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Yeik Loen's Travel log

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Log entries 1 - 10 of 14 Page: 1 2

Apr 11, 2006 06:00 PM Arriving in Vietnam

Vietnam has always been in my list of countries that I wanted to visit and finally I am here. My Vietnam Air flight to Hanoi was scheduled to depart at 1530hrs but it was rescheduled to depart an hour later without any notification. I remember when I was young my parents use to call up to the airport everytime they took a flight just to confirm that they flight was departing as scheduled.

Anyway my3hrs non-stop flight to Hanoi was good, the flight was only merely 30% full and the flight had 6 stewardess and 3 steward is I could recall.

The first impression of Vietnam when I arrive in the airport was this is a very old airport and the maintainance is quite bad so all my expectation has just drop to almost zero, had more expectations. During the queue in the immigration I met a vietnamese girl who was working in Lebanon for the past 3 years and first time returning to Hanoi to visit her family and I remember the first sentence she way was, "Look how bad our airport is!"

Jan 27, 2005 09:00 PM Driving From Malaysia To Thailand

Started my drive from my office at about 4.30pm and arriving at Malaysian Changloon town to apply for my insurance from one of many tour company along the road leading to CIQ Complex. Pass the Thai Immigration at 9pm Malaysian Time or 8pm Thai Time and its an hour drive from the border to Hatyai. Everything was smooth sailing.

Jan 03, 2004 09:00 PM The Ancient Capital Of Qin Dynasty

The Ancient Capital Of Qin Dynasty After arriving from a laid back city of Luoyang, it was actually nice to see people, cars, and nightlife. Xi'an is so much different from the other cities which we were like Hangzhou, Suzhou and Nanjing, there are so much more energy and vibes around this another 6 million population city. The night before, I arrived at about 2100 though of getting something by the roadside across the hotel to eat. It was really cheap food again and the fried noodle was one of the best as well, spicy fried noodles.

This is the tricky part, as usual, I am quite a Lonely Planet guy, took the book, got into a cab and got off at the train station....!! My god, in front of the train station look like a football field with people rushing here and there. On the book it say the bus to Terracotta or Bingmayong is opposite the station, wow, its about like 500m in lenght, which part since there are about a dozen bus stops. Took like 15minutes before meeting a girl that was going that direction, on the same bus..!! WOW what a relief. The ride was RMB8 for return journey, unlimited stops but this bus does no pass the Neolithic Village anymore. The journey took about an hour to the bus stop at Terracotta passing the hot spring and Qin Shi Huang Tomb.

The bus stop was not how I was expected it would be, they are

Jan 02, 2004 09:00 PM Dissapointing Bus System

Dissapointing Bus System As Longmen was the main attraction of Luoyang, and there was no way I could get to Pingyao as time is the factor, I stayed in Luoyang and thought of getting my arse to Shaolin in the morning and returning to Luoyang to take a bus to Xi'an.

After checking out, got to the bus station and thought of buying the bus ticket to Xian which was suppose to be on a sleeper and leaving at 1900 (7pm). But I was told to reutn back at 1800 to buy the ticket since they are not open for sale. Fine, I then bought a bus ticket to Shaolin costing RMB14 one way which ws suppose to leave at 10.30am, but they didn't leave until 11.45am, so I thought screw it, I want my money back, So I got down and went to this girl at the bus station and ask if I could get my money back, this is when the bus started to move, okay got into the bus and it was moving like a tortoise, did not more more than 10km in almost 30mins. Got down in some stupid place and took a cab to Baima Si (White Horse Temple instead) which cost me about RMB20.

Baima Si is suposse to be the oldest Buddhist temple in China dating back to the 1 A.D. when a monk from Afghanistan brought 2 buddhist tablet on 2 white horse, hence the name of this temple. There is a very nice garden adjoining to this temple with one of the first pagoda erected in China, it is suppose that you clap your hand about 20feet away from the temple you could hear a frog crocking. There is also another temple near the premises which look exactly like a Thai Wat, could go there, since it looks like a restricted area and couldn't ask anyone as they did not understand me....!!!

Since it was still early, I decided to get back to Luoyang and visit the Tomb museum which is located near the airport. This is quite an interesting museum since all the tomb the chinese digged was displaey in this museum with a real tomb where you can go under and see a half broken coffin with nothing inside except for a few RMB coins and notes.

I then rush back to the bus station in Louyang and try to get a ticket Xian, when I got to the bus station, I was told that they bus was leaving in 10mins...!!!! Thats was 1710 (5.10pm) when I was told so I asked her if there was another bus later and she said this is the lastest fast bus and the next bus was at 2300 and take about 10-12 hours...!!!! GOD...!!! I told her that I will quickly run back to the hotel and ask her to get the driver to wait for me. Got back to my bag and return in 5mins...

The bus ride was about 4 hours from station to station except that you see the real culture of the chinese travellers, smoking and spitting in the bus. The highlight was the stop at one of the toll plaza, shit was all over the lace, wonder if they knew that flush actually existed..!!!

Arrive in Xi'an at about 2200 after being stopped by a police do not know for what reason.

Got in a cab and checked into YMCA, which is located in the best location in Xian.

Jan 01, 2004 09:00 PM Luoyang - A Capital For Nine Dynasties

Luoyang - A Capital For Nine Dynasties After a week of travelling, we arrive at Luoyang at about noon. Before arriving here, did very little reading except for the Longmen Grottoes. Only wehn we were about to arrive, it was just another huge city with another 6 million population except that it was quite dirty..!!

This city unlike other cities along the eastern coast, the touts are quite persistant and they will follow you wherever you go. I went shopping around for hotel with two other ladies following me and insisting me on staying in their recommended hotel. But I prefer to stay soewhere near the bus station since that is where you can get the bus to the grottoes and Shaolin.

Right after checking in at Tian Ying Hotel which is located right opposite of the bus station and cost only RMB100 a night, a bargain for the location. I took a bus to Longmen from the bus from the train station to the grottoes which took about an hour to get there. This is something you have to really see, thusand of buddha statues carving from 1 inches to more than 30feet at least with a river passing it. Longmen Grottoes is also listed as a World Heritage Site. Waited for sunset efore taking a bus back to Luoyang.

For dinner, I had a really good chinese food that cost less than RMB40 with 4 dishes, meat, veg, mix and "Siew Long Pow" (15 for RMB5) in quite a good restaurant.

Dec 31, 2003 09:00 PM Sun Yat Sun Mousoleum

Sun Yat Sun Mousoleum Woke up and did a check out. Found a place to eat near the uni, cheap noodles, a plate of fried noodles for only about 3 yuan. After that following the map of Nanjing that I have purchase yesterday, the bus route has changed
again, waited like for 30mins for a bus that no longer passes....!!! Luckily a lady came to my rescue and told us to take any bus from here and take another bus from Gulou. From here I took a bus to Zijin Shan, then this bus driver just stop at the foot of the hill....!!! when the bus was actually suppose to go all the way up...!!

First stop, Sun Yat Sun's Mousoleum, some historian calls him the father of China..!!! After he died, a mousoleum for him where he wanted to be burried. This is a very impresive complex for a non-royalty in China. If I can remember, you have to climb almost 400 steps from halfway to get to his tomb / mousoleum (you could only see his coffin). At the front of the entrance you will be able to see a rock carving of him with a Kuomintng Flag on the ceiling. At the back of the tomb, there is a small garden and some photos of Sun Yat Sun during this prime time.

Dec 31, 2003 09:00 PM After The Mousoleum

After The Mousoleum From here, got back to the road and took another bus towards the Linggu Pagoda, this is a huge area, a pagoda, some temples and a tomb and a whole lot more, you can rent a bicycle when you enter the compound, we didn't so we had a "really" good time walking. The pagoda isn't that impressive since it was
quite misty or more like hazy...!!!

As I got the RMB75 combine ticket, there is another site, which is the first Ming Emperor Tomb, which was suppose to be a world heritage site as well. This is a huge compound, there is 2 entrance to it, one is that you stop before you reach the rock animal carving road, or after the people carving. The tomb is has this huge entrance, like a whole block brick, very big when you stand at the entrace to this tomb. Right as you climbed up the steps, there is a wall, where a lot f people are actually trying to stick a coin on against the wall... tried but failed.

From here, I rushed back to the hotel to collect my bag to catch the train to Louyang, bought the ticket for about RMB225 on a Yingwo (Hard Sleeper), if you do not mind sharing with 5 other people, Yingwo is actually quite good, try to get the top bunk, since that is where you store your bags.

The train left Nanjing at 2050 and it will be a twelve hours ride passing the Nanjing Yangtze River Double Level Bridge.

Dec 30, 2003 09:00 PM Nanjing A Huge City

Nanjing A Huge City This is not an easy to go around as the map we bought is good but the bus route number on the map are just to small. A capital for a Chinese dynasty as well as the Kuomintang, Nanjing has a few historical event happen, but one of the most famous event was the Nanjing Massacre which happen during WWII by the Japanese.

Took bus from outsite the hotel to a bus stop to change another bus, but after the changing the bus, it did not stop where it was suppose to stop. There was no mention and we just went straight pass it. Took another bus and ask the driver to let us off at the museum. After visiting this place, you will just be asking, how did the Japanese could actually have done this, killing little children and innocent human who were trying to escape or hide...!!! Remember to eat something before you come to this place if you are thinking that there are restaurant around, I was very wrong.

Then took a bus back to Nanjing, headed to Heaven Dynasty Palace, I am not sure if its worth the money to visit the palace but bought a very artistic sweet made from hardening sugar, in a Dragon design for RMB5, Polishing your shoe for only RMB1 and candy floss for RMB1 as well. This whole place is overall a marketplace for antics and artisan. Not sure if they are used or stolen jade rings but you can get one for RMB1-3.

After that took another bus to the the 4.5km bridge supposingly build in the 60's to cross the Yangtze River. This was one of China biggest achievement during that time. I would suggest you to take a bus ride to the bridge, where you can stop instead of climbing 7 storey up to the road level. There are two level on this bridge, one for the road and another for the train.

I then took a bus from the bridge to Gulou, which is an old chinese tower near Henan Street. Walk to Henan Street for dinner and thought that I would be able to check out the price of a portable DVD but they were already closed by 9pm...!!! Had New Year Eve dinner at Stead and Buffet off Henan Street, with Strawberry coated with sugar for Dessert.

Then took a bus to Fuzimiao. which suppose to have good new year countdown, there were many people on the bus but when we got there it was empty...!!! no one in Nanjing celebrate New Year, a question that is still in my head...!!

Should have gone to Pingyao instead of staying another night in Nanjing.

Dec 29, 2003 09:00 PM Three Places In One Day

Three Places In One Day Woke up early to have the dumpling one last time before I leave this unforgettable town!

Took a bus from Tongli to Suzhou via Wujiang (This is where the chinese basketballer Yao Ming is from), the return journey only took about 50mins from the bus station to Suzhou southern bus station. Arrived at about 1230 and went straight back to the hotel to collect our left luggage. Then took another taxi to the northern bus station to catch another bus to Nanjing...!!! It was crazy, but manage to get the bus at 1400 and arrive at about 1640 at Nanjing bus station. The first impression I got on Nanjing was it was a bloody huge city with lots of cars.

Got into a cab after going pass dozens of tout trying to sell you the same thing, Map of Nanjing, which you might want to get, comes with bus route, but not with the tout, you can get it at any kiosk in Nanjing.

Stayed in the Nanjing University Hostel, you can get a room here for RMB120 a night, quite a prime location about 20mins walk to Henan Road, which is very nicely litted up in the night. There is even this street called the light street, make it sound like Las Vegas...!!!

There are some nice restaurant located one on of the street of Henan Street.

But on this night, I went to Fuzimiao for dinner with a friend. We went to a very nice chinese restaurant located just next to Fuzi Temple. This restaurant was supposing in the olden days was a place for men...!!! After that we stroll around the area and guess what, the DVDs here are even cheaper, RMB6 for DVD5 and RMB12 for DVD9.

Didn't buy here bought it in another place, lots of obscure titles, indie film and some french movie. Even just shown HK movie, Infernal Affairs.

Dec 28, 2003 09:00 PM My Favourite Town Tongli

My Favourite Town Tongli As I was walking around Tongli last night, I came across this really nice entrance to an old house, went in and what a surprise, its a hotel, call the Family Hotel, the room were going for RMB120 for lower floor and RMB150 for upper floor. As I was suppose to go back today back to Suzhou for a night, after seeing this hotel, I decided that I have to stay for another night...!!!

In the morning, we checked out and checked into this old chinese hotel, even the bed was antic...!!! there were not knobs on the door, you need to use a wooden bar to look the, its like a dream come true...!!! comes with air con, TV, tea pot and a beautiful bathroom with hot water.

Spend sometime in the hotel taking picture, walk to the places which we were suppose to go yesterday and also this temple which is located on an island.

The prepaid mobile phone card China Telecom I bought in Pudong Airport could not be use so I got another one from China Unicom, if you plan to stay long in China, and you have a GSM phone, get on of this. To started pack is RMB150 plus RMB50 worth of talk time. One thing is that make sure you ask the seller if this card can be top up and use anywhere in China if you are travelling a lot inside China.

In the night, had some nice local food at this shop near the city hall, there are only 2, which you will not miss it, the lady is very friendly and I even translated some of the chinese dishes in english since I had problem reading chinese characters...!!! But if you ever go there and see anything wrong, please do correct it as some of the dishes I have not heard before...!!

There is a internet shop just outsite of the Tongli town, about 15mins walk from the city hall, no name just behind some tinted glass, but its call "Hoong Bar". RMB1 for an house and located on the street to the ferry pier.

Bought some beer and had it on the corridor in the hotel on a bloody cold night....!!! Freezing my arse off....:)

Overall this is one place I would like to come again...!!!

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