Finally this young man came.He was late because he brought another group to visit the tea plantation in Hangzhou.He can speaks a bit of English but he choose not to.He is a very patriotic person.He is proud of China (talk of how great and powerful China is),the Chinese language(no need to learn/speak English...even the foreigners are coming to China to learn Mandarin),anti Japanese sentiments(earthquake and tsunami is a punishment for Japanese brutality in slaughtering the Chinese during World War 2,how Japanese sold lower grade cars to Chinese people,why Japanese who is holidaying in China won't dare to visit Nanjing etc).If I knew Mandarin well,sure I am going to "debate" with him on his certain controversial views.Too bad...I can't speak Mandarin but able to understand the simple Mandarin.
Visited a historical site.Don't know what is the history behind the site.The guide was seen describing the significant of some poems engraved on a piece of stone.Everyone was listening.Wonder if he is telling them the correct informations.Ha...ha..ha...
Part of a mansion which we visited.There is a history in this mansion.Again I am lost.So are my children and my wife.Probably my father can understand the story and history in this mansion.I think one needs to know some history of China if one intends to visit China otherwise he just come to admire the scenery,just like me.
Traffic in China....daring and stubborn drivers who refused to give way.The drivers will come near to each others.The cyclists also risk their life when using the road.No bicycle or motorcyclists lane?According to the tour guide,visitors to China have to learn to look out and avoid on coming cars.Cars will not stop for pedestrians.
Suzhou Time Square.....for us to "admired"some LED shows screen on the wall.Nothing great or special.The show was over in less than 5 minutes.I was busy buying hot drinks for my children when the show started.Didn't managed to see it but was told it was only some advertisements shown on large LED screen.Felt stupid for being brought there to view some advertisements...
Brought to some night streets for shopping.Was told this shop is famous for its snacks and light foods.We have been pre-warn:No tasting or sampling allowed.Since it was not very expensive,we bought some to try.Nothing special.
They will do anything to please the tourists....for the money.Imagine this strong lady who rowed a boat with 10 passengers in it,rowing and singing for us.Of course we have to give her tips...for her effort.You can find many of this type of person around.We had one who started to sing and played some Chinese instrument while we were having our lunch.Once we pay him ,he quickly disappeared.
This place is called The Couple's Garden Retreat which is surrounded by canals and listed in the World Heritage List in 2000.It is better to know the history in order to appreciate what we see here.
This is what I don't like about following a tour group for holiday.We were bought to many places for shopping.Seen in the picture above:The Wuxi tour guide was seen "poisoning"my wife mind on jewellery and pearls.I told my wife not to listen too much but she couldn't resist the temptations.I ended up a few thousand ringgit poorer during this stop!!Just can't understand why ladies need to shop and buy so badly.Next holiday will be on my own...no more following tour groups.
Another shopping stop!!this time is for the Suzhou silk.Aiyo.....we were supposed to go for holidays and sight seeing but it ended up like a shopping trip.Again,unnecessary money was spent in this outlet.I was told by other members of the group,this shopping stops are a norm during China trips.I wonder why many still faithfully follow this kind of tour holidays.Probably this kind of tour is cheap and convenient to those who are not the adventurous type.I personally think this kind of shopping stops are a total waste of time.
Too many visits to lakes, canals and boat rides.It was fun on the first visit and ride but I was getting bored after 4 rides throughout this trip.It's the same:water,lakes,canals and boats.However the story and history behind each site is different.
March is supposed to be spring time but the weather was still very cold.The temperature ranged from 4 Celsius to 14 Celsius.It was cold to me.My elderly father was unable to bear the night cold weather.His hands were trembling.
Our hotel:I was told it is a local 4 stars hotel.I wonder how China rated their hotel.It was definitely not a 4 stars hotel as compared to our local 4 stars hotels.Some of the rooms were smelly.The breakfast was terrible.
Upon entering Shanghai by using the highway,I was curious to see many people standing in the middle of the road immediately after the toll plaza.What were they doing?I was told they are offering themselves as a guide to motorist coming into Shanghai.Since Shanghai is so big,these people will board any cars who are willing to pay them to guide anyone around Shanghai massive and complicated road systems.Wonder why the authority allow these people to soliciting business in the middle of a busy highway.
Nice big and sweet strawberry.Relatively quite cheap.Price ranges from RMB10-20 per big bowl.Eat quite a lot of these during the trip.Later I wonder if these are genuine strawberry.The Chinese are so good in making fake items.They even make fake eggs!!
Nice place for people watching and so many shops selling variety of things.A "happening"place but the tour guide only allowed us to spend one hour here!!This is the disadvantage of joining a tour group,we are only allow to spend little time in the major nice tourist spots but we are allow unlimited time in certain shops chosen by the tour guide.Seems like the tour guide received certain amount of commission from our purchases in certain shops.
Bund sightseeing tunnel-did not managed to go in but I was told it is not worth the money.There is a underground connection to the other side of the river.
Family photo taken at The Bund.Jacyntha,my youngest daughter wasn't in her good mood and reluctant to pose for pictures.My children and I were wearing those jackets which I bought in Hong Kong during my last marathon trip.They even have photographers waiting to take pictures for us and later sold to us the hard copies in some souvenirs booklets the next day for RMB 130.See how good is the networking among the Chinese guides.
Night life in Nanjing Road.Massive crowd of people and so many shops for us to spend our money.However not much time was spent here as the guide was rushing us to see the acrobatics show.This was where a Chinese lady approaches me asking if I was interested in massage.Few others wanted to sell me handbags and CDs (all probably fakes)
Acrobatics show in Shanghai.Only foreigners attended this show.Seen many buses of foreigners especially from India.It was a full house.The show was from 8.00pm to 9.00pm.Quite nice and entertaining even though I have seen this before.
Night scenery taken during the Huangpu River cruise looking at bright beautifully lit building in Shanghai.It reminds me of the same scenery in Hong Kong.We took the last cruise.It was a very cold night.The cruise ended at about 10.30pm and by then most of the lights were shut off.
Another shopping stop....this is a knife outlet.This guy was telling us how good was their knife.Blahh..blahh...blahhh.Just buy and off we go.
Why must we go to Tong Ren Tang aka local TCM..traditional Chinese medicine centers.?We were brief on the goodness of TCM by some guys wearing lab coats who introduced themselves as "PROFESSOR".Ha..ha...ha....Got free consultations.The "professor" took my pulse and touch my hand and declared that I am healthy.Oh?...I thought they wanted me to buy their traditional medicines?
Professor:"you are healthy.No sickness".
He then wanted to move away to another person.I wanted to test him.I asked him through an interpreter (the center has interpreter for those who don't speak Mandarin....see how efficient the way they do business)
Myself:No sickness?(I sounded a bit sceptical)
Professor:Your hand is cold.
Myself:What about cold hand?(The weather was cold and without gloves,sure our hands were cold)
Professor:Cold hands...weak kidneys...so poor sexual health.
My wife and I were laughing after hearing his statement and he just walked off!!
Beautiful scenery at the West Lake.The weather was good on that day.Came across few couples having their wedding pictures taken around the lake.
Nice place to visit for couples.Very romantic place.One day I may come back again to this West Lake,maybe I can do a long run around this West Lake.
Nice scenery...need to be there to appreciate it.It was the weekend and there were many young couples visiting West Lake.Hangzhou is portray as a capital of love and leisure...from what I read in some tourist brochure.
This place is described as an earthly paradise where one needs to do nothing but to take a walk in the scenic village path,breathe the fresh tea aroma in the green woods and listen to the moving love stories beside the West Lake.
Very intersting and nice show:Night of West Lake.I like it.Very enjoyable.It was a live musical.Highly recommended to see.The show presents the culture of West Lake by four acts -The King Reviewing the soldiers,The properous Qiantang,Butterfly Lovers and Moulin Rouge.
This is an hour show from 8pm to 9pm.It was a sold out on that night. Later the guide told me there is another show better than this.Uhh...??
Murder in the street of Hangzhou!!I was walking along a street of Hangzhou when I noticed a lady worker scooping out big fishes from aquarium and started to slam the fish on the ground watched by her supervisor (in the dark coat).Very cruel way to kill the fish in the public.I recorded this footage on my webcam.
The best food served during the entire trip.If this was the best foods,can you imagine what was served to us during the rest of the trip?The foods were mostly too salty.There was quantity but there definitely no quality.The worst was the breakfast served at the hotels.The coffee was just some black coloured water.No smell or taste of coffee!
Overall this trip was not fun.There are many places which we did not have the chance to go....Places of interest in Shanghai and Hangzhou.The stop in West Lake was too short.
This holiday wasn't good because:
1)Maybe personally I am a bit negative and biased toward China.I have heard too many negative feedback from tourists returning from China trips.
2)Lacking of knowledge on China history and unable to understand Mandarin are another barrier.
3)The holiday mood was not there.My mind was more preoccupied with my final examination.
4)I had to fly back earlier for my examination leaving behind my wife to look after the 3 kids and my father.They came back a day later.
From this trip,I can see the progress in China with my own eyes.They are very modern and many of them appeared to be very rich.The country is very big with massive crowd of people everywhere.
In the future,I will travel again to China but the next time,I will go on my own without following those "shopping tours".