BootsnAll Travel Network

Archive for November, 2009

« Home

Lianzhou Underground River – cave exploring

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Lianzhou underground riverLast weekend, I took a trip to Lianzhou with Kai of CNReviews with the purpose to attend Chinese Blogger Conferene 2009. Kai wrote about our trip  and the conference here and here.

Lianzhou is located in north board of Guangdong & Hunan province. It is about 400 km away from Guangzhou.  A highway (it is not a freeway, for you have fee to pay.) has been built between Lianzhou and Guangzhou now which shorten the trip from 8+ hours to about 4 hours. In my memory, it is one of the most poverty area in Guangzhou. Reason is that it is surrounded by mountains and transportation has been very unconvinient for century. The newly built freeway is designed to change the poor economy situation.

The most interesting part of the conference is that we were gathering at the entrance of a big cave. The cave is in a park called Lianzhou Underground River. We have the opportuniy to explore the cave in a tour during the conference.  Here is the photo tour:

CnbloggerCon 09 at Lianzhou @ the entrance to Lianzhou Underground River

the entrance to Lianzhou Underground River

Lianzhou underground river

Lianzhou underground river

If you have been to Gulin and been to one of those caves, i bet the experience is quite similar. The big impression on this cave is that it is newly developed, the route design and construction, or even the English translation of signs are very professional. I feel very safe in the cave.  However, it is total different from my other cave adventure in Yangshuo.

Dream Vacation in Myrtle Beach SC

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

 myrtle beach sc

Myrtle Beach is a coastal resort city in Horry County, South Carolina. It is the heart of the Grand Strand, a 60-mile crescent of beach on South Carolina’s northern coast. So when people talk about “Myrtle Beach”, most likely, they are referring to Grand Strand or even the 60-mile sandy beach which extends to Goegretown.  This hotest tourism spot of SC arised from a getaway for lumber workers from Conway and has been developed into a hot tourism destination in the latter 20th century and 2000s. It is reported that there over 10 million (14.6million) visiting Mrytle Beach every year during Spring break, Summer vacations and Fall according to Wikipedia.  With an average temperature at 16 °C (60 °F) in December, it is a warm home for some “snowbirds” in the east coast in Winter. And that’s one of the special reason that I pick it as the place for my dream vacation when Shanghai is as cold as 5 °C now.

With its long, wide sandy beach, Myrtle Beach is the perfect place to meet Atlantic Ocean, as Big Sur to the Pacific Ocean on the West Coast. It is one of the 2008 Top 10 Places for Families to Visit in the US by Yahoo! Travel. It is also good for a romantic getaway. Here is my plan for the next trip to Myrle Beach.

First of all, I will book a hotel room in an Oceanfront Myrtle Beach Resort in advanced. There are plenty of choices.  For example, one night in one the best ocreanfont Myrtle Beach hotels on cherry grove beach Towers on the Grove is from $70 on Tripadvisor. Pretty affordable! Staying in an oceanfront Myrtle Beach hotel provides the convinient access to the beach for a lazy afternoon or a beautiful sunset.

I will  visit Huntington Beach State Park in the first day to see what ‘s the big difference between Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean.  Then check out loggerhead turtles and other endangered plants at its Environmental Education Center. I will add  Brookgreen Gardens to my list, it is said to be a “aviary and wildlife park showcases a myriad of over 500 19th and 20th century sculptures by such artists as Remington, Daniel Chester French, Henry Clews and Charles Manship”. Charming, right?

I am a seafood lover, vacationing in Myrtle Beach provides a variaty choices: sherry-laced she crab soup, fried lobstery, or even just traditional Southern favorite – shrimp and grits. I don’t need the restaurant environment to be fancy, as long as the seafood is juicy and fresh.

Another fun thing to do: get on one of the legitimated gambling boat for casinos to try out the luck. These Gambling Boats take the passengers on the infamous “cruise to nowhere” a few miles off the coast, into international waters, outside the USA jurisdiction, where it’s legal to gamble.  Many reviews said it is a fun excursion on their trips to Myrtle Beach.  I am sure to try as well.

Online shopping is more educational than traditional shopping

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

About three years’ ago, I was a little suspect on the online shopping market in China, especially when most people believe there is a big TRUST issue in  Chinese Internet world. “Are you really wanting to take the risk to pay for something before you actually see it, not to say get it?”

Today,  with the support of fast development of online payment services, online shopping is becoming a common sense. And as a new mom, I think it is indespensible in my daily life., a subsidiary site of Alibaba, is the one leading the C2C/B2C market. Two years’ ago, we were talking about how Taobao defeated eBay in China by winning the sellers. Today,  CNReviews called it “Toxic”(Chinese Web Insights: Taobao Is Toxic)  as it is addictive for shopper like myself. The most recent statistics shows that the estimated sales of is over 200 billion RMB (~ 30 billion USD) in 2009, it is 3 times as big as the total sales of all major supermarkets (Walmart, Carefour, etc.) in whole China.

I used to think online shopping is less of fun because I can’t see, touch and feel the product as the real time matter. However, there are some advantages over mortar-and-brick shopping other than cost.

Education is one of the big advantages.

I become the first-time mom in Feburary this year.  Although I got a lot of help and advice from my mother and mother-in-law, I still want to take advice from outside and buy the best I can find and afford for my baby. At the same time, I knew I have zero knowledge about the baby&mom world. Online shopping sites are perfectly for education for such situation. For example, I found this stroller buying guide is very helpful in understanding what kinds of products for what kinds of needs in the market, and what is avaliable within my budget range.

Living in city like Shanghai means that we needs a light weight stroller with which we will carry around when we go out by taxi. By research on the web, I got to know that Maclaren is very good for light and steady requirements. But I have never heard about it before in China.  Luckily, I later got a Maclaren from my boss as a gift.

When the baby gets old and we were considering feeding him solid food, high chair become another key item in my shopping list.  “Easy to clean” is one of the most important feature I learned and we picked one of  IKEA’s product called ANTILop as the result of research: simply,  easy to clean, save and cheap. A lots of mom said the fancy features are really not necessary in feeding baby. And we are not very happy with it.

Happy shopping!