Macau was both the first and the last European colony in China. Portuguese traders first settled in Macau in the 16th century, and subsequently administered the region until the handover to China on December 20, 1999. As part of the handover it was agreed that Macau maintains a high degree of autonomy until at least fifty years after the transfer.
In recent years Macau has become a tourist paradise, particularly for Asian tourists. The region features a number of historical points of interest, but what Macau is most known for these days are its many casinos and entertainment spots, which has left it to being described as the Las Vegas of Asia.
Flights arrive daily in Macau from most European hubs via Hong Kong, and more direct flights are opening every day. Most visitors would though come by sea from Hong Kong. Several fleets of high-speed Macau ferry vessels serve the 70 kilometer (40 mile) route between Hong Kong and Macau. There are more than 100 sailings throughout the day and evening, with all night service by jetfoils.
There are two sea terminals in Hong Kong for Macau. The main sea terminal is located in Shun Tak Center, on the waterfront west of Central District on Hong Kong Island. The other terminal is China Ferry Terminal. This terminal offers ferry services from the Kowloon side, and is located on the Tshimshatsui waterfront alongside Harbour City. In Macau the Maritime Terminal is situated in the Outer Harbour.