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Mainland Prostitutes Rounded Up in Macau

Posted: 06/20/2014 2:09 pm

macau prostitution bustA late night raid by the Macau vice squad on June 19 has resulted in the capture of 29 mainland women suspected of engaging in prostitution on Jinguang Boulevard in Liudang District, reports Y Net.

Two mainland men were also detained in the raid, and are suspected of profiting from prostitution.

Ever since a crackdown on prostitution in Dongguan began last February resulting in over 3,000 people arrested, there has been an exodus of sex workers traveling to Shenzhen and beyond.

macau prostitution bustmacau prostitution bustmacau prostitution bustmacau prostitution bustmacau prostitution bust


[h/t @missxq]

Photos: Y Net


Another key PRD rail route opens: Macau-Zhuhai to Guangzhou launched, tickets pricey

Posted: 01/7/2013 10:00 am

There has been a lot of domestic and international coverage of the new Guangzhou-Beijing high-speed rail in recent days, with much of the coverage noting it’s the longest high-speed rail line in the world.  While it’s a boon to those in Guangzhou who want to get to the capital or points in-between without fighting crowds at Baiyun Airport and sliding into cramped airplane seats, the Guangzhou-Beijing line isn’t the only notable rail link to have opened over the Christmas holidays.

Indeed, Gongbei Station at on the Zhuhai-Macau border opened on December 31, creating easy rail access from nearly all points in the PRD to Zhuhai and Macau.  The line, which isn’t exactly a traditional high-speed rail line, starts at Guangzhou South Station and extends down the west side of the PRD.  Up until the end of 2012, its last station was Zhuhai North, which many will tell you isn’t all that close to Zhuhai.  From there, people had to take an hour long taxi ride to get to the border, sometimes at considerable cost.

The new station opening means the train will extend south from Zhuhai North down to Gongbei, which is the name of the border crossing with Macau.  The journey takes 80 minutes in total, as the line stops multiple times in towns and villages along the route.

So how much does it cost for a ticket? RMB 70 for a regular ticket, or RMB 90 if you want to travel in style, in first class. And that is a problem for many who live along the line, according to the Macau Daily Times:

But according to local media reports, many city residents complained that the tickets are set at unreasonably high prices, which are over 50 percent higher than the prices before the Intercity was extended to the current stop at Gongbei. It was pointed out that at an average of RMB0.598 per kilometer, tickets of Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Railway is even dearer than that of Guangzhou-Shenzhen Intercity Railway (RMB0.58/ km), and is the “most expensive Intercity Railway in the whole country”.

Coaches between Guangzhou and Zhuhai are operating at around RMB60-80 for a one-way ticket and some of the companies are cutting passenger fares to compete with the new Intercity link.

Despite the pricey tickets, the line will be a boon for Zhuhai, which should see many more weekend vacationers pop down from Guangzhou.

If you’re interested in high-speed rail in the PRD, don’t forget to check out our full review of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen section.


Macau teen beaten to death by swarm of angry youths just before Christmas

Posted: 12/27/2012 1:53 pm

Image from: Panoramio user SantoB

Macau is in shock after a brutal beating that resulted in the death of a 15-year old just days before Christmas.

It all happened in the early hours of December 20th. After a dispute in a pub on London Street in the well-trafficked NAPE area, two teens exited the pub.  Outside, they were attacked by “eight or nine” youths.  One was able to flee, but the other, surnamed Law, was viciously beaten in the street.

The NAPE area is a popular nightlife spot in Macau which tends to attract many tourists. It’s also very close to major casinos like the Wynn Macau.

Among the eight suspects involved, three of them have been taken into custody, according to media reports.  They range in age from 16 to 22, and a few of them have triad backgrounds, according to the Macau Daily Times.

Residents nearby were woken up by the noise and called the police. All the attackers had already taken flight from the site when policemen arrived and the victim died shortly after being rushed to the Kiang Wu Hospital. Reports said hours after the attack, detailed information on as many as three alleged suspects including their names, photos, addresses, telephone numbers were posted on the Internet. Police said they were aware of the Internet information but would not confirm if they are the suspected attackers, instead, the authority said they collected information including video footages from CCTV nearby as well as testimony by residents and witnesses.

It’s believed some of the suspects may have quickly fled to the Mainland.

There are concerns in Macau that triads have infiltrated school campuses, and calls for the former Portuguese territory to take action to protect students.



[Updated - Tuesday: 23:30pm] Batten down the hatches for Vicente!

Posted: 07/23/2012 2:39 pm

Weather warnings have been hoisted across the PRD as strengthening winds and heavy rains from Tropical Cyclone Vicente approach the coast of Guangdong.

In Hong Kong and Macau, the No. 3 typhoon signal was hoisted, and in the mainland, blue and yellow warnings were in force. The Hong Kong Observatory is warning that a typhoon No. 8 signal – which means no work for our compatriots south of the boundary – will be issued at 6pm or before today.

Vicente is expected to move further in a northwesterly track later on today, passing over the western coast of Guangdong Province.

The Hong Kong Observatory says the cyclone will pass within 200km of Hong Kong tonight and tomorrow morning.

Tropical Storm Doksuri was the first No. 8 typhoon storm of the year, while severe Tropical Storm Talim ushered in the tropical cyclone season for 2012.

However, the wild weather is not just confined to the Delta. In Beijing, the worst floods in 60 years claimed the lives of 37 people and displacing 65,000 people according to the BBC.

Update: 17:30pm
Around Guangdong, storm warnings have been adjusted. In Hong Kong, the Observatory hoisted a No. 8 Northeast typhoon signal at 5.40pm. The Macau Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau hoisted its respective No. 8 signal at 7pm.

Update: 22:45pm
As Tropical Cyclone Vicente edges closer to the west of the Delta, by 10pm tonight, it is only 130km southwest off the coast. The storm has intensified over the past few hours, and overnight, signals may be upgraded once more if strong winds persist and increase as it reaches the west of the Delta. In Hong Kong, the Observatory recorded winds of 125 kilometres per hour at Ngong Ping on Lantau Island. AlertNet, a Thompson Reuters service, is estimating Vicente will make landfall at 7am local time on Tuesday morning.

Update: 23:45pm
The Hong Kong Observatory has upgraded Tropical Storm Vicente’s strength from a storm signal No. 8 to a No. 9, as it hovers south of the Delta, making it a severe typhoon.

Also, meteorologists from reckon this storm is equivalent to a Category 1 hurricane. They say parts of Guangdong can expect between 10-20 inches of rainfall which raises concerns of severe flooding and mudslides.

Update: Tuesday: 00:45am
The Hong Kong Observatory has added a thunderstorm warning alongside storm signal No. 9 for Vicente, now a severe typhoon. Now only 110km off the coast of Hong Kong, at Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, wind speeds have reached 156 kilometres per hour. Low-lying areas may be hit by flooding due to high waters.

Update: 01:05am
Within the past 20 minutes, the Hong Kong Observatory has hoisted a hurricane signal No. 10. While Macau’s signal remains the same, it has issued a yellow storm surge warning – which is the first of three staggered warnings monitoring water levels inside the inner-harbour area.

Update: 01:30am
The Hong Kong Observatory has added a landslip warning alongside the hurricane signal No. 10 and thunderstorm warning.

Update: 02:15am
More warnings from the Hong Kong Observatory. An amber rainstorm warning has been issued, meaning as much as 30mm of rain an hour could fall, alongside a special warning for flooding in the northern New Territories. In Ngong Ping, wind speeds have now reached 180 kilometres per hour.

Vicente is the first hurricane signal No. 10 to be issued since 1999. According to statistics on the Observatory’s website, since 1946, only 13 typhoons have succeeded in claiming a No. 10 signal – or as the Observatory puts it: a “direct hit” on Hong Kong. Thanks to Melvin Pang for the tip.

Update: 02:30am
And in Macau, a tropical cyclone warning No. 9 has been issued along with a red storm surge warning. Neighbouring Zhuhai has hoisted a red cyclone warning and other cities in the west including Jiangmen and Zhongshan have upgraded their yellow to orange rainstorm warning.

Update: 03:00am
The online website for French news channel France 24 is running with an AFP report stating 34 people have been injured by the extreme weather.

As far as weather warning updates go, Guangzhou adds a yellow rainstorm warning. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Observatory says Vicente will make landfall in the coastal area of Taishan.

Update: 03:45am
The Washington Post says wind speeds reached the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane. It talks about the rarity of No. 10 signals, which The Nanfang touched on. The story adds what Reuters has put out on a financial note: if Vicente’s No. 10 signal is still in force by morning, Hong Kong’s stock exchange will not open until stormy conditions have subsided. Normally disruptions of such a scale only occur in No. 8 or higher storms.

But we may have spoken too soon. The Observatory in Hong Kong has hoisted a No. 8 southeast signal. In Macau, they may replace their signal with a No. 8 signal in the next several hours.

Update: 07:30am
Since the last update, Vicente made landfall in Taishan, just west of Zhuhai and Macau, as predicted. The tropical cyclone still has a lot of strength, weakening a fraction as it travels inland. It’s predicted to travel further west, skirting the western coast of Guangdong, entering Guangxi Province and making its way into northern Vietnam. Throughout its journey, Vicente will dump a lot of rain in these areas, making flooding a possibility.

Weather warnings have been adjusted over the past few hours. In Hong Kong, it remains a No. 8 storm with warnings for amber rainstorm, landslips and acute flooding over the New Territories. Macau also hoisted a No. 8, lowering from a No. 9, and at 6.30am, cancelled all storm surge warnings. In the mainland, warnings are mostly unchanged from overnight, apart from certain areas such as Guangzhou and Zhaoqing increasing warnings as the storm pushes further inland.

Update: 14:00pm
As Vicente crosses into Guangxi Province, it is gradually losing strength – now with the power of a severe tropical storm.

The Hong Kong Observatory downgraded Vicente to a No. 3 strong wind signal, with a warning for landslides. Macau have a tropical storm No. 3 warning out. In Shenzhen, all warnings have been lifted. The west of the warnings in the Delta still remain in the far west. Zhaoqing still has an orange tropical cyclone warning. Throughout the rest of the day, strong, gusty winds will persist, as will the wet weather.

Update: 15:00pm
Dongguan has followed Shenzhen in cancelling all warnings. Other mainland warnings for tropical storm and rainstorms remain in force.

And the Observatory in Hong Kong has downgraded its warning to a No. 1 standby signal, and its landslip warning has been cancelled, too.

Update: 23:00pm
Vicente is passing over Nanning, Guangxi Province, as a tropical storm. Cities in the west of the PRD still have weather warnings out tonight. Foshan, Jiangmen, Zhaoqing and Zhongshan have orange rainstorm warnings while Zhuhai has a yellow signal in force. Hong Kong has a No. 1 standby signal in place but the Observatory will replace this signal with a Strong Monsoon signal later tonight. Everywhere else in the Delta, no warnings are in place for tonight.

Update: 23:30pm
Post-Vicente, Hong Kong’s Observatory has put a Strong Monsoon signal up. All other cities mentioned in the 23:00pm update, warnings remain unchanged.


New 24-hour border crossing between Zhuhai and Macau proposed

Posted: 05/29/2012 10:08 am

Gongbei Port may soon have some competition

Anybody who has crossed at Gongbei Port has surely noticed the insane crowds of people moving back and forth.  Macau is a gambling haven for Mainland Chinese who are fortunate enough to get a travel permit, but the city is a whole lot more than just gaming; many Zhuhai residents cross into Macau to do their grocery shopping, and vice versa.  It’s not uncommon to see hundreds of elderly people walking across with grocery bags full of cooking items.  The result is sometimes a 30-40 minute wait – or longer – to get across.

To tackle the problem, Macau is proposing to build a second crossing with Zhuhai that would remain open 24-hours a day. says it would be equipped to handle 250,000 crossings per day.

The new checkpoint will be located where the Nam Yuet wholesale market now is, and will be for pedestrians only, however all details – including its operating hours – still need to receive approval from Beijing.

As construction hasn’t even started, it will be a while yet before you can make use of the new crossing.  Building an alternative to Gongbei is a good idea though, considering Macau’s casino business is booming.  Its gaming revenues are now five times what Las Vegas pulls in, making it easily the biggest gambling mecca on the planet.

Despite Macau’s staggering growth, many believe this is just the beginning.  Large casino operators are looking to cash in on the growing numbers of affluent people in China and Southeast Asia.




Two laowai kids speaking perfect Canto (and accented English)

Posted: 02/27/2012 10:00 am

White Mandarin speakers are now more common than Jeremy Lin stories, so it’s no longer so impressive when a laowai opens his mouth and Putonghua comes out.

The same can’t quite be said for Cantonese, however.  The language is difficult, with some estimating it contains anywhere from six to nine tones.  To make matters worse, there isn’t the same standardized romanization for Cantonese, like pinyin for Mandarin.  Yes, standards exist, but none have become dominant (the MTR uses different standards for different station names, even).

The topic of Cantonese is an interesting one in our region.  While Guangzhou is the heart of the culture, the Cantonese language is slowly becoming maligned in the city.  It’s common to travel in Shenzhen or Zhuhai and not hear it at all, as those cities were largely populated by migrants over the past 30 years.  But Cantonese pride is as strong as ever, as evidenced last year when protests erupted in both Guangzhou and Hong Kong over the government’s plans to limit television broadcasts in Cantonese.

This is a roundabout way of saying the language may not have the reach of Mandarin (although even this is debatable, considering the plethora of overseas Cantonese communities), but that could be because it is far more difficult to learn for non-native speakers.  Which makes these two white kids even more impressive.

Make sure to watch the whole thing, as their imitation of Cantonese English is pretty much spot on (we could do without the videographer’s stale commentary, however).


After much dithering, construction on the HK-Macau bridge is about to start

Posted: 11/29/2011 10:27 pm

It’s one of the key differences between life on this side of the line, and in one of the SARs: stuff just gets done faster here. Sure, sometimes bulldozers have to move in before people have had a chance to leave their homes, but that’s the price one has to pay for progress, right? Or China would like us to think.

Anyway, life is much different in Hong Kong where environmental impact studies and feasibility studies need to be completed before any major infrastructure project gets off the ground. Even then, it’s subject to lawsuits if people feel they weren’t properly consulted. That’s what has happened to the HK-Macau-Zhuhai bridge over the past few years, as one women in Tung Chung, a suburb of Hong Kong, complained that the bridge would have a negative environmental impact on her community.

That’s all been put to bed though, and after humming and hawing over the start date, it’s been announced the land reclamation will start before the end of this year. This, after the Hong Kong government had to pony up an additional HK$48 million for the project:

“This reflects the people’s wishes that such large-scale infrastructure projects should begin and not be repeatedly delayed,” said Eva Cheng, Hong Kong’s secretary for transport and housing, after the decision. “It will enhance Hong Kong’s competitiveness and create employment.”

“We will start work before the end of this year. And then we will try our best to compress the programme. The target right now is to complete these facilities in line with the Main Bridge completion date of 2016,” Cheng said.

So what does this mean? Well, in 2016 you could theoretically live in Zhuhai and commute to work in Hong Kong by car, or vice versa. It’s another key part of joining the various cities of the Pearl River Delta.

One wonders just how much that toll will be, though.


China flirts with political reform with Hengqin Island project

Posted: 08/8/2011 11:17 am

Hengqin Island

Shenzhen is where China’s market reforms began, and the PRD also looks to be where the Central Government is flirting with political reform.

We previously reported that plans to develop the Qianhai area in Shenzhen into a special zone that would potentially feature a Hong Kong-style independent judiciary and enhanced freedoms have been shelved, but a second plan in neighbouring Zhuhai has been given the go-ahead.

Hengqin Island is a 106-square-kilometre island that sits right next to Macao. Last year, the State Council named it the country’s third new strategic zone, after Pudong in Shanghai and Binhai in Tianjin. But Hengqin is even more daring, as it will feature a changed legal system on parts of the island and zero duties and tariffs on imported goods, as long as they are not sent elsewhere in the Mainland. In some cases, people traveling from Macao to Hengqin will also be exempt from customs formalities.

Not much is happening on the island at the moment, but that could change soon, according to this report from Macao which cites the South China Morning Post:

The blueprint announced by the Zhuhai authorities includes a massive gas terminal and gas-engine generator projects and a huge ocean-themed entertainment centre.

Most controversially it will include a branch of the Macau University.

A Zhuhai official said students and staff would be able to access the university through a special tunnel without needing to go through immigration checkpoints.

“Because the new campus will be operated according to Macau laws, both the university and we expect to make it a self-contained area that is separated from other parts of the island,” Niu Jing, deputy director of Hengqin’s administrative committee, was quoted as saying by the South China Morning Post newspaper.

It remains unclear if Macau police would have access to the campus on Chinese territory.

Zhuhai authorities say they want to see the island generate 56 billion yuan (US$8bn, £4.9bn) in annual GDP by 2020.

Currently the island of 106 square km is described as bleak, largely empty, generating just 128 million last year.

The population is expected to increase to 120,000 by 2015 and 280,000 by 2020.

Having the university and the land upon which it sits governed by Macao law is precedent-setting for the Mainland. A similar plan in Shenzhen, in which part of the city would be governed by Hong Kong laws, was shelved after Shenzhen officials got cold feet.

This development is interesting on a number of levels. First, it is an indication that the Central Government is indeed looking at ways of introducing political and legal reforms. As is their wont, the cadres in Zhongnanhai will go slow and ensure they don’t lose control of the process. Finding an isolated piece of land, like Hengqin Island, and going slow with the process likely makes them feel a bit more comfortable.

Secondly, on my own humble observation, it seems working with Macao is safer than having Hong Kong run a similar project in Shenzhen. Unlike the Hong Kong SAR, Macao quickly embraced the motherland upon its return in 1999. It has a much more cooperative government and less politically active population. Macao has traditionally worked well with the Central Government, while Hong Kong is much more adversarial, making Macao a safer choice.

The tax policies on Hengqin will also go much farther than in the other two strategic zones, according to China Briefing:

Overseas goods shipped to the island – except for consumer products for day-to-day life, goods for commercial property development projects, and other goods that cannot enjoy free duties according to related regulations – will enjoy import duty exemption, but will still be subject to tariffs if they are destined for other parts of Mainland China. However, duty-free entry of goods does not mean boundaryless entry of people. Visitors from Hong Kong, Macau and foreign countries will still have to complete customs formalities, related reports emphasize.

In addition to import duty exemption, commodity trading among enterprises based on Hengqin Island is also exempt from value-added tax and consumption tax payment. It is even hoped that some eligible local enterprises will be allowed to pay corporate income tax at a lower rate of 15 percent.

Compared to most of China’s bonded areas, where a similar customs system and tax policies are practiced, Hengqin is going to be more consumer-friendly. While regular bonded areas are usually set up for manufacturers, Hengqin will allow the construction of commercial living and consuming facilities and develop commercial retail businesses. There will be shopping malls built up where people can spend their money, said Fang Zhou, assistant chief research officer of the Hong Kong-based One Country Two Systems Research Institute.

We do not want to overstate the importance of Hengqin to China’s development, as this remains a plan on an isolated island far in the south of China. Like many plans and ideas in China, it may not come to fruition. But the fact that this project has been given approval by the Central Government and includes small but radical changes to taxation and laws could be a harbinger for things to come… if it’s successful.


Surf on the roof of the new Galaxy Macau

Posted: 05/17/2011 5:37 pm

If you’re looking to light it up — and I mean really Light. It. Up. — then Galaxy Macau might be the place to go.

Many of us have made the trek down to Macau for some drinks and blackjack (Macau casinos are far, far different from their Las Vegas counterparts), which is now much easier to do with the high speed rail linking Guangzhou and Zhuhai. But after a night or two, you figure you’ve seen everything, right? I mean, it’s all more of the same: slot machines, baccarat, expensive meals, wealthy mainland Chinese officials smoking and blowing laundered yuan. Well, the Galaxy Macau just might have trumped all of the other glistening casinos and mega-hotels.

The Galaxy had its official opening last Sunday, and as CNNGo points out, it has a number of selling points that sets it apart from the other run-of-the-mill entertainment complexes (if you consider Wynn, MGM and City of Dreams “run-of-the-mill”). For starters, installing a swimming pool is just, so…. pedestrian. So Galaxy installed a 4,000 square metre wave pool, complete with sand, on its roof.

Furthermore, the hotel went out of its way to find the tallest women in Asia (which isn’t an easy task) to work at the hotel. The height requirement for the women was 172 centimetres, well above the typical height of females in these parts. In addition, some rooms have their own spa pools so you can relax in total privacy.

CNNGo has a great list of the other features at the hotel, of which there are many. Macau, in its pursuit of glitz, has just kicked it up a notch.

The relax pool holds up to 3 people.



Summer is here: Pool party series to kick off in Macau

Posted: 04/28/2011 10:17 am

The PRD went from cold and rainy to hot and humid almost overnight, which means its time to shed layers of clothing and embrace the sunshine: summer is finally here.

We will certainly keep you up-to-date with all of the parties going on this summer. Longtime PRD residents will know of the fantastic beaches in Shenzhen and Zhuhai, which will no doubt be filled with various sultry events in the coming months. For the newbies, there have been some epic moments in summers’ past and you won’t want to miss them this year.

First up is a special pool party series being kicked off in Macau, at the relatively-new City of Dreams project. The first day in the SPLASH Pool Party Summer Series is on Saturday May 21, featuring “an adrenalin pumping, poolside extravaganza”. Sounds pretty good, right? It’s also organized by MTV.

Here are the details (courtesy of Life of Guangzhou):

MTV Asia veteran, VJ Andy, VJ Utt and VJ Holly, recent winner of MTV’s VJ hunt competition held last year, will host the first of the spectacular party series on Saturday May 21, 2011. This premier party experience in Macau combines Hard Rock Hotel’s Pool and Club CUBIC, City of Dreams’ new 30,000-square-foot live entertainment venue to create the ultimate entertainment hotspot for guests.

The first of the series will feature an approximately 30-minute special live performance, namely, ’24 Herbs,’ a bona fide hip-hop band in Asia, followed by DJ Judge Jules presiding over the Hard Rock Hotel’s SPLASH Pool Party event and dance music specialist Eddie Halliwell headlining in Club CUBIC.

The festivities will also be broadcast later on MTV Asia. If you’re interested in checking it out, here is the ticket info:

Event Details*

SPLASH Pool Party Summer Series-Vol 1
Date: May 21, 2011 (Saturday)
Time : Poolside : 4pm till 2am; CUBIC : 10pm till 6am
Headlining : DJ Judge Jules (Poolside) & DJ Eddie Halliwell (Club CUBIC)
VJ Andy , VJ Utt & VJ Holly
Special Live Performance : 24 Herbs (Poolside)
Venues : Poolside, Level 3 Hard Rock Hotel, City of Dreams, Cotai, Macau
Club CUBIC, Level 2, City of Dreams, Cotai, Macau
Tickets : Poolside Only: HKD250 advance / HKD300 door
Club CUBIC Only: HKD300 advance / HKD350 door

Special Packages:

Cabana Package: HKD5,000
Private cabana for 6-8 people
Choice of vodka or whiskey, plus 1 bottle of champagne
Mixers included

Summer Splash Package: HKD2,588 up
One night accommodation at Hard Rock Hotel
One way ferry tickets for two
Pool party entrance for two
Club CUBIC party entrance for two
Two complimentary drink tickets for Hard Rock Pool Party
One complimentary 20 minutes ‘mini massage’ at Hard Rock Pool

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