Although both the iconic cities featured here properly belong to China, they are presented here separately instead of in our China pages because of their special status within the Chinese system and Hong Kong's key role as a prominent international airport hub for Southeast Asia.

The entry requirements for visitors are considerably more relaxed than those that apply to the Chinese mainland, making these destinations universally accessible for almost all nationalities without the need for an entry Visa, and are therefore perfect for a fruitful stopover in conjunction with other destinations in Southeast Asia.


Hong Kong’s distinctive skyline and iconic harbour have long enchanted visitors, and the city, like Singapore, is a highly successful global economic powerhouse in spite of its diminutive size. Also in common with Singapore, although well known throughout the globe for its major city status, the opportunities for exploration of its outlying wilderness areas and islands are often a surprise to visitors.

Hong Kong sits at the north of the island of the same name, facing its sister city, Kowloon on the Chinese mainland. Together with an area of mainland referred to as ‘The New Territories’ beyond Kowloon and the cluster of islands around Hong Kong itself, this area, formally a British colony, has been restored to China and is collectively designated as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

A major air hub in this part of the world, Hong Kong is naturally ideally suited to a highly rewarding stopover, and its interesting sights are particularly easily accessible as, for the majority of travellers, conveniently no visa is required to enter the HKSAR. However, Hong Kong and its surroundings have so much to offer for visitors with the time to explore the area fully, that it is often also visited as a destination in itself.

The skyscrapers of its vast economy tower above the city’s lively streets, within which its many and varied attractions reside from modern museums to ancient temples. If you are travelling with a family, there are superb facilities for the young ones including several theme parks, and plenty of other fun activities. Quality shopping abounds and Hong Kong positively vibrates with energy at night, full of sophisticated pubs, clubs and restaurants.

Away from the city there are some fine beaches to complement the thrill of city life, and a multitude of islands to explore. There are several worthwhile walking trails across Hong Kong and yet many more fascinating walks and beaches to enjoy on the scattered islands beyond.


A mere hour away on the ferry, and likewise an encouragingly visa free visit for most visitors, Macau presents the colonial legacy of another European power, Portugal, its beautifully well preserved charm likewise nestled with the towering structures of modern Asia.

The alternative ambitious and technically challenging construction of a sea crossing highway between Hong Kong and Macau opened in October 2018, but the ferry remains the favourite tourist route.

If the wonderful stroll around the delightful historic area doesn't do it for you, perhaps the adjacent mega-casinos, many of which are sisters of the well-known Las Vegas consortiums might appeal.

For thrill seekers, the Macau tower is one of the very best places anywhere to take an awe inspiring aerial dive.