Sunday, April 13, 2008

Hong Kong - Ocean Park

Everyone Goes Shopping in China!

Shopping was quite fun. Outside flea markets, to some indoor stores. These old markets were the most fun though. The people were really nice, and loved to see Westerners! Of course there was a Best Buy in Shanghai and 1 existing Wall Mart, which happened to be in Wuhu.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Interesting Homes - Wuhu China (Sept/Oct 2007)

Most of these homes are from around the Wuhu area where we used the scooter to get around and see these back streets.

Great Wall of China - Beijing - July 2007

We spent the whole day walking this area of the Great Wall. Good thing we took our own snacks & water since there are no shops along the way. Well maybe a few stops for beer, but even then, very few places to buy anything. Also, would you believe there are NO bathrooms along the entire stretch. Almost 6 hours of walking and no bathroom. Yeah, guess you gotta hold it! By the way, that's me in the orange colored shirt.

Fun Pics at The Great Wall of China - July 2007

I have to admit it was a bit scary at times to look down. I got a little dizzy on the almost 90 degree drops of stairs!!! Andrew did much better than I did. Maybe because he consumed more beer than I did in that 90+ degree / humid weather.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Logistics / Transportation around Wuhu China

So we rent UHAUL trucks to move things. Take a look at how some people transport their items of need in Wuhu. These were taken during Sept / Oct 2007.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Great Wall of China July 2007

This is just a sample of the section of the Great Wall that we toured
for about 6 hours in somewhere around 90-100 deg weather.
Unfortunately we got a hazy day, so not great for picture taking,
but if it had been really sunny, I don't think we would have been able to walk even half the distance that we did that day! It was extremely hot and humid.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Which Way Do We Go???

Here is a fun collage I put together of some writing / signs. I wish I knew what they said, it might have been easier to find our way around!!! I snapped these and a lot of our other pics while riding on the back of a scooter! Mostly from the Wuhu area where we stayed.

The Creative Doorways in China - July 2007

  • Most of these photos were taken in an older part of Beijing China called Hutong. We actually saw them re-building the city walls etc right outside of this area. Not sure if they will preserve the old area or tear it down as well.
  • The light blue top was a small temple setting in Hong Kong
  • The two pics of the dark green doors were taken outside a church in Macau

Nature Pics

Okay, here are some cool nature photos I took with my new camera over Sept/Oct 2007 in Wuhu China - our villa area

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Water Hotel (Villa) - Wuhu China

Here is a collage of the Water Hotel in Wuhu China. This is where we stayed. The guy in the white shirt and black tie was the manager of the hotel, and the girls at the counter were at the dining room every morning for breakfast. You can see the interior of the villa and the room, and then some pics of the grounds area around the villa.

Some Fun Pics - China (July 2007)

Okay, here are some fun pics I put together to show you some things we found along the way.

  • The wooden masked faces were found in Hong Kong
  • The pretty colored clothing was from the museum at the main gate building by Tianamen Square & Forbidden city
  • The jade jewelry, well....the jade factory in Kowloon (across the water from main Hong Kong
  • The cool sinks were at a restaurant in Beijing ( you guys can figure out what to do from there)
  • The pretty tea cups, colorful little slippers, blue umbrella, and red pots on the wall - were all at the Water Village we visited outside of Shanghai
  • The tickets are just from all over - mainly the train from Shanghai to Nanjing or taxit rides here and there
  • ENJOY!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Every day life & People

Collage of some of the people we met, and some we just passed by.

The ladies to the far left are with housekeeping at our villa. They did an excellent job of cleaning every day! The three little ballet girls ran outside from their dance class when they saw us watching them through the open door. They just wanted to say hello to some Westerners!! Most of the others were just people we saw along the way...

Panda Celebration - Hong Kong

We stopped to take some fun pics with the panda bears in Hong Kong - Kowloon side which is right across from Hong Kong Harbor side. These were taken during July 2007.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Our Friend Zhen Zhen (aka Jane)

This is Zhen Zhen (Jane), who we met in a cafe one night during dinner. She was our waitress, and spoke pretty good english. So we were very happy. Since we left China in mid November 2007, Jane has passed her exams to be eligible for a better job. She is now working at a factory instead of the cafe, and doing very well. Jane lives in Wuhu China and aspires to learn good English, and better educate herself. We still e-mail occassionaly.

Xuanwu Lake Hotel in Nanjing

The Xuanwu Lake Hotel in Nanjing (photos above are looking out from the revolving restaurant) was a great place to stay. Excellent rooms, great view. They serve breakfast in the revolving restaurant, which was nice. It's located within walking distance to many fun and historical sites like Hunan Road where you can find a lot of restaurants, and Xuanwu Lake Park where they have a really cool driving range on the water and very relaxing walking area.

The Food Saga

Let’s just say that the food in China helped me to lose about 15 pounds while I was there. Yup, for me the food was that bad. But, maybe that’s just me and my eating habits. Thank God I took one whole suitcase full of munchies just for me, or I might have starved to death. It was a small suitcase! Haha. They did have a Pizza Hut, McDonalds, and KFC. So we figured since these places are well known, can’t go wrong. We can always sue them, right? Just kidding. We did Pizza Hut about once a week. Pizza or pasta for me, and garlic bread. Andrew usually had the seafood pasta. We did try some other places too, but let me tell you, it was pretty tough! I remember having a long drawn out conversation with a waiter just to get a steak well done. Yup, I even had the dictionary to look up words, and they still served it to me with blood on the plate. Then, my next thought was always….hmmmmm….I wonder if it’s really cow meat??? Seriously, that was my thought on several occasions. So, to lessen those thoughts, let’s just say I only ordered steak in Wuhu maybe twice in two months, if memory serves. There was a good place called Sasha in Shanghai though to get a steak. Best steak I had in China. We did check out this Korean restaurant in downtown Wuhu. This place was okay, but no joke, they did serve dog!!! So, makes you wonder, what the hell am I really eating??? Be careful what you order! I tended to stick with the KFC, or chicken from Wall Mart. Yup, they had one Wall Mart in downtown Wuhu.

Another memorable meal, was with the owners of the bike shop where we bought our scooter. They invited us to dinner at their place. We had no idea that we would be sitting in the garage with the WD40 on the shelf next to us. You should have seen the food they had. All veggies, but heck I had never seen these before in my lifetime. I just couldn’t do it. Really. So, we told them that I just had McDonalds french fries and that I was not really hungry, so not to be offended if I don’t eat. Andrew tried it though. He is much more daring than I when it comes to the food in China that’s for sure. The other interesting thing was that we could not normally find potatoes. Go figure, no potatoes. And, when we did find potatoes, they were usually served cold. Yuk.

Hong Kong was by far the best place to find good food, and western types of food. Shanghai & Nanjing were are next favorites. Beijing was simply over priced, and not such great food.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Picture from outside Confucious Temple in Nanjing

This was us trying really hard to get a picture, near Confucious Temple in Nanjing, without anyone else in it. You can see how well we succeeded! This is pretty much the norm in most places we traveled. There are just sooooo many people at all times.

Tips for travel

Just a few things from our experiences:
  • Don't forget to get a passport and visa for travel to China
  • Be prepared to be starred at, particularly when traveling outside of the bigger cities. Just get used to it!!!
  • Be prepared to walk almost hand in hand almost with strangers. There are A LOT of people in China!!!
  • Be careful when taking a taxi - if possible take the ones that have a display in the window of how much they are going to charge you, so you know before you get into the taxi! Ours were usually around 2-3 RMB per km (as posted on the window). Could vary depending upon where you are.
  • Bring your own meds if you have to take any on a regular basis
  • Get your hepatitis shots and other shots according to online center for disease control suggestions
  • When traveling to certain areas you may need to be careful of malaria. Look this up prior to your travel dates according to your travel destinations. You doctor can prescribe one of a few different types of malaria medication for you.
  • If you are not open to a wide variety of new foods, take some of your own (canned, or munchies) to last you a few days just in case. I sure did!
  • Take your own band aids and neosporin just in case you cannot find what you need while you are in China.
  • Travel as light as possible. There are a lot of stairs, but not too many elevators and escalators.