On Hong Kong’s Ice House Street, in the heart of the city’s Financial District, is Club Lusitano: one of the city’s premier social clubs, nestled at the top of an office tower. But the club’s roots stretch back over 150 years, when it was originally set up to serve the colony’s burgeoning Portuguese community—including many who hopped over the Pearl River Delta from the Portuguese colony of Macau.

The ubiquity of Portuguese surnames in Hong Kong, including as they do quite a few people who don’t look particularly European, can come as something of a surprise. Some of these, as Catherine S Chan points out in her new book Macanese Diaspora in British Hong Kong: A Century of Transimperial Drifting, date literally from Hong Kong’s earliest days as the Macanese were some of the city’s first immigrants.

Once a relatively obscure topic, the Manila Galleon—in essence a commercial shipping line that connected Asia to the Americas from the 16th to early 19th centuries and arguably the key building block in the development of what we have since recognized as “globalization”—is now the subject of an increasing number of studies. In the latest, Portuguese Merchants in the Manila Galleon System, 1565-1600, former Mexican diplomat Cuauhtémoc Villamar looks at the involvement of Portuguese merchants—and by extension Macau—in the Galleon’s first few decades.

While the Second World War may have concluded more than seventy years ago, new stories from that era continue to pop up, even now. Paul French’s new book, Strangers on the Praia: A Tale of Refugees and Resistance in Wartime Macao, tells the little-known history of Jewish refugees in Shanghai that fled to the neutral Portuguese enclave.

There are some cities that lend themselves to darkness and intrigue. Macau is one of these places. First settled by refugees fleeing the Mongol invasion in northern China, it became a fishing village and later a haven for pirates. The Portuguese arrived in the 1500s and built a slice of the baroque Mediterranean in South China. It was returned to China in 1999 and today it’s the gambling capital of the world.