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What a 2008 Chinese New Year… Postpone your trip to China.

Saturday, February 2nd, 2008

Does ” The Day After Tomorrow” come true in South China this winter right before the joyful Chinese New Year is coming. Here are some number for you to image what it is like now:

  • 19 provinces are suffered from the unexpected snow storms which will continue in the coming few days;
  • 60 people died.
  • Direct lose in RMB: 53.79 billion = USD 7.5 Billion
  • 1,280,000 square kilometers of land is covered by white snow.

the day after tomorrow


snow day 1

Day 1

snow day 5

Day 5.

Update on Feb. 9, 2008:

More images can be viewed here.

Chinese New Year: Food in Shanghai, Hotel in Sydney

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Chinese New Year (aka the Spring Festival) is approaching. According to Chinese lunar calendar, the last day of Year of Pig (2007) will be Feb. 06, 2008 which is the Chinese New Year Eve. I am going to cook the CNY eve dinner by myself for the first time this year. Here is the menu of my CNY dinner:

  • Drinks: Sake
  • Main Dishes: 1) Steam fish; 2)Shanghai style bouilli pork; 3)Chicken with mushroom; 4)Crab meat soft dofu, 5) Chinese cabbage with soup;
  • Staple food: Steam rice;
  • Drinks after dinner: Kungfu Tea;
  • Disert: Sweet sticky rice dumpling stuffed with sesame paste, served at mid night according to tradition

This is definitely not a traditional CNY dinner menu, I am just going to cook what we love to eat (and forget about the tradition), and I am a meat-lover.

My things to do during Chinese New Year holiday?

I have wished that I can go to Cambodia in my 2008 place to go. But the airticket from Guangzhou to Sihn Reap during CNY is ridiculous high (5,000 RBM + tax for round trip). And the weather starts to getting very warm and raining season is coming. Then I check tickets and hotels in Australia and New Zealand because we want a warm holiday, I want to visit Sydney or Perth where one of my college friends is.

I started googling “sydney” as keyword and bumped into new things. (yes, everything there is supposed new to me. 🙂

Darling Harbour is one of the “buzz“ areas but in fact I found there are quite some family friendly things to do there: Sydney Aquarium, AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM and even a Chinese Garden of Friendship. I really interested in this garden, especially after I know there will be an identical twin garden of Yu Garden of Shanghai in Europe . I don’t want to see another copy for freindship.

As AUD and NZD are appreciating a lot recently, the hotel price is one of my budget concern. I check these three hotels (note: all rates are for Feb. 18, 2008)

  • Star City is a five star complex with a casino, restaurants and bars, entertainment venues, hotel apartments, and banquets; conference centres. The best deal i found it AUD 75/night for one bed room apartment.
  • Ibis Darling Harbour Hotel was recently completed a full refurbishment in September 2007 (good news!). It has 256 hotel rooms together with iBistro restaurant. The best deal I can get is 1 Queen Bed room: AUD 239/night.
  • The Four Points by Sheraton, Darling Harbour is Australia’s largest hotel. There are with 630 rooms including 45 suites, wow! It is located very closed to major entertainment and shopping districts including Pitt Street Mall, Queen Victoria Building, and Chinatown. The best deal is City Side Room: AUD 238/night.

It is pretty expensive, especially after I read what Brian from Kango has blogged about the “$400-$500/month” apartment in Bali. I don’t think i will go to Sydney this time.

Zoo Day in Guangzhou,Chime Long Safari & Circus

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

We visited my parents in Guangzhou during New Year holidays and we spent one day (Dec. 31, 2007) in the Chime Long Resort (广州长隆旅游度假区). There are a zoo called Guangzhou Xiangjiang Safari Park (广州香江野chimelong safari park, Guangzhou xiangjiang zoo, Panyu, Guangzhou, China : Black Swan生动物园), an amusement park (Chime Long Paradise), a water park(水上乐园), a circus (Chimelong International Circus,长隆国际马戏团), a golf course and a few hotels in the resort area. Its official website is well organized and easy to use for vacation planning.

We took Guangzhou metro line 3 to a station called Han4 Xi1 Chang2 Long2 (汉溪长隆) dedicated to this resort and then took a cycle shuttle bus to the safari park. Free map is avaliable at the entrance and it is very helpful to plan your route when deciding what animals you want to see. The park is quitechimelong safari park, Guangzhou xiangjiang zoo, Panyu, Guangzhou, China : Tiger and Lion large and you can easily get distracted by shows and programs. So plan ahead if you are with kids. I was very exciting about the safari but was a little disappointed after the tour. The animals are no longer WILD and it is not really a safari. You can even see Tiger and Lion live together in the same yard which is out of imagination in Africa real life.
The zoo is closed at 6pm and we took free shuttle bus to the circus. Feel free to hop onto the earliest shuttle bus, they are cyclying and will bring you to your destination anyway. The current circus show is called and waschimelong safari park, Guangzhou xiangjiang zoo, Panyu, Guangzhou, China an extremely exciting one. Highly recommended!!! The show starts at 7:30pm daily and we entered earlier to get front seats. But this is not necessary. We found it could be more fun if sitting at back. VIP seats in the center area are avaliable inside and 100 RMB extra. Basically, you can plan a light dinner between zoo and the circus show.

The amusement park Chimelong Paradise could be a thrilling experience. You will find the world’s tallest diving roller coaster there (but still under construction on Dec. 22 2007, check before you go).

chimelong safari park, Guangzhou xiangjiang zoo, Panyu, Guangzhou, China : giraffe

chimelong safari park, Guangzhou xiangjiang zoo, Panyu, Guangzhou, China : Cheetah

chimelong safari park, Guangzhou xiangjiang zoo, Panyu, Guangzhou, China

chimelong safari park, Guangzhou xiangjiang zoo, Panyu, Guangzhou, China

chimelong safari park, Guangzhou xiangjiang zoo, Panyu, Guangzhou, China :Koala

Singapore Jurong Bird Park (images)

Sunday, January 6th, 2008

Singapore Jurong Bird Park

Singapore Jurong Bird Park

Singapore Jurong Bird Park

Christmas in Singapore, 2002 (Image tour)

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

Singapore Merlion on Sentosa

Merlion, Sentosa, Singapore See how big the Merlion is and how small I am.
Sentosa, Singapore

It is said that this tiny island is the southest point of Singapore, in Sentosa.


Eye of a fly.

The best Christmas Tree I've ever seen

The best Christmas tree I’ve ever seen.
These images were taken 5 years’ ago in Singapore. It was my first time there right before Christmas. My graduate school supervisor Professor Chen once said: “The greatest invention of 20 century is air conditioner.” You might not agree with him if you are not from Singapore as he did. It is such a humorous way to explain the weather in Singapore. December is the coolest month of a year, but rains a lot. Afternoon storm is almost a daily routine. I was forced to cancel my trip to Singapore Zoo due to the bad weather. I was on the light rail to the Zoo, and saw dark cloud covering the whole sky. It was very scary and I didn’t want to stroll around the zoo in a storm. But when I was back to the city, the storm had been gone. That’s the weather in tropical area. The best way to plan your trip is to plan a few relaxing hours after lunch and stay under roof.

Singapore is a small nice place to walk around, and a lot of fun things to do. See my next posts for more images.

Post Xmas Shopping in Shanghai

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

I don’t celebrate Chritmas. But many of my girl friends and I are looking forward to this holiday, because it is when big ON SALE happens in 99% of the malls in the city.

Last night, we went to shop for my husband some winter outware on Huaihai Rd in French Concession area of Shanghai. Huahai Rd. is the best place for people watching and window shopping. You are expected to see the most fashionable and stylish people on this street. Take a look at these Baidu images for keyword “Shanghai Huaihai Rd“.

We knew Parkson has the “Buy 199 get 100 instant rebate” promotion. So we headed directly to the shop on the intersection of Huanhai Rd. and Shanxi Rd. (Parkson is on the South Shanxi Rd. Metro station Line 1). The mall is much roomy comparing to the crowdness of pre-Xmas, and the CSs are less nicer. I can tell most of them were yawn to go home. Yes, it was 830pm. But it is a perfect moment for us.

Products of some foreign brand names are over-priced in China. Levi’s and the Northface (TNF) are two of them, not to mention other “luxury” brands. The price for a common Levi’s jean is ridiculously marked as RMB 799, which i know I can buy it at around HKD 599 HKD ( app. RMB 560). A GoreTex outware of TNF can be priced as RMB 1999 (app. USD 280), while you can buy a GoreTex of Lafuma at RMB 800. Though the design of Lafuma is a little dull, we bought one and it is a real bargain! And I also found one local brand called Belle is over-priced judging from its design and manufacturing quality. I believe its IPO in Hong Kong Stock Exchange in May 2007 has improved the brand image and prices.

Tips to shop in Shanghai:

  • Avoid shopping before X’mas, do it after the holiday;
  • Avoid weekends if you can shop at night;
  • Avoid buying accessories in the malls since most of the accessories are alwasy not ON SALE, try to shop in the boutique shops where you can bargain;
  • Compare before you pay.

Happy Holiday!

Monday, December 24th, 2007

Merry Chirstmas!

Image of today: Dec. 17, 2007

Monday, December 17th, 2007

We are in search for a new apartment in Shanghai. But the price of real estate in downtown Shanghai is too high for us to affort. So we visited this neighbourhood called “tianshan” last weekend. It is a rebuilt new district.  not many skylines here. All residental apartments are not higher than 15 floors, except of this ugly tower…

Place to go in 2008, or today!

Thursday, December 13th, 2007’s newsletter service has a new feature, it will send you a “Top 5 Viewed Features” email every week. One of the most eye-catch eresting feature in today’s email is an artical titled The 53 Places to Go in 2008. I don’t know why it is “53” not “52” or “54”, but those pictures and each 60-word description are just amazing. What even more amazing? 437 people have comments and shout out their wishes.angkor wat

Kango blog is hosting a Carnival of Cities this week. It asks bloggers to answer “Where do you want to go today?” well, I have a long wish list. But the 1st place is Angkor Wat. Reason #1: Winter is the best season to visit East South Asia as the raining season is over and the weather will be cooler. But the con is that Winter is also the tourism peak season as well. Anyway, who cares. Reason #2: I am from a country of a long history. I want to see all other ancient cultures and histories. One day I will be in Egypt, Chile and Greece. Bootsnall blogger Sharkfin just report his trip in Angkor Wow.

Carnival of Cities is quite a fun blog event. I submitted a post in September about Beijing and that post now is the most viewed page among my 43 blog posts. So, undoubtly, you can promote your blog while having fun writing about trips!

Where do you want to go today or in 2008?

New Beijing ”Wonders”: The Egg, The Bird’s Nest and The Two-legged Stool

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

You don’t want to miss these three “weird wonders” next time you visit Beijing:

National Grand Theater in Beijing,the egg, 国大剧院

National Grand Theater in Beijing,the egg, 国大剧院

The best view point of The Egg is on the top of Jing Hill (Jingshan, 景山). It is designed by French architect Paul Andreu. My friend Michelle Hu took the first two images.

The Brid's Nest, The National Stadium in Beijing

Photo Courtecy of Dante Busquets

The Bird’s Nest is the National Stadium for 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, designed by Herzog & de Meuron. It looks like an under-constructionnever to me

CCTV tower, Beijing, ChinaCCTV tower, Beijing, China cctv headquarter hq

CCTV (China Central Television) Head Quarter is still under construction (left photo by China Chas on Dec. 2, 2007, thank e-architect for the right image.). It is designed by Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren.

Updated on Jun. 12 2008:

I went to the Bird Nest last month during “good luck Beijing” Sohu open, a game design to test run the National Stadium Bird Nest.

CCTV tower, Beijing, China

More images here. CCTV tower, Beijing, China