Monday, 28 May 2012

My Trips to Hong Kong -Day 5- Beijing and Hong Kong

Another bad night again, our hotel room was like an oven, we had no idea why the heater was on and unable to switch it off.

Woke up at 6.00 a.m., check out  of the hotel and rushed to the sub-station to take the tram to the airport.  Unfortunately, the tram to  the airport don't accept the normal card which we were holding. The fare to the airport was $25.00 rem per person. Reached the airport in time and had some breakfast.

Walking toward  our gate and came across some beautiful orchids. They were so beautiful and look like fake ones. So enjoyed ourselves taking the photos of them and didn't aware that we were late for boarding. Met by the airport cab-driver and fetch us to the gate. Luckily, we just in time before the gate was closed.  "Thank god! for this guy and we had  to pay a $20.00 rem for the service. I had no small change and he wouldn't accept a $100.00 rem instead took a £5.00 gbp from me. "What a honest guy!!!"

Reached Hong Kong  in time and took a bus to my in-laws house. Spoken to them for a few hours and arranged to meet my friend, Echo. Before going out to meet her, we went to Tai Mei Tuk.  This little town is surrounded with beautiful hills and sea. Lot of the local were holidaying there with BBQ near the seaside where there was a BBQ pits centre.

Took some photos and ready to meet  Echo. So we took a bus then change to take train and tram to meet her family at the station.  Dinner  at the local cafe and went to Echo's house for a chat. Talking late into the night and forgotten of the times. "Oh my god!! it was 12.00 a.m.* We missed the last bus  and had to take a taxi back home which cost us HK$140.00.

"Oh! What a night." we do enjoying ourselves  so much that times passed too quickly. We were seeing each other again tomorrow for trekking.

 My friend, Echo's home is in one of this high raised flats.

I know this photos of mine is over exposure but kinda of love the silkiness of the sea and the double effect of the ship.

Pace: Beijing Airport
          Hong Kong
          Tai Mei Tuk
          Echo's house
Photos: Supply by Robert Suen and Cat Tan
Dated: 5.5.2012
Dedicated: I love to dedicate this post to my friend,Echo and her family for making my Hong Kong's trips interesting and their warm welcome to Hong Kong.

Trip to The Great Wall, Beijing - Day 4- 0n 4/5/12

We started our day at 8.00 a.m. bought some biscuits and drinks. Took a bus number 635 and changed bus number 887. If you had the bus pass the cost of the fare was $4.80 rem if not then has to pay the full fare of $12.00 rem. Once again, the hotel receptionist provided us with details what buses to take and must bring our own foods and drinks as everything there are charge double or more.

Reached Badaling which is known as "Mutiayu Great Wall" in an hour. Bought the entrance ticket with cable car both ways cost $125.00 rem even knowing we will be walking down from the Great Wall but just in case, we have to give up and take the cable car down.

This Mutiayu Great Wall is not the main ones, but this is the second  wall which is easy to walk up and down than the other and less populated with tourists.  Still there were lot of tourists at this Wall. We only have a limited times to walk the wall as our last bus  is at 4.00 p.m. and it about 3 kms away from this Great Wall to the bus stop.  We were told to go back to the bus stop at 3.30 p.m. so that we have more of times for bus trip back.

The cable car took us to the 7th levels and we needed to walked the last 3 levels to reach the top of the Wall. The stone steps were quite level and in good conditions, some upwards were make of slant concrete brick path without steps but come with hand rails at both sides.

There is a Chinese saying "Walk to the top of the Great Wall, and you is a great Hero."  So whoever up the Great Wall is a Great Hero. Took us about one and half hours to walk up to the top and then we decided to walk all the ways down instead of cable car. At first, we thought going down meant all the ways downwards but not. The walls were upwards and downwards all along the way to the ground levels.

We met some friends from Hong Kong and  started chatting to them. Now,  the downward is not so boring as we expected.  We stopped at level 3 and decided not to go downward anymore.  At level 3, there are lot of stalls selling goodies and drinks. Exchanged contact number with our friends. We were on our way back to the hotel.

Took knackered to carry on anymore, had a bath and a nap. Woke about 5.00 p.m., we ready to go to Zhi Shan Garden where we can view the Forbidden Palace there which recommended by the staff from the hotel. Unfortunately, we were lost and ask for directions non of the locals or either the bus driver can tell us where this Garden is. Wasted 2 hours journeys by bus so we change to take the tram and finally we reach the Zhi Shan Garden.

By the time we reached here is about 7.00 p.m. and they closed at 8.00 p.m.  Pay for our ticket which cost $10.00 rem per person. This garden were famous special flowers, during each seasons and the garden will produced  different flowers according to the seasons. During this times, the gardens were full of peony blossoms and they were gorgeous. It was too dark to take photos.

Luckily, we met a chinese couple whom also a tourist and also a keen photographer. The wife had a hand torch and she kindly hold the torch to light the flower so each of us can take turn to took the beautiful peony. We spend a happy hour with this couple and time for us to get out of this garden.

Met another local couple and asked for directions how to go to the Chinese Opera Theatre. She told us she was going the same direction and asked us to follow her and direct us to the theatre.

Reached the Chinese Opera Theatre about 9.30 p.m. and they were closed at 10.00 p.m. We aren't allow to go in and requested us to go there again tomorrow. "What a waste!!" We are going back to Hong Kong tomorrow.  Took some photos of the building and took the tram back to the hotel again. We reached our hotel and took a walk along the shops, this part of the town was known the old parts of Beijing where the shops and houses still maintained in the olden days looks.  We had been so busy going around sight-seeing and forgotten what a beautiful place this little town is.  Had our dinner and then back to the hotel to pack for our early morning flight to Hong Kong the next day.

Photos: Supplied by Cat Tan and Robert Suen

Place: Mutiay Great Wall in Badaling,Beijing
           Zhi  Shan Garden
           Chinese Opera theatre near Tian'anmen
Dated: 4.5.20102

Sunday, 27 May 2012

My Trip to Beijing -Day 3 -3/5/12

I was suffering  from jet lag and woke up at 3.00 a.m reading my book, waiting for the the day to be bright so that I can go out to take photos on the sunrise.

My husband was too knackered to go out with me. With the details given by the Receptionists the night before and  I went on my own. Taking the bus number 116 from the bus stop to the Temple of Heaven. Asked for directions from the Driver, but can't understand his Mandarin. Lucky, an old lady told me she is going to the Temple of Heaven to practice her "zhi kong" some sort of exercise by controlling the inner energy of the body.

The bus stop was directly in front of the Temple of Heaven and it only cost me 0.40 rem. Temple of Heaven garden were previously used by the emperors whom came here to admire the moon and enjoyed himself in this beautiful garden. Now I know why the staff always advice me to take bus instead of tram, each bus trip cost only 0.40 rem and the each tram trip cost $2.00 rem regardless long of short distance.  As I had bought the subway card which can also be used for trams and buses. It is cheaper to  travel in this way as we pay the same as the local. The tram card need a $20.00 rem deposit which is not refundable and can top up any amount as we want.

Reached the Temple of Heaven at 6.30 a.m. and went to purchase the entrance fee which cost $15.00 rem. The lady told me, I don't have to pay till 8.00 a.m. but if I want to go into the temple then I need to pay to go in.

I am quite disappointed, I thought I will be an early bird to catch the worms. "No!" there were plenty of locals  and 2 or 3 groups of locals tourists. There were lot of locals exercise in the garden. Some doing Tai Chee, dancings, zhi kong, card games and etc. Too much crowds  especially their talking and music from the players it totally kill my mood of taking any photos.

Packed up and  took a tram back to the hotel as I don't know which bus stop to alight. Reached the hotel 9.45 a.m. but my husband had went out for his breakfast. He was back about 10.30 a.m. and we went out  together for our lunch. The lunch here cost us about £6.00 gbp. for both of us.  After lunch we went to the Tian'anmen where the Forbidden Palace is there.

When I was there 23 years ago, the Forbidden Palace was closed due to the locals were having a protestation on hunger strikes.  The ticket for the entrance fees was $60.00 rem which about £6.00 gbp per person. It was 12.00 p.m. noon, and the weather was at the hottest. Forbidden Palace was a palace where the emperor living and attended to all his business and entertainments  at the palace. The emperor's wivies were also resided in here.  This Palace was built in the Ming Dynasty  in 1562 and also been used in Qing Dynasty in 1645.

The crowds at this tourists attractions were packed with thousands of locals and foreigners. I hated  the heatwaves, the noises volumes made by the locals were so loud it basically hurt my ears. After walking for about 3 hours and finally I had to give up  and can't walk anymore. We found a place where there is some wind blowing

slowly and fall asleep for 2 hours. Finally, the radio announced that this palace will be closed in half an hour time and all tourists have to try to take or see whatever they can in this  half an hour.

At last, the palace almost empty and not packed with crowds. I really enjoyed myself during this half an hour of taking photos. Wow, peace at last, most of the tourists were either sitting outside the gates or hurried out. At last, I can take some nice pictures before pack up and go.

Trying to squeeze as much sight-seeings as possible in one day. We went to Bei Hai but one of the guard told us that we couldn't go there as the place is for the governments' uses only. Instead we went to Hou Hai. Took the tram but not direct to the lake so we had the same problems when asking for directions again. Been told to go straight on and you will reached there.

Finally, it took us about one and half hour to reach Hou Hai, nothing amazing in here but there is a competition on for fishing. Plenty of locals gathered  at this lake trying to win this fishing competition. I am lucky it was dusk, so quite pleased with myself. After half an hour here we walked back to the same town again and had our dinner and and asked what bus to take to go to the Bird Nest Stadium.

Reached the Bird Nest Stadium at 9.30 p.m. and we are not allowed in or near to take photo. My husband need a  public toilet urgently and had been looking for it about half an hour still can't find it.  When he saw the security guards and ask them in his famous Cantonese Mandarin, non  of the guards understand what he want.  To solve his big problem, he had to express himself in baby language :~ "I  need a wee!!!"
"OMG, what a night , and then they understand him. It was so hilarious that I couldn't laughing at my old man.

 Oh!, Oh!, it was 10.30 p.m. now and the last bus is at 11.00 p.m., we are in big trouble as we had no idea what bus will take us back to our hotel.

Asked for direction for sub station, but non of the locals know where it is and advise us to take a bus instead. Unfortunately, we alighted at the wrong bus stop  and asked a lady riding bicycle for help. She told us that we can get our bus to the hotel are 3 bus stops away. she gave us the directions in detail, and shouted to us that our bus was here  and hurry up to catch it.

Thank goodness, we managed to get our last bus back to the hotel.
What a happy ending for the day but our poor legs had been walking more than 60 km for the whole day. Tomorrow we still have a long walk to the Great Wall.

Photos : supply by Cat Tan
Places: Tian'anmen Square
            Temple of Heaven
             Forbidden Palace
             Hou Hai
             Bird Nest Stadium
Dated: on 3/5 2012