Monte Hill and St. Paul's
Our next destination would be Macau located about an hour away by modern hydrofoil boats. Both Hong Kong and Macau were settled by westerners seeking to establish trade with China but, unlike Hong Kong which was settled by the British, Macau is a Portuguese territory. As a result, the cultures are very different. On Macau our home for our short three-day stay would be the Westin Resort Macau located on Collone Island, a twenty-five minute ride from downtown Macau. The hotel was isolated but absolutely beautiful.

The Macau Westin Hotel ... the magnificent pools as seen from our room
Macau's history is long dating to 1557 when the Portuguese settled the area. It has suffered ups and downs over the centuries and alternated between being important and non-important to the region. When Hong Kong was settled in 1841 and became the major port in the South China Seas, Macau was relegated into obscurity. Today Macau has much to offer the tourists. In a small area you can find a 16th century Buddhist temples, a 17th century European style fort, and an 18th century baroque church. Combine those with modern skyscrapers and colonial mansions and you have a city with unique character and excitement. Add to that a touch of gambling and you're got a major destination Hong Kong citizens to frequent. Another major attraction for tourists is its proximity to mainland China. One day trips to the Peoples Republic of China can be easily arranged to give you an insight to what life is like in China today.

Panorama of Macau taken from Monte Hill showing the facade of St. Paul's
Monte Hill is the heart of Macau's tourist area today. On it you will find an old fort and some magnificent views of Macau and China in the distance. Built by the Jesuits the area includes the fort, a college, and the church of the Mother of God, commonly known as St. Paul's. St. Paul's was once described as the most beautiful church in southeast Asia. It was designed by an Italian Jesuit in the early 16th century and built with the assistance of Japanese Christian artisans who had fled from feudal persecution in Nagasaki. Only the facade of St. Paul's remains today for tourists to imagine its once beauty. In 1835 at the height of a major typhoon the church caught fire and burned to the ground leaving only the facade and a staircase. Today it is a symbol of Macau and recognized worldwide.
Pictures of the facade of the Church of the Mother of God, St. Paul's

Anne looking at the city
from Monte Hill

Anne resting atop Monte Hill with St. Paul's in the background

Ken wiped out from a wild night before

Anne and Darla at the hotel

Dinner at Henri's Gallery

What a meal! There's just no other way to describe it. It was fantastic. Thank you Ken! Ken, on a previous visit to Macau, found Henri's several years before and wanted to go back for another meal. He'd described it as "out of this world," and we, too, were looking forward to the experience. And, thankfully, we weren't disappointed. It was without a doubt the best meal of the entire trip.

We sat down and basically told Henri to "bring food." He asked a few qualifying questions and then served our meal. It was outlandish and extravagant, but it was certainly worth it. Henri brought African chicken, a meat dish, curried crabs and spicy prawns. When we finished we ordered more of the curried crab as it was out of this world.

My only disappointment would happen long after we returned home. We had one of our gourmet weekends with Ken and Darla and Jim and Cheryl coming to our house. Anne and I decided to recreate the meal at Henri's. I had found recipes for everything except the curried crab. Frustrated at not finding the recipe I wrote Henri a letter requesting the recipe. Along with the letter I sent the picture that we took with him when we were there in the hopes that he might remember us and provide the recipe. No luck. I had to improvise and substitute another recipe (which, by the way, wasn't the same but it wasn't bad!). So, Henri, if you ever read this know that I was disappointed that you wouldn't provide the recipe.

Ken, Darla, Henri, Anne and I
What a fantastic meal!
Now, let's continue our tour of Macau at the A Ma Temple and Lou Lem Ioc Garden in the city ...
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Macau -- Monte Hill and St. Paul's | A-Ma Temple and Lou Lem Ioc Garden
People's Republic of China -- The Border and Farming Village | Lunch and the Ox | Dr. Sun Yat-Sen's Home | Chinese Market
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