Tuesday, 26 June 2012

My Trips to Putuoshan, china -Day 10 on 10/5/2012

Woke up at 6.00 a.m. and went to the Laiyue Yacht Dock to take the morning view. Walking along the Wai Ma Road, enjoying a morning sunrise view before going back to the hotel to start our journey to Putuoshan.

Went to the coach station and took the bus to Shenjiamen the fare cost $50.00 rem. It took about 2 hours, and took a taxi which cost $20.00 rem to the harbour.  The ferry fare to Putuoshan is $25.00 rem and its took 15 to 20 minutes to reach there.

Once we reached the island, Lian Heng contact one of the tourist guide which cost $300.00 rem per day and for half a day was $150.00 rem as we reached there around 2.00 p.m. Trying to get a hotel room was a nightmare. A 2-stars hotel room cost $580.00 rem on Friday and the price go up for Saturday which is $980.00 rem. We are forced to take 3 rooms for 2 nights if not they are not letting out. Most of the hotel rooms are fully booked as we did not book in advance or contact the tourist guide to do the booking on our behalf.

 This photo was so cute - men caught in actions, one man was praying and yet in front of him another man had his 2 hands inside his trouser.

Putuoshan is a holy place where the believers of Buddhism come here to pay their respect.  The island have became a tourists attraction place which thousands of tourists flocking around.  The main living in this island depend on the tourisms and the biggest problems are the tourists from the China which I am sorry to say that they don't understand the meaning of queuing.

We had been push around by the China citizens, they simply just cut queue even we are queuing in a row. No doubt, this place have change dramatically since 23 years ago but the characters from most of citizens still had not progress and is the same as 23 years ago. After been pushing around by those China citizens, our tempers were getting hotter and hotter. The tour guide tell us to bear it or follow their example.

Waited for two and half hours and finally got the hotel rooms and left our suitcases at the hotel. The tourist guide took us to visit the 2 largest temples in this island first so that we can do our prayers as they close at 5.00 p.m.  Also all the temples are situated at the top of the hills and we have to walk a few  km uphills before we reached the temple. The 2 largest temple is Southern Heaven Gate and Kwan-yin of the South Seas and Puji Temple.
 This monk was busy playing on his mobile phone while in the same hall with all monks are chanting. We were not allow to go in to pray when the monks are gathered at the main hall of the temple chanting and praying. It was supposed to be a holy island where thousands of believers come to pay their respect to the Goddess and it was sick to see this attitude of monks acting so disrespect to their elders. When I ask the tour guide what was happening to all these monks, it seek to change since I had visit this place.  Been told that nowaday the monks are being pay thousands to train as a monk per month and they are all university graduates.

While waiting for my relatives and friends finished their prayers. I was curious why there was a crowds  surrounding a fence tree so went and had a good look. Oh! it was a squirrel busy eating the foods provided by the tourists and there was a rat been passing through and the crowds were busy to see whether the squirrel will snap and catch it. Yea! the squirrel had caught his meal and hate to say this, but the crowds were roaring happily to see this squirrel in action.

Took our dinner at villages shop where they offered seafood dishes. The fish cost 4 times more expensive than in our country. They don't have chicken as that cost about ten times more expensive.  The dinner cost about $480.00 rem.

After we finished our dinner, we took a long walk from the harbour back to  our hotel which took about 45 minutes walk.  Reached our hotel and watch our chinese dramas again. Then my nephew, Raj went out to get some skewers of BBQ chickens, squids and vegetables for us. We enjoyed the food and drinking.

Times to rest now as I am totally knackered and have to wake up early tomorrow for my walk.
Oh! for our this 2 days, each of us spend $900.00 rem.

I totally do not recommend this place to anyone as it cost hell of lot of monies to stay and food are also expensive in here.  If you are a budget travellers please avoid this island at all cost. As a national park this one charges for every entrance and every temples entrance there is a charge before you can go in. Also the crowds, there are thousands of crowds around here everyday.

Place: Putuoshan, china
Photo: By Robert and Cat Tan
Date: 10/5/2012

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

My Trips to Hong Kong-Days 8 and 9 on 8th and 9th of May 2012

Leaving Hong Kong today, to go to Ningbo by train due to the flight ticket cost HK$2,200.00 per person is too expensive. We took the MTR tram to Shen Zhen.

Before we check in at the Immigration Counter, we have to fill in the immigration form for entry. Been asked to help another couple to fill the entry form for them also.

Reached Shan Zhen Train Station, unfortunately all tickets were sold out. We have no alternative so we bought the coach tickets from the black market to Ningbo. The exact price for per person is $220.00 rem to $270.00 rem. We had to bargain the price from 400.00 rem to 350.00 rem. one person.

It was shorter journey by coach than by train. By coach it will take us about 13 to 14 hours and by train it will take us about 16 to 18 hours.  I had never sit a coach with double decked bed on. Everyone is allotted to a bed and given a plastic bag to put our shoes. I can't stand it due other passengers can smoke non-stop in the coach. The coach stop several times to delivery goods and picking up passengers along the journey. We are allow one stop where we can have our dinner at a motor way cafe shop but the foods there look quite scary. Lucky, we bought some biscuits and drinks with us so we don't have to take any dinner at there.

Lot of passengers just bought pot noodles from the shop and they supplied hot water to put into it. It take about 14 hours to reached Ningbo. Finally, we reached East Ningbo and asked for direction to the train station. We want to get our train tickets back to Hong Kong in advance.

Walking to take a bus to the train station, we found a food stall with a few cooked dishes displayed on a warmer and stop for our dinner and lunch. The food from this local shop is cheap. It cost us about £2.50 for 4 dishes and with 1 bowl or rice and a plate of noodles. The food were hot and beautifully cooked.

Reached the train station, can't get the advance tickets to Hong Kong  due to they only able to sell advance tickets for 6 days and not 10 days. So we took a bus to buy the bus cards so that we can get a 60% off which is the same price as what the local pay for. I did a silly mistake by getting the daily card for everyone. The bus card cost $20.00 rem as deposit and whatever amount you want to put into it.

At 12.30 p.m., the coach to the airport at 1.00 p.m. Bought the ticket for $12.00 rem and reached the airport at 12.30 p.m. and waiting for my relatives and friends to arrive Ningbo from Singapore. They arrived at the Ningbo Airport at 6.30 p.m. and also never buy or have any refreshments from this Airport it cost alot for a cup of latte or drinks. The latte cost about $60.00 rem to $100.00 rem for a cup.

Oh! the flight arrived in time and my relatives and friends are here now. My friend, Lian Heng arranged for hotel rooms and then we took 2 taxis to the hotel.

Once  check into the hotel rooms, we went out for dinner. The fast food shop in Wai Ma Road. I had not seen my sisters, nephew and friends for about 2 years. Enjoyed ourselves chatting to each other.

After dinner, we took a walk on the Old Custom Site of Zhejiang. Leading to the Laiyue Yacht Dock. This place was flooded with tourists enjoying themselves in the pubs and along the Dock. Ningbo have changed in the last 23 years, blocks of tall buildings surrounding around the Dock.  This area is the Swire Foreign Firms and The British Consulate in here also. Ningbo has progress into a busy tourists and trading Central, especially now the governments are still doing works on the expansion on the seas to woo more businesses with other countries. Walking from the East to the North of Ningbo can see more progress and expansions have been put to this little town and wonder what will be change in the next 5 or 10 years.

Beautiful night scenery and after our walk, we returned to the hotel. The hotel room for 1 night cost about $240 to $280 rem. We got 3 rooms for 8 of us. Been back to the hotel rooms and found that there  was lot of chinese drama shows on the TV programs for us to enjoy.

Love the Laiye Yacht Dock and will come early the next morning to take a walk around here again.

Place: Ningbo, China
Photos: Taken by Robert and Catherine
Date: 8th May and 9th May 2012