Why go? This formerly Portuguese enclave of Asia – comprising the Macau Peninsula and the islands of Taipa and Coloane – is best known for its casinos. The gambling dens here make more money than Vegas, and are almost as glitzy. But this Special Administrative Region of China isn’t all craps. Though you can day trip from Hong Kong, it’s worth staying several days. The centre of Macau is UNESCO-listed, with baroque churches, wide squares and crumbly mansions that nod to its rich colonial history.
The food’s good too – a fusion of Portuguese and Chinese, so you can follow your crispy fried pork with a pasteis de nata (egg custard tart). To really get away from all the bling, aim for the nine sq km island of Coloane. In Coloane Village, high-rises are swapped for fishing boats, quiet temples and Catholic chapels, while there’s an expanse of green, hilly parkland to roam.
When to go: October-December is the best time – the weather is cool and clear. March-May is also pleasant. July-September is typhoon season.
How to go: There are no direct flights from the UK to Macau International Airport; flights run via hubs such as Hong Kong and Bangkok. Ferries run between Hong Kong and Macau (from 45mins). ►