Monday, November 26, 2007

Si Tung Ku Cheun ( Old town )

2. Si Tung Ku Chen

On our way to Suzhou, we visited this 800+ year old water city, made famous by Mission Impossible 3 a couple of years ago.
The first thing that catches our eyes are real fishermen fishing using Cormorants.
The interesting thing about this place is that there are real residents staying, and we can witness their daily life.
That is why this sign is necessary to warn them, and us too, not to simply do our business anywhere :)
This old men sells 'fried rotten tofu'
We could not gather enough courage to try it as the smell was too strange for our appetite.
However, these meat dumplings look delicious ...........
We took a cruise and trailed the path where Tom Cruise walked.
It's beautiful...................
Apparently, Tom Cruise fell into the water several times during shooting, thus, a sign was put up to warn him, and subsequent tourists, to be careful:)
It reads:
Fall into water carefully
Till then, bye........

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Shanghai 1-3 Nov '07

Now that we have recuperated from the hectic tour in the past 1 month, let's slowly recap what happened.........


First big impression is the MagLev ( Magnetic Levitation) train from Airport to Pudong, which touched a maximum of 431KM per hour. I remember Jap's shinkansen was around 230KM/hr.
Our hotel, Sofitel, is located in Nanking Road, a fairly touristy location.
It is a short walk to the Bund, the famous Shanghai Beach featured in the famous Shanghai beach drama, with main theme song sung by Francis Yip.
This part of Shanghai is where foreigneers used to patronise when China started to open to foreign countries.
This is also the place where there used to be a notice stating that 'Chinese and dogs are not allowed!'. Currently this notice bord has been removed and kept in the museum.
Shanghai shocked us with its modern, expensive life style.
Things are expensive, especially imported staffs.
Food too!
Our dinner for the first night, in a respectable restaurant, HuangPu Club, overlooking the bund, was in excess of 3300RMB for 8 persons!
In front of the hotel is like La Rambla in Barcelona.
Lot's of tourist walking along this road where vehicles are not allowed.
This very old hotel at he background, "Chat Choong Th'ing" is where Hey Mun Keong and Ting Lek used to visit in the Shanghai Beach Episodes.
Being a big city, Shanghai has nothing much to offer, except 'Cheng Hwang' temple, where many small stalls sell local food, traditional goods, and small souvenirs.
Mummy bought from this shop, a silk 'Cheng Sum' for Ah girl's wedding next year ;)
Apparently, Shanghai is home to the world famous dumpling 'Sheow Loong Pau'.
There are a couple of stalls here too.
However, many claimed the taste is not as good. Uncle #9 insists that Joe Shanghai in NYC is better. Ah Bee should be happy ;)
Nevertheless, there are long queues here everyday. And they even have some dumplings staffed with crab roe.
Look at what they wrote on the window, it's frightening.!
Should you five difficulty reading the last few words, it says
" Dumpling stuffed with the ovary and digestive glands of a crad "
That's all about Shanghai.
We then leave for Suzhou.
En route we will visit somewhere for interesting.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Khao Lak, Andaman Sea

This is our first trip to Khao Lak, 85Km north of Phuket.
It's a huge resort, isolated, quiet, and bulit on a long stretch of fine, white sandy beach.
Excellent place for honeymooners.
However, the once crystal clear waterfront is now 'bad', after Tsunami, by Andaman sea's standard.

During the 2004 Tsunami, this place was badly hit, including our hotel, Le Meridien.
Thousands of lives perished.
They took 19 months to rebuild the hotel, and right now, it's fully booked almost everyday!
Can't imagine the business.
Dinners need to be booked well in advance, despite having 7 restaurants.
Most tourists are from Europe, and 65% speaks German.
97.25% are white.
In our 6 days here, we saw merely 1 Jap couple, 1 Korean couple, and an Indian family......
We are among the privileged few..........;)

We shared a nice quiet time with Tze Ping, staying 5 nights here, just relax, stroll, swim, eat, sleep, nap, and relax.......;)

White endless beach, miles after miles.
I love those blue sky.....

When night falls, we just laze around by the pool.........

As a Starwood preferred platinum guest, we enjoyed special welcome :)
Thank you! Ah Bee.

Daily buffet breakfast is a sin ;p
Though I am never a believer of healthy food, but such tempting yogurt is difficult to resist ;)

Nightly, we enjoy freshly caught seafood, especially steam fish and tomyam kung.
Not happy with the Thai food we took in Bangkok last month, we requested for very hot, and spicy food.
Indeed, the food came with lot's of cabai burung, and needless to say, we cried, fumed, and yet longed for more, hehe.
More ice-water, I mean ;)

Tze Ping went for 3 days' dive in the Andaman Sea.
Similan Island, Ko Kak(?) and some ship wreck.
It was interesting, as he made friends with Leopard sharks, Giant Murray eels, Honeycomb eels, Scorpion fish, Lion fish, Sea turtles, Spotted eagle rays, and learned to dance with Durban dancing shrimps.........

While he is away, our daily activities include combing the white beach for shells, and hermit crabs, etc ;)
You can see how long the white beach is. Looks endless.
We tried, but can never finish walking this beach!
Perhaps ah girl should train here for your marathon.

Suddenly, we encounter more than we expected.
Don't worry, it's just a friendly long tail friend.
At one part of the beach, there are weird rocks.................
As this is a spa resort, mummy went for her spa facial, and happily charged it to the room, with generous tips. Poor Ah Bee had to foot the bill, not me, hehe :)
As we explored the beach, we found this nice restaurant,
and this giant tiger prawn alone cost us RM20, but other foods are reasonably cheap.
As we have nothing better to do, quarrelling is also a past time.
This is how we look after a fight.
As night falls, we will just lie down and enjoy those beautiful sunsets.........
and the hotel again turned into a paradise.......
Nevertheless, every nice holiday has to come to an end:(
This is the last meal before leaving.
Look at mummy's face and you know how much she enjoyed Thai food.
This one is Thai papaya salad. Excellent!
Khao Lak, we will be back!

Learn to swim or walk?

This blog has been sleeping for quite a while. We need some noises to wake us up. =P

Laughing Marcus