A Travellerspoint blog

Impressions of Lijiang and Shangri-la

Magical trip to see the wonders of Nature

semi-overcast 25 °C

Never expected to be back in China so fast so soon after my recent Jiangnan trip. This time it was at the last minute invitation of a friend. It was basically a toss-up between Lijiang and Guilin. We did consider Myanmar but it was out for now as visa required (too last minute to apply) but definitely I this would be a future destination next time. We ended up almost picking Macau / Zhuhai having run out of suitable tour packages on offer from various agencies but not for the fact that we finally found this Lijiang package on our last call that suited our schedules. I always had a soft spot for Lijiang after I saw the beautiful pictures on Facebook that my friend took and always wanted to make a trip to see its beauty with my own eyes so in a way it was me who had a great influence on our eventual choice!

The trip took us to Yunnan province and covered Dali (大理), Lijiang (丽江) and Shangri-la (香格里拉). We skipped Kunming as this would mean another extra 2 days of travelling which was both tiring and schedule tight.

Tigerair flies direct from Singapore to Lijiang (that’s the beauty of Singapore, with flights to uncommon destinations) although the flight do not seem regular so do check schedules. I usually don’t pay attention to window seat scenery but this is one journey whereby window seat is highly recommended. Due to high mountainous area, one gets a magnificent view of the mountains and some spectacular greenery view just before landing. Also because of this the pilot has to skillfully maneuver the plane to avoid crashing into the mountains. It was both exciting and trilling plane ride. I was very encouraged by the good start and hoped this was a prelude of more good scenery to come.

Dali (大理)
We landed in Lijiang airport in the hot summer heat. The temperature was no different as compared back home but due to higher altitude, the ultra violet rays were stronger. We proceeded to take a 5 hour bus ride to Dali. Along the treacherous road, we passed by mountains and more mountains, taking into view the scenery along the way.

Dali city itself is not heavily populated, which is one thing I like. However, due to tour schedules, we only covered Dali Old Town and Chong Shen Temple. I sure would like to have more time to cover more areas!

Dali Old Town (大理古镇)
Having been to various parts of China, I noted that old towns are a common theme in various cities. Dali is no exception. These are basically old structures and towns refitted and renovated for commercial tourism. Along the streets you can buy local produce, food and basically just about anything local. There are even a few bars and cafes where one can just rest their feet and enjoy a cuppa. The human traffic wasn’t heavy also which gave us time to walk slowly and just enjoy the journey without have to fight through congested crowds. There are a few spots for photo buffs most notably at the main entrance where the bright lights illuming the city entrance makes it a wonder spot for a memorable picture.

The next day we went to Chong Shen temple (崇审寺). The most noticeable landmark is the 3 pagodas standing which is said to serve as a symbol of blessing to this city. What is unique about the temple is that it encompasses various aspects of Buddhist and Taoist teachings with influence by local beliefs in different temple location三, showing acceptance to different practices and beliefs. This would be a good ‘museum’ if one wishes to understand both Buddhist and Taoist beliefs. The area is rather huge so to really explore the place by foot in full could take at least 3 quarter days.

We then proceeded to Er Hai (洱海). It is actually not a sea but a large lake. The locals depend on it for their livelihoods by fishing. We took a boat ride out to the lake and enjoyed the breeze and lake view. There was also a ‘demonstration’ on how the locals use birds which can dive into the lake to catch fish. Turns out this was only for show as I noticed the fish was already dead when the bird scooped it out from the water. I also heard the birds had their necks constricted to prevent them from swallowing the fish in whole. Sad but true.

It is a pity we missed Cang San (仓山). We did pass by it but did not get a chance to explore it.

Lijiang (丽江)
We then proceeded back to Lijiang. The city itself is more congested than Dali with more mainland Chinese from other parts of China gathering here to do business plus Lijiang itself is already a well known tourist spot.

We once again proceeded to another old town (丽江古城). We actually also made a return trip to the old town on one of our free nights to cover the unexplored parts of the town. Unlike Dali Old Town, commercialization and tourist dollars has caused it to lose the sort of special luster that such old towns deserve. Besides food and local produce, there was a stretch being allocated for pub street where beer was served and loud music was played at night. I can imagine the forefathers of this old town must be turning in their graves if they found out that their beloved town has turned into such a place!

Some common items on sale include precious metals and stones, especially silver and jade. Advisable not to buy these are we are no experts in such stuff and can easily be conned. The locally recommended food is Xian Hua Bing (鲜花饼). Besides this another unique item on ‘sale’ is drums. If one does not wish to buy them, one can spend some time to learn some skills from the shop owners. Or buy a CD. And there is this common one song that everybody keeps playing that is still ringing in my head! It is heartening to see so many people still dedicated to music.

Another area worth mentioning is Wan Gu Lou (万古楼). This was a place where one gets a paranormal view of Lijiang town. The guide actually tried to dissuade us from going as he said the route to the top was tough and was exhausting (no pain no gain). Ended up only 3 of us insisted on going and we were rewarded with a magnificent view from the top! Actually he exaggerated the difficulty of the journey. Sure we had to walk upslope and took steps but was not a difficult walk since there was no time constrain. And we almost missed the view because of his words if not for our insistence!

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On return to Lijiang from Shangri-la, we visited Hei Long Tan (黑龙潭). Actually I didn’t plan to log this down if not for what I felt was some of the best photo shots taken during the entire trip at this location – beats even Shi Ka mountain shots. Well, the curse of the Group tour as we left barely 15 minutes after reaching the park. If only we had more time!

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Guan Fang Hotel (官方旅店)
Usually I don’t talk about hotels but this is one unique experience that I simply have to mention. Due to Lijiang’s geographic location at higher altitudes, high rise buildings are rare. The hotel we stayed is spread out over a large land area built in a chalet style format. The individual blocks are 3-stories tall and occupy about 5 rooms per block. On the ground floor is a living room with a large sofa and a big plasma TV where people can gather round in comfort to chit chat and drink tea, just like being at home. This sure beats having a gathering in the confined space of a cramped hotel room. What’s so unique about this hotel is that there is a dedicated housekeeper / butler to serve each individual block. The housekeeper even prepares breakfast for everybody, giving one the feel of being at home away from home. It is styled something like Taiwan’s Min-Su (民宿) concept.

The first housekeeper we met was a cute young girl who was very dedicated and attentive to details. The second one we met on our return stay was the more shy and reserved type. Overall, I loved this concept and really enjoyed my stay there. One minus point is that some of the items in the room are old but still it does not devalue the experience. Also if only there were more facilities like a swimming pool or a gym just like a chalet! Think I am asking for too much!

This is definitely a good location to wind down, do nothing and just relax.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (玉龙雪山)
This was one of the most anticipated attractions of this tour. However, it turned out to be a letdown due to cloudy weather.

The journey started off well enough. During the bus ride we continued to enjoy the scene of majestic mountains. Our first stop was to catch the mega show “Impression of Lijiang”, which we were almost late. It was an impressive act with hundreds of cast dancing away. However, the show was constantly interrupted by the entry of late spectators and continued until the 45 minute mark of the 70 minute show. This proved to be a huge source of irritation as our efforts to enjoy the show were distracted constantly. Sad but this is the way the show organizers wanted to milk more money by admitting more spectators even as the show was well and truly underway.

After lunch we continued our journey to two key attractions. First stop was the Yak ranch against the backdrop of the Jade Snow Mountain. Unfortunately, the weather was not perfect and we could only see the bottom half of the mountain, with the top part being blocked by clouds. We then walked one big round around the ranch hoping for better weather as time passed but the clouds did not break, which was a big disappointment.

We then went to Lan Yue Gu (蓝月谷), a huge lake with shades of green and blue colored water. From far the lake looks magnificent but on closer look, I would only give it a 6.5 of 10. Perhaps my bar has been raised sigificantly after the lakes I witnessed in Jiu Zhai Gou (九寨沟)during my Sichuan trip.

I was left slightly disappointed when we left and hoped for better scenery in the remaining attractions yet to be visited in the next 2 days.

Shangri-La(香格里拉)

Shangri-La is primary a Tibetan-influenced town located approximately 3,200m above see level. For those who envision the utopian land with lush mountains and endless greenery grassland associated with the mystical land would surely be bitterly disappointed. Originally known as Zhong Dian County it was then referred as Shangri la, I suspect, for commercial reasons. The city is as much a Chinese city as other parts of China, albeit on a 10 times smaller scale. Although primarily a Tibetan influenced area, this county is as commercial and modern as other Chinese city. Just the presence of a cinema showing latest Hollywood blockbuster movies and KFC tells you as much. Interestingly, Shangri-la chain of hotels is also set to build a hotel on their namesake territory!

We covered the Old town overlooking a monastery. Incidentally this was the location where the fire burned down the houses recently but by some miracle the monastery escaped unscathed. After settling down in our hotel, we proceeded to watch a local dance performance having thought there was no activity at night. How wrong we were! Along the way we saw the glittering streets and even locals dancing away in the park, just like what we witnessed in Chengdu’s People’s Park and Cambodia’s Sisowath Quey. Had I known before hand this was quite a modern Chinese city I might have instead spent the night wandering the streets and clocking my KFC! But still no regrets on watching the dance show. It was worth it and time well spent.

One thing to note on oxygen canister. We were told to buy one for insurance sake in case of breathing difficulties. Actually I felt no difficulty at high altitude but as different bodies react differently to high altitudes, it was better to get one if not for a peace of mind.

Tiger Leaping Gorge (虎跳峡)B
Before we reached Shangri-la, we visited the Tiger Leaping Gorge. This was a river with fierce flowing water. I cannot find words to described what I have seen。One has to be there to witness it yourself to appreciate what I have seen. Breathtaking is the best word I could think of. At least at this moment of my life, this was the most impressive fierce flowing river (hence the name of the gorge) that I have seen. There were 2 view points, one from the top and the other closer to the edge and both offered different angles. Due to higher altitude, we were told to take out time to descent to the base and even slower to ascend from the base and for those who found it tough, not to continue the journey to the bottom. Or alternatively there were human carriages, for a fee f course. And I can say the ascend back to the top was tough as I panted and puffed my way hauling myself back up! I think I should work on my fitness again! I certainly enjoyed the view and finally found my money’s worth.

Shi Ka Mountain (石卡雪山)
After the euphoric of Tiger Leaping Gorge came the next highlight of the tour and the most challenging - to ascend 4,400m above sea level to the top of the Shi Ka Mountain attraction. I hoped for good weather unlike the experience back in Jade Dragon Mountain.

The journey was broken into 2 sections – ascend to the second base camp via cable car and if one felt fine, then to ascend again by cable car to the summit. Due to different people’s reaction to high altitude, safety was always emphasized and those who could not continue were asked not to ascend to the top. And of course to breathe from the oxygen canister purchased constantly.

Getting into the cable car was a funny experience; one car could take 8 people and for those with slow reaction would find it slow to get on the car leaving the last man scrambling into the car! Along both rides we took in some nice scenic shots.

Once we reached the top, it was an exciting experience. Due to summer weather, it was not as cold but still a minimum jacket was necessary. I was once again disappointed by the thick clouds overhanging us which reduced visibility and hence we could not see far. Then just as mysteriously, as if an answer to my prayers, the winds began to slow and the clouds started to break, giving us some spectacular view of the Snow Mountains, albeit mountains without the snow. I stood there not quite mouth open yet (still does not beat what I have seen on route to Hung Long in Sichuan Province) but still you have to marvel at Mother Nature’s beauty. I wanted to stay and just stare afar to enjoy this unique and rare experience. But as time ran out and the group slowly made their descent, I reluctantly followed. A truly sad moment.

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Onto the second base camp and everybody literally had a field day taking photos of the greenery fields with azalea flower, against the backdrop of the mountains. Some were even being harnessed by hungry wild boars! When time was up everybody reluctantly left.

Shu He Old Town (束和古镇)
This is another old town located in another part of Lijiang. Unlike Lijing Old Town, it is not as congested and we had a good walk inside and enjoying the slower pace in life. Items on sale are similar to Lijing old town minus the bars and loud music. I just hope commercial dollars does not invade and ruin it soon.

It was finally time to leave for home and we brought back good memoires. Although it may not be as spectacular as what I had expected, still it was a wonderful trip.

Posted by acerchuan 24.06.2014 09:59 Archived in China Comments (0)

Jiangnan Tour

semi-overcast 15 °C

Time to get away on a break and this time I picked Jiangnan (江南) tour since my father has not been to this part of China. Actually I am only interested in Nanking and Hangzhou but am open to exploring other neighbouring cities in the area. This tour also comprises Shanghai, Suzhou and Wuxi and with a seven day schedule, I expected it to be another hectic tour.

Shanghai (上海)

I had actually been to Shanghai back in 2004 for a job assignment and had the change to go to The Bund and Peach Hotel for some jazz music. This tour would allow me to re-visit this place again with more stops on the itinerary.
Shanghai, the Pearl of the Orient, is one of the economic powerhouses in Asia. With a rich history of foreign influence and diverse culture (I’ll skip the history part), Shanghai is a city encompassing old European influence and modern infrastructure, with more Europeans visiting this part of China than other Chinese cities. In fact in many ways, I find myself stepping back into Singapore as there are many parallels between the 2 cities, not least the many, many tall buildings around me! Not surprising since Singapore has been compared to the likes of Hong Kong and Shanghai. And for the rest of this write-up, you will often see me compare various parts of Shanghai to Singapore as they are so alike. Traffic was quite bad and we were often caught in the jam. If I had time to stay longer, I will definitely take time to explore more of it rich European influence
Our first stop was Shanghai World Financial Centre (SWFC), Shanghai’s tallest building housing an observation deck which gives one a paranormal view of the city from 100 stories up. I am actually not a big fan, having skipped previous opportunities to observe similar skyview when in KL (Petronas Towers), Taipei (Taipei 101) and Tokyo (Tokyo Tower). But since this was part of the itinerary and free, so why not? The view up there was certainly nice but after a while you tend to get bored. I still prefer the skyview back in Singapore when I had the chance to see it for free when visiting both DBS and DNB banks. However, it would be magnificent to see the skyview if I had a powerful pair of binoculars, especially at night. But I do applaud the attraction management for trying to create a space-like atmosphere, to give one the impression that we are being warped through space to another dimension, from the time we step into the lift to the short walk up to the 100-storey observation deck.
Then we went to AP Plaza. Basically this is an air con bazaar. But we went a bit too early and most shops were still closed. Most of the shops sell clothes and nothing there really interested us. And we were constantly approached by touts to go to the back alley and buy fake bags and watches. It was something that I had experienced in my previous Shanghai trip but definitely I was not oing to do it this time round. At least not without a local to watch my back! We also saw 2 aspiring Li Nas hitting tennis balls against the wall. Just to show without proper facilities, the Chinese can innovate to achieve their dreams. The Science and Technology was also located next door, which was crowded with people, mainly teenagers.
Next stop was Cheng Huang Temple (城隍庙). Reminds me of Singapore’s Rochor Centre. I spotted Yu Yuan (豫园), one of the recommended must visit attractions in my Shanghai app. It was a courtyard cum garden and we spend the next hour roaming. There were a mix of locals and foreigners, mostly interested in taking photos.
The second leg of our Shanghai tour took place upon our return from HangZhou. Our first stop was QiBao Street (七宝老街). This was a street market with mostly locals and was we had a good time trawling through the stalls doing some street shopping. Unfortunately most of the items on sale did not suit us and there is only so much food our stomach can store! I still prefer Thailand when it comes to street market shopping though.
We then watched the ERA show (http://www.era-shanghai.com/era/en/). This was a highly recommended show from various internet sources, inclusive Trip Advisor and I was certainly not going to miss it when the opportunity presented itself. The show certainly did not disappoint. Often at times I was astounded by the scary stunts especially during the Wheel of Life segment where performers ran like a mouse through the a giant rotating wheel while trying to perform stunts like juggling and rope skipping. At times, there were many near misses and everybody had their hearts in their mouths, anticipating that something would go wrong. It was that scary. The other segment that touched me was the Forever performance whereby a young couple performed incredible feats using 2 ribbons suspended in midair. A lot of trust and practice was required to get this stunt going right and it was touching to see the young man and lady placing so much faith and their lives in each other’ hands as any mishaps would be fatal.
The rest of the Shanghai trip consists of The Bund, one of the iconic attractions in Shanghai. It reminds me too much of Shenton Way / Clark Quey area and also of Hong Kong’s The Peak. There were many people on the Bund, mainly to take photos and enjoying the building structure across the river. But if I had more time, I would definitely have explored the rich European-influenced architectural buildings around the area. Xing Tain Di (新天地 reminds too much of China Square, with people mingling around for coffee, finger food and catch up with friends. I noted that the price there is not cheap. Madam Tussand museum was certainly one of the highlights of this Shanghai tour. I am sure this museum needs further introduction and everybody had a field day taking photos with celebrities, alit with wax figures. Celebrities include Hollywood A-listers, Asian stars, Chinese celebrities, political leaders and leading sports people. Surprisingly, the most popular celebrity turns out to be Obama! I guess people like men with power! Nanking Street is just beside the shopping centre where Madam Tussand museum is located. The street liken to Singapore’s Orchard road. It is long and we had no time to cover it in its entirety but all we saw were people and more people. But like most parts of Shanghai, the items on sale either did not suit us or were too expensive.

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Suzhou (苏州)

Suzhou is an up and coming city, with well developed infrastructure thanks to extensive development via the Suzhou Industrial Park. I was impressed by the city but help can’t stop thinking the infrastructure is heavily influenced by Singapore ideas.
We covered Wang Shi Garden (网师园), a UNESCO world heritage site, which the locals are proud of. This structure showcases a typical house and the garden built by the wealthy during the Song dynasty to showcase their wealth and status. You can see the painstaking effort and attention to details that the wealthy Chinese put into building this house For once I enjoyed the guided tour as the guide explained in detail the meaning and story behind each structure and decoration. Had I gone alone, I think I would not have appreciated this attraction as much.
We then covered Hanshan Temple (寒山寺), said to be a famous temple in whole of China. It is said that this temple holds important ceremonies and is especially famous for its bell strikes especially during mid authum and new year periods.
We also covered Li Gong Di (李公堤), a food and beverage cum recreational location located along JinJi lake. This is a good area to come for relaxation after work.

Sha Jia Bang (沙家浜)

One the way to Wuxi from Suzhou, we dropped by Sha Jia Bang. This is a part of Chinese history familiar to most mainland Chinese due to several shows and operas on it but it is unknown to most Chinese outside of China. It depicts of the battle against the Japanese where some of the defenders chose this spot to recuperate. The reeds around the area proved to be good hiding cover from the Japanese and we were taken on a boat ride to enjoy the view and spot the reeds. It currently serves as one of revolutionary education centre and in fact we happened to catch school children dressed in army uniform touring the site. There was also a show with special pyrotechnics on the battle between the revolutionary forces and the Japanese invaders. There was a museum that we did not manage to visit but you can’t help but feel this is a place to serve as an indirect propaganda to glorify the communist regime.

Wuxi (无锡)

In ancient times, Wuxi was the place of battle between Wu & Yue and sets the scene for the story between Xi Shi (西施) and Fan Li (范蠡). We visited the Li Lake Garden (蠡湖) (small park which did not leave a lasting impression) There were people selling kites but that day was not a good day to fly kites due to lack of wind. Disappointingly, we did not visit Tai Lake. The next day, we visited the Romance of 3 kingdoms film location site, which has since been turned into a tourist attraction. China’s CCTV constructed this site to film the epic Romance TV series. We caught 2 locations the back palace (后宫) where we were in luck to catch a filming in progress and the stage scene for battle of Red Cliff. There was also a performance, mainly to show the horsemanship skills of the riders. There were many other areas which we did not cover due to the rushing nature of tour groups so I really didn’t feel like I had visited the attraction long enough to enjoy it.
I noted that there was also a Water Margin film set which I did not visit. Disappointing again.

Nanking (南京)

Naking is a city rich in history. It serves as the capital city of China for several dynasties even as recent as the KMT period but is now the state capital of Jiangsu province. Also known as the stone city, because of its the excellent craftsmanship, Naking is also the scene where the terrible massacre , otherwise known as the Rape of Nanking took place during the Japanese invasion of 1937. Due to its important role played in China’s history, this was one of stops that greatly interested me.
The first impression of Nanking was that it gave me the feel of the 1930s. Modern buildings were in construction like most parts of China but it still managed to retain its charm. It is not as crowded as Shanghai. The city walls surrounding the city, which were built during the Ming Dynasty to stop foreign invaders, were retained as part of its historical charm
The first stop is Fu Zi Street (夫子街), where is basically a street bazaar. There is of course a temple but unfortunately we had to pay an entrance fee (commercialization again) hence we did not go in.
The next day we visited 2 attractions, the Naking Yangtze River Bridge and Nanking Massacre memorial. The Nanking Bridge, a project that the Chinese are very proud of, depicts the struggles and determination of the Communist period. It took the Chinese years, countless lives and without the help of foreign expertise and technology to construct the impossible. It may look old and unassuming as it nonchalantly went about serving its function of providing a link between 2 parts of the Yangtze River by car and rail, without fuss. But it captured the pride and spirit of the Communist period to do the impossible, no matter the price. There an exhibit with a small-scale model explaining the history of the bridge. We were also shown the room where Chairman Mao once stood when he visited the Nanking Bridge. There is even a seat where Chairman Mao once sat but according to the guide, it has since been replaced due to wear and tear
The Nanking Massacre is one of the exhibits where I was looking forward to. It serves as a memorial to the tens and thousands of victims slain by the Japanese during the fateful period of 1937. There is an excavation site with photos and a memorial but nothing horrifying to despite those terrible years, unlike the Tho Slang Museum and Killing Fields of Cambodia. It is a simple, clean place with few exhibits and out of respect there are few noises but the symbolic creation of the memorial site is to remind people to never forget what happened during those terrible years as well as act as a symbol of peace in future generations

HangZhou (杭州)

HangZhou is one of those romantic cities I have been looking forward to. It is made famous by natural scenic beauty of West Lake as well the famous poet and governor Su DongPo.
On first impression, it is a peaceful and tranquil city, But with commercialization and ‘foreign invasion’, with tourism set to play an important role in the city’s economy, expect the peace to be shattered very soon. Thus it is best to visit the city soon before commercial dollars invades the peace and quiet.
First stop is the famed West Lake (西湖) Actually the area is quite big but due to tour group policy, we only managed to visit a fraction of it. This is one aspect of joining a tour group that I absolutely hated. We were taken to the Su Causeway and took a boat ride around West Lake. The West Lake is peaceful and tranquil but not the spectacular type to set the wows going. We also visited the Lover’s Bridge where the scene of the famous romantic tragic love story Liang ShanBo and Zhu YinTai. I think if I had more time to explore the West Lake, I would perhaps have appreciated it more. And this area sure looks like an excellent spot for jogging and relaxation activities. But unfortunately I did not have time to go jogging around the West Lake! That would have really served up my day!
With some spare time at night, we paid a visit to the city centre. Things were sure quiet at night. Some shops were open but most sell stuff that do not interest us and there were few customers roaming around. Most people I saw were gathered around in restaurants and fast food joints for food and chit chat session.
We also watched the West Lake show (西湖之夜). Compulsory show according to the guide. It was interesting but not as spectacular as the ERA show.

Xi Tang (西塘)

This is a waterside village very much the floating markets of Thailand we visited en route from HangZhou to Shanghai. We took a boat ride round the village I loved the peace and tranquility of the area. Again due to tour constrains, we basically ran through the attractions, which is a bit disappointing as I would have liked to spend more time there, slowing walking through, enjoying the scenery and checking out the various items on sale.

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End Tour

To conclude, due to joining of a group tour, I had a sense of unfulfilled accomplishment during this trip as we made our way to the airport for home. If only we had more time to explore some the places like West Lake, Xi Tang and the film studio! If I were to come back I would sure like to have more time to explore Wuxi and Hangzhou

Posted by acerchuan 01.05.2014 06:35 Archived in China Comments (0)

Wow! Hyderabad

Trip to Hyderabad

20 °C

I was given the change to travel to our Hyderabad office and took this change to visit some local attractions, These are the few places where I have been to. Although this is not the magical Taj Mahal that i have been looking forward to, but a trip there is on the agenda and will will write about it if i get there

Charminar (and adjacent Mecca Masjit)
Surely one of the icons of Hyderabad. This is one of the must visit places. This structure was built as a prayer against the plague. The structure is a magnificent piece of Hyderabad architectural and one can just stand there staring at it, mesmerized by its beauty. However, the building has been desecrated by graffiti although it is not as bad as situation at Qutub Shahi tombs. Commercialization means the structure is located right smacked in the middle of the road. Around Charminar is a buzz of trading activates selling souvenirs for visitors.
Across the street is Mecca Masjit, the oldest mosque in the city. This is another structure worth visiting. However, beware of pesky touts.

Lumbini Park
One of the parks that I would recommend visiting. The visit is not so for the park but as a stop to travel by boat to Hussain Lake for a view of a giant Buddha statue. There are rides for both adults and kids to enjoy. This is also a nice place to just find a place to relax and enjoy the scenery.
Bags are strictly not allowed and have to be deposited at the enterance. That is the only annoying part.

Qutub Shahi Tombs
Also known as the Seven tombs, these are elaborate tombs built during the Qutbshahi dynasty. The beauty of the tombs here do match the charm of and beauty of Charminar but for one big flaw – they are in really poor condition due to wear and tear as well as vandalism (lots of graffiti on the walls). It is really a sorry sight to see such grand structures in decline due to neglect, human desecration and poor restoration works. I really hope something can be done otherwise it is only a matter of time before irrevocable damage to the structures will force them to be torn down, alongside a significant part of this area’s history.

Goldonda Fort
This is a large fortress which is another highlight of Hyderabad. There is a lot of walking to do, so do wear a pair of comfortable shoes and spend at least 2 hours exploring. In fact I went there twice as I ran out of time to explore the fort in depth during my first visit. There are guides eagerly offering their services so do hire one if you want to know more of the area’s history. This is also an area where many locals will come to spend time relaxing. Outside there are shops selling souvenirs and food.

Nehru Zoo
One of the places that a visitor can plan to go if there is spare time. Houses a large collection of animals that will keep visitors occupied. Highlight being an elderly resident tortoise and white tigers. There are also a large collection of birds if one likes feathered friends. There is also a sarafi park where wild animals roam.

Birla Mandir Temple
This is located in a uphill location so it is pretty tricky to reach by car. But it still worth to visit. The white temple is very well maintained and squeaky clean with some wonderful carvings. Sadly, no cameras are allowed inside – it would have been magnificent if I could have taken some pictures of the interior. Also like most temples and mosques, no shoes are allowed so do go early before the floor becomes burning hot and the crowd gathers.

Shilpa Ramam
This is a art and craft cum leisure park. There are several shops selling handicraft items and paintings. Locals also come here to relax, have a picnic and just hang out. Especially a favorite hangout for courting couplesThe area I really enjoy is the sculpture park with some impressive works. There is also a night bazaar.

Shopping

Hydrabard is not really a place for tourist shopping.

For the shopping crazy, there are a few shopping malls in Hyderabad area I have explored that are listed below. Hovever, I can’t help but comment that India seems to sell nothing but clothes 4 of 5 shops sells clothes and the ratio is up to 9 in 10 if you include shoes, bags and accessories.

Hyderabad Central – This is basically a one stop single owner mall, very much like your OG or SOGO. Basically if you are looking for clothing and related items, this will be a good one stop shop. Unfortunately if you are not into clothes, there is nothing much here. There is also a good food court as well as a supermarket to cater to day to day needs.
Inorbit – this will be what I call one of the more decent malls in town. In it you have everything under one roof to satisfy to different needs. There is also a giant hypermart – the only one I can find in town. The third storey has an assortment of foods from your everyday fast food to local and Chinese food. There is a also a cinema to keep movie goers happy and a small amusement park to keep the little ones occupied.

IMAX – As the word suggests, this is a mall more suited for movie goers. I have not tried the 3D effects yet but basically you are there for only one purpose. So if you do not plan to catch a movie, you can skip it. Another major drawback – bags are strictly not allowed in this mall and have to be deposited at the security post before entry. IMAX is also a within walking distance to Lumpini Park.

City Centre Mall – More of a clothing and related accessories mall. The only thing I like is that it is not so crowded. The only 2 places I will go here is the foodcourt for a drink (price here is cheaper than other malls) and the Crossworld bookshop.

GVK One – Within walking distance from City Centre Mall. This is one mall to rival Inorbit except for one major drawback – it does not have a hypermart. There is a spa (price not cheap though) as well as a 15-min 4D (feels more like a 3D theater) movie theatre. This is also where hard Rock café is located.

Some notes for India trip

Brings lots of small change of Rs 10. Along the way they will come in useful when giving tips, paying for parking (driver expects you to pay) and auto rickshaw. You could be ripped off if you have no small change.

For those who are not used to walking barefoot, wear comfortable socks. Upon entry to locations like temples and mosques, they expect you to take off your shoes. Especially at Birla Mandir temple where the floor could be scorching hot.
Footing in certain parts of India could be slippery, especially when climbing Golcondor Fort. So be careful and make sure your soles are slip free. The last thing you want is to slip and fall on some nasty ground.

I noted that bags are frowned upon in most location. Probably due to the fear of hidden bombs, which is still a concern in India. So if possible, do not carry bags around. If really necessary, leave them in the car when visiting the tourist spots. Otherwise make sure no valuables are in the bag should you be required to deposit bags at the counter. Expected to be asked for tips in tourist spots when doing so, especially if you are a non-indian

Bring water. Weather is hot, especially at Golcondor fort

Touts and guides and widespread. Actually they are harmless, they just want some money. So be wary and make your own judgment when paying them to ward off their advances should you require their services, whether willingly or unwillingly

Traffic may not be as chaotic as I expected but still we need to look out for traffic. Horns are a constant menace and may prove to be an irritation.
Weather is good all year round. Is can be cooling towards the end of the year but there is no harm to bring an umbrella along wherever you go.

Posted by acerchuan 06:04 Archived in India Comments (0)

Unique Bangkok Experience

A different view of outskirts of Bangkok

sunny 25 °C

Bangkok – land of a thousand smiles. Actually this is not the first time I am going to Bangkok but it has been a few years since I last went there. I had thought this would be the usual Bangkok trip, with shopping, eating and massage as the main objectives. And I had thought I would have nothing to write in the blog. But thanks to my local Thai colleague, I was brought to places where I had never been before and few tourists would venture to. A search in the website also barely had a mention of these locations. In that I really enjoyed this encounter.

The agenda was pretty simple – eat, shop, trip to nearby Ayutthaya, followed by more eating and shopping. But my colleague told me she would bring me to some other places to the outskirts of Bangkok which would show us a different view from the eating and shopping activities.

So I’ll skip the usual normality – Sukhumvit, Siam Square, Pratunam, MBK, Central World, Terminal 21 etc – these are the normal, boring touristy areas that one can find in any guidebook or website. I’ll start with our original target, the ancient capital of Siam – Ayutthaya. Ever since I was introduced to this place, it had always been a wish to go there to see another ancient ruin site. The journey is about 1.5 hour bus ride from Bangkok. Initially I had wanted to join a cruise tour followed by a unique biking experience. But in the end the tour package we picked did not offer that, which was a slight disappointment to me. Instead we were whisked away in a 30-seater bus (mass tourism again) with a return cruise trip via Chao Phray river. We went to 3 locations (4 actually plus a temple which I can’t remember the name), namely the palace at Bang Pa In, the ancient ruins of Ayutthaya and Wat Lokayasutha, which I will touch on below.

Bang Pa In Palace – Also known as the Summer Palace, the ground are open to the public to visit and enjoy and still occasionally use by the royals for special events or for entertaining guests. Although hundreds of years old, the palace is touched with a class of modern feel thanks to the restoration efforts of King Chulalongkorn. Among the highlights include a big lake, the throne hall with nice furniture decorations (unfortunately, no pictures allowed), a big watch tower, a Chinese styled palace, memorial for Queen Sunanda (inclusive of a poem composed by King Chulalongkorn) and a lover’s lane.

Ancient ruins of Ayutthaya – This was the highlight of any Ayutthaya tour. There were no spectacular structures unlike Angkor Wat. Most of it was remains of buildings and structures enclosed in an open space. Having visited many temples, ancient structures and ruins, this was not really a place to set the mouths gaping wide. But still this was an interesting place worth visiting. The highlight must surely be the Buddha head miraculously growing right smacked in the middle of a tree. Whether you believe it or not, it is said that the Buddha head gave the tree the strength to grow. To really believe it, you have to see it yourself. That was the only site that set the wows going.

Wat Lokayasutha – Also known as the Sleeping Buddha, this was the site where the statue of a giant reclining Buddha lies. The statue is about 30 foot long and basically everybody had a field day taking photos.

After the half day tour, it was back to Bangkok. We chose to go back by a river cruise, lunch included. The cruise along Chao Phray River, was in essence a normal boat cruise. Maybe my expectations were too high after my Halong trip but there was nothing really spectacular along the way to leave me with a deep impression. Well, it is another experience after all and you won’t know what you are in for unless you try it.

Looking forward to the next day, my Thai colleague met us at Chatuchat market. I had actually been there before but that was donkey years ago but I certainly did not mind going there again. But to my surprise, she skipped it altogether and brought us out of town, to Ko Kret. I tried to google for it afterwards but the only thing I could find was a section under Wikitravel. Both Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor did not pick this place up. This is basically a small man-made island accessible by boat along Chao Phray River, located in the province of Nontjaburi. This is a place locals go to, with few tourists so forget about speaking English or English language signs. Had it not been for my colleague, I don’t think I would have dared go due to the distance and language difficulty. The island was filled with locals making their way round a bazaar as well as several temples located on the island. This was certainly a refreshing experience and the trip can be covered on foot in 1 hour. What strikes me most is how low-lying the island was – in fact several areas of the island were covered with water. Even in our place where we had lunch, we had never felt so close to the river. A foot higher and we would be swimming with the sharks! The other thing worth mentioning is the pottery centre where one can get to see some nice handicraft work and if one has the time, can also pay a small fee for a crash course in pottery.

After this we headed for another previously unheard of location – Ampawa floating market. The journey took about 1 hour by car from Bangkok. This is an area where we can find more foreign tourists and is featured in Trip Advisor. The market is open only on weekends. Before reaching Ampawan, my colleague brought me to a Buddhist temple where I had the chance to offer some prayers and blessings. This was a temple unlike any temple as the ‘temple’ was located inside a tree.

Back to the main attraction and we had a great time walking around the floating market and mingling with tourists and locals alike. There were lots of activities and items on offer, from food to souvenirs and everyday items. One can also choose to buy food from the boats located along the market and choose to take a boat ride round the market. Or one can just simply do nothing, choose a place to sit down with a cuppa and just enjoy he sight and sounds of activities around. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and I certainly enjoyed every minute of it. If only I had more time!

It was then time to leave and back to the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. Thailand does really surprise with new unexplored places and I look forward to coming back again to another part of Thailand where few tourists venture. Think it is time to brush up my Thai language!

P.S; I certainly hope the political situation will stabilize and peace can return to Bangkok soon.

Posted by acerchuan 28.12.2013 21:08 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Kungfu Chengdu

Trip to ChengDu and JiuZhaiGou

Here’s a snaphot of my recent trip to Chengdu, China

JiuZhaiGou (九寨沟)

This is supposed to be the highlight of the tour. The journey by bus took approximately 6 hours but due to various stopovers along Maoxian and SongPan, it took us almost a full day to reach our hotel. Along the way, we passed by some scenic mountainous views. We also passed by WenChuan county, scene of the devastating 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Reconstruction efforts was fast and today, you can almost spot no signs of the destruction.

Before embarking on this tour, I have seen some pictures from my friend’s previous trip to JiuZhaiGou. They were certainly nice but not spectacular enough to really set me drooling. The best time to visit, according to the tour guide, would be in the region of September to October whereby all the flowers would be in full bloom, cool weather and we would be able to see some spectacular scenery. However, this would also be the time where the park is the most crowded – so you might end up seeing more humans than flowers.

JiuZhaigou reminds me of a big nature walk, the centre of attention being its crystal clear lakes. Along the way, one would spot some of the clearest waters ever seen. As the saying goes “九寨归来不看水“。This I totally agree. The high concentration of calcium carbonate in the water makes the water so clear that the bottom is often visible even at high depths. And I have to especially mention Arrow Bamboo Lake (箭竹海). I was totally awestruck by how clear the water was that it basically served as a mirror, reflecting in perfect symmetry of a mirror image of the nearby hillside in the water. This is a heaven for photo taking enthusiasts. Till today I have not seen such a clear reflection of image in the water.
Another area worth mentioning is Wu Hua Hai (五花海). This is a lake whereby one is supposed to see the different shades of water colour in the lake. Unfortunately as this was the off season, I only managed to spot 2 shades of colour. This was also one of the bigger areas of the park where a lot of people stopped by to relax and snap photos.

There were 2 waterfalls in the park, namely NuoRiLang waterfall and ZhenZhu waterfall. They were certainly nice and relaxing to see water tumbling down but do not expect the spectacular standards of the Niagara Falls (maybe my expectations too high). Oh the locals kept emphasizing that NuoRiLang waterfall was the location whereby the famed drama series Journey to the West was shot back in the mid-80s.
As we moved along the park, one just has the feeling that the rest of the park seems to mirror what we have seen earlier – great lakes, clear water, the occasional waterfall. We ended our trip at around 5pm and bade goodbye to JiuZhaiGou.

My feel of JiuZhaigou? Worth a go but I don’t think I would make a return trip due to the long travel distance from Chengdu and there is nothing really superbly exceptional that would entice me to want to make this extra effort to return. In a nutshell, it feels like a over-hyped big nature walk. To really enjoy JiuZhaigou do spend at least 2 days there, take your time to walk through and enjoy nature’s beauty. But then again after a while, you will realize everything seems to be the same…

Huang Long (黄龙)Park

Before going to Huang Long, our tour group was offered another alternate location to visit MuNiGou. The tour guide, I had a feeling, was trying his best to dissuade us from going to Huang Long as he claimed due to off season, there was nothing to see. Having already visited JiuZhaiGou, some of us decided we have enough of “gous” for this trip and stuck to the original itinerary. The rest had no strong objections and off we go!

In a way, the guide is not wrong. As this is the off season, there is not enough rainfall to fill up the natural mineral pools and lakes – the highlight of a visit to Huang Long. Thus basically we would only see dry rock and no water. But still the journey was not a waste of time. En route to Huang Long, we caught some of the most spectacular mountain scenery one can ever see. I was glued to the spectacular snow capped mountain and the winding journey, capturing some breathtaking photos along the way. I almost wish we could have just stopped and stand there to admire the scenery. One certainly has to be impressed with the Chinese (or human engineering technology), with the way they carve out the road on a widely steep mountainous region and there are is an even an ongoing project to tunnel through the mountains. Only a skilled driver familiar with mountain driving can have the guts and skill to keep the bus from falling off the cliff and although the road was in good working condition, still any miscalculation would end our journey prematurely. For that one has to admire and be grateful to the skills of our driver for making our journey safe. But I have a feeling the roads will be closed during winter time due to safety concerns ie slippery roads and falling snow.

After maneuvering and winding through the spectacular mountainous roads, we finally reached our destination. The tour guide then brought us partially up the park, introducing the park to us and trying to hint, “See? I told you so”. Huang Long is basically an upward incline journey of about 4km to the top, with a temple and a lake awaiting the conquerors at the top of the park. Since there was really nothing much to see, with only a few pools half-filled with water, (this I have to agree with the tour guide), most of the tour group decided to drop out barely a quarter of the journey leaving the last 3 of us to complete a race to the top within the stipulated timing of 3 hours. We were warned not to overexert ourselves, since after all we are 3,000 meters above sea level and to turn back if we feel tired or if time runs out. Perhaps with a point to prove, we raced to the summit in 1 hour 40 minutes, spent about 20 minutes hurriedly at the top, snapped a few photos along the way, and took another 1 hour to decent. The journey was actually not that tiring as compared to other walking trails I have taken before in other countries, with the biggest obstacles still being the low oxygen level at high altitude level so more than once, we took our time to catch our breath and rest and photo taking. Along the journey, there were more than once whereby I thought of turning back (due to lack of time more than anything else) but my companions timed the journey and estimated we had more than enough time to make it since they expect descent to be much faster than ascent. So basically, this turned out to be a physical activity rather than a sightseeing tour! But had the pools and lakes been filled with water, we might have spent more time taking photos and thus had no time to reach the summit. This would be one of the regrets of this trip ie unable to view the supposedly beauty of Huang Long

Leshan

The next stop of our journey was Leshan, a 2 hour journey from Chengdu, to see the famed Grand Buddha (乐山大佛). This was a giant project commissioned by a monk named HaiTong with the intention of serving as a guardian angel for shipping vessels and villages located along the river bank. Leshan itself is a modern city well worth exploring; the trip itself was a huge personal disappointment for me as it was unfortunate that out tour group did not spend more time in the city as we would have liked. Sigh. One of the disadvantages of joining a guided tour.

The boat trip itself to view the Buddha was also disappointing to say the least. We were only given a limited time at the front of the Buddha to snap some photos. To catch the x spot, one has to pay an exorbitant ‘entrance fee’ to grab the ideal spot for photo taking. Due to commercialization (so typical of China), the boat left for pier only after 10 minutes thus we only managed to see the Buddha statue for only a short while. Another regret was that we did not have a chance to be up close and personal with the statue by scaling it. Basically, this was a hit, see and run boat ride. But still the statue itself was magnificent and one wonders the amount of effort spent to construct it during ancient time. To really enjoy it, one can take the boat ride (more for photo taking purpose though) followed by a bus ride to the actual location which will allow spend more time at the base. However, one will not be able to take a full picture of the Buddha at such close range so for photo enthusiasts a boat trip is necessary. Of course spend one day in Leshan to explore the city.

Er Mei

After leaving Leshan, we headed to nearby Er Mei in preparation of our ascent to mount Er Mei. Mount Er Mei was reputed to be a cloudy place with sunlight rarely present for most parts of the year. We were told if we could catch sunlight, we would certainly have been blessed.

Like most mountain ascent, the journey to the top was long and arduous. Firstly, it took a 2-hour bus ride past a wet and hazy environment just to reach base camp. This was followed by a 20 minute hike to the cable car station. After a short cable car ride, we had to walk another 10 minutes to reach the peak. The road itself was well built to cater to mass tourism and most people would have no problems waling to the top. For those who really cannot walk, there is an option of being carried to the top by 2 burley man via a carriage. Of course, one has to pay for it.

Due to the cloudy conditions, visibility was poor throughout. For those wishing to capture some nice photos, they would be deeply disappointed. On the top of the mountain (dubbed the “Golden Summit”), there was a statue of Buddha as well as the temples for devotees to pray. Despite the weather, there was still a strong crowd. After this came another arduous 3 hour descent to the base of the mountain.

Chengdu
Chengdu itself is a modern and vibrant city. We visited a few old towns filled with ancient Chinese-style architecture, namely HuangLongXi, KuanZhai and JinLi. These are places where locals and tourists mingle with shops selling souvenirs and local delicacies. The one that really left me with a deep impression was JinLi. This was where I spotted handicraft work I would have never seen back home – candy drawing, paper cutting, portrait drawing, egg sculpture and even an artist doing head sculptures using clay! This was something interesting and crowds gathered around the various stalls to see the artists at work.

And no trip to Chengdu can be completed without a trip to see the famed pandas! The day to visit the pandas itself was a rainy day but still it did not dampen the spirits of everybody who wanted to catch a glimpse of these cuddly black and white creatures. They were certainly auntie killers – every auntie who saw the pandas blushed and gleamed with delight. We were lucky in the sense that we managed to catch the pandas when they were most active aka busy eating. We were told that after meals they tend to slack off for a nap and all attempts to wake them up after this would be futile. We certainly did not wish to see sleeping pandas!

Group-Organized Shopping

I usually don’t talk about shopping but this is one unique case that has to be logged into this blog. In any guided tour it is very common to include trips that you bring you to places to shop for items that you do not want that are exorbitantly priced. This trip is no exception. Amongst various items, we were brought to shops that sold tea, honey, pearls, medicine, jade etc. The one that I wanted to mention occurred during a trip to a silk shop. Like any other organized shopping trip, we were eager to get out even before we entered the shop as we simply had no interest to but the products. But when the sales person made her sales pitch, her accent immediately told us that she was not a local born Chinese, rather someone from our neighboring Malaysia. Once she spoke, we immediately felt she was someone close to home and an ally to customers that we could trust. We later learnt that she was an exchange student from Batu Pahat sent to China on a 3 month attachment. She was unhappy with the arrangement, was paid a meager allowance and suffered diarrhea on arrival. And she had no commission from sales, so she had no incentive to pitch sales and tell tall tales. So she basically turned into a wrecking crew, while not deny the merits of the silk product, she also tried to dissuade us from buying something we have no use back home, especially considering our tropical climate. To disguise her intentions, all of us spoke hokkien, a dialect that local Chinese and certainly others staff members as well as the tour guide could not understand. This was the first time I have encountered a sales person who tried to dissuade us from buying! And I have also never paid so much attention to a sales pitch! But still some of our tour members decided to buy the silk so she also did her best to get lots of discount as well as throw in as much freebies as she could. She even went to the extent of trying to transfer the tour guide’s share of commission to us. But I do agree with what she said, if the item is too expensive and you don’t really need it, then do not buy it. After all, we are here for the sights and tour, not for shopping

I left the shop feeling bemused.

Last day Free & Easy

After enduring a boring & enforced shopping trip, we were finally given freedom to run wild. Being a free and easy advocate, I was finally glad that we could be released from the restrains of the organized tour and to do whatever we wanted. As our flight was in the night, we were given a whole lot of 7 hours of free time. We were dropped off at Chun Xi Street, the shopping belt of Chengdu. Not wishing to die of boredom from 7 hours of mindless window shopping, my hiking buddies and I planned our own mini- tour of Chengdu that the tour itinerary did not cover. Surprisingly everybody in the tour group decided to tag along (there were 3 young ladies who had the shopping face look) and thus armed with my basic research, I became the unofficial tour guide for a wild trip round Chengdu.

The first aim was to try their metro. This was a 2-line railway system (easy to navigate, even if you don’t understand Chinese) and we ended up at HeHuaChi. This was one of the places I would usually go in any overseas trip – a bargain hunting centre to grab cheap stuff as well as last minute items to bring home. This area certainly sold a lot of items from cheap clothes to books, shoes, bags, food, almost everything you can think of. Some of us managed to find some cheap stuff and enjoyed some bargain hunting.

Next stop was People’s Park. This was where a lot of locals mingle to spend an eventful weekend. The park very vibrant and was filled with lots of activities. Along the way we saw street singing performances (I counted at least 4 different rival stage performers), line dancing, calligraphy on the ground (would have been arrested for vandalism back home!), leisure card playing, book reading by the park etc. There was even a spot where worried parents congregate to exchange bio data of the unmarried children with each other, hoping to find the perfect mate for their children (yes this is not a myth)! Besides this there was a bonsai garden (mind you these are giant bonsai) as were as an amusement park catered to the needs for the young ones. I was certainly very impressed. Firstly no tour agency would bring you to such locations so I was blessed I could come here before I flew back. Secondly, I don’t think I can find such a vibrant park back home.

Next was TianFu Park. Unfortunately it was condoned off so we only spent a while there taking photos of the statue of Chairman Mao waving at the crowd. Nobody wanted to stay (TianFu was also shopping area) so we sped back to ChunXi street after that.

With about 1 and half hour to go before we were to board the bus to airport, all of us then went our separate ways on reaching Chunxi and coincidentally ended up at KFC for a quick dinner whereby I clocked my Zinger burger in a foreign city. With barely an hour left, I took a slow walk back and enjoyed the street scene but there was not mad dash for last minute shopping. I only dropped by the snack store aimed at spending the rest of my RMB but found the items on sale either too expensive or not suitable.

Then it was time to leave for home. Bye to Chengdu!

Essentials and useful information of China & Chengdu
1. Do bring an umbrella as Chengdu’s weather is unpredictable, especially in the mountainous areas.
2. Chinese language is still predominately used Chinese society. Although there are pinyin available on street signs, they basically do not tell you what they mean. For those who do not speak or read the Chinese language, one would struggle to travel round Chengdu and communicate with locals. A classic example would be food – all labeled in Chinese. So you will not know what you are eating at all if you don’t understand the labels! Another classic example is that all TV programs are in Chinese language – you will be very lucky to find HBO in hotels. I am not sure of the level of English proficiency in Chengdu but I believe most still do not speak English. Even if they do, I do not think I would want to use English too! It is no wonder I hardly see a Caucasian on the streets. The situation is much worse in countryside.
3. It is a always big debate as to the merits of going it alone verse an organized tour. For Chengdu, Ermei and Leshan itself, one should not face problems with a free an easy tour so long as sufficient homework done. But as for further outreach into the countryside, to save time and trouble, an organized trip will be better. Another advantage is that organized trip brings economies of scale and would bring costs down. To go it alone would definitely be more expensive (imagine the cost of hiring a transport for a 6 hour car ride to JiuZhaiGou). Not only that, the timing has to be immaculate otherwise one would end up missing the bus and left stranded and frustrated in trying to get out of the countryside where transport may be few and far in between.
4. China’s stuff is notoriously very expensive. It is only considering exchange rates that the wallet does not hurt. So control your spending and do not be swayed by emotions; otherwise no matter how much money you bring will also never be enough
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Posted by acerchuan 27.07.2013 08:23 Archived in China Comments (0)

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