A Travellerspoint blog

John and Dean's China adventure

Hangzhou

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We took the train from Ningbo to Hangzhou. Didn't seem to take that long. It was nice to just sit and look out the window. I love trains. When we arrived it was a bit chaotic. Dean was hungry and we had to find our guide. Here is a picture of Dean at the station, trying to smile.
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Once we found our guide we were off to lunch and Hefang Street.
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We walked to the temple above the city for some great views. Had Caroline, our guide take our picture. She was also a dream guide. So nice and willing to take us anywhere we asked and trust me Dean asked, from site seeing to apartments and to where the locals eat, she was so gracious.
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Then we walked around the West Lake through Willow Park.
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I have to say that this was my favorite city. The lake was beautiful the people were so nice and the gardens were extraordinary. Here are a few pictures around the lake. More in the photo gallery
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It was time for tea. We traveled up in the mountains to the Dragon Tea plantation were we sat and had green tea.P1010391.jpg
Yes, that's Caroline our guide and Jean one of the family owners of Dragon tea. By the end of our 3rd cup of tea, she had invited Dean and I to live with them and work on the tea plantation. Dean was almost ready to until she said it was family style. You all live under one roof and share everything. We took her number, bought some tea and took a picture with Mr. Dragon himself.
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We then headed to Lingyin Temple, a enormous property with buddha's the size of buildings. Feilai Feng Peak with limestone carvings of Buddha and Quan Yin. Here are a few pictures, there are more in the photo gallery.
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Dean patiently waiting while I take yet another picture.
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Posted by JohnVosler 06:02 Archived in China Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

John and Dean's China adventure

Ningbo

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Our guides name was Echo and she was darling. So cute and sweet.P1010250.jpg
She took us to the Moon lake park where we just walked and talked. Dean was asking about apartments in the city, where to live and schools. She wanted to show us the sites. So we went to the oldest library in China, founded in 1561 during Ming Dynasty by Fan Qin.
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We walked in the gardens.
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They claim that Ningbo was the origin of mahjong. They certainly had the museum to prove it.
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As we walked the streets we found yet another couple getting their wedding picture taken.
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We drove to the city center and then to a place called century city. We stopped a guy in the courtyard and asked about rentals. He took us to his place but it was still under construction. He then took us to an office that was no bigger than a narrow hallway with 12 people sitting in little desks. It was lunch time and everyone was eating chinese food, while talking so loud on the phone, I had to stand outside while Dean and Echo asked about rentals. Once Dean started speaking chinese they immediately started to talk to one another in Cantonese so he wouldn't understand. Next thing I know we are in the van on our way to see an apartment. Later I found out that this fabulous apartment belonged to a friend of one of the ladies in the office and she didn't want anyone else to get the listing. Business is business. It was a great apartment but he wanted to rent it for one year, we only wanted it for 6 weeks. Interesting day in quaint Ningbo.

Posted by JohnVosler 02:13 Archived in China Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

John and Dean's China adventure

Zhuhai-Guangzhou-Xiamen

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After a couple of days we left Zhuhai and took a car to Guangzhou where we then flew to Xiamen. Xiamen is an island directly across from Taiwan. When we arrived our guide took us to the beach in an van with no air-conditioning and it was a hot day. Dean threw a fit, in chinese, saying that he requested a car with ac since we were going to be in it all day sight seeing. He was startled that Dean spoke chinese and it took him a minute for it to sink in. I think he was very new at his job. young guy, sweet but a bit clueless. After more discussion he finally got it. The next day they arrived with an air-conditioned van. It made it so much better. The air was okay outside but after a while you could feel it in your lungs. We drove to the side of the island that faces Taiwan, there is a huge sign that say's "One Country Two Systems" So at night they turn on the lights so everyone in Taiwan can see it. Just a side note, there are talks going on between the two as we speak. Opening more avenues of travel, boat and plane. Here is a couple of pictures of the sign.
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We went to Gulangyu Island by ferry. It was a five minute ride. There are no buses, cars or bikes allowed. Needless to say it was a very peaceful place after all the hustle and bustle of so many chinese cities. Only about 50,000 people live here.
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Beautiful views and gardens. Locals go there to get wedding photos taken. In almost every city we went to someone was getting their wedding photo taken. Interesting that while so many are getting married here prop 8 wasn't passing in LA. oops, not going there. Some great wedding pictures of couples in Xiamen.
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On our way to the top of Gulangyu island we took a photo of this statue which honors The Peoples Army.
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Then the view from the top. Looking back over to Xiamen.
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and before we knew it, it was time time to eat. :)
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Afterwards we looked around a couple of neighborhoods to see if we wanted to live there. Went in a couple of apartments and service hotels. Then off to the airport for our flight to Ningbo. Fast and furious couple of days.

Posted by JohnVosler 00:30 Archived in China Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

John and Dean's China adventure

In the beginning

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Welcome to John and Dean's China adventure blog. I've never done this before so bear with me. Then again I've never been to China before either. It's all new.

I wanted to start from the beginning, when our friend Tina dropped us off at the LAX airport bound for China. Unfortunately I don't have a picture to place here of Tina or the departure but you get the drift. We were seated upstairs in the plane and were treated like kings. Japan Airlines was the way to go. Had lunch and dinner, watched a couple of movies had a couple of drinks then off to bed. When we woke up we were landing in Japan. Quick connection to Guangzhou, China. I must say that it was a long day. We left Los Angeles at 11am and we arrived in our hotel in Guangzhou at 8am the next day, Los Angeles time. Did I mention it was a long day?

The next morning we met our driver. He had a very small car and our luggage didn't fit. We had intended to leave our two larger pieces of luggage at our friend Rochelle's apartment in Macao, just across the boarder from Zhuhai. We had requested a larger car to accommodate our luggage and when that didn't happen Dean began speaking Chinese. I think it startled the driver the bell boy and the people standing around us. Not sure if it was his use of the language or his delivery. We stuck a suit case in the front seat, one between us and then our two little suit cases in the trunk. Two hours later we peeled ourselves out of the compact and made our way to the hotel.

The next morning we had breakfast in the hotel. We sat in between 5 different couples with 5 chinese babies. All there to get their shots and take a baby home. I got bit nervous when Dean started asking them questions about adopting, what shots they needed and how long they had waited to adopt a baby. I was just happy to get out of there with coffee and toast. They were very sweet beautiful babies.

We met up with our driver who took us to the ferry. We boarded a ferry to Macao with our luggage and met up with Rochelle.
Macao is like Las Vegas, casinos and shopping. We drove around Taipa with our guide Amy. She took us to the Venetian for a quick walk through. Rochelle took us to a great Thai place where we had lunch. Then we went to Macao's oldest buddhist temple. Fun day in the city, then back to Zhuhai.

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Posted by JohnVosler 00:28 Archived in USA Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

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