29 Oct 2009 – Happy Bdays LAM Kwok Lock & Kiera CHUA
Xiamen/XMN 厦门: The boat ride and tour to the small island of Gulangyu 鼓浪屿, where Peggy TAN’s mother was from and the only piano museum in China was pleasantly refreshing as cars are not allowed there. Appreciations to TAN Kah Kee/TKK’s 陳嘉庚 descendants, Management, Committee and Staff of the TKK Museum, Overseas Chinese Museum & Jimei Schools for all their hospitality and kindness throughout the XMN stay. Thank you for all the books, DVDs and postcards. Without Peggy, this China visit would have not happened.
Changsha/CSN 长沙: app 80mins flight from XMN where the recorded history in CSN can be traced back to 3,000 years. Two names that earn CSN’s reputation among tourists are Chairman Mao Zedong (photographed in the restaurant he frequented) and Yuelu Academy. Otherwise it is just another big bustling modernized city with loud noisy crowds, still spitting everywhere and the traffic plus pollution uncomfortable for the ears, eyes and nose! Cannot imagine how the lungs will look like living there.
Zhangjiajie/ZJJ 张家界: app 4hrs drive from CSN, ZJJ is known for its mountains and National Forest. The weather and views were wonderful but unfortunately the loud pushy spitting crowd has no concept about queuing! Places of interest visited- Huanglong Caves 黄龙洞, YuanJia Jie 袁家界, HeLong Gardens 贺龙公园, JunBianCi 金鞭溪, ShuiRaoShiMing 水绕四门, BaoFeng Lake 宝峰湖, Tianmen Mountains 天门洞景区, where the longest cable-way ride in the world is located, 7.4km. Due to fog or maybe smog, 4hrs delay at CSN airport on route back to XMN. Our charming young local guide, Tina did a good job taking care of our group of 12 demanding and whiney senior citizens 🙂
Food was on the greasy and salty side, otherwise tasty. Unless one wears ear-plugs and oxygen masks, be prepared for the noise and smog. The only times I wish I was a male was when public restrooms had to be used. Chinese, more or less, what an eye-opener but no doubt more Overseas-Chinese. As for being fully Chinese of race, there are more doubts every time I see my grandchildren who are completely blond and blue-eyed. But there are less doubts to the observations on the new China and her people today where I feel uninviting. Common Sense to Self-Censor (posting 28 Jun 2009) are less in today’s so-called civilized over-populated world with the consequences and reality where everyone for themselves and survivors of the fittest are more 🙁
Learn without thinking begets ignorance. Think without learning is dangerous – Confucius