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Archive for October, 2007

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Pumpkin Week – Pumpkin & Kids

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

The most adorable KIDS from Flickr.


Pumpkin Week – How creative!

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007


This looks like something wrong when crafting.

But now you know!

I can’t read the text on this orignial post: Mona Lisa…pís of keik!

Boat Trip in Sai Kung, Hong Kong (西貢,香港)

Sunday, October 28th, 2007


When I told people that “we went hiking in Sai Kung”, most of them would respond with a question:” huh? you went to Vietnam?” “No, no, we went to Sai Kung in New Territories,Hong Kong“.
So, for people who are not familiar with Hong Kong, Sai Kung = Hoi Chi Minh city. For Hong Kong residents, Sai Kung = sea food, boat trip and maybe parks.

DSC_6258.JPGLast August, we flied back to China and stopped at Hong Kong for a week. My ex-colleagues invited us to a company retreat – a one-day boat trip in Sai Kung. Well, we have hiked there, have had great sea food there, this would be a great opportunity to complete our experience of “Sai Kung“.

I know most of local travel agencies have a kind of tour for people to “fish cuttlefish” at night.What you can do on a boat? You don’t need to bring any gadgets for fishing, but invite a large enough group of friends to reduce cost per person and bring food & drinks. Young people like to “hang out” on sea for party and fishing at night when it is much cooler. If you rent a boat and go boating in daytime, you can have more options for water activities. Make sure you have insurance coverage.

What you can do on a boat?On the trip, some (including ME) played poker games, engineers played PSPs (see above right), some went to swim and took “banana boat“ and some were just idle and relaxing.

Ok, here are our photo tour of boat trip.

Lang Kei Bay & Beach, Sai Kung, Hong Kong

This is the view of Long Ke Wan Bay & Beach from sea. (Check my previous post Go hiking in Hong Kong, have you ever think about that? for a closer view.)

A cave, Sai Kung, Hong Kong

What you can do on a boat trip?

Teenagers on the next boat were playing some dangerous game.

What you can do on a boat trip?

Banana Boat!

sai kung, hong kong

sai kung, hong kong

3 Key Questions and Answers about a Trip to Jiuzhaigou

Friday, October 26th, 2007

Our recent trip to Sichuan, a western province in China, was my first “vacation” in China. Well, I had a road tripjiuzhaigou with college friends 10 years’ ago in Xinjiang province. But that wasn’t really a vacation (if you know what I mean). This time, we only had 4 days in the destinations: jiuzhaigou, songpan and huanglong, so our desired experience was to see the best natural beauty of these places. Not culture, not people, though they are something unique and special to experience, we just don’t have time. These tips are most usefully when you are in our similar situation, who have some budget concern (don’t want to be ripped off) .

#1. Where to Go?

Jiuzhaigou in FallWhat? Having said that the destination is Jiuzhaigou doesn’t mean you can go to Jiuzhaigou directly. You can fly to Jiuzhaigou or take bus or hire a private driver or drive yourself there. There are flights from 6 cities in China to Jiuzhai-huanglong airport which is built in the altitude of 3200+ meters. Chengdu, Chongqing and Xi’an are the major connection city to Jiuzhai airport. So you can plan in advance to visit one of these cities before flying to Jiuzhaigou.

There are more than 20 flights every day departed from Chengdu v.s. 6 from Chongqing. In theory, you can get cheaper tickets by fly in from Chengdu. But in peak season when Chengdu is a HOT destination, the theory doesn’t work. So I got at least 20% cheaper tickets by flying in from Chongqing.

If you are taking bus (120RBM/person) or hire a private driver by road (around 800RMB one trip), the trip from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou takes about 10hrs (without traffic in Chengdu downtown). From north such as Langmusi, it this the same hours due to bad road condition according to Man Man Zou’s Jiuzhaigou Park and Chengdu trip in 2006.

#2. When & Where to Buy Air Tickets?

New online travel sites/service providers are helping to get cheaper and cheaper tickets for consumers inJiuzhaigou, Pearl Shaol waterfall, jiuzhaigou valley, Sichuan, China China. So don’t be surprised if your tickets are 80% off. It is not a spam! I will strongly recommend for ticket booking. It is a meta search engine like sidestep. Its competitor is Qunar, found by 3 American. I prefer Kooxoo for its clean simple interface design.

I booked my tickets about 3 weeks before departure date at a quite satisfactory rate. And later a travel buddy told me she got a 20% cheaper ticket a week later. So it is not always the earlier the better. Travel agents say 14-day-advance is the best. My other friend claims that 2-day-advance is the best (in non peak season week days). I will test her theory. 🙂

#3. Where to Stay?

I made at least 20 phone calls to hotels to quote hotel room rates and book hotel. That means there are very limited data about hotel rooms in jiuzhaigou on the Internet. I collected the phone numbers from the websites that ask for an extremely unreasonable price of hotel rooms. At last, we stayed at a hostel recommended by a lot of young travelers. Because most of the hotels won’t tell me the rate until check in which made me feel very “unsecured”. They usually reserve most of the rooms for tour operators or travel agents. If you book through elong or ctrip (Chinese expedia and travelocity), you can get a confirmed, but very HIGH rate.

We arrived at jiuzhaigou on Oct. 7, the last day of national holiday. We shared a private car with a couple from Songpan to Jiuzhaigou. They didn’t book any room, but easily find a nice hotel room in walking distance from the park entrance. The biggest learning is: in 99% of cases, you don’t need to book your hotel rooms in advance if you travel to a place like Jiuzhaigou. Go there and shop for hotel room as you shop for gifts.

jiuzhaigou, five-flower lake

My previous posts about this trip:

4-Day Trip to Jiuzhaigou, Huanglong, Songpan of Sichuan, China (Part I)

My coming & dream travel destination: Jiuzhaigou, Sichuan, China

Kangos redesigned Google?

Friday, October 19th, 2007

This is just too funny that I have to foward it here, for all travler friends. Hope you enjoy it besides travel blogs and images.

A kangos Gene McKenna made “a little satirical piece about what its like to do web design in the Google Era” and was instantly getting popular around the web.

Here is his final master piece and his post-comment:
Kango: google design end

I went through the comments and a lot of people thought it is a “yahoo”. How do you think?

OK,in case you don’t know who is Kango, here is a few ways to get to know her:

Wish Our Wonderland Stay Forever!

Monday, October 15th, 2007

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day
I just got back from one of the most beautiful places in China, which is called Jiuzhaigou Valley in Sichuan Province China as I planned. It is a much less well-known national park among foreginers since i didn’t see many there, though it is one of 166 UNESCO World Natural Heritages in the world according to the number on wikipedia, and one of 45 in Asia Pacific. I have to say this is a MUST visit place in China if you want to get out of city to see the natual beauty of China.


Different from the United States, China has a very short history in running and managing national park. But Jiuzhaigou Valley is a well managed and kept place where normal gas-consuming vehicles were banned in the park. To make up the high maintenance cost, visitors have to pay 400RMB (more than $50) / visit (2 days) per person in peak season from March to November. So the cost for a 4-person family per visit is about 10 times of that for a national park in US ($20-$25 admission fee/vehicle). It is the cost for a sustainable travel environment, and it will be justified.

As a Chinese, I am very glad to see such a wonderland is still in a good shape. My simple wish for Blog Action Day 2007 is that this fairy place will stay forever for people from all over the world to visit and share.


4-Day Trip to Jiuzhaigou, Huanglong, Songpan of Sichuan, China (Part I)

Monday, October 15th, 2007

Before I come up with a well-organized travel report, I would like to share some pictures with you. They are just too Beautiful to be kept in my own hard-drive.

From airplan, before landing on Huanglong Airport

The airplane to Huanglong

Huanglong, Sichuan, China, 黄龙

Huanglong, Sichuan, China, 黄龙

Huanglong, Sichuan, China, 黄龙 - Yellow Dragon

Yosemite NP, California – “Good Mountain Beautiful Land” 优山美地

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

Bridalveil Fall.jpg

The first long weekend trip we took in California was a 2-day trip to Yosemite National Park. Even though Yosemite in the United States is almost as well-known as Yellowstone NP or Great Canyon NP, but to Chinese, it is a brand new travel knowledge. You can ask your Chinese friends in China to test my conclusion. 🙂
Can’t believe it? Some numbers for your reference:


Another amazing thing about Yesemite is its Chinese translation which means “Good Mountain and Beautiful Land” literally. Nobody won’t agree with this name, though I prefer something like “good mountain and beautiful fall” because its waterfalls are what make Yosemite different.

I have never seen so many waterfalls (and from different angles) in 2 days of my life. Water is the spirit of Yosemite, so the best season to visit this national park is late spring and early summer (late April – early July) after the raining season from Jan to Mar and the weather is not too chilly. This is the tip I learn from travel guide book, but it was also confirmed by the people we met in the park. They told us they had been to the park in November, but saw not as half as many of the falls as they saw in June.

Photo tour: On the Way to Vernal Fall (Jun 2005)


vernal fall, yosemite NP, california

vernal fall, yosemite NP, california

vernal fall, yosemite NP, california

vernal fall, yosemite NP, california

claim my blog

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

Technorati Profile

Green Travel: Is it possible to fly green?

Monday, October 1st, 2007

Guardian collects a list of eco friendly lodging from green travelers’ blogs and here is its top 5 green rooms (prices range from £ 9 – 59/night). These lodges scatter at different corners of the globe. I have to wonder, how can I get there? Is flying a green travel way?

And then I read a post by Simple Green Choices, Yen Lee put up great advice on how to fly green, from the pespective of how to plan/book your flights. According to the advice, fly during the day is greener than at night; choosing new and fuel efficient plans to fly with, or even ask a lot of questions to generate “consumer presures” to increase the awareness of airlines.

More research on the topic, Great Green Travel researches the blogosphere about the green destinations. Worth a look if you are planning an eco friendly vacation!