Earlier in the year, i was lucky enough to win a fantastic competition that was run in Escape.com.au  for best travel photo.  Here is the photo I won with on the cover of the Escape Magazine:

The prize for this competition was a trip to Macau, China!  Right now i'm in Hong Kong after an amazing three days in Macau.  We were treated to so many wonderful things and can't be more thankful to Conrad Macau Resort and the Macau Tourist Board for their wonderful hospitality.

The Conrad hotel is part of a larger resort that also includes Holiday Inn and the Sheraton.  All of the hotels share a shopping precinct , casino's and lots of restaurants.  It is connected by an overpass to the Venetian, which has more casinos, more restaurants and much more shopping.  Not to mention the canals that you can cruise along on a gondola!  I can highly recommend Conrad as a place to stay - we experienced exceptional service and can vouch for the Bodhi Spa (the best massage i've had!).

If you're after a bit of entertainment, The House of Dancing Water show is a water acrobatic/ theatre extravaganza and even saw motorbikes doing stunts... yes... that's all in the same show!
We also went to 'Shrekfast' - a buffet breakfast and meet and greet with all of dreamworks favourite characters like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar.  A lot of fun - even for adults.

Macau surprised me in so many ways. First of all, it was much bigger than I expected. I thought it was a small island for gamblers with amazing resorts and good shopping, however, for me, this only described the Taipa island which is connected by long bridges to Macau.  While Macau still has big hotels and casino's, it also holds a rich history dating back to the 1500's when the Portuguese arrived in Macau and joined fisherman and farmers from China.  

The blended cultures have resulted in a mind-boggling but beautiful city.  Within a short distance you see baroque churches and Taoist temples from the Ming Dynasty!  It also has so many old temples and ruins as well as new construction happening - bigger and better hotels. Macau is where old meets new, and East meets West.

Here is some of my pictures from the trip:

The view from the pool area of Conrad Macau.  

The view from the pool area of Conrad Macau.  

Chinese version of Fondu "Ta Pin Nou".  A huge variety of seafood, meats and vegetables that you boil in a boiling broth on the table. We enjoyed this meal at Fishermans Wharf

Chinese version of Fondu "Ta Pin Nou".  A huge variety of seafood, meats and vegetables that you boil in a boiling broth on the table. We enjoyed this meal at Fishermans Wharf

A travel writer who was also part of our tour group, exploring Fishermans Wharf in a cow suit #cowinmacau

A travel writer who was also part of our tour group, exploring Fishermans Wharf in a cow suit #cowinmacau

Taken from Fishermans Wharf with the Macau Science Centre in the background

Taken from Fishermans Wharf with the Macau Science Centre in the background

Preparing fish at the Red Market.  One of Macau's busiest marketplaces made out of red brick in the 1930's. 

Preparing fish at the Red Market.  One of Macau's busiest marketplaces made out of red brick in the 1930's. 

Dried fish for sale at the Red Market

Dried fish for sale at the Red Market

Drying out salted fish at the Red Market

Drying out salted fish at the Red Market

Red Market

Red Market

Red Market

Red Market

Red Market

Red Market

Ruins of St Paul.  Built in early 17th Century, fire destroyed this church in 1835.  The ruins that remain illustrate the history of christianity in China.

Ruins of St Paul.  Built in early 17th Century, fire destroyed this church in 1835.  The ruins that remain illustrate the history of christianity in China.

A small european looking laneway coming off Senado Square (the main civic hub of Macau)

A small european looking laneway coming off Senado Square (the main civic hub of Macau)

Stallholders sell food in Senado Square

Stallholders sell food in Senado Square

Senado Square is fully pedestrianized and very busy with locals and tourists alike.

Senado Square is fully pedestrianized and very busy with locals and tourists alike.

Senado Square

Senado Square

Senado Square

Senado Square

Incense burning at A-Ma Temple - Set into a hill next to the waterfront.  The pavillions on 4 different levels are dedicated to Taoist Goddess of A-Ma and the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy.

Incense burning at A-Ma Temple - Set into a hill next to the waterfront.  The pavillions on 4 different levels are dedicated to Taoist Goddess of A-Ma and the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy.

Tourists line up to put their hands in the water and rub the handles.

Tourists line up to put their hands in the water and rub the handles.

Incence burning at the temple

Incence burning at the temple

Tourists and locals buy these red ornaments to write 'prayers' on them before hanging them in the temple.

Tourists and locals buy these red ornaments to write 'prayers' on them before hanging them in the temple.

A glimpse of the neon lights of the hotel casinos in Macau.  

A glimpse of the neon lights of the hotel casinos in Macau.  

Lilau Square.  Features a water fountain whose water ensures that anyone who drinks it will return to Macau (according to tradition). 

Lilau Square.  Features a water fountain whose water ensures that anyone who drinks it will return to Macau (according to tradition). 

A small residential landeway off china town

A small residential landeway off china town

Chinatown

Chinatown

3 door options for safety and ventilation

3 door options for safety and ventilation

Cornerstore

Cornerstore

Schoolgirls walk down a laneway in Macau

Schoolgirls walk down a laneway in Macau

These photos only show small pieces of our journey through Macau.  I can highly recommend seeing it as a destination in itself or as an addition when visiting Hong Kong.  I found it cheaper, more relaxing and hotel rooms are much more of spacious and modern in comparison to Hong Kong.   A good place to start in finding out more about Macau is here.

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