Sunday, 7 September 2008

Hainan-Part 1

I think i have become some what of a season traveller to China. My first trip to China was some years back to my "heong-har" of Guangzhou. I visited my parents ancestral kampungs as well as made a trip to Guilin and see the sights and sound of the famed Guilin hills. Those 9 days in China... were a culture shock for me. As much as people warned me about the toilets, food and air in china. I was simply not prepared! Open toilets are quite and experience for people who have not encountered this before.
I am a fan of silly stuff such as engrish or fail videos, and in my many trips to china, english is one thing that never ceases to amuse me there. Sometimes, you will find me in helpless fits of giggles while the guide is busy explaining something, just because i saw a silly sign. Just like the one above. Warm Notice?? Old man? That one i sort of understand - i think the chinese characters mean old folks, but ren - means man directly. Sigh... there were even funnier ones in days to come. *sniff*

Now, after several trips to China, i can tell you what essentially you need to bring there so th
at you can overcome some of the culture shock. I hope not to affend any Chinese people with this post, but unfortunately this is quite the truth about most of the places i have visited.

1. A Fan

Depends on where you are, a hand held fan is actually quite usefully. Most of the time in China, you spent a lot of time in a rather small bus and certain times of the year it can be very hot. Air con in China seems to be rather a foreign object and this fan is useful. I was lucky i brought this to Hainan. The weather was steaming hot there and the buses -even hotter. Without this, i would have actually fainted from the heat. Note: It is also very useful if you have come out from a rather smelly loo- you want to fan away the bad smell from your face! p/s: the hand model is my lil bro.

2. Vapor Rub
I learnt after my first trip how useful this can be. Chinese toilets - smell. Most of them. There are those rare ones in Lijiang that smell of roses but most of them smell. Apply some of this on your nose before entering the toilet. Helps alot rather than holding your breath. Also, since it is very hazy and smokey in China, this helps as well if you start sneezing like i do.
3. Good walking shoes.
One walks alot in China. Besides the long bus rides, there will be long walks up hills, down hills, around a village, up and down streets... So you need a good pair of shoes. Crocs are good as well but make sure your toes are covered. In case you are in a smelly and wet loo, you don't get spl
ashed. Ok, ok i am obsessed with smelly loos.

4. Bring Lacto-5 and Carbon pills.
Chinese food can be rather oily and if you have stomachs that don't take too well, Lacto 5 is something you need. And it really helps. Never go to china without these two. You never know what you eat might come back out. Looking for toilets is an issue here so it is always to be safe and sorry.

Now, tips are done back to Hainan Travelog. You won't find a lot of food pictures here because this is a trip, so people on trip eat like hungry vultures after a long bus trip. I decided to take a trip to Hainan over the merdeka holidays to relax. Hmm. Relax is a subjective word. It was very hot! However i enjoyed the time i spent with my mom and dad. We have not been spending enough time together so it was worth it.
Hainan, is like Malaysia. Sunny and hot and very similar. However, hainan is surrounded by the ocean and have one of the better beaches in Asia. Their Yalong bay is known as the hawaii of the east. Other than that, it is almost similar to malaysia.

My first day was spent flying their via Air Asia. Let's just say i don't like cheap flights for a lot of reasons. One- i had to get up very early for my 10:00am flight. Two- we spent a good 1 hour queuing up in LCCT! To check in ONLY!. Dear Tony Fernandez, if you are reading this, please improve your check i
n counters. Why is it so slow?? Even the Jetstar Q is faster! Plus there is no clear lines and we had this group of golfers going to Hainan who were cutting Q with their extremely large bags!!!

When we finally reached Hainan, i was overwhelmed with the heat. Phew. See the pic above, out of the 5 days i was there, almost every day it was bright sunny and hot. :(. Unfortunately, day 1, my fan was in my big bag and not my carry on. I had to fan myself with my hat.
The first place they took us to see was a bird park of all places. I am just wondering what is so special at this place at the moment. I still have not figured it out yet. For me, it was the first time i actually can get close to a bird without them flying away from me. And i had some nice shots from the park as well. This birdie below was quite friendly and loved head perching. Luckily there was no pooping on the hat as well.

After that, we took about an hour and 1/2 ride to a place call xing long where we stayed over night. China is famous or infamous for their supposed medicinal shops. You can either believe in it or not. Their medicine shops claim they can heal burns right up to wrinkles. In some cases, i heard their miracle powders work even for Cholestrol to cancer. Before we stopped at the hotel, they brought us to this place where they were selling a powder that suppose to cure burns and also pills in which you can eat that lower cholestrol as well as blood pressure. Besides that, free foot massage is given. Hey, when it is free i don;t mind trying... Once i got into the shop i saw the whole wall full of this. Urgh. Pretty darn creepy if you ask me. I think this is snake brewing in some kind of alcohol in which you can drink if you want later.
Snake wine anyone? Good for lots of ailments. Me, i never dare try this stuff.
The foot massage came next and hmm... luckily for me it was not painful. It is surprisingly pretty easy on the feet after standing and walking for a good 12 hours. But after soaking my feet in hot water, and getting my feet rubbed and turned in sort of weird angles it was not bad. However, during my conversation with the masseur, turns out they are pretty poor people ( or they are trying to con us tourist ). One girl mentioned she only gets about 400 Renmibi ( malaysian 200 ) per month.It was no suprise when she asked for additional tips from us.

Finally after all the massaging, the guide finally took us back to the hotel. I was so happy to go into an aircon room. The hotel is built near a hotspring which if you want, you can go in and soak your tired bones. With temperatures up to 42 degrees that day, i think that was the last thought on my mind. But the place the hotel is built in is quite nice. Check out the lovely sunset. Perhaps i don't really get a chance to actually see a lot of it in KL, but i manage to catch really nice sunset for most of the time there.

By the time it was dinner, i was already withering like a flower without water.... i didnt shower for dinner as we had to walk to the restaurant... i rather sweat it all out rather than have multiple shower. Imagine my suprise when the dinner room had NO - AIR CON. Man, i was not impressed. Luckily after a couple of chinese beers ( which is rather yummy by the way ) i manage to cool down and then headed back to my hotel room for my much needed shower.

Tommorow- we head of to sanya to see the beaches of Sanya - sorry until day 3 then only you see pictures of food!

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:11 am

    Have you seen this kind of bottle ?




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