The streets of Macau

First some information about Macau. Macau is a city-region of China with a large extent of self-government, lying at the mouth of the Xi-Jiang (West River) in South-West China. It consisted of 1 peninsula, Macau, and 2 islands, Coloane and Taipa. In mean time the 2 last have grown together to 1 island by reclamation and damms.
Within China it has the status known as "one country, two systems", just like Hongkong that is lying at less than 70 km distance. The official name is "Special Administrative Region Macau of the People's Republic of China".
It is the most densely populated area of the world with almost 20.000 inhabitants per square kilometer.
In the 16th century the Portugese as first set foot on shore, close to the temple with the name Ma'a Gok, what they pronounced as Macau. On December 20st 1999 the country was released by Portugal with China's guarantee that it will be completely independent in 50 years (thus in 2049).
Off course we already know stamps with motorcycles from Macau since 1962 (especially those of the Grand Prix) but these are stamps issued under the banner of Portugal. From 20-12-1999 the name on the stamps is "Macau-China".
In 2002 the post issued its first definitive series of stamps. Definitives are stamps without predetermined final validity date, different from Commemoratives of which it is already at the issue known until when they will be sold. These first Definitives, related to environmental issues, have been succeeded in 2008 by a series related to World Heritage in Macau. And now the 3rd series (September 22nd 2015, already announced in newsletter 115), with images of old streets and alleys in Macau. The series is consisting of 2 sets of each 4 stamps, 1 for use within Macau and 1 with values for shipment within China. The first set comprises values of 2.00, 3.00, 4.50 and 5.00 Patacas in an impression of 500.000, and the "mainland" series values of 2.50, 3.50, 4.00 and 5.50 in an impression of 300.000. Thus 2 so-called Short Series, but issued as one.
The designer, Mr. Lei Tak Seng, chose for 8 streets and alleys with a special significance in the history of Macau.
In the narrow streets of the Portugese ex-colony the scooter is the favorite means of transport. You find them in all sizes and shapes, and there is almost no Google Streetview image of Macau without any scooter. Thus naturally this kind of 2-wheeler might not be absent on the stamps, and on 2 of the stamps they are actually depicted.
The first is the stamp of 5.00 Patacas. On this stamp the Rua da Erva. The name, road over premises, already tells it: it is not more than a path through the back-gardens of the houses. Therefore as street the Rua da Barca is shown on the stamp, and it is marked on the stamp where the actual path is located.

Together with Google I climbed the stairs, and from top the street nowadays looks like this:

The other stamp is the one of 5.50 Patacas. This one shows the Calcada cas Verdades (Road of Truth), named like this because this is the place where the Prefect administered justice in the past.

Also this image can be found back with Google:

If you also collect the maximum cards of this issue you will get a bonus.
Off course the already mentioned images are shown on the maximum cards, and on that of 4.00 Patacas the street, the Calcada Ambaixador where the Portugese ambassador lived in the Longhouse, is shown but now from the other side compared to the stamp. And on this street there is now also a small scooter.

Of every issue the Macau Postal Service issues an information leaflet, or did you think that I knew this all by head?

Click on the images for a larger view

The brochures are provided with a special first day postmark.

Hans de Kloet



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