Archive for June, 2010

Jun 27 2010

Posted by under Trips,Uncategorized

Shanghai – Day 2

It was Sunday, 20th June 2010. It was our only full day in Shanghai.

First was to get our tickets for the following day’s return trip to Hangzhou. We were lucky that we got the fast D train trip.

We then walked on the opposite direction towards the Bund again (we were there the night before).

It was hazy and hot too, but some people, just like us,  were not deterred:

I tried to read the map, to identify the buildings along the street (not in the picture), like this one:

We then decided to walk towards the ferry jetty.

and found the ticket counter:

It was for the ferry service plying between both sides of the river. We decided not to take up any of the touristic cruises (which normally are packaged together with meal/lunch/dinner which are mostly non-halal anyway) and try this local ferry.

It costs 2 yuans per trip, and here’s our ferry:

Inside the ferry:

We arrived at the other side of the river, bought our return tickets and took the same ferry back to where we were initially! :)

After the ferry ride, we did a bit more walking, until the heat was just too unbearable that we decided to go back to our hotel.

We only came out again in the evening for another stroll along the famous East Nanjing Street Mall.

It was a very very busy place, being a Sunday evening:

We were looking for the halal restaurant:

Instead we came across a saxophonist who played from one of the balconies facing the mall, while some others danced to his tune:

We did spot the halal restaurant, but since it was still quite early for dinner, we decided to walk further to People’s Park:

I took a quick rest, before walking back to the mall, and headed to the halal restaurant which was on the 10th floor of a building.

A friendly waiter greeted us, and whispered to us that the chicken and ducks are not halal, but mutton and beef are.

So we ordered our dishes, but since it was peak hours, and the restaurant was 3/4 full (I counted the tables, and concluded that it could easily accommodate 30 pax at any time!

When we almost gave up, our dish finally arrived:

After dinner, we walked back to the Bund, and spent some time there before we decided to go back to our hotel.

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Jun 25 2010

Posted by under Trips

Shanghai – Day 1

After the morning stroll at Hangzhou’s West Lake, we checked out from our hotel and took a cab to Hangzhou Railway Station.

That was my first experience taking a train in China, and I was fascinated by the size of the station (no pic). Buying the tickets was tricky. We couls not understand Mandarin and the cashier didn’t understand English. With some help from the information counter girl, we found out the fast train was sold out. Luckily we managed to get onto a slower, but still express train.  It cost us 29 yuan, instead of the expected 65 yuan for the fast train.

DH took a pic of tickets for both ways:

The Hangzhou ticket is the one at the top. We couldn’t understand anything except that K8356 is the name of the train journey (like the flight number). We could see the date  and time too. The other numbers on the far right we figured out to be the coach number (18) and the seat number (in this case, seat no.10).

We arrived at the Shanghai South Railway Station almosr 3 hours later (the train journey was supposed to be only 2.5 hours). It was the peak hours, and for a Friday evening, the statino was surely congested. Since we had saved on the cheaper train tickets, we decided to take a cab from the railway station to our hotel.

At certain juntions, there were LCD screens indicating which routes are congested and which are not. Here’s one of them:

Anyway, we arrives safely at our Manhattan Business Hotel. What a name, but it’s in a good location, being very near to the Bund.

That night we visited the Bund – full of people and lights were in full blast!

Trying to get a spot where there were less people:

A slightly different angle:

It was still very early dusk, and yet there were so many people, and the crowd was still building up:

Across the Huang Pu River, it was more spectacular:

The Aurora building on the right was like a huge screen, changing the image/video from time to time:

Here’s the Aurora building with “I Love Shanghai”:

The Shanghai Tower too had some light show. The cruising boats looked like they were trying to outdo each other:

After a while we got bored, and decided to visit the nearby mall – East Nanjing Street. I had never seen sooo many people in my life!! Even Hong Kong was not that crowded when I visited it (2000). There were traffic lights, and traffic duty-man, but both vehicles and pedastrians alike, hardly follow the lights..

Too overwhelmed by the crowd, and getting more tired, we eventually called the night off.

Next: Shanghai – Day 2

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Jun 21 2010

Posted by under Trips

Hangzhou

On Thursday (17th June) night we arrived at out hotel, Ramada Plaza, in Hangzhou, at about midnight.

When I woke up the following morning, I was pleased to see bamboos growing outside my window,  in the courtyard:

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Even the banana tree bears some delicious fruits!

Hang on! On close inspection, I was disappointed to find out that they were all immitations (OK, maybe the bamboo stems are real):

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Who else in the world are good at immitating stuff, but the Chinese!  Yeah, even the banana trees are immitations!

After breakfast, we found ourselves strolling towards the nearby West Lake:

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The West Lake must be Hangzhou’s pride. Breathtaking view:

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I thought Kay was here some time ago, and I tried to find the boyfriend statue that Kay posed with. Instead I found this:

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And here’s the description of the statues:

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Another view of the lake:

Walking along the lake, I came to this part where I couldn’t resist having my picture taken:

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We were earlier at the building you see in the background!

Here’s another nice shot:

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We actually walked for over 2km along the lake to come to the beautiful bridge:

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That’s the same bridge you see in the 4th pic above (and the picture was taken using a zoom lens).

Here’s me walking on the bridge:

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We then walked back to where we were before, and walked further to the left (we walked to our right, earlier), and came across this nice boat:

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We also came across a stone-carved map of the city:

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Soon it was time to go back to our hotel, because we need to catch a train to Shanghai. Walking back to the hotel, we came across Bentley showroom:

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The Chinese surely have strong buying power!

Soon our brief stay of Hangzhou ended. I think Hangzhou is a nice clean city, by the look of the roads I passed by, like this one:

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Next: Shanghai!

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Jun 10 2010

Posted by under Diary,Hobbies

Another Great Book

About 2 weeks ago, Nuni bought me this book, “Falling Leaves” by Adeline Yen Mah:

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(pic from Adeline Yen Mah’s site)

Last sunday night I finished reading it. It’a a great book. It was another an -unput-downable book, just like the Wild Swan, by Jung Chang. I think I am always facinated by Chinese female writers, especially when it is a  biography and involves hardship in their lives.

Now a friend is reading it and a few others are in the wait-list!

It somehow made me want to write about me too, hahaha!!!

Thank you, Nuni for the book!

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Jun 09 2010

Posted by under Diary,Former Students,Trips

Sg Klah Hot Springs

The day after the reunion dinner, I decided to give the resort, or rather the nearby hot spring a visit:

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First it was the dipping pool:

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As I entered the pool, the water got warmer and warmer. The warmest part was the place where the hot spring water came into the pool:

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It was nice to just sit stand in the water:

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It was still early, and there were not many visitors:

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When we were about to leave, Ninie came. I saw the open shower water, so I decided to give it a try, as Ninie looked on:

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Looking back as we were leaving:

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I then joined some of my former students dipping the feet in the 42-50C water:

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I couldn’t keep my feet still in the water – it was too hot to my comfort!

I then went to a place where they boiled eggs:

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The guide there told me the granite around the (almost boiling) water was hot and good for walking/standing on it, so I gave it a try :

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It sure was relaxing to my legs!

Soon it was time to get back to our room and get ready to check out.

The view of the resort as we walked back from the hot spring:

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We packed our stuff, and checked out before noon.

And here’s the front view:

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When we got home, I immediately tried to book the place for the current school holidays but it was already fully booked! I’ll surely come back to this place one day:

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