Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Home - so near yet so far


So our flight from Macau yesterday was 9.30 pm and we arrived KL 4 hours later at 1.30 am. 4 hours ! damn! If Macau-KK not cancelled, we would be home long now, fast asleep. We have a flight to KK on the same day 10.30 am. We chose not to sleep in the airport, but took rooms at Concorde Inn, KLIA just so to have proper sleep, never mind just a few hours. It was already 2.30 am when we checked in.

My niece got increasingly worst. She was wheezing and I could tell, in pain. My sister, sick with worry didn't sleep at all. By 7am they were gone. Out to find the nearest clinic, which is at KLIA. This Concorde Inn don't have one.

We left the hotel 8 am and anxiously wait for them at LCCT. They finally appeared around 9.30 am. She got treated (on neobuliser something) but apparently didn't finish the whole course. Well, at least she's breathing better. That's enough.

Finally in KK 1.30 pm. Haaahh....nothing like home.

Now the shopping. Not much ok. The main 'damage' are these :-

purple jade

some handbags

The rest are just simple souveniers.

Bye now! and merry xmas !

Monday, December 22, 2008

Macau - Asia's Las Vegas


Kami mengheret beg masing-masing ke terminal ferry dengan langkah sedikit lemah. 5 days of long walks has taken its toll. Tapak kaki ni rasa macam retak. Amy, our HK guide send us to the last gate before bidding farewell. We're taking the 9.30 am ferry to Macau.

Tapi tetap memberikan pose ceria di dalam ferry.

At the shore we are received by Tony, the Macau guide. He's a Portuegese born in Macau.

Handsome kan si Tony?

We are only here for the flight home on the same day, so no check-in to hotel. While waiting for our flight, we are doing some sightseeing. Not a shopping haven here. I glimpsed one place called New Yaohan earlier while passing. But its a department store. As I said before Macau live on casinos income. Already there are 30 odd casinos around here and about 7 more are being built.

We are first brought to visit A-Ma Temple. The oldest temple built in 1448 and where the name Macau originates. No need for me to explain in detail. You can read up. Erm..the place don't look exciting. No photos.

Then, off to lunch in the Fisherman's Wharf restaurant and then 2 hours roaming the place.

Fisherman's Wharf is a theme park. It houses stores, restaurants, rides, slots hall, hotels and casino.

a walk through the park

This is the Vulcania, a replica volcano which 'erupts' on the evening. Inside it houses roller coaster rides.

I'm at the entrance of Aladdin's Fort. A middle-eastern styled fort with variety of childrens funfair rides. And hideously decorated for Xmas.

Aladdin's Fort, just beside Vulcania.

We are clearly not going for any rides. There isn't time.

We move on to the next tourist spot.

The ruins of St.Paul. The remains of the oldest church.

Then, we walk down to Senado Square.
in the middle of the square

I like the buildings. They are beautifully painted with vibrant colors.

And the place is bustling with people shopping for Xmas. We can't join. We are broke and tired.
Soon it is time to leave for airport. Due to AirAsia's cancellation of KK-Macau sector, we are forced to fly to KL first. (we are compensated with a free fare for KL-KK). story: sedikit kecemasan di KL

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hong Kong - vibrant and alive


We checked out from our hotel 9 am and headed straight to Shenzhen Immigration to chop out passport and enter Hong Kong. This is where we said goodbye to our tourist guide, Johnny. He's only incharge in China. We'll be met with a new guide in HK. It was a blessing for us to have Johnny. He doesn't speak English but he speak melayu Indonesia. Fluently with a trace of Javanese accent. He's chinese but his father is an Indonesian and he goes to Indonesia twice yearly. So our communication were easy peasy and he understood halal food, muslim pray and things like that.

Ok. We arrived HK about 12 pm. A bit hay-wire as we needed to catch up time to go to all the places we had planned. For some complex reason, we only stayed a night in HK. So we hurriedly checked in, to Imperial Hotel at Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui area. Hastily took lunch and started our journey.

Disneyland ! our first destination.

Sioknya..sioknya!! I wish hubby and kids were with me..

Me & sis tried every games we could except roller coaster , no thank you. Adventure in the Dark, or something they call it. Roller coaster dalam gelap. Gila ka! My brother who tried, said memang ngeri.

Clearly 3 hours wasn't enough. We had to leave by 6.30pm . It looked like 8pm. And weather was getting really cold.
Straight away we went up to Victoria's Peak and ventured the wax museum, Madam Tussaud's. I went in before but there were some new figures this year.

While in the Peak, one of my niece became sick, vomitted and chesty coughing. I think its Disneyland. It was super cold there (it's winter in China and HK now) and she's asthmatic. So we scrapped the phototaking on the mountain top. We had dinner and then on to Ladies Market. Already 10.30pm. This is a pedestrian street market very similar to Petaling Street but neater and better. Orderly too. No agressive seller pull you aside. There were quite a few stuffs looking appealing but I don't know, maybe fatigue, depleting cash, I just had no desire. After 1 hour we left the place. The guys did better. Found lots of bargain. Infact they were kicking themselves for buying early in Shenzhen because they said here was better. Well who knew? story - Macau

Shenzhen - The Gate of China II


We're still in Shenzhen. Today we visit Window of the World. It's a park (yet another one) where they recreate all the famous gardens and buildings including the 7 wonders of the world.
We're early. It's still 15 min before the ticket office open, so bergambar-gambar la di luar.

We try the buggy ride first to have an overall picture of the place.

Ho....punya banyakkkk tempat untuk ambil gambar ni...

Ada The leaning Pissa, Eiffel Tower, Pyramid, Taj Mahal (tapi bida sikit), Holland's landmark, Stone Hedge, Rome, macam-macam la.

Ini African Village. Ada show 1/2 hour, tribal dance.

Window of the World is not to be missed if ever you visit Shenzhen. Simply beautiful. We spent about 4 hours there before we took off.

Next visit is Kedai Ubat. Ubat tradisional cina. Sama macam jade, ada banyak bilik-bilik. Mula-mula penerangan umum tentang sejarah herba-herba, raja mana yang pakai ini, itu dan manfaat-manfaatnya. Ada satu tu lucu, kami nda tahan ketawa. Nama ubat tu kalau translate, cacing rumput. Bukan dibuat dari cacing. Tapi ada pepatah cina, iaitu panas seperti cacing, sejuk seperti rumput. Jadi kegunaannya gitulah 'dual' kali. Tapi, helo, cacing rumput!

Selepas penerangan semua, sudah tentulah dia jual ubat kan. Strateginya, setiap 2-3 orang kami di assign seorang consultant yang memegang dan memeriksa tapak tangan kami (ada translator english di sebelahnya). Dengan melihaat tapak tangan dan kuku, dia boleh kasi tau apa ailments yang dialami dan mengesyorkan ubat yang sesuai. Punya mahal! dekat RM700 tapi konon dalam 3 bulan terus baik . Inda la bah kan.

Destinasi seterusnya, Luohu. Ini commercial area. Banyak kedai-kedai. Segala-gala boleh didapati, pakaian, handbags, shoes, electronic goods, toys, iphones, ipod, PSP. Semua best-best. Design lawa-lawa dan boleh bargain punya. Haaaa...ini barula! patut sini bah kami lama-lama kan. Ok tiada masa ambil gambar. Masing-masing terus meluru mencari barang-barang. My sis belikan anaknya helikopter yang remote control. Punya murah. Dan handphone. Ada yang beli iphone yang boleh dual simcard, beli kasut, jersey bola, victoria beckham jeans, Anna Sui purse....etc,etc.

Shenzhen ni, dia benefit daripada SpecialEconomicZone introduced by Deng Xiao Ping in the 70's which boost its economy rapidly from increased foreign investment. It has grown to be the 2nd busiest port in China, after Shanghai. Since then more investors began coming to China through Shenzhen.

So, sekali lagi ada yang terlajak masa. Meeting time 6.30, tapi lewat 1/2 jam. Masalah sini kalau sudah dapat barang tu, mau haggle lagi 20 minit. Bila bayar pakai card, sengaja la diorang kasi lambat2 pergi swipe tempat lain di tingkat 4 la.

All the same, we left the place on high euphoric feeling.

Final stop is dinner before returning to the hotel and call it a day. Back to the noisy restaurant. But today not so bad. Or maybe we've gone deaf.

It's our last day in Shenzhen cos' tomorrow we're leaving for Hong Kong. We were given some discount vouchers for the hotel spa so why not make use of it? Me & younger sis tried first. Full body massage. Best ooo..betul-betul dia urut.. 90 minutes. My other sisters later came down with their girls. They had body massage and the girls had foot massage. Tapi unfortunately they didn't like the massage. Diorang satu bilik sama macam kami. Tapi tukang urut dorang lalai bercerita dan kurang mengurut unlike ours. Lepas tu kena tipu. (Kami sudah di bilik, tidur time tu). My sis had asked the girls to be given 30 minutes foot massage. Last-last boleh jadi 90 minutes. Alasan, budak2 tu ditanya mau tambah masa ka tidak dan dorang angguk. Masalahnya dorang nda paham pun apa yang ditanya. Terpaksa la tambah duit. Di hotel pun boleh buat gitu kan? My brother punya kesimpulan, dorang sengaja nda belajar english supaya boleh menipu.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Shenzhen - The Gate of China I

Hari ini kami check out dari hotel menuju ke Shenzhen. Tapi sebelum tu, singgah di Bao Mao Garden. Segala taman la kami aga kan.

Berbanding shopping, I think China more worth to visit gardens. They take good care of the park. Its well maintained despite the huge size.
yang tinggi tu my sister in law. the centre 3 my sisters.

We went on Saturday so they were lots of school kids making lawatan. There was a stall selling fish feed, so you can go around feeding the fish. Aku suspek dorang sengaja nda kasi makan ni ikan-ikan dari kemarin sebab begitu ramai public kasi feed pun masih berebut juga ni ikan.

We continued to Shenzhen and the first stop is a shopping mall called Fumen. Not interesting at all. (Potong markah guide.)
Next to a Jade factory. No photos allowed inside. It's a building curiously consists of multiple chambers. First a general greeting outside, then we're brough through a door, where a senior assistant welcome us and launched to a detailed explaination on the history of jade, the grade and how to differentiate fake from genuine, then through another door, where we're showed the collection of sculptured jades. She has perfect English by the way. A nice change. For 2 days, we struggled to communicate. No one speak English in Guangzhou. Not ONE tiny bit of English. Kind of baffling. Macam mana tu aa? mustahil nda tengok cerita orang putih ka, dengar lagu english ka..basic like color, big,small ..itu pun dorang nda faham. But Shenzhen a bit modern, thank God, itu pun the ones yang very educated saja like this jade personnel. Elsewhere payah juga.
So back to the jade. I've never seen some of the unique ones, like the moonlight jade. Its creamy in color and the surface is freckled and if u shine a light it becomes translucent and look just like a moon. Its best placed near a computer as it absorbs heat and may reduce exposure to radiation. Fascinating.
Then we walked through yet another door where on the other side, there were already a few groups earlier than us. It's the chamber where they sell the jewellery jades. Suddenly its like we burst into a fish market. The noise, as everyone haggled the price and salesgirls pulled you to see this and that, its chaos. Me and sis fell in love with a rare purple jade. Later the detail. Suffice to say, we blew our budget.
They served tea in another hall (for the group who made purchases only I suspect). Interesting. We were served 5 different types of tea. There was one which is naturally sweet without sugar and no trace of tea-bitterness. Don't remember the names.
We had dinner at 6.30pm at a Mongolian muslim restaurant. Dont have pics here. Around 8pm we checked in to a new hotel, Lee Garden Inn. Guide advised us it's worth to browse Dongmen area where we stayed, can get some bargains but we were bit tired. I went down just a while with my younger sis to get some shirts, we only brought enough for 3 days. Out in the street we encountered some middle eastern (macam Lebanese) hawkers selling nougats in pulled carts. Homemade. Sedapnya. 25 yuan for half kilo. How on earth did they end up in Shenzen?
to be continued....