Showing posts with label Holiday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holiday. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Kunming-Dali-Lijiang-Shangri-la Tour

8D7N Kunming-Dali-Lijiang-Shangri-la Tour from 9-16 March 2014 (with one way domestic flight return from Lijiang to Kunming). It is interesting to note that at each place, there is a different lady tour guide covering their areas. The tour guides are very professional and competent.

Do click here to view 186 photos courtesy of yours truly (KC Leong).

 Yunnan Stone Forest - a remarkable natural phenomena of China with bizarre-shaped  ancient limestone cliffs and peaks which is created by wind and water erosion.

Every meal comes with eight dishes and two soup plud two bottles of beer and a big bottle of soft drink; at time, we have 10 dishes (instead of 8).

 Jiuxiang Scenic Area - with over 10 karst caves of different sizes (karst is a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks, eg limestone.

 Another group photo

 Dali N° Hotel - a brand new hotel features traditional Chinese architecture and a charming garden for guests to relax complete with free Wi-Fi in all areas

 At Dali with flowers in full bloom

 Flowers in full bloom almost devoid of leaves

 Lijiang Ancient Town which is a UNESCO World Heritage in 1997.

 Tiger Leaping Gorge at Lijiang - deepest gorge in the world. In the olden days, villagers saw tigers leaped across the gorge; hence, the name.

 Another view of the gorge ... Siew Teng

 En route to Shangri-la area which is about 3,500 meters above sea level. Weather is sunny and cold.

 At an ancient temple of Shangri-la 

 Shangri-La Cares Health Hotel ... complete with conventional heater

 Pudacuo National Park of Shangri-la - ice-covered ground even in spring (14 March 2014)

 At Bitahai Lake of Shangri-la ... with the 4th tour guide (5th from right)

 First Bend of Yangtze River at Stone Drum Village.

 Lijiang Ancient Town - Sifang Street which is registered on the UNESCO World Heritage.

 The Impression of Lijiang with Jade Dragon Snow Mountain as back drop - directed by the renowned China director, Zhang Yimou.

This show is performed at the huge outdoor theatre starting at 2:00 p.m. under bright sun but cold.

Posted by KC Leong

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Xian Tour

Xian Tour 19-22 March 2013 ... main attraction: 

Terracota Army (protecting the emperor in his afterlife), 
Famen Temple (keeping Budha's finger bone), 
Big Wild Goose Pagoda (keeping Buddhism scripture brought back from India by Master Xuanzang), 
Xian Ancient City Wall (14km in perimeter), 
Huaging Hot Spring (for emperor and concubine to spend the winter months), 
Hanyang Tomb, 
Tang Dynanty Music and Dance Show, 
Bell and Drum Towers, 
Shaanxi History Musuem, etc.

Do click here to view 217 photos taken at Xian courtesy of yours truly (KC Leong).

To view in Picasa format, when in photo album, wait for 3 seconds, “Click Here to go Back to Picasa Web Albums” will appear at top of screen.

The Terracotta Army or the "Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses", is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. 

Kneeling Archer - it is one kind of the armored infantryman. The pose of both hands evidences that this figure held one crossbow originally.

Do click here for the preceding tour - Beijing.

Posted by KC Leong

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Beijing Tour

An important palace in the Forbidden City where all important functions were been held here.

Do click here to view 266 photos taken at Beijing (from 13 to 18 March 2013) by yours truly (KC).

Stay tuned for more photos ...

Posted by KC Leong

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Beijing and Xi'an Holidays

Let me share with you a few photos of my two weeks’ holiday trip to Beijing and Xi’an (12-23 March 2013). Work is in progress to process the photo albums.

Beijing – Yours truly (KC) At Tiananmen Square; background is Forbidden City. It is clear sky, sunny but cold. 

When we touched-down at 8:00 a.m., the temperature was at 0 degree Celsius.

Tour guide: Siow Wang (small Wong). Frequently accompany tourists from China to visit Kuala Lumpur, his famous quote: Genting Highlands in Mandarin: ken ting hai len … sure destroy people’s life.

The next few days, Beijing was engulfed in haze, contributed by air-pollution and sand blew from China's arid northwest.

The Palace for staging very important functions during olden days

 The Great Wall of China. 
The famous quote by Mao Zedong on Great Wall (in Chinese) - He who does not reach the Great Wall is not a true man!

 A group photo at The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests – the tour group of 35 members.

 At the Olympic Boulevard … Background is Beijing's Olympic Stadium - Bird's Nest

 Dangdang Tram at Qianmen Avenue … branded and designer goods are sold here.

 Emperor’s Summer Palace … When it is hot in summer, they would stay here for a few months to enjoy the cooler weather.

Beijing – A visit to Prince Kung's Mansion. This garden is even bigger than the garden in Forbidden City.

Savouring the famous Peking Roasted Duck ... a waiter showing the correct way of eating.

Photos below are from Xi’an, a 1 hr 45 min flight journey from Beijing.
Xi’an City Wall – old and new. A 10 meters high wall with a perimeter of 14km, good for a round-trip running event. For a simpler method, rent a modern-time iron horse.

Tour guide (freelance): Lisa Wang, a certified tour guide and a very hardworking lady who explained in great length all the historical sites that we visited.

This pagoda houses all the Buddhist sutra/scriptures brought back by Xuan Zang from India. The pagoda is actually tilted one side due to the weight and the height.

The story of a monk accompanied by his three protectors in the form of disciples is commonly shown in movies and videos – Journey to the West.

 The flowers are blooming here in Xi’an. In another week’s time, the flowers should be full bloom by then.

Winter Retreat … Emperor and concubines would spend their winter here (about 4 months) in this hot spring area, complete with all the bathing pool.
What a way to enjoy life!

The Terracotta Army or the "Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses", is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BC and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife. (extract from internet)

Famen Temple 法门寺 -  keeps the finger bone of  Sakyamuni Buddha. 
Famen Temple becomes a Buddhist place of pilgrimage due to the discovery of what is claimed as a true relic of Buddha.

 The Tang Dynasty Court Music and Dances … The emperor and concubine

 Comfortable stay in 4- or 5-star hotels

 Every meal comes with 10 variety of dishes complete with two bottles of beer. What a way to live life. But the style of cooking in Bejing and Xian is very oily. 

Enchanting night scene at Xi’an

 Enchanting night scene at Xi’an

To be continued ... stay tuned for more photos.

Posted by KC Leong

Friday, April 13, 2012

Hong Kong Tour Photos (2)

My holidays continued after the New Zealand trip ... one week later, it was another 5D4N free-and-easy holiday in Hong Kong from 6 to 10 April 2012.

My family and I stayed at Imperial Hotel for the entire five days, a 3-star rating hotel with twin-sharing room of RM 400 per day. Located along the main road of Nathan Street, Tsim Sha Tsui of Kowloon, the hotel is a very convenient point with only a stone's throw away to MTR station (underground train), Victoria Harbour, Kowloon Park, and a few mega shopping complexes.

What a stark contrast: there was no blue sky in Hong Kong, only cloudy and gloomy sky there (compare to the scenery in New Zealand). Nevertheless, I managed to see one but only a man-made one in Venetian, a huge and modern casino in Macau (in Part 2 of the photo album).

Do click here to view Part 2 of the photo album with photos taken by yours truly (KC). Do hit F11 key to adjust the optimum displays sizes.

 Taking ferry ride to Macau ... super tall buildings are amazingly built just next to the seafront

My runner friend asked me just to bring the usual big luggage bag with only underwear inside to maximize the space for shopping when return. Luckily I brought more than the underwear as shopping is not any cheaper in Hong Kong based on those items that I wanted to buy. Maybe it was the location that I stayed or the wrong season as there was no sales at all.

Equipped with the addresses of sportswear outlets that I downloaded from Google, I went to almost 20 shopping complexes wanted to buy running and trekking related sportswear (eg. Nike, Adidas, Columbia, The Northface, etc); only to realise that they are as expansive as in Kuala Lumpur, if not cost more.

 Venetian Macau Casino – the mega casino ... taking free shuttle bus service from the jetty right to their doorstep

The price of food is also expansive in Hong Kong, easily 2 to 3 times more compare to Kuala Lumpur (after converting to Ringgit). I asked the hotel staff that where could I get those outdoor eatery stalls as shown in those Hong Kong movies; the reply: there is none in Tsim Sha Tsui areas.

There were lots of people walking on the pavement of streets in a hurriedly but orderly manner. There isn't much mad traffic jam (or honking) as in Kuala Lumpur. What amused me when I watched TV for the morning traffic watch/announcement (in the hotel room) was that there were only about five moving vehicles in the TV screen at any one moment while a few other main streets were devoid of vehicles. How I wish that this is happening in Kuala Lumpur.

 ahh... blue sky

The streets are clean as I saw in one morning that the workers were washing the pavement thoroughly with soap and water right in front of the Imperial Hotel, Nathan Street.
For the 5-day stay, we took public transport – buses and underground trains – that are fast and convenient. Especially the underground trains, they are well connected and extend right to the basement of shopping complexes. Taking a connecting train ride was such a breeze and the timing of the arrival of two trains was of military precision: the moment we alighted from a train, the next train was approaching the station while we walked across the railway line about 30 feet apart.

The only catch with the public transport: one has to walk a lot. My Mount Everest Base Camp trekking member, Wong FK, said that I do like to 'trek' in the concrete jungles ... :-)

I presume this is one of the reasons that there are not many over-sized or over-weight people in Hong Kong or China. We never take taxi even once there; the funny thing was that the moment we touch-down at LCCT Air Asia Terminal, Kuala Lumpur, we took taxi home.

  Just like in Venice of Italy

Last year (2011), a radio DJ from Taiwan was guested for one week in the local 98.8 FM Chinese airwave. One morning,  the topic of discussion was on rail transport in Kuala Lumpur. Seemingly quite surprise with the disconnected ride, he said: "when I alighted from the LRT at Dang Wangi underground rapid transit station (along Jalan Ampang), I have to walk to Shangri-La Hotel side for the connecting ride, about 300 meters away under the hot sun.
One observation that impressed me most is the number of skyscrapers that are being built in Hong Kong. Not only that that are many, they are very tall indeed, easily 50 stories high. Most fascinating point is that these skyscrapers are built very near to seafront.

Another impressive discovery has to be the visits to Macau. Long time ago, when I visited Macau, there were only a few casinos with the famous round-top building that look like a cage for birds. People say that once you are in this casino, a gambler would be like a bird and be trapped – or lose money. Today, there are many mega-sized casinos in Macau having different theme that our Genting's casino paled in comparison.

 Galaxy Macau Casino – another mega casino which is just opposite of Venetian

We were lucky that Sharon, a friend who lives in Hong Kong, was able to take us for sightseeing at Macau. The casino that we visited was the Venetian that has the theme of being in Venice. The casinos provide free bus shuttle service from jetty right to their doorstep, and the buses are even in better condition than the public buses.
Looks like a 5D4N visits is not enough as I have not got the time to visit Disneyland, Ocean Park and many other attractions – maybe next visits.

 One of the magnificient halls in Galaxy Macau Casino

Now you see it; now you don’t -- The giant diamond in Dancing Fountain ... inside Galaxy Casino

Galaxy Macau Wishing Crystals of good fortune ... as one walk across one of the three bridges over the well, reach out to the nine groups of enchanted crystals and wave your hands.
They will sense your movement and respond with nine enchanting harmonies and beautiful symbols of love to bring you health, wealth and good fortune (texts extracted from signboard)

 At the main square

The famous and historic Centre of Macao: The Ruins of St. Paul ... once under the Portuguese administration from mid-16th century until 1999, when it was returned to Chinese sovereignty.

 Looking down the flight of steps
 Sharon, a friend who lives in Hong Kong, lead us for sightseeing at Macau.

Lisboa Macau Casino ... the original one that looks like a round-top cage (at right) for birds – or gamblers

Another casino, MGM, on the left of photo frame ... night view at Macau

Wynn Casino – impressive display of synchronised fountains that dance to the tune of pleasant music

Day 5 (10 April 2012) lunch at Sivlercord Shopping Complex, Kowloon before we depart to airport for heading home.
Lots of variety with choices of Japanese, Taiwanese, Korean and Chinese food.

Hong Kong International Airport – a very busy airport with aeroplanes lining-up waiting for their turn to take off.

At the background are 20 blocks of 60-story high condominiums. A very good feng shui location (fronting sea and back support with mountain) save for the noise pollution from the aeroplanes.

That completed the 5D4N holidays in Hong Kong.

Do click here to view Part 1 of the photos.

Posted by KC Leong