Monday, December 29, 2008

China Trip - 8th Day Goodbye Shanghai !

17/12/2008, Tuesday. Woke up slightly earlier than usual. Have to re-pack our extra bags, with all the shopping stuffs we have bought in China during the last 7 days. Breakfast is as usual at the hotel. We'll be moving out of the hotel today, and also out of China as well. Our initial flight schedule has been changed from 1.40 pm to 4,40 pm. We were informed before our trip. That means we have more time in Shanghai. I need to finish my breakfast earlier as I wanted to take some snapshots around the hotel, the morning scene of people in action in Shanghai. As such I walk out alone nearby, watching at the street market just along the road to our hotel.
By 8.30 am, we left our hotel by bus. We'll be visiting the Jade Buddha Temple. The place is quite crowded. No photos were allowed to be taken at the Jade Buddha. They only allow photography at the surrounding temple.
After the temple visit, we proceed for our shopping at the street full of tourist for our extra time. I have no idea what the name of this street is, so I took a photo of the place. This street sells goods at reasonable price, and the traders are friendly. We managed to buy some souvenirs at our last stop and I also got myself a winter jacket for RM$55.00 and a pair of wool pants for RM$35.00

We had our own lunch over here. My daughter decides to have KFC, which taste a bit odd and differs from our Malaysian KFC. Their fried chicken doesn't use flour nor deep fried and they are much oilier. By 1.00 noon, we left the place for Pu'dong airport. I managed to take a few more photos along the way from the bus for the last time.
Finally we reached the airport and it takes sometime to clear all our documentation. By 3.30 pm, it time to say goodbye to our Tourist Guide Xiao Xuan. Photos were taken together. I have also decided to post some photos of Xiao Xuan, the Hangzhou man as an appreciation to his kind hospitality and excellent services during our 8 days / 6 Nights in Shanghai, Zhouzhuang, Suzhou, Wuxi, Nanjing, Hangzhou and back to Shanghai again. He is the guy who makes our trip a happening one without any glitches and a truly memory one. So, Xiao Xuan.. thank you very much ! (Hope someone who read this message can convey to him)
At 4.40 pm, our flight took off from Pu'dong airport. We left Shanghai with mix feeling. Feeling good to be back to our own home in Malaysia and to enjoy our good food, and feeling sad to leave China our memorable tour which will always be kept somewhere in our heart for a long long time, and also sad to be separated with all our new friends we have met during our stay. Here are some of the emails I received from these new friends a few days later after I reached home..
Roger Haw from Penang Wrote:

Greetings from Roger Haw and family of Penang!
We all are driving in our own street called LIFE and we are so glad that in one of the intersections we met all of you.
Friendship is a gift that is fair in all things. It roots from one’s heart and involves memories that stay not for a while but for a lifetime.
Life never seems to be the way we want it, but we live it the best way we can. There is no perfect life, but we can fill it with perfect moments.
Each one of us is creating our life anew every single day. In other words, our position today is the result of all the decisions we made in the past. You can only do what you are and what you are is determined by what you think about every single minute of every single day.
Having the opportunity to travel in a group of 43 persons like a big family consist of various background and personality is indeed a great pleasure and interesting experience which my family and I are treasure it very much.
Indeed our family enjoyed the entire trip to Shanghai. We look forward to meeting each other in the near future again.
Let's all share this very message of good will to each of us that recently acquaintance and in fact to all those beyond as well. May PEACE and LOVE prevail throughout the world in the coming year 2009.
May this Christmas be bright and cheerful, and may the New Year bring you new hopes, peace, good health and happiness.
If you have other members of our trip email addresses do provide it to me to enable me to send this profound greetings message to them.
Keep in touch always.
Best regards,
Roger Haw & family

James and Wife From Kuching Wrote:
hi guys,
just check into my office awhile ago and cant wait to check the email after being out for the past week with great new found friends ie you people lah!
That was my first time going on a tour with group like this and from impression that friends told, tour package could be very tiring esp. if some members of the group are uncooperative. From this tour we discovered otherwise and we enjoyed ourselves very much. Felt too short the trip.
It was great knowing you guys though we all started as strangers but ended as buddies.
we should keep in touch and maybe we will meet again.
and if anyone ever come to Kuching do give us a call and i be glad to be your guide... for Free!
STAY HEALTHY AND HAPPY.
JAMES AND ANGIE

And this is what I would like to tell China...

To China In Winter..
To China I visit,
with many photos I took,
friendship I created,
footprints I left,
with fond memories in my heart...
All I know is I will be back visiting you again...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

China Trip - 7th Day Hangzhou / Shanghai

7Th day - Hangzhou. Checking out from the hotel again as usual. We'll be leaving Hangzhou for Shanghai today, after visiting a few more places here. Today's Hangzhou city tour will bring us to the Hu Xue Yan's Former Residence.
Who is Hu Xue Yan ? Go google for it. The guide brought us around the big mansion and talk a lot about him, but I have no idea who is he yet.
After the visit, we were brought to the Organic Flower Tea Manufacturer. A short briefing were provided and we bought 3 cartons of them. Then proceed to Lunch at a restaurant next to the Chinese Herbal Medicinal Centre. After lunch, we were given free half an hour foot massage before the specialist came to prescribe the necessary medication and herbs. I didn't take up the free massage.
After that, we proceed by bus to Hangzhou shopping complex. One of the shopping complex I observed is Hangzhou Tower. However the complex we went in sold a lot of imitation goods. Over there, you can see mostly foreigners and also some Malaysian group. However, I didn't like the place there as most of the goods are highly priced. You have to bargain for more than 80% of the price. After that, we proceed for Shanghai by for a two hour journey, our final destination. Upon reaching Shanghai, we were brought for a dinner. Then to watch the Shanghai Acrobatic show. No photos were allowed to be taken. Then, last stop is at the walk.. something similar to our KL Bintang Walk with lots of expensive restaurants and boutiques.
After the walk we are back to the hotel where we first stayed in Shanghai, i.e. Di Hai Hotel
At the hotel, we took a walk to the nearby night market on our own. Things there are cheaper as they are frequent by the locals. By 11 pm we are back to the hotel to pack our things for the journey back to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

China Trip - 6th Day Hangzhou

Sunday, 14/12/08 and we are still in Hangzhou. We get to wake up slightly later today, For half an hour later, and we leave for tour at 8.30 am as we won't be going any place further nor shifting hotel. Tonight. we are coming back to the same hotel.
Our first destination is the famous tourist spot in Hangzhou, the West Lake, and cruise around the lake. The view of the West Lake is simply enchanting.

After the cruise, we take a walk down nearby the lake to view the surrounding area until we reached Flower Harbour.

The fishes and birds at Flower Harbour.

Later we walk down to where our bus is. The scenery is just simply too beautiful..
If you are visiting the West Lake and it's surrounding, you can rent the bicycle for a small token which are easily available and returned it to any of it's station where available.
After the West Lake, we proceed to the higher land to visit the famous Tea Museum of Hangzhou to observe how green tea is process. Green tea is the national tea of China.

Followed by a welcome note from the representative and a briefing about the benefit of this Dragon-Well Green Tea, an Organic tea. As far as I know from the demonstration, it has an anti oxidant benefit. From the business card I received, the company name is: Feng Qing Yuan, Address: No. 1 Meijiawu Village, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, P.R. China. Tel: +86-571-8731-0349. e-mail: FengQingYuan_01@hotmail.com
They have a few category or grades of green tea, but I bought the "A" grade at RMB800 (RM$400.00) per kilogramme. So, with the contact attached, I hope you guys can contact them personally if interested or me as well.
This is the Chinese guy, who doesn't look like a super salesman from the outlook, but he sold more than 20 kilos during our short briefing. The fact is that, he is so humorous that no one feels bore with his talk and even to kids, and has added a lot of facts in his demonstration. After the tea visit, we proceed to lunch.
Our restaurant is somewhere not far from West Lake. In the restaurant, there is a painter selling his painting at reasonable and bargain able price. He can draw anything upon request, with added Chinese calligraphy. Well, my friends bought a big scroll for just about RM$50.00
After lunch, we had extra time. So the guide decided to bring us to visit the jade centre which is partially owned by a Thai. We ended spending time there more than expected as the offer price was reasonable due to some unexpected incident. I bought for myself a few too. It was almost dark when we finished.
At about 6 pm, we had dinner, and later went shopping again. Tonight, our guide, Xiao Xuan asked to end the tour slightly early at 9.30 pm as he wanted to go back home to be with his 9 month old son after so many days separation on duty. He is Hangzhou based.
When we got back to the hotel, we went for our own walk around the hotel area on our own to buy some local stuffs, food, fruits and drinks. It was really cold that night. After about an hour walk, we went back to pack our bags for tomorrow as we'll be moving out again for Shanghai..

Friday, December 26, 2008

China Trip - 5th Day Nanjing / Hangzhou

Today, we left Nanjing slightly earlier than usual as the journey to Hangzhou will take us about 3 and a half hours. The photo below is the morning scene at around 8 am right in front of our hotel in Nanjing.
We visited a few other places in Nanjing first before we leave. Our first stop for the day is the Presidential Palace.
This is the former office of Dr. Sun Yat Sen
The grand entrance to the house where photos are exhibit. After the visit, we went to a visit to a Jade showroom. We were taught as to how to observed a real jade. Jade, crystal, pearl, agate, stone carving, jade carving, ivory, stationery, curio, scripts and paintings, seal carving, silk and toashi jade were available for sale. We had our lunch at the restaurant in the same building. After lunch, our journey to Hangzhou begin. We only stop along the highway once for refreshment, then continue with our journey. Our first destination at Hangzhou is to visit Lei Feng Pagoda.
Our tour at Lei Feng Pagoda completed at 5.30 pm when it's almost dark. We adjourned to dinner before taking a stroll at the famous and expensive shopping street in Hangzhou.
After the stroll along the lake and street of Hangzhou, the guide brought us to watch the famous cultural show in Hangzhou. The weather was cold at around 3 degree Celsius. But it was fun !
After the show, we went to our new sleeping place at Xixi Shibaja Hotel (Tel. 0571-56331818). We slept early as we are already tired for the day. Tomorrow, we won't be shifting hotel as we are staying for another night over here.