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Macao, China

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Jan 16, 2023

Summary: The population of Macao, China is 667,400. Macao is a vibrant and exciting city with a unique blend of Chinese and Portuguese cultures. Expats love the city's diverse culture, excellent food, and vibrant nightlife. The weather in Macao is generally mild and humid, with temperatures ranging from an average low of 59°F (15°C) in the winter to an average high of 86°F (30°C) in the summer. The average cost of living in Macao for an expat is estimated to be around $2,000-$3,000 USD per month. The cost of a one bedroom apartment is estimated to be around $1,500-$2,000 USD per month, while a two bedroom apartment is estimated to be around $2,000-$3,000 USD per month.

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What do I need to know about living in Macao?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Macao, they said:

"I would tell them a legendary Macanese saying: "In Macau there is a fountain, from which runs water charged with magical powers. Whoever drinks it will be bound to stay forever to the land of Macau, and thus, enable to leave its shores..."," added another person living in Macao.

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How do I meet people in Macao?

When we asked people living in Macao about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"Macau government is wealthy (with the casinos) and do promote cultural, sporting and social associations... one couldn't imagine that such a small scale city would have so many clubs and organizations. For expat in particular, there is a ladies club which organises activities on a regular basis. They are about to put a website online. In the meantime, one can check www.MacauZhuhai.com for more information about this ladies club and about other expat activities in Macau," remarked another in Macao.

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Will I be able to find a job in Macao?

When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Macao, they reponded:

"Of course the casinos play an important role in Macau's economy. However, the Macau people do not want their city to be just a casino city. Hence, the promotion of tourism and services... One would be surprised to see how competititve Macau is in terms of business (check www.MacauZhuhai.com for more details) some say doing even better than HK. For example the maximum income tax is 12 %.. not bad, hey?," said another expat in Macao.

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What is life like in Macao?

When we asked people living in Macao what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Macau has been a portuguese colony for a long long time, and althougth most expats are here for their work or studies, there is a joie de vivre in Macau, very similar to the south european one, and which you cannot find in Hong Kong or in Mainland China. Consequently, people here do all sorts of activities after work, and many events are always scheduled every week (you can check www.MacauZhuhai.com for a listing of the events or even the Macau offcial tourism site) The Coloane island is a great place for people to do all kind of sports (biking, jogging beach volley, football) The beaches are great for BBQ at weekends... People here are very sociable and the atmosphere is that one of a village..," said another expat in Macao.

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Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Macao accepting of differences?

"Macau is and has always been a mulicultural city. Nowhere else does the est meet the west to such an extend... Everyone is very open minded, and one can find in Macau many churches, temples etc... Of course, the dominant population is Chinese, but most of them speak really good English and Foreigners feel very much welcome. And the local government works on accentuating this phenomena," explained one expat living in Macao.

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What are the schools in Macao like?

"Most teachers are very good, kind and professional. There are sports clubs and some extra-curricular activities for kids. But if you look for organized sports activities with some inter-school competition, it is totally absent in Macao. TIS is not an exception. Unfortunately, the school is surrounded by huge casino buildings. Unless you have to come to Macao with your family, TIS would not be your choice," commented one expat when asked about The International School of Macao (TIS) in Macao.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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