Thursday, August 21, 2008

Hong Kong - Upbeat & Chaotic (I)

After Guangzhou, our next destination was Hong Kong. We went by Express/Shuttle bus from Lido Hotel. Bus ticket can be bought from the Hotel, RMB90, 3 hours journey by pass Shenzhen. Carol had earlier on asked the bus driver if he could drop us OFF at or near St. Argyle Street. Ah Shan Guest Hostel is located here. Right in the heart of Mongkok, Kowloon district, which according to researched reports, the most densely populated city in the world - from day time to midnight. We stayed there-Cheap, clean, convenient, but small I mean Very SMALL-from its elevator-'lobby'-bedroom-bathroom-beds.

I tell you, our in-land journey to HK was quite 'chaotic'. One - was bureaucracy. You've to go through two immigration checks. You've to get down from the bus with your luggage. With army of people queuing, aching leg for standing too long, and only to be received by cold, unfriendly & grim looking official (esp. China's side), was really irritating. Don't they have this what we call "mesra pelanggan"? Ooops...I forgot. This is China (Main Land), Man in uniform = Authority = must act/look authoritatively, but a smile? or at least simple greetings not necessarily in English to tourists would help. Macam robot-they take your passport, & stamped it without making an eye contact.

HK Immigration - in the same building, ten steps forward. Carol, Me & Mehe (In order) queued in the same row, a counter manned by a lady, muka lawa tapi tawar..heheh. Really strict. Nel & Sitti were next to us. She looked at my smiling passport photo & me a few times. I smiled at her, I guess I don't look far different from that photo ( taken three years ago.. ehem!), I could see she almost wanted to smile!...... She stamped my passport & let me off, no query. Carol-she has to pull up her fringe a bit so as to resemble her (hair) in the photo. Moral - don't styled your hair to much for your passport photo, unless you could maintain the same hairstyle.. esp while you are travelling. It matters in HK...(or maybe cross-borders immigration ja kali).

Si Mehe was held up for while. 1st, for not writing down in full her surname on the declaration card (arrival & departure). Second-for an obvious difference in spelling of her half written surname. As per I/C, in this case as per passport bah Mehe. You are not in Malaysia where Mohammed can be shortened to Mohd. Third-she was asked to say her name (how to pronounce your name?)-MEHERUNNISSA BINTI MOHAMMED ZULFIKAR. Very tongue twisting name for them. With 38 letters + 5 for BINTI (altogether 43 letters), fancy for most Malaysian maybe, but cause you 'trouble' in this strict-authoritarian, not-practising romanised writing country. And fourth (my own aaar), with Shah Rukh Khan genes...& Kajol are 'alien' to them...hehehe. Jgn marah aar!.

Sitti-also with slight hiccup. Was it her name (SITTI MYRNAHIL)? or her photo vs in person 'look'?. I can't remember. Her wearing tudung, I say no problem. But maybe she looks different without tudung (her passport photo)..hehheheh.

Note-when you are done with immigration checking, you are really done. No waiting-waiting for friends. You are not allowed to stand waiting inside the building. Carol & I were ordered out by the 'security'?, Immigration 'police'?.."No waiting here".."wait outside there" he said pointing his finger to a direction where there were many people standing outside. So, we pun out la. Outside-I saw our bus driver waiting & waving at us. While waiting for them, Carol & I then came Nel- we took turns to relieve ourselves to the ladies- Very Clean & No Smell at all. be continued....

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Guangzhou - Sneak Peek (2)

Every corner is packed with high-rise buildings, new and old. People running marathons especially in the afternoon till late evening. What I like the most is the back streets, where the old Guangzhou of traditional neighbourhoods still moves at old pace, with families and friends sitting outdoors enjoying tea, mahjongs, reading and napping.

Beijing Lu Pedestrian Street – This is the main shopping thoroughfare, a pedestrian street where most stores are open from 9AM-10PM. But the ambience is more striking & exciting in late afternoon with all the noises, and sea of people. Unfortunately, we only found the street later in the evening!. Itu pun secara tidak sengaja. Much to our disappointment, this street is only 4 blocks away from the hotel we stayed in. Did I mention that Lido Hotel as per address is in Beijing Lu (street)?

On this pedestrian street you'd find both modern/fashionable and traditional shopping complexes. The interesting part of this street is you'd find ruins of a thousand year old road that remains from ancient guangzhou city (dating back to the Song dynasty). Pic below.

Pearl River dinner cruise – This is a one to two hour cruise in the evening and a great way to see the Guangzhou skyline along the Pearl River, including a light show at Bai-E-Tan. Tickets for the deluxe dinner cruise can be bought from most high-end hotels. Prices from ¥50 per person. The jetty is about 15 - 20 minutes walking from Lido Hotel. Note : If you are staying in Lido Hotel & going for the cruise, on foot, make sure to leave early, 2 - 3 hours before ETD. This.. especially for those 'avid shopper'. Along the road, left & right are shops-old wooden shops. It might be old and mostly manned by an old men but you are bound to stop, still, especially 'those' matter what! We stopped quite a while at one small 'kiosk' selling miniatures - table fan, study lamp, torch light, and other things that you can find di Kedai 2 ringgit here. No purchase made. We were just 'curious'.

If you are fan of, or a collector, or just buying souvenir/gift from China - Chinese culture, this is the place. I mean Tea-pot, tea-set, tea-mug, tea leaves (all kinds). The famous therapeutic/herbal OOLONG tea is cheap here. We made a stop at 4-5 shops selling these items. Almost everybody walked away with either mugs, tea-pots, and tea leaves. I got myself one mug with chinese writings "Enjoy your tea & have a good life", & I received one very cute tea pot, as belated birthday gift from Nellie. (Actually, I wanted to buy it myself, tapi keabisan Renminbi). Before we came to this side of the road, we already spent some good money at the Jade shop, very cheap! SAPULOH.. Mulaah!..really that was exactly what the shop owner 'yelled' at passers by (us). RM10/10 Ringgit. Real jade, 3rd grade. Why so cheap? Closing down, the building is to be demolished to give way for underground transportation!. This was in the evening around 8.00 pm.

Before here, we were somewhere else. We started our rounds of walking or streets hopping, I called it. From 9.30 a.m and got back to the hotel almost midnight. One most glaring feature is all streets are 'specialised streets'. Electric & electrical appliances street, carpets, watches, shoes, stamping & stickers etc etc. And these are those undocumented! Those 'documented' as must Go & See like Jade Street, Antique, Painting, Exotic etc..we have to miss it. What do you expect if you were on D.I.Y tour. We went into few big shopping complexes, one ada underground lagi. We bought some gifts from Hello Kitty shop. Hello!!! Items sold here and what we bought, cannot be found in any shops (Hello Kitty) back home uh!. Before this pulak, we spent hours bargaining at Jewellery Shop( White Coral stone). Meherun & I bought loose stone, small size for earrings. Nel bought necklace, Carol Necklace & gelang. Sitti -None! After much consoling, we managed to buy at a very good price. And we paid using HKD. (Not many shops accept HKD, they used to. But that was before China Renminbi punya value appreciated).

Sitti wanted to buy gold. Gold? Sabah pun got gold mah!. "But I am looking for yg ada trinkets - with you know Mao Tze Tong head or face"...She said. Ok lah. Jumpa kedai emas, masuk. Pilih2 belek2, she found the One yg ngam. She didn't want to use her credit card, her Renminbi not enough, this shop tdk accept HKD, we too ran out of money. She got RM and wanted to change. The sales lady made a call. After 15 0r 20 minutes, one nyonya came in. Wearing simple worn out shirt and bermuda short with pouch tied on her hip. Ingatkan nyonya jual 4D, Rupanya..Money Changer. "LOL".

Here in this Gold Shop, we were told about the River Cruise, last cruise at 8.30 p.m. We looked at our watch, almost six, still got time. After all the Lady said, it's quite near to your hotel. We left the shop and continued our walking. At this hour, you'll see throngs of people walking. We followed the crowds, we heard musics played aloud, sooner I saw hundreds of lanterns hanging. I've seen it on Majalah 3!. Gosh guys! This is Beijing pedestrian Street. We are here..we walked closer than we saw the landmark " the ruins of old road of ancient Guangzhou City". Yeah!. we are finally here in Beijing Pedestrian Street. With so many people, too many shops with little time & money left....look-see, look-see ja lah.

Almost 7.30, we have to leave the street for another adventure-The Cruise. We made our way back to the hotel. Nasib tidak sesat. We reached the hotel and went straight to the Reception Counter to find out where to buy the ticket. Only to be told that " You have missed the boat!" What?..last cruise is at 7.30 p.m.!!!!!uwahhhh...

Here are two pics of us by the Pearl River bank. Watching the cruise passed us by. Gambar blurrr tapi will do la.

We stayed for about half an hour. Walked back to the hotel, on foot jugak. Most shops already closed. Except the Sapuloh Mulaah jade shop. Singgah again just to tease the taukeh. Kasi Lima Mulaaah lah.....and he just stared at us. Hehehehe.

See, 2 nights 1 day not enough! Why only 2 N 1 Day?? I'll tell why.... in my China trip wrap up!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Guangzhou - Sneak Peek (1)

If Guangzhou is your next Holiday destination, make sure to stay longer than two nights. You can't see & do much in 2 Nites 1 Day. Really, not in Guangzhou. Either for shopping and/or sightseeing you need longer than 2 nites. Guangzhou is big. Ten districts and two county-level cities. Its tourist attractions are located in different district, not that many but still worth going & seeing. I personally would love to visit Huaisheng Mosque, built 1,300 years ago, said to be one of the oldest mosque in the world. But sayang seribu kali sayang, Not enough TIME!

We stayed in Hotel Lido, Guangzhou downtown city. 3 star hotel, very strategically located, popular by tourists. There are two Halal restaurants nearby. First row, right turning as you exit from the hotel. Deli Restaurant -(Indian), the other one ( I forgot the name), Chinese. They are just one shop away from each other. Food-taste wise, fine with me. Pricewise-reasonably cheap for its 'size'!.

Ha..ha..ha. You guys should take note of this - their food serving meant to be shared 'beramai-ramai'. Not like here at home, per plate/per person. We (Sitti, Meherun & me) each ordered fried mee, priced at CNY20 (or RM7.50), the cheapest on the menu. Imagine how shocked we were when the three plates arrived & laid on our table. One plate!- enough to feed 3 people!, and we..hahaha burst into laughter...3 plates!! The group seated next to us pun ''jeling2 senyum2". No wonder why every tables has these small plates arrangement, you are supposed to use that as your 'piring makan'...hehehe. Did we use that small plate? Nope! Did we send back the two plates? Nope!... We could have just shared one plate & 'tapau' the other two, but we chose to have Fried Mee Fiesta instead...heheh. Of course there were leftovers ( a lot), membazir? ya..but Sitti did 'Tapau' hers.

Anyway, the mee was slightly tasteless so I asked for "laa jiao" (Chili), oh ya.. I can speak Mandarin you know, 'E Tian-Tian" (sikit2). He looked confused though tambah lagi si Meherun asked for Chili Potong (in Malay). I kept saying "laa" (pedas)..he nodded his head & walked off. 5 minutes later he came back with fried sambal chili..Not bad uh? The sambal was nice & not too hot. This was at the Chinese restaurant, our 'brunch'. The next day after we arrived from Zhuhai.

The night we arrived from Zhuhai, we had our dinner/supper at Deli's. The three of us jugak. Nel & Carol went on their own. One thing good here, the owner speaks English. So no language barrier!. We had rice + curry chicken + veggie. While the boss advised us to take the 'S' bowl/plate for both curry & veggie, He didn't say anything when we asked for 3 rice. Maybe he thought these 3 tourists must be really hungry (almost 10 p.m). Nasi datang! whhatt? Basar jugak! Mana tidak they use dish serving bowl, yg muat ikan kerapu saiz M. Three bowls of that bowl. Anyway, we ended up sharing one bowl of rice (We asked for 'piring kosong'). We told him we can't take all three, too much. Luckily he didn't mind & took the two bowls away.

Quite funny experience we had uh?....... nanti sambung lagi. I am actually quite busy these days. With reports & meetings....and in between, busy finding ways to tag picture! You see, I now know how to create collage of pics, I want to tag them. So I & U know what & where...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Romantic Zhuhai Awaits You

Especially when the weather is at its best. Cold & misty. Go & stroll leisurely along the scenic Xianglu Bay or Lover's Avenue. Daytime may not be so romantic..and if you are travelling in a group..hehe. You can see from afar Zhuhai famous landmark - The Fisher Girl Statue. Walk & walk to get to the end & be right in front of the Statue. The 'Girl' holds a pearl high in the air with both hands in an elegant pose, admiring its bright luster that also symbolizes the brightness of Zhuhai.

The Statue is composed of granite and stands 8.7 meters high weighing 10 tons.

Legend has it that a beautiful fairy fell descended to earth one day and fell in love with the beauty of the land. Reluctant to return, she turned herself into a fisher girl, weaving nets and searching for precious pearls to earn a living. In addition, she unselfishly used her knowledge and powers to heal villagers who were ill, and so she was well loved by one and all. She fell in love with young fisherman named Hai Peng. This Hai Peng listened to some fabricated rumors and asked the girl for the bracelet she wore as proof of her love. Although she knew she would die if the bracelet were removed from her body, she still took it off and presented it to show her deep love for him. The girl died and the fisherman was bitterly remorseful, crying all day and all night. An Immortal named Jiuzhou Elder was moved by their love and helped the young man resuscitate the girl. To bring the fisher girl back to life Hai Peng had to go to the Jiu Zhou Island to find the Resurrection Grass, which must then be fed with man's blood. After much difficulty, Hai Peng found the grass and grew it with his own blood. Days turned to years, and the grass was finally ready and used to revive the fisher girl. Henceforth, the fisher girl became a true mortal. On the day of their wedding, all the girls together found a gigantic, magical pearl at the seashore. In gratitude, the fisher girl presented this to the reverent Elder.

FYI, Zhuhai means Pearl (Zhu) Sea. This is where the famous Pearl River flows into the south sea.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I Was Tagged !- by Shabby Mom

Here are my 5-5..

1. What I was doing 5 years ago ?

The same as it is now. Only my title changed to AM from IO..& without any
monetary gain!. Re-designation..not promotion. For marketing purposes?!.. they said

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list for today ?

a) MUIS-done this morning at 9 a.m
b) Work related - Yes Boss!! here are the 3 Performance Charts

c) To renew Car Insurance/Road Tax/Driving License -Done!

d) Apply Leave. Yes!! am taking 2 days off- Pulang Kg.
e) To see movie... maybe..

3. What are 5 snacks that I enjoy
a) Spaghetti -Little Italy's
b) Soto Jawa
c) Pizza (chicken mushroom) -Little Italy
d) Sushi & Shasimi (raw)
e) Nuts & peanuts

4. What are 5 things I would do If I were a billionaire

a) Clear off all my debts
b) To give 'angpow' to each & everyone of my family members (including my 4 Grandkids!)
c) Invest/buy Real Estate properties - Land, houses, shoplots..
d) To build Home Retirement Complex for me, friends & interested public.
( do not equate my project with Old Folks home ah!..) will elaborate further!
e) Travel & explore the world. Then to end my exploration with spiritual
journey (God Willing)

5. What are 5 jobs I've had

a) SFI - Data Entry
b) SEDCO - Admin Assist. yg Jaga Library. There's a term for it. I don't like it!
c) IO to AM, SSB sampai pencen!

Ok, Thats all.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Suratan atau Kebetulan

What? Apa?..hehe. Ni lah namanya kebetulan yg sudah tersurat. Cek-cek gambar lepas balik, baru terperasan adanya persamaan biarpun nda serupa.

Jingshen Park-Zhuhai, China (6/3/08-AM)

Museum-Macau & dua sejoli (11/3/08)

Mr Guard- Grand EmperorHotel-Macau (11/3/08)

Guangzhou-si nyonya penjual berry (6/3/08-PM)

My Star Ferry

Betul nie.. My Star Ferry. I'm Pisces. This is Super Star Pisces. My star is Pisces! Hehe. My dream of. Of course my 12 storey Star Ferry is for a short getaway ex-Hong Kong. Ex-KK is Super Star Gemini. Must be siok. You are confined but you have many many storey to explore. Friend who went for 3D 2N said not enough time to cover/check/use all facilities inside. 7 meals a day. Bahaya. Imagine before onboard you are 45kg, then you come out from the cruise 50kg! hehe. For more info visit here: