Macau, on the opposite side of the mouth of the Pearl River from Hong Kong, has for more than a century been eclipsed by its more prosperous cousin across the water. But this former Portuguese colony is making a comeback thanks to its liberal gambling laws. Punters from mainland China (where gambling is banned) flock here for a flutter in one of the Vegas-style mega casinos springing up across the city, and to pose for selfies in front of the spectacular Baroque Church of St Paul. Nearby Kaiping is famous for the 1,800 or so castle-like towers scattered across the surrounding rice fields. Originally built in the Ming era to protect settlements from bandits, these quirky structures were later erected by local émigré families to show off their wealth. Many can be climbed for delightful views over the adjacent farming villages.

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