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Area Code -- The international telephone country code for Macau is 853. From Hong Kong, dial 001/853 before the number. When dialing an international number from Macau, you must first dial 00, followed by the country code. However, when calling Hong Kong from Macau, you need only dial the prefix 01.

Emergencies -- Dial tel. 999 for medical emergencies and tel. 110 or 112 for the police's special 24-hour tourist hot line, all free calls. For the fire department, dial tel. 853/2857 2222; for nonemergencies you can also reach the police at tel. 853/2857 3333, both toll calls. However, you can also just call tel. 999 and the operator will transfer you to the police or fire departments.

Hospitals -- If you need to go to a hospital, contact the S. Januario Hospital, Estrada do Visconde de S. Januario (tel. 853/2831 3731), or Kiang Wu Hospital, Estrada Coelho do Amaral (tel. 853/2837 1333), both with 24-hour emergency service. For nonemergencies, Metro International Clinic, Av. Da Praia Grande 405 (tel. 853/2835 5522; www.metroclinic.com.mo), has English-speaking staff.

Internet -- The Macao Museum of Art has a Media Library on the ground floor, with 37 computers you can use for free Tuesday to Friday from 2 to 7pm and Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 7pm. Otherwise, several public libraries offer free Internet facilities, including the Macao Central Library, 89 A-B Av. Conselheiro Ferreira da Almeida (tel. 853/2856 7567), open daily 10am to 8pm (closed holidays). If all you want is to check e-mail, there are two computers at the main MGTO office, Largo do Senado, which you can use free for 30 minutes from 9am to 6pm.

Language -- Both Portuguese and Chinese are official languages, with Cantonese the most widely spoken language. However, hotel and restaurant staffs usually understand English.

Mail -- Mailboxes are red in Macau. The main post office (tel. 853/2832 3666), located in the city center on Largo do Senado, is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm and Saturday from 9am to 1pm. It costs MOP$5 to send a postcard or letter weighing up to 10 grams via airmail to the United States. Macau is famous for its themed series of stamps, including the "Chinese Zodiac" and "Legends and Myths," which you can purchase at philately counters at all post offices.

Telephone -- For local calls made from public phone booths, it costs MOP$1 for every 5 minutes. Most local telephone numbers in Macau are eight digits, now that 28 has been added to the beginning of most -- but not all -- numbers. The additional 28 may not be reflected in old pamphlets listing six-digit phone numbers. Telephones in Macau also offer international direct dialing, though in your hotel room you may have to go through the hotel operator. For calls to the United States, it costs about MOP$10 for every 3 minutes from a public phone. In the busy tourist sections of town there are also phones that accept credit cards. If you think you'll be making a lot of international calls, purchase a prepaid phone card for MOP$50, $100, or $150 at Edificio CTM, 25 Rua Pedro Coutinho (tel. 853/1000), where you can also check whether your own mobile phone will work in Macau and buy a SIM card starting at MOP$50. Otherwise, vending machines at the Macau Ferry Terminal sell CTM prepaid phone cards starting at MOP$100 and SmarTone SIM cards for MOP$120. For international directory assistance, dial tel. 101; for local directory inquiries, dial tel. 181.

Weather -- For weather information, call tel. 853/8898 6276 or go online to www.smg.gov.mo.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.