Sunday, January 17, 2010

Beijing 8.2 - Good Bye Lunch-

There was nothing special about the Good bye lunch except the 'ta fu fa'... Those found in Msia usually mixed sweeteneer... here they add a lot of different stuffs instead!
5ive typee of stuffs which I couldnt remember and the Taste... I dont realy like it but its worth a try.
Basically, I had a good trip but not the best because its too COLD and joining tourgroup which required us to wake up before 7am and reach hotels about 9pm everyday was simply too taxing. If we skipped all the con-shops (about 7even in total), It could have save us 2days extra...
I rather backpack than joining another CHINA-TOUR! That's why in the 1st day said vacation is 'buying suffering', that is only true for commercial tour!

Beijing 8.1 -Foot Massage-

The National Olympic Games Energy Experience Center. Wow! Finally there is a place for sports. At the entrance of this center, I saw 10-20 athletes jogging. I thought this must be the real, something that's good and official.
The warm herbs water for leg washing was perfect to ease the freezing temperature outside. Goodanee! Then came the trainee "Chinese doctors' to help us massage our feet.

Then did I realize that this was a Con-shop as well. The tactics they used was the worst I had experienced. The kid who massaged my foot try to force me to buy an oilmen for RMB200. I insist of not taking it! Of all the china con-shops I went to, this was my most pissed off.experience. Unlike others con-shops, I could just walked away but not this one because he was holding my foot.
Although, his massage skills was the worst but I learn few things about foot massages. Foot massage can be done at home by putting marbles into water and steps on it.
China is promoting Tibet and market Tibetan's product. Tibetan doctor consult patient my looking at their palm.
This center totally destroy any hope of me believing in anything true / real coming out from China-Tour! If that boy whom massaged my leg was truly a Chinese trainee doctor, I am sure China will have no future!!!!

Beijing 8.0 -Panda-

The only regret for skipping the 7th day tour was not able to see the Panda "live" but luckily they didn't visited the Pandas and it was re-schedule to the 8th day. Great!

Where to find pandas?
In the Zoo lol! Not sure wat kinda birdy is this but its looks like the legendary phoenix!
China call Panda Xiong-Mao "Bear-Cat' translate into a Cat which looks like bear and taiwanese call Panda Mao-Xiong 'Cat-Bear'. The taiwanese is Right, Panda indeed is a bear that looks like cat. Adult panda live in isolation, just like bear they are territorial animal. Panda is so lazy, they even lazy to have sex. Most of the pregnancy of pandas are by human intervention. Adult panda don't move much so the youngs one are cuter.
Panda originated from sichuan and all pandas in beijing were exported here for exhibition purpose. The adults were export for China Asian Games in the early 2000??? Not sure so they are old! Panda age 7times faster than human. They 6 younger pandas were about 2years old. For Beijing 2008 Olympic these 6 specially chosen for prettiness & activeness....
The mos BIG DEAL about these Pandas are that their Bamboos (food) are send to Beijing daily from sichuan through flight because Pandas don't take Beijing bamboo as its too dry!
Recently, there are few celebrities like jacky chan who adopted panda and each one cost about RMB 1millions. Pandas are Top Level China national Treasure...

Beijing 7.0 -Staying Alive-

The 7th day or should I called it 6th day. In the tour-schedule it was the 7th day, if taking into consideration the 3hours (9pm to 12am) we spend at KLIA was part of the tour, then its the 7th day and if not .... THE SIXTH DAY!
6th or 7th I didn't care because Mrs.lai got too sick to go.... 5straight days of (7am to 8pm) of torturing tour. I would have fallen sick too, if I had continue for the 6days. That day, we were suppose to go to Tianjin which of cause has nothing much to see in the winter, further more weather forecaster a level 6 wind thus I prefer to stay in the hotel!

So Pekam came to visit us, not bad he bought us some souvenir for our wedding.
Thanks Pekam! nice cup...

The rest was worth every cent cause, our tour-bus top was blown off and tour-mates said there was nothing to see at tianjin as most shops has been closed due to lack of tourist in winter.

Beijing 6.2 - Putuo Zongcheng Temple-

Putuo Zongcheng Temple was build by Qianlong Emperor for peace purpose, during 1700-ish there were conflict with Mongolians whom were believer of Tibetan Buddha thus building a temple for their religion would eased the conflict as it was sign of respect to them. Qianlong Emperor did say that "build a temple, save 100thousand life". Indeed true, places of worship are placed very high in individual heart.
This temple also nicknamed 'little potala palace' as it was build to be lookalike the real thing in Tibet but only about 1/3 of the size.
We were invited to pray at one of the building but I didnt enter as I am not of same religion, anyway at the end. People were 'encourage' to donate so that the monks can pray for them. According to my tour-mates, those were same old 'stories!' Just like tibet, building and houses were build without windows as the wind are too strong but to make the houses look better, fake window were made. Be glad that we have REAL WINDOW!
Everybody play badminton in China... Look at his girls! They love it!

I climbed to the very top of this mini-potala palace and found these Western Love Locks...

0h! lalala... then I realise this 'holy' palace has been turned into a 'commercial' palace instead. Western Love locks.... I dont believe in those things as locks can rusted and breaks!

Beijing 6.1 -Mountain Resort-

Mountain Resort in Chinese read 'pi su sang chuan' in straight translation mean 'avoid heat mountain resort'... The resort was build during peace and prosperity time of the kingdom and during that period citizen has grown fear of war thus one of the reason for it construction was to encourage its citizen to enhance their hunting skills which will be important during war times. The chinese characters on the board were written wrongly by the emperor himself but yet no one dare to right his wrong. To err is humane, to forgive is divine... He was indeed human!
The main chamber was build using a special kinda wood which were brought to Chengde through river from Yunnan. This kinda wood produce fragrance and its scare away insects. The main chamber is the only structure in the world that is build by this kinda wood. During world war2, Japanese soldiers damaged the structure by taking wood out of it for protection from insect. But restoration works has been done by the current gomen.
Once upon a time in china, 8 countries came to bully China. China was force to sign an unfair peace treaty and till today Chinese believe that the west & Japanese owe them. That's why making imitation of western and japs good are kinda 'OK" if not "patriotic' for them.
Mountain resort cover land areas of 6km2. During winter time (-15), walking will surely kill me. We had no choice but to follow the tour guide's advice to take the bus, I would love to walk as I could have taken more photos as this mountain resort is famous for scenic view which were copied from famous landscaped gardens in Southern China.
I couldnt really enjoy my vacation in China because of the Freezing weather. The only 'enjoyment' was taking hot food & drinks. A HOT-dog cost RMB5 & a can of HOT-coffee too, this stuffs would have cost 60% less in supermarket. But now its not the time to save money. The best part about visiting during freezing condition was that there were less people, lot less than usual.
This was the place where The 1st Pearl Princess "Wan Chu Kak Kak" was filmed, the exact location where Zhao Wei kick something and flown over the roof and picked up by the Hero? I'm not sure who anyway I don't care... not my typo movie.
The hot tin of coffee wasnt just good enough for drinking. It was very good to warm the hand. There were few stalls along the way and we could exchange for a hotter one at the next stall. For RMB5 that's awesome and that's only okay if you don't let the hawker know you didn't bought from them.
Yeah! My shoes again... cracking my the ice on the lake! Hahaha...

A good shoes but too thin for cold weather. Badminton shoes suppose to be thin and that's why its actually not good for winter time. I seen our tourguide wearing something like 2inches thick...
There were still fishes living under the frozen lake as the ice can only be as thick as 6inches or 6feet, I am not sure. anyway... ice in this lake was strong enough for people to play on it.
I seen the fattest cat for real in Chengde... FATCAT so cutie.
REHE (Hot River) is only 300m long, the shortest river in the world. Its source from a hotspring thus in the winter, the water will never form ice. Good for the fishes (red dots) as they can still feed, while others has to hirbenate.
It looks like Koi to me...
Deer... The game for hunting in the older days and now... locked up! So pitiful, either being hunted or locked up! Hard choice to made.

Beijing 6.0 -Chengde-

0vercook soy milk & mantaos were few of the main dishes of de chengde breakfasta. Their typo breakfast was not to my taste. 0vercook soy milk is their way of food, better not to criticize others culture & kwai lol are the besta in respecting others culture. Learn to respect others so that people will respect you!
Tour-guide & team leader has advice us not to openly criticized food served to us. Its not nice to do so as we were there to learn about the history, culture, people and food, so its best to take whatever there silently & criticize them in the blog. LOL!

Some said, food in china were only good enough for dogs, I found that not true in fact I found few dishes to be very delicious.Chengde is situated northeast of Beijing. It is best known as the site of the Mountain Resort, a vast imperial garden formerly. There are mixture of races in Chengde even a small population of Muslim but generally they looks the same, not like msia where people of different races can be easily spotted.It was freezing, officially -15 C but there were still people playing badminton outdoor. For the locals, it was a normal day but for us, it was hell freeze over.
  • I wore 2 pair of stocking + a pair of plastic stocking,
  • 2 pair of long john, a pair of jeans + underwear,
  • 3 t-shirts, 2body long john and a scarf for the neck, a mouth cover & a head...
but i still fell freaking cold! It was more than a culture shock...
If given the choice to choose between hot & cold place, I prefer the Hot one. Spending 1-2days in snowy areas is fine but anything longer than that is suffering.
Anyway, women in HOT places are HOTTER!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Beijing 5.4 -Chengde Dinner-

Chengde was renovated with lotta lightings to make it night's view magnificent. Chengde is consider a small town by China Standard, only 450k population. Chengde was originally named Rehe Town ( Town of Hot River) but few hundred years ago, one emperor decided to build a retreat for training soldiers and a mini-version of potala palace of Tibet thus this small town begin to grow.
Chengde was 5-10 degree colder than Beijing. Luckily, we has been alerted about it. Dinner at chengde was one of the best I had. The best one was the hot sugar sweet potatos, it has to be dip into cold water before ate as its just hotly outta the oven. BESta....
I didnt think I could taste the legendary "coke+halia" in China. I almost forget the fomula which was introduced by Peter Wong my primary skool teacher. Not as goodanee as the sugar sweet potatos in super cold winter but its gave some flash back memory of childhood.

Beijing 5.3 - To Chengde & Rural Toilet -

On the way to chengde, we stopped at a ski-resort. Single journey from Beijing to Chengde would normally take 3+hours, so it was a good choice to stop at the ski-resort to refresh ourself and THE DRIVER before we continue the next 2hours. Anyway, this ski resort stopover was supposed to be the replacement for the boat ride at summer palace which was canceled as the lake was frozen. Only 1/27 tour members knew how to ski, so its not a good replacement. Anyway on the bus Guide-Li has brainwashed us not to Ski so that he could save some time on other journeys.

Tour Guide will always be Tour Guide, they main intention is to take your money out of your pocket into theirs. Tour guide set time frames and sometimes rushed us through historical places and tourist spots because these places wont earn them extra bucks. For visitation to shops and factories which will earn them extra bucks, we could stay as long as we like and they will smile like they had Ecstasy.
Guide li promoted an extra RMB250/person tour to few places around Beijing. After he finished his promotion talk, he straight away collect money from tour-members. For me it was half force half presude kinda offers.
Anyway, the ski-resort wasnt a 'snow' ski resort, it was actually a ice-ski resort because the 'snow' was actually made by freezing water into ice at the slope then the ice was 'blended' into 'snow' form by a modified truck.

This aint shoes for all terrain and its actually a court shoes, but I have actually fixed it myself with strings and needles. The shoes has my perfect feet moulds thus it is the perfect shoes for travel. In freezing temperature, I wore 2pairs of socks and plastic bag for protection from cold. We spend less than an hour at the ski-resort and after an hour on the road, we stopped at a rural area shop selling local made handcraft. This wasnt any con-shop, it was setup by tour agency to help people from this area to gain extra income. Local in this area were suppose to be poor. Not sure how true it is until I saw the TOILET!
This is the legendary China's toilet, where everyone who had been to china talked about. I had heard numerous stories about china's toilet which has 'make pees flow backward'. It wasn't as bad for the men to do small business but anything other than that required expertise beyond Malaysian's abilities. Those who travel to china 10-20years ago will have The Super Toilet experience, I thought those great time has pass but here was the time machine for the ultimate china Xperience.

Beijing 5.2 -Lunch-

Yashow clothing market was another fake-goods haven. Things sold here were similar to other fake-goods-stores but Yashow is bigger than Hong Qiao... but nevertheless not my cuppa tea again!
Beijing is a clean & tidy city with mixture of modern buildings and historical structures. Compare to Dubai, Beijing structure has its own identity and build by its own people. There seems to be SOUL in Beijing!

For my 7days stay in Beijing, I never seen anyone spat or thrown rubbish on the street. Many thanks to Olympic2008 in which the government took a huge effort to educate the public.
I always felt hungry mainly because of its FREEZING weathers (-10 to -15)! Hot foods were the best!Before we boarded the plane to Beijing, our team-leader Cindi has warned us not to complain China's foods publicly. Due to differences in culture and weather, Beijing likes saltier and sweeter food, thus the cooks will tried their best to accommodate us. For a table of 10 person, we will have 10 dishes and minimum 7/10 will be vegetables. Beside breakfast, we technically had similar dishes for the last 4days!
Usually there will one Fish dishes, one pork, one soup and there rest were veges. I have no complain about their portion and tastes, just the limited varieties. In some big restaurant they did tag the dished with the cook numbers, for quality control purposes I guess...
This was the last "similar" dishes I had, as the tour-guide is an experience guy thus they know by the 4th day, we would have TOOOOOOOOOOOO much of these. LOL!