Tag Archives: china
I’ve been staying at my friend’s place in Baoding, a small city in the province of Hebei, for the past few days. This is the place where I spent most of my childhood, from kindergarten until I left for Canada in grade 4. But for some reason I don’t have much memory of the city, only memories of events that occurred. So I was pretty lost this time around, especially since we didn’t go to any of the places where I used to spend time, like the university my dad worked at or the elementary school I went to. So what did I do there? Girly stuff. Like getting my hair done… it’s now dark brown and curly:
And getting my nails done for the first time ever:
They’re pretty, but my nails have never been so long before and I am not adjusting to them very well. I can’t seem to do anything with them, and it’s taking me forever to type this up.
We also went to take photobooth photos:
The machines are a little different from the Japanese ones at the arcade back in Vancouver, but I’ll take them anyway they come; they’re so fun. It frustrates and surprises me that I can’t seem to find a photobooth machine anywhere in New York, and if anyone knows where there is one, please please please let me know (Chinatown? Koreatown? Flushing?).
I also went shopping (finally!) and bought some smaller items such as jewelery, wallets, and shoes, and I have to say that I really missed shopping in China :)
One thing I certainly don’t miss though, is being sick. I caught a cold from my mom a couple of weeks back, and all of the symptoms have disappeared except for the coughing. It just won’t go away. We’ve tried everything from antibiotics to traditional herbal medicine, and nothing seems to work. The last time we were back in China, the same thing happened to my mom, and she was still coughing for weeks after she came back to Canada. She went to the doctor and he suspected it to be tuberculosis, but it wasn’t. It was just a strangely persistent cough, and she eventually did get better. I’m afraid it’s the same thing this time :( Something about the bugs in China…
PS: My typing speed has greatly improved by the end of this post :D
Another photographer feature: Foureyes. Go check it out for some amazing compositions (the photos are always square) and wonderful colours. There are also a lot of absolutely stunning travel photos in China, which are particularly inspiring to me at the moment. Some of my favourites:
Looks like I wasn’t the only one taking out my camera on a rainy day in Shanghai.
First of all, my apologies for not updating this blog for the past week or so, but it’s not my fault! It was pretty much impossible to do since I realized that the neighbour’s wireless network is very spotty and unreliable, and that every time I wanted Internet I had to search on the balcony for 15 minutes before I get some signal that has 0 bars, and that I can’t move even an inch or else that despicable red X appears over the Internet icon.
But now that I’m back in Beijing, I’m finally replying to the Facebook messages I’ve been neglecting and catching up on reading my favourite girly gossip blog. Ah… life is good once again.
That doesn’t mean life wasn’t good in Sanya. It was awesome. I think it might have become one of my favourite cities. I got my wish for good weather and it was sunny skies every single day I was there. Where to even begin to tell of the time I spent there? I got very tanned, I ate fruits I never even knew existed, I was knocked down by waves and drank more than a couple of gulps of sea water, I had nearly every meal with an ocean view, I saw some of the most gorgeous beaches I’ve ever seen, I was tickled to death by tiny fish in a hot spring… there’s just too much. But it needs to be shared. So here it is, the best of Sanya, forever tropical paradise.
Yalong Bay. The best beach in all of Sanya, also the location of most of the hotels and resorts. The water is very nice, albeit the waves were quite big at times, and the sand is so fine it feels like I was walking in flour. It was a beautiful sunny day when I went there, and hence, I had the most terrible tan lines (and a red, sun-burnt nose) after. But it was well worth it.
Tianya Haijiao. Literally, it means “edge of the sky, corner of the sea,” meaning the end of the earth kind of thing. It’s a bunch of rock formations along the beach, some with carvings on it, nothing too special in itself. But it’s probably the most iconic tourist spot in all of Hainan, and it has romantic connotations and is mentioned in many famous poems. Oh, and they had some really cute topiary there, like this whale couple:
Now, this is one of my absolute favourites: Wuzhizhou Island. It’s a 20-minute boat ride away from the coast of Sanya, and it’s so gorgeous there. They’re building a resort on the island right now, and it should be finished in time for my honeymoon… hahah… just kidding. Or maybe not, the place is totally honeymoon-worthy.
This is the reason why I was tickled to death by tiny fish. We went to one of the hot springs, and one of the specialty pools there had these fish that live in waters of about 43 degrees centigrade and eat the dead skin from your body. It tickles like hell, which is why I have such a huge smile on my face in that photo because I was trying my best to not burst into a laughing fit (you can also see the aforementioned tan lines, compounded by older tan lines). Also at the hot springs, they had a mud pool, and you’re supposed to cover yourself in mud (it’s a special kind of mud) because it’s good for your skin. Now, I was debating whether or not I should put this photo up here, since it might ruin my image forever, but for sensationalism’s sake, here it is.
Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
So that’s it, a brief look into my stay in Sanya :) I will come back one day, just to sit on that lovely balcony looking out to the blue blue ocean, sipping coconut juice with the sea breeze in my hair, with nothing to worry about except the problem of which of the sea shells I picked up to keep.
So I’m in Sanya now, the southernmost city in China, situated on the island province of Hainan. It’s a beautiful place here, very tropical and beachy (it’s roughly on the same latitude as Hawaii), which I absolutely love. The apartment where I’m staying, which is a vacation home my aunt bought for my grandparents, is right next to the beach too.
The apartment complex is very nice, almost resort-like, with several pools downstairs and palm trees everywhere.
We have a huge wrap-around balcony as well, and the view is excellent. We put the coffee table and a couple of chairs out there so we can eat our meals in style :)
Today I didn’t do much besides going shopping for some basic food and supplies. I also went down to the beach, and my goodness are there a lot of sea shells there, the most I’ve seen on any beach I’ve been to. I need to come back one morning to do some serious beachcombing :)
A note about the transportation here. A lot fewer cars than many other cities in China, and people actually drive relatively close to the speed limit and stay on their own lanes. Also, motorized tricycles are everywhere and act like taxis to take you anywhere you want. They seat 2 people and cost around 1-3 RMB per trip. I love riding in them because the view is excellent and the wind feels great.
I saw the most beautiful sunset this evening, but I was in the shower and thus couldn’t take a picture. I hope there will be another during my stay there… and I’m also praying that there will be at least one sunny day, because I really need some blue sky and sunshine to go with my beach :)
Hooray! I thought I was going to die because we do not currently have Internet service at the apartment in Sanya, I can’t seem to find a Starbucks in the city, and I can’t access WordPress at the Internet cafes because it’s blocked in China. But thank goodness for my kind neighbour(s), I am now mooching off their wireless network :) So at the moment I’m sitting on the balcony, facing the ocean and feeling the sea breeze on my skin, typing away. Ain’t life just grand?
I’m going to save a full blog post for later because 1) I’m now kind of tired, 2) I have not yet uploaded my photos, 3) I haven’t gone to any real sightseeing places yet, and 4) I have deadlines for more important things (I am particularly irked by the last item in that list because in my opinion, deadlines and summer just don’t mix). But now that I know I actually can blog in Sanya, I can breathe a little easier now and you won’t be left wondering if I’ve died in a plane crash when I disappear for 10 days straight. Be prepared for a full post of Sanya’s loveliness tomorrow!
Okay so I lied. I’m not leaving for Sanya today. Our flight was delayed by like 6 hours so we decided to just leave tomorrow instead. One day fewer of my beach vacation :(
But, on the upside, I had hot pot last night for what I thought was my last meal in Chongqing. My dad thought it would be a shame to leave the city without having the famous spicy hot pot that Chongqing is known for, so he took my mom and I out for dinner. I was skeptical about having it in the summer, since it’s usually a winter meal because it warms you right up, but I’m definitely glad I had it. So, to honour the experience, I present a list of my favourite hot pot ingredients.
9. Chinese cabbage
8. Fish balls
7. Tofu skin
6. Fried tofu
5. Thinly sliced meat
4. Enoki mushroom
3. Lotus root
2. Starch noodles
1. POTATOES! (Pretty much my holy grail when it comes to food)
My stay in Chongqing is coming to an end tomorrow. I’m flying to Sanya on the island province of Hainan tomorrow. Hopefully the weather won’t be too bad, but the tropical storms are bringing heavy rain to the region. Just my luck; I was looking forward to sunny days on the beach :( But hopefully I’ll get some nice weather during my stay, which lasts until August 20. Speaking of which, I won’t have Internet access at our apartment in Sanya, so I’m not sure how I’m going to update this blog. I guess there are Internet cafes everywhere, but the Great Firewall of China has decided to block WordPress and I’m not sure if I can download stuff onto the computers there. I’ll try to find a Starbucks or something.
One addition to my movie list from last post: New York, I Love You, from the director of Paris, Je t’aime (which I have not yet seen besides a short clip). It comes out October 16 and looks very promising: a star-studded cast (Natalie Portman, Orlando Bloom, and Ethan Hawke, to name a few) and the trailer is cute. A third film in the “Cities of Love” series titled Shanghai, I Love You is also in the works.
A shout-out to my very own New York love story: it’s my boyfriend’s birthday today. Bonne fête mon cher <3
And just because I want a picture in this post, here's my cute snowmen cake in a cup I bought the other day: