Visit the Portuguese Las Vegas of Asia
Every country boasts its own characteristics and values, but Macau surely must be one of the most bizarre and unique nations on Earth. 65km west of Hong Kong, you’ll find the territory that was a Portuguese territory until 1999. This tiny little region should, in theory, be completely overshadowed by the likes of Hong Kong and greater China. But Macau has an ace up its sleeve: it’s the only part of China where gambling is legal, giving this tiny town the aura of Las Vegas (populated with Eastern culture in Portuguese architecture). That’s quite a combo!
And all you need to pay it a visit is some pataca in your pocket! Swap your cash from Aussie dollars to Macau pataca and get ready to roll the dice in Macau.
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Pick up locally
With over 140 convenient store locations across Australia, you can securely pick up your Macanese Pataca with no hassles.
The rates chart shows how the two currencies have compared in the past. Political and world events can cause rates to fluctuate, so if you're after a particular rate for your Macanese Pataca, you can sign up for currency alerts. When the Pataca is the price you’re after, you’ll receive an alert. Now that’s a gamble that's worth taking.
Coins and notes
Similar to dollars and cents, pataca can be divided by 100 into avos (and no, not the smashed on toast kind). You’ll most likely find coins worth 10, 20 and 50 avos, then moving through 1, 2, 5 and 10 patacas. The Macanese banknotes sit at 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 patacas each.
Facts about the currency
- Unfortunately, you won’t get far if you don’t have any pataca with you. The local currency runs incredibly similarly to the Hong Kong dollar, so much so that locals will often accept either (except for the HKD $10 coin).
- Banknotes have been printed in both Portuguese and Chinese thanks to Macau’s unique history.
- If you’re lucky, some places in Macau may also accept the Chinese yuan.
- Something very satisfying to know, all MOP banknotes are the exact same size as the equivalent banknotes in Hong Kong dollars.
- A note worth 1,000 patacas was introduced on 8 August 1988 to celebrate China’s lucky number of – you guessed it – 8, which in its native tongue sounds close to “getting rich”. How appropriate is that?
- There are no restrictions on bringing currency in or out of Macau, although you might find it tough to part ways with your pataca back home. Not just because it’s a souvenir of your best trip ever, but because it’s rarely traded back for AUD. So you might be better off spending all your pataca while you’re there.