Delta, at latitude 22º 14º North, longitude 113º 35º East and connected to Gongbei District by the Border Gate (Portas do Cerco) isthmus. The Macau Special Administrative Region has an area of 29.5 sq. km, comprised of the Macau Peninsula 9.3 sq. km and connected to Mainland China), the islands of Taipa (6.8 sq. km) and Coloane (7.6 sq. km) and the reclaimed area COTAI (5.8 sq. km). Three bridges connect Macau to Taipa (one of them is 2.5km long, the other one is 4.5 km long and the third one is 2.2 km long).Besides the Border Gate (Portas do Cerco) - the visitor can access Mainland China through the COTAI Frontier Post. Immigration and Customs is located in the reclaimed area between the islands of Taipa and Coloane.


Macau is eight hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.


The total population was estimated to be 544,600 . About 94% are ethnic Chinese, from different provinces, namely Guangdong and Fujian. The remaining 6% includes Portuguese and other regions.


Chinese and Portuguese are the official languages, Cantonese being most widely spoken. The official languages are used in government departments in all official documents and communications. English is generally used in trade, tourism and commerce.


The Pataca (MOP$) is divided into 100 avos and it is Macau's official currency. There are banknotes and coins in the following denominations:

Coins: 10, 20 and 50 avos; 1, 2 and 5 Patacas.
Banknotes: 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 Patacas.

By the decision of the Government the Pataca is linked to the Hong Kong dollar (HK$). The exchange rate is MOP$103.20 = HK$100.00. There is an acceptable variation up to 10%. Roughly 10 Patacas is equivalent to 1 EURO and 8 Patacas is equivalent to 1 US Dollar.

Foreign currency or travellers' cheques can be changed in hotels, banks and authorised exchange dealers located all around the city. If the visitor needs to change money outside the usual banking hours, there are 24 hours exchange counters operating in the Macau International Airport (Taipa Island) and in the Lisboa Hotel (Macau). Banks open normally from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Most credit cards are accepted in many hotels, shops and restaurants.

There are no restrictions on the amount of currency, which can be brought in or taken out of the territory.


Macau's water is supplied directly from Mainland China and is purified. Chlorine is added for extra protection. Distilled drinking water is supplied in all hotel rooms and in restaurants.



Electricity in Macau is at 220V, 50Hz. The power plugs used in Macau are of the three-pin, square-shaped or round-shaped type. It is suggested to check before using an electrical appliance.

Climate and Clothing

The climate is fairly warm tropical climates. Annual average temperature is about 20ºC (68ºF) and ranges from 16ºC (50ºF) to 25ºC (77ºF). Humidity levels are high and average values vary between 73% and 90%. Annual rainfall is 1.778mm, mostly during Summer months.

Autumn (October - December) is the most pleasant season. Days are sunny and warm and humidity levels are low. Winter (January - March) is cold but sunny. In April humidity increases and from May to September the climate becomes hot, humid and rainy with occasional tropical storms (typhoons).

Warning signals for the typhoons which depend upon the proximity of a tropical storm. If a signal 8 is hoisted, the bridges between Macau and Taipa and the isthmus between Taipa and Coloane are closed. As a preventive measure sea and air connections between Macau and Hong Kong as well as most flights are cancelled.

In the Summer visitors are advised to wear light cotton clothes. In winter some woolen clothes are recommended as well as a thicker jacket or even an overcoat. From March to May as well as from September to November nights are cooler and therefore a cardigan or sweater will be useful.


30-year statistic of some meteorological elements ( 1971 - 2000 )



Air temperature


Insolation duration






Mean max.


Mean min.


No. of days

Prevailing direction

Mean velocity

No. of days

No. of days










































































































































































Source: Macau Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau

Health and Hospitals
Vaccination certificates are required only in exceptional circumstances, either in Macau or through the region, where vaccinations are needed. Visitors are not advised to have any particular vaccinations. Tap water is regularly checked and guaranteed by the Health Department according to international standards. In a medical emergency, contact the S. Januário Hospital (Government) located in Estrada do Visconde de S. Januário, Macau (tel. 28313731) or the Kiang Wu Hospital (Private) located in Estrada Coelho do Amaral, Macau (tel. 28371333). Emergency services in these hospitals are open 24 hours. In less urgent cases visitors can go to any Health Centre in Macau or in the islands. The most central one is the Tap Seac Health Centre located between Rua do Campo and Av. Conselheiro Ferreira de Almeida. Tel: (853) 2852 2232. Besides western medicine, visitors can find several traditional chinese medicine doctors. Detailed information regarding Chinese Medicine can be obtained from the Macau Health Department (tel.28562404) or Kiang Wu Hospital (tel. 28371333).

Safety and Security

Macau is a very safe place. There are police stations and reporting centres throughout the territory and for emergency dial 999. There are also two new 24 hour emergency hotline numbers 110 and 112 meant to facilitate emergency calls by tourists from the mainland and abroad.

Media and Information

There are plenty of daily and weekly newspapers in Macau published in Chinese, Portuguese and English.Moreover, there are several Chinese and Portuguese magazines published in Macau regarding several aspects of the life and culture in Macau and region: the 'Revista de Cultura', edited by the Cultural Institute (published quarterly and in two versions: Chinese version and Portuguese and English version). There is also a magazine named 'Macau', a periodical publication in Chinese, Portuguese and English versions. English and Chinese languages newspapers and periodicals from overseas are readily available at most local newspaper stands or in major hotels. Macau has its own Chinese and Portuguese radio and TV stations. Teledifusão de Macau (TDM), while Macau Cable TV provides its viewers with around 40 channels of diverse TV programmes.

Post and Telecommunications

Telephone Service
Local calls in Macau are free of charge when made from a private phone. When using a public phone, they cost MOP$1.00. Phone cards can be purchased for MOP$50.00, MOP$100.00 or MOP$150.00 and they can be used as well as coins in public phones located all around the city and the islands. In the busiest areas there are also credit card phones.If you would like to use your mobile phone while in Macau, please contact the information services below: 

1000 (CTM) 
1118 (Hutchison Telecom) 
1628 (SmarTone) 
1888 (China Telecom (Macau) Co., Ltd.)
Besides, Hutchison Telecom Network is now providing the Mobile Tour Guide Service. Visitors can listen to the voice information service by dialing the Spot Code #83.

Postal Services
The postal services of Macau are comprehensive. The headquarters is located at Senado Square and postal branches are throughout Macau peninsula, Taipa & Coloane. It provides letter post, parcel & express mail services to everywhere in the world. The opening hours of the Central Post Office are from 9:00am to 6:00pm (Monday to Friday), and on Saturday from 9:00am to 1:00pm. Terminal Post Office and Airport Post Office are located at the Macau Ferry Terminal( the Outer Habour) and the Macau International Airport departure hall. The opening hours are from 10:00am to 7:00pm (Monday to Saturday). Rua do Campo Post Office is located on the ground floor of the Public Administrative Building. It is opened from 8:30am to 7:00pm (Monday to Friday). There are over 30 automatic vending machines located in different areas of the city, which provide round-the-clock postal services. For more information, please contact (853) 2832 3666 or visit http://www.macaupost.gov.mo.

In addition to the postal services, Macau Post also provides Western Union money transfer service. You can go to Macau Postal Savings where is located at Rua de Sé (behind the headquarters of Macau Post). The opening hours are from 8:30am to 6:00pm (Monday to Friday), on Saturday from 9:30am to 1:00pm, and on Sunday from 2:30pm to 6:00pm. This service is also available in Central Post Office, Terminal Post Office, Airport Post Office, Ocean Gardens Post Office, Coloane Post Office, Communications Museum Shop and eSignTrust Registration Authority. For more information, please contact (853) 8396 8319 or visit http://www.macaucep.gov.mo/eng/.  

For some years Macau Post has been issuing stamps of which are favorite items for collectors. The stamps are famous for their originality with specific themes related with characteristics of the city, particularly portraying point of convergence between east and west. The following series of stamps have been praised by all philatelists: "Chinese Zodiac", "Literature and Famous Personalities", " Legends and Myths", "Classified Patrimony", "Science and Technology" and "Macau Arts", among others. In order to satisfy the continuous growing demand of stamps, except for the philatelic counter in some postal branches, Macau Post also has a postal kiosk near the famous scenic spot, St. Paul's Ruins for selling philatelic products to collectors and tourists.
Opening hours of postal kiosks:

Monday to Thursday:

9:30am to 12:00pm


1:30pm to 5:15pm


9:30am to 12:00pm


1:30pm to 5:00pm

Moreover, the philatelic shop at the Headquarters of Macau Post is opened from 9:00am to 6:00pm (Monday to Saturday), on Sunday 1:00pm to 6:00pm. For more information, please contact (853) 8396 8611 or visit https://www.macaupost.gov.mo/Philately/Default.aspx

Internet Facilities
Internet facilities are available at Macau Business Tourism Centre, public libraries and major hotels. You may also find several cyber-cafés all over the city. Website of Macau Central Library: http://www.library.gov.mo In addition, the Macau SAR Government has provided citizens and visitors with free wireless Internet access - "WiFi GO", at 34 selected locations. Available daily from 8:00am to 1:00am the following day, users can use a non-encrypted connection (network name wifigo) or encrypted connection mode (network name wifigo-s). User name and password are wifigo, for 45 minutes per session in high density areas throughout the territory. The "WiFi GO" Service is currently undergoing a trail run. For details, please visit: http://www.wifi.gov.mo


China UnionPay

China UnionPay

This unit is provided by China Unionpay, especially for CNTO Sydney website. CNTO does not take any legal responsibility for it.

About China UnionPay
Founded in March 2002, China UnionPay (hereinafter referred to as CUP) is a bankcard association headquartered in Shanghai, China, with nearly 400 member institutions around the world.

As a bankcard association at the heart of China's bankcard industry, CUP plays a fundamental role in operating an inter-bank transaction settlement system, realizing the interoperability between systems, and facilitating inter-bank, cross-region and cross-border transactions of bankcards.

CUP is dedicated to promoting the bankcard standards and regulations, providing better, more secure and efficient services like inter-bank information exchange, settlement data processing, and risk control.

CUP is committed to formulating the resource-sharing and self-discipline mechanism, facilitating the business cooperation and resource sharing among the market entities, accelerating the intensive and mass development of the bankcard industry, and building China's bankcard brand together with the commercial banks to accomplish the sustainable and healthy development of China's bankcard industry.

Working together with the commercial banks, CUP will give full play to its functions as a bankcard association to promote the sound and rapid development of China's bankcard industry, and provide the cardholders with better, more secure and efficient services, so as to become not only a highly creditable and trustworthy brand in China, but also a major international bankcard brand with competitiveness and influence in the world.

Brand Building

CUP aims to build a well-recognized, trustworthy and respected financial brand that presents outstanding quality, excellent service and top level security.

CUP Logo is the symbol of its brand. There are three paralleling stripes of colors in the background: red indicating cooperation and integrity, blue smoothness and high efficiency, and green security. The English artistic word “UnionPay” and Chinese characters“银联”, both in white, are located at the center of the logo against the three-color background,. Among the words, the letter “y” is connected with the character “联”, indicating CUP is an international payment brand originated from the network of China.

The survey conducted by A.C. Nilson, an international survey authority, shows that the CUP brand has attained a domestic recognition rate of 96%, remarkably ahead of other international card brands. In addition, UnionPay Card has also become the first payment choice among Chinese cardholders when they travel to Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore.

UnionPay Card

UnionPay Cards possess the independent intellectual property rights with a full range of products and services. By the end of March 2010, UnionPay Cards have been accepted in more than ninety countries and regions. UnionPay Cards are issued by the commercial banks in accordance with CUP operating regulations and technical specifications. The cards adopt CUP's BINs, with a CUP logo on its lower-right corner and a BIN number starting with “62”.

By the end of 2009, more than 1.3 billion UnionPay Cards have been accumulatively issued by more than 200 issuers in Mainland China. In addition, over fifty financial institutions from more than ten countries and regions have issued UnionPay Cards in local currencies.


UnionPay Cards Issued by the Commercial Banks in Mainland China
UnionPay Cards Issued by the Commercial Banks in Mainland China

Domestic UnionPay Card Acceptance Network

The UnionPay Card acceptance network serves as the largest bankcard network in China. Thanks to the efforts both from the commercial banks and CUP, the UnionPay Card acceptance network not only covers the developed regions and large cities in China, but is also extended to the underdeveloped areas in central and western China, middle and small-sized cities and vast rural areas. By the end of 2009, there have been 1.57 million merchants, 2.41 million POS terminals and nearly 215 thousand ATM terminals accepting the UnionPay Card in China. In the meanwhile, more than 70 thousand banking outlets in vast rural areas can accept UnionPay Cards, especially with the aid of the branches from the Postal Savings Bank of China and all rural credit cooperatives.

Domestic UnionPay Card Acceptance Network

Along with the improvement of the bankcard acceptance environment in China, we have been witnessing a soaring in bankcard transaction volume. In 2009, the inter-bank transaction volume of Chinese bankcard reached RMB 7.7 trillion Yuan, with an average annual growth rate of 72%.


Overseas UnionPay Card Acceptance Network

ACUP is dedicated to providing convenient and various payment services for its cardholders. To this end, CUP continues to accelerate its internationalization, actively expands its international acceptance network and provides channels for the commercial banks in China to extend their services abroad.

By the end of March 2010, UnionPay Cards have been accepted in more than ninety countries and regions across the world, more than fifty financial institutions in over ten countries and regions have issued UnionPay Cards in local currencies outside Mainland China. UnionPay Cards have been well recognized not only by cardholders in China but also by more and more international cardholders. Since the internationalization of CUP in 2004, we have been witnessing a soaring in UnionPay Card international transaction volume, with an average annual growth rate of more than 100%. In 2009, the UnionPay Card international transaction volume was increased by 26 times compared with that of 2004.

2Merchant (ten thousand)







POS (ten thousand)







ATM (ten thousand)







Innovative Businesses

To better satisfy the needs of the cardholders to use their UnionPay Cards, CUP has cooperated with the commercial banks and other market entities to develop the innovative bankcard payment business. Now in China, in addition to the restaurants, hotels and department stores, the bankcards have also been widely accepted in the public utility sectors such as water, electricity and gas bill payments as well as in the schools, hospitals, air and highway transportation. The cardholders are able to use the bankcards to pay for their credit card bills and utility fees, book flight tickets and hotels, and perform self-service funds transfer via mobile phone, internet, fixed phone, and even TV set-top box.

Bankcard Risk Control

To actively prevent the bankcard fraud transactions, CUP has been working together with the commercial banks to establish the “Five Systems and One Center” mechanism, namely, the Bankcard Risk Information Sharing System, the Bankcard Risk Reporting and Managing System, the Bankcard Fraud Detecting System, the Merchant Risk Monitoring System, the Risk Management Public Service Platform System as well as the UnionPay Card Antifraud Service Center.

CUP continues to promote information sharing, communication and cooperation among relevant sectors by building a communication platform for joint bankcard risk prevention.

In addition, CUP is playing an active role in bankcard risk research, providing professional research outcomes for the commercial banks. Working together with the Ministry of Public Security, CUP has completed and published the Practice in Bankcard Crime Detection and the Collection of Financial Crime Cases - Credit Card Crimes.

CUP is always dedicated to offering assistance to national legislative and judiciary bodies for the establishment of laws and regulations concerning the crackdown on bankcard crimes. In December, 2009, the Explanations on Several Problems about Applicable Laws for Handling Criminal Cases Concerning Interfering Credit Card Administration, a judicial interpretation about bankcard crimes, was published by the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate.

Contributing to Economic Decisions of Government and Industrial Development

CUP compiles the Bankcard Consumer Confidence Index (BCCI) by intensively exploring and analyzing massive bankcard transaction information via the inter-bank transaction settlement system.

Based on the bankcard transaction information of urban cardholders, BCCI is compiled through analysis on changes of urban cardholders' bankcard payment structure (mainly the changes about the proportion of non-necessities payment in total consumption). It reflects the consumers' confidence toward the macro economy, serving as an important reference for the government and enterprises in their economic decision-making.

As a research authority in China's bankcard industry, starting from the year of 2003, CUP composes The Research Report of China's Bankcard Industry Development on a regular basis, which gives a thorough description on the annual development of China's bankcard industry. The report has become the most authoritative and influential research material in the industry.


CUP Overseas Offices

Australia Representative Office
Business Region: Oceania

Address: Suite 801, Level 8,
2 Bulletin Place, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Tel: 61-2-92508826
Fax: 61-2-92508800
Hotline: 95516

Web: www.unionpay.com