Tag Archive | China

July 2014 – Xiamen

So yeah, I remembered that I did have a blog. LOL we’ve flown to Australia, I’m flying to China again in a week, and I haven’t finished the pictures from the previous China trip. Great, just great.

I really, sincerely hope that I get to the point in my blogging where all my blog entry introductions start with a mini rant on how behind I am in my blog posts. To take away a bit of your annoyance at my ranting earlier, behold a magnificent view of Xiamen!
_DSC0954Quite impressive, isn’t it? I believe my previous sentence was also a bit misleading as one would actually expect an aerial view. Haha it’s just a tiny view of the city from the top floor of our hotel, which had a revolving restaurant… fancy. Anyway, more peeks on how modern Xiamen has become… Continue reading

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July 2014 – Nanyang

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The name “Nanyang” doesn’t conjure up as many iconic associations or images as “Beijing” or “Shanghai” does, and I didn’t know what to expect as we made the journey from Guilin. We were, however, pleasantly surprised… Continue reading

December 2013 – Hainan

HainanHello again, blog! LOL this might just really turn out to be a travel blog, as I don’t even bother to photograph my new nail polishes now :p maybe I’ll get the groove back soon? Well, for the meantime, I give you a sunny photo diary of our recent trip to Hainan, the tropical part of China!

HainanHainanHainanFirst, where we stayed. After staying in a non-hotel where we almost got apprehended by police, you’d think we would have a nice, normal hotel, right? Well… it was better. We stayed at a retreat center for senior citizens! Yes, that place where you drop off your grandparents or parents when they get old and cumbersome, LOL. The place is called Gong He Fan (can’t type Chinese characters now, please just look at the pictures later), and it is beautiful and serene. Can’t be thankful enough!

HainanHainanHainanHainanThe place is also open for outsiders to rent, though. During the time we were there, not only did we share the place with the resident seniors, but we also saw other businesses and organizations holding their conferences there. One of the reasons why? Rates are crazy cheap for the high-quality amenities they offer: our meals were only 50RMB (roughly 350 pesos) a pop! Next time, you might want to consider this place. Here’s the card with the information you need on it:

HainanHainanHainanSorry for the shot with my washed socks, but I just wanted to show you how amazing the weather was in Hainan. I just fell in love! We went there early December, where people all over different parts of China were starting to bundle up in two layers or more. But Hainan stayed pleasantly cool, with temperatures around 13-20 degrees Celsius. Cool, but not freezing. My kind of weather! Suddenly, I don’t hate winter any more! LOL

HainanHainanOne day, after our duties were done, Ptr. Jim, Tita Lui and I decided to go take a walk under the wonderful sunny weather. We heard that there was a beach nearby, but neglected to find out that it would take about 30 minutes of walking LOL. However, we were in no-sweat weather, so it was win-win, actually! We walked to this place called Bai Sha Wan, which turned out to be a sprawling park with a non-swimmable (is there such a word?!) beach.

HainanHainanHainanA pretty creative and different way to present the usual “history of the place” markers you usually see at those famous places…

HainanHainanHainanHainanThe park is really such a vast area – you can walk around it the whole day. They also have shops in the form of small lodges like the one above, but we didn’t bother to check the prices. Most probably, ridiculously expensive.

HainanHainanHainanWe actually got to the beach first before the other areas of the park. If you live in the Philippines or any other country known for its beaches, you actually feel nothing special for beaches like these. The Chinese, however, treasure whatever beaches they have, and most if not all of it are here at Hainan.

HainanHainanHainanHainanHainanAfter taking some shots and getting my feet exfoliated, we went on ahead to the other areas of the park! One thing about the Chinese, though, is that they really know how to utilize nature and make their parks really picturesque.

HainanHainanHainanHainanHainanFun fact: after ooh-ing and ah-ing over these sleeping puppies, we turned around and… came face-to-face with their mother. Good thing she wasn’t in a hostile mood. Haha!

HainanHainanI’d like to end with several shots of what our participants did in one of their exercises:

HainanDSC_6463DSC_6461DSC_6462The Christmas season is right upon us! In fact, tomorrow is December 25, Christmas day by unofficial appointment – the day that children of all ages love and adults smile at once mentioned. But with Jesus at the center of it all, with the memory of His love and sacrifice always fresh in our hearts and minds, it gives us meaning and happiness that transcends the superficial. 🙂 Merry Christmas, everyone!

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September 2013, Nanjing – Work

Is this blog going to be a travel blog? I certainly wouldn’t mind, but what about the new nail polishes that are purchased from time to time? 😮 Ahaha.

Anyway, God has blessed me again by giving me the opportunity to travel (again) to China (again) for translation work. That’s my third visit to China this year, and the third new place in China I have been to! Blessings truly abound. Not only that, I had the privilege of working for and beside Dr. Peter Tan-Chi and his wife Deonna, people who I truly look up to in the areas of spiritual guidance and parenting.

A photo diary of our almost week-long work days:

Nanjing Jinling HotelNanjing Jinling HotelWas so blessed to have been booked at one of the best hotels in Nanjing, the five-star Jinling Hotel. They have good service (considering how bad service is in China), and their breakfast buffet is to die for! One unrelated point: I got my fill of bacon and cheese in their breakfast buffet. 😀

Nanjing Jinling HotelNanjing Jinling HotelNanjing Jinling HotelNanjing Jinling HotelNanjing Jinling HotelLOOK at that magnifying mirror. It’s an honest-to-goodness one that really magnifies, and is not of the sucky quality of those cheap ones sold outside. I wish I had a mirror like this for my makeup everyday!

Nanjing Jinling HotelDSC_6026DSC_5953Le new boss.

DSC_5957DSC_5961DSC_5965DSC_5977Although their church is recognized by the government – in fact, the land their church was built on was donated by the government!! – to be sure, no close-up shots of the participants will be posted.

DSC_5974DSC_5982DSC_5962DSC_6002This was our work setup. To be honest, I wasn’t too excited about it at first just because it reminded me so much of a traditional church where I easily fell asleep, but I warmed up to it after a few hours!

DSC_6007DSC_5984DSC_6010DSC_6023Lunch breaks took me back to pack-lunch days in Jinan University.

DSC_6036DSC_6045DSC_6054DSC_6060DSC_6073DSC_6076Well, this photo deserves to be posted. 🙂 In the Lord’s work, if there is a group of 100 people with only 5 people inside who are actually willing to learn and work, then our travel has not been in vain. 🙂

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July 2013 – Guilin – Liu Sanjie Impressions 印象刘三姐

Quite a weird name for a show, no? Not the most attractive, in my opinion, but wait until you see the show:

印象刘三姐印象刘三姐印象刘三姐印象刘三姐Here’s the entrance. Looks like a villa or something, right? Almost resort-like. Needless to say, it got me intrigued. So we went inside, checked in with our tickets, and got seated…

印象刘三姐Wow. Amazing, right? They truly picked this place right!

We were seated far in the back, so we were able to have this overall view. Once you get in, you are given a disposable plastic raincoat as well, just in case there’s an unexpected shower. Quite thoughtful, actually!

印象刘三姐印象刘三姐印象刘三姐We waited for quite some time, and were already getting a bit impatient. Pretty soon dusk faded into night, and we suddenly got this:

印象刘三姐Everybody literally went “whoa!” at this. This was even more stunning in person. See, China, at what plain white light can do? SO much better than the usual technicolor lights!

印象刘三姐印象刘三姐印象刘三姐印象刘三姐印象刘三姐Overall, the show was about the different cultures of China and certain customs even I haven’t seen before. All of them extravagantly use light and different colours to make a truly show-stopping experience. Right before the show, we learned that it was actually directed by Zhang Yimou, one of the best directors (if not the best!) in China. He was also the one who directed the jaw-dropping opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. I must say, I enjoyed the show because there was a good combination of showmanship and discipline throughout the show that didn’t read tacky (quite common in Chinese performances…), and showed the director behind it all. This was one of the better experiences we had in Guilin! 🙂

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July 2014, Guilin – Reed Flute Cave 芦笛岩

Truth: I researched the name “Reed Flute Cave” from the Internet. I seriously have this travel habit now where I go to awesome places and have a wonderful time shooting pictures, but if it’s not the Eiffel Tower or anything, I don’t remember the name – or even make an effort to. 😦 New resolution made, right here and right now!

Guilin Reed Flute CaveGuilin Reed Flute Cave

Anyway, this was already our last day in Guilin. Having finished what we had set out to do, we were whisked to Yangshuo; the next day, the itinerary was actually up to us. Leafing through the brochures, Reed Flute Cave looked nice with all the limestone, lights and whatnot, so off we went!

Guilin Reed Flute CaveTo start with, I intentionally put this shot because:

1) The first few shots quickly taught me that it was low-light, and no matter how steady I kept my hands, it kept coming out blurry. Time to furiously adjust the settings!

2) Doesn’t it look like a haunted place? 😀

Guilin Reed Flute CaveGuilin Reed Flute CaveSo here we are! Majority of the inside of the Reed Flute cave looks like this – artificially lighted. On certain places it works, but I’m not so sure the technicolor works for me as a whole. Perhaps it reads a little cheap? But then, it’s nothing new as the Chinese are known to love putting as many colours as they can on natural formations like these. Such a shame…

Guilin Reed Flute CaveGuilin Reed Flute CaveGuilin Reed Flute CaveAgain, this is a focal point of the cave, but I didn’t get to jot down the name. *bad blogger* Can I just make it up to you by informing you that the whole inside of the cave was actually quite cold? You know, like breezy Christmas wind cold. It sure was a relief to be inside after baking in the sun outside!

Guilin Reed Flute CaveGuilin Reed Flute CaveGuilin Reed Flute CaveAll of the formations inside are natural limestone. I was quite awestruck at seeing so much limestone in one place, and even touched pillars here and there. They felt cold and clammy!

Guilin Reed Flute CaveGuilin Reed Flute CaveGuilin Reed Flute CaveGuilin Reed Flute CaveTHIS ONE I REMEMBER! *triumphant face* It’s something like the “Princess Bath Lake” (Chinese names are always awkward when translated like that), and legend goes that the princess of some dynasty or yore went there to take a bath… and magic happened? Sorry, just registered the bath thing! 😮

Guilin Reed Flute CaveGuilin Reed Flute CaveGuilin Reed Flute CaveFinally, we got out of the cave! With a normal pace of walking, you might take around 30 to 40 minutes. Although it was cool inside, the mixed odor of the smelly native Chinese (ESPECIALLY THE SMOKERS!) makes you want to faint after a while. And really, I’m not the faint-y type of girl, so that says a lot!

Guilin Reed Flute CaveGuilin Reed Flute CaveOn our way out, we saw this wall that was designed to be like one of those games in the amusement parks where you shoot something inside, but what you have to actually shoot inside are your COINS. Funny thing was, just walk a little more after this area, and you can see the tubes and money boxes attached to the back of this wall, and you can hear the clink-clink of the coins going down. Seriously, if you were foolish enough to get tricked, and realized that at the end, you couldn’t get your money back anyway, could you? 😀

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July 2014, Guilin – Yangshuo

GuilinWith regards to Guilin, the name “Yangshuo” may not ring a bell, but pictures like these certainly do, don’t they? Yangshuo is a county under Guilin, and is the location of the picturesque hills, mountains and rivers Guilin is known for.

GuilinGuilinNaturally, our very hospitable hosts arranged for us to have a raft trip through the vast scenery. To be honest, when they said “raft” in the Chinese language, I literally thought “bamboo stitched together and nothing else” kind of raft. You know, the one where you’re always in danger of tipping over? Turns out I’m more primitive than they are…

GuilinGuilinGuilinAhhh. It was so quiet, the waves were gently rippling, and a cool breeze wafted through the air. Surefire combination to make one sleepy! I certainly almost dozed off at parts of our raft ride because it was just. so. relaxing! Bliss.

GuilinGuilinGuilinSay hello to Ptr. Jim and Tita Lui, who were in the raft with me! I think one raft holds 4 people maximum, excluding the person operating the raft.

GuilinGuilinGuilinSome of you might go over this photo and say, “oh, that’s nothing”, but it’s much more stunning in person. Rows upon rows of trees (not really sure if they’re pine trees or something else?), LOTS of them. They’re almost symmetrical, in fact!

GuilinGuilinGuilinAs I mentioned earlier, part of what makes the experience really relaxing is the fact that it was so quiet. For it to be so, you have to go raft-riding not later than 9am. It’s a two-way trip, and on our way back we noticed that there were considerably more people and more rafts (and boats!), which might either block your view of certain scenery or disrupt the silence in the area.

GuilinGuilinGuilinGuilinWe stopped over at the point where we were supposed to turn around and go back, because here the locals set up a mini souvenir shop of sorts for, you know, the tourists. The main attractions included colored rocks submerged in water and cormorants. Yup, you heard me right.

GuilinGuilinWell, at least I think they are cormorants, based on the sole fact that they swim like ducks and all but also dive into the water to catch fish. Anyway, you can pay a small fee to carry a pole with cormorants on both ends, which we declined. Once you learn the fact that the locals who own them actually put something constricting on the cormorant’s throats so that they don’t swallow and eat the fish they catch, it’s pretty sad. 😦

GuilinGuilinGuilin

So this is what the typical raft looks like. Roomy space, with a pretty much unobstructed view of the scenery, and the raft operators are actually pretty quiet, not disturbing your peace until you talk to them.
GuilinGuilinGuilinGuilinAnyway, can we stop talking about rafts and cormorants, and just talk about how beautiful this place is? In the quietness of the moment, it was also a good place to reflect on how mighty God is. Only a Master Creator and Architect like him can fashion nature’s perfection like this; He has always been the ultimate “I-make-it-look-easy” designer! 🙂

GuilinOn our way back, our host took us to a place that had everything special going for it for lunch: one is their famous 啤酒鱼, literally translated as beer fish, and two is 月亮山, or the Moon Hill.

GuilinGuilinOur tourist guide specially took pains to seat us in a table where we could see the Moon Hill clearly. The beer fish was good but not really my type, but the Moon Hill fascinated me. Aside from it being a natural formation and formerly being a cave, did you know that (trivia time!), among others, a plane was flown through it once! Coolio! 😀

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P.S. For the next post!

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