Thursday, 12 March 2009

Hong Kong trip – 12 Mar 09

We wake up quite early today at 7.45am as we are heading to Shenzhen. We packed our bags and check out first. We bought sandwiches from the shop below and went to MacDonald and bought hot chocolate and had our breakfast there.
We walked to Mong Kok East train station to take the train to Luohu. The fare from Mong Kok East Station to Luohu cost HK$31.30 ~ S$7 and the journey takes about 45min. There is a first class cabin which cost much more expensive. As we board the train during off-peak hour, there are seats available. The interior of the train is similar to the MTR.

Inside the train
Where is the charcoal?
We reached Luo Hu at around 9.40am and clear the immigration clearance. As I couldn't find the direction sign to the metro station, I asked a policeman and was told that the metro station is located at the right side. I saw a transparent shelter and walk towards it and saw that the metro station is located below.
Luohu immigration clearance building Luohu 罗湖
As we only had RMB100 noted, we exchange the note at the metro customer service counter to change to smaller notes. The machines only accept RMB 5 and RMB 10 notes. The fare from Luohu to Laojie is RMB2 ~ S$0.40 and the metro ticket is those token in round shape. Tap the token at the gate when boarding and drop the token at the gate when exiting.
Metro station
Tokens to board the metro

The metro is very clean, comparable to our MRT and there are televisions inside the metro.
Inside the metro

We spent quite some time finding the hotel after exiting from metro exit A as there are not many street signs. I saw a police booth and went in to ask for direction and the policeman told me that this street is the street I am looking for. I walked further down the street and found Shenzhen Guest House. Shenzhen Guest House is located at Lao Jie which is very accessible to the shopping area of Dongmen.
Shenzhen Guest House 深圳迎宾馆
We checked in and is required to pay a deposit of RMB500. Although the check-in time is 2pm, we were given a room upon checking in.
Hotel lobbyLift lobby
Although the price is similar to the Hong Kong hostel but the room is definitely much bigger. There is cigarette smell when we entered the room, the smell is still there until the next morning. In the future, I would request for a non-smoking room since I found that most of the Mainland Chinese tend to smoke. We left our bags and went out within half an hour.
Inside the room
Dongmen shopping area is the No.1 shopping center of Shenzhen and there are so many shops and people.
Shenzhen cab
Police cabby
Such a unqiue building to house KFC

We board the MRT to Hua Qiao Cheng station 华侨城站 as Splendid China 锦绣中华·民俗村 is located here. The entrance fee is RMB 120 ~ S$27. Splendid China has two park - a beautiful miniature scenic spot of China and the Chinese Folk Culture Village. We took almost the whole day to tour the scenic spot of China. There are 81 scenic spots which are duplicated in the ratio of 1:15.
Splendid China
Horse carriage
Where we had our lunch

We had our lunch inside Splendid China. We ordered a set lunch which cost RM40 ~ S$8 for two people. There are 4 dishes in clockwise direction from top left - 酸辣红薯粉,龙抄手,芝麻汤圆,北京凉粉。The portion is huge for two of us and I don't find the food really nice cos maybe not used to these type of food except 龙抄手 which taste like wanton and 芝麻汤圆.
Set lunch
Students on excursion

Below are some of the famous scenic spots in China. Now I realise that there are so many places in China and I doubt anyone can tour the whole of China during lifetime.
The Mogao Caves are the best known of the Chinese Buddhist grottoes and, along with Longmen Grottoes and Yungang Grottoes, are one of the three famous ancient sculptural sites of China.
Mogao Grottoes 莫高窟
Longmen Grottoes 龙门石窟
Yungang Grottoes 云冈石

Leshan Giant Buddha is the largest stone-carved buddha in the world. The stone sculpture faces Mount Emei, with the rivers flowing below his feet.
Leshan Giant Buddha 乐山大佛

Scientific research has shown that what is now the Stone Forest was a shallow sea 270 million years ago. A vast stretch of limestone sediment formed over the years on the seafloor. The seabed rose gradually as a result of the crustily movement. The shapes of the limestone were formed by million year’s exposure to rains, winds, and other nature elements.

Yunnan stone forest 云南石林

Perched on the side of Heng Shan Mountain, on the west face of Jinxia Gorge, is Xuan Kong Si. The temple was built into the caves in 491. The monastery complex comprises forty rooms with a combined space of 152 square metres, interconnected by exterior walkways. The highest of these, formerly 90 metres above the riverbed, is now 58 metres above.

Xuan Kong Si (The Suspended Monastery) 悬空寺

The three gorges are Qutang gorge 瞿塘峡, Wu gorge 巫峡 and Xiling gorge 西陵峡 with a total length of approximately 200 km. Due to the construction of the three gorges dam, the three gorges scenery will be changed upon completion of the dam. It's a pity that I didn't have a chance to visit the three gorges before the construction of the dam.

Yangzte Three Gorges 长江三峡

There is a garden where the trees are planted the who's who and know what, I found Osmanthus tree here. My tree!!! However there is no osmanthus, so sad, didnt have a chance to see how osmanthus look like.
Osmanthus tree 桂花树

Tian ya hai jiao is a popular beach resort in the southern part of Hainan Province. On the beach is a giant rock, on which carved with two Chinese characters "Tianya" (the Edge of Sky). Beside it is a reposing rock, on which was carved with "Haijiao" (the Rim of Sea).

Tianya Haijiao 天涯海角

Huangshan is located at Anhui province and is eulogized as “天下第一奇山”。The area is well known for its scenery, sunsets, peculiarly-shaped granite peaks, Huangshan Pine trees, and views of the clouds from above. 奇松,怪石,云海和温泉堪称“四绝”。Mount Huang is also known for its stone steps carved into the side of the mountain of which there may be more than 60,000 throughout the area. The date at which work on the steps began is unknown but they have been said to be over 1,500 years old.

Xu Xiake, a noted traveller of the Ming's dynasty once exclaimed: "It is superfluous to visit other mountains after the sightseeing of China's five sacred peak nor it is necessary to visit other four sacred peaks after enjoying Huangshan's picturesque scenery." 明代旅行家徐霞客曾叹道:“五丘归来不看山,黄山归来不看丘”。

Huangshan 黄山

Can see how small is the minature compared to me?

This is the most disappointed minature. The minature which they built tarnished the picturesque scenery of Alishan in my heart. =( Know what, Taiwan is described as China's largest island.

Taiwan & Alishan 台湾&阿里山

West lake is a fresh water lake located in Hang Zhou. OMG, Osmanthus can been found in West lake and the blooming period commences from early September to early November. Now I know where to see Osmanthus, hehe...
West lake 西湖

Hanshan temple (Cold mountain temple) is a Buddhist monastery located in Suzhou and is famous for it's bell ring. Every year on New Year's Eve in the Chinese lunar calendar, the bell is tolled to pray for the happiness and safety of the coming New Year. This pilgrimage attracts thousands of tourists. There is a poem "A Night Mooring by Maple Bridge" written by Zhang Ji, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. In this poem, Zhang described the midnight bell rings of the Hanshan Temple. Since then, the temple has become famous, especially for its bell rings and Buddhism culture.


Hanshan temple (Cold mountain temple) 寒山寺

The City God Temple in Shanghai originated as the Jinshan God Temple, dedicated to the spirit of Jinshan, or "Gold Mountain", an island off the coast of Shanghai. It was converted into a City God Temple in 1403, during the Yongle era of the Ming dynasty.

Shanghai Old City God Temple 城隍庙

Tai shan is one of Taoist Five Sacred Mountain in China. According to Chinese mythology, the Five Sacred Mountains originated from the limbs and the head of Pangu 盘古, the first being and creator of the world. Because of its eastern location, Mount Tai is associated with the rising sun which signifies birth and renewal. Due to this interpretation, it is often regarded as the most sacred of the Five Great Mountains 五丘独尊. In accordance with its special position, Mount Tai is believed to have been formed out of Pangu's head. The other sacred mountain are Hua shan 华山, Heng shan 衡山, Heng shan 恒山 and Song shan 嵩山。


Shanhaiguan is the starting point of the Great Wall in the eastern sector. As this pass was wedged between the yang mountains and Bo Sea, it is called Shanhaiguan (the pass between the mountains and the sea) and is renowned as "the First Pass Under Heaven" “天下第一关”。

Shanhai Pass 山海关

The Great Wall of China was built between 220–206 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. The Great Wall stretches over approximately 6,400 km from Shanhaiguan in the east to Lop Nur in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia.

It was believed that the Great Wall is the only object on earth that is visible to human eye from the moon. but this was rebutted by several astronauts.

Great Wall of China 万里长城

The Forbidden City is the world's largest surviving palace complex and covers 72 ha. It consists of 980 surviving buildings with 8,707 rooms. An interesting fact is no trees can be found inside Forbidden city to prevent the emperor's assassinator from hiding on the trees.
Forbidden City 故宫
It is a temple where the Emperor's of Ming & Qing dynasty worship to Heaven for good harvest. The wall around the Imperial Vault of Heaven is the well-known Echo Wall (Huiyinbi). What is interesting about the wall is the fact that if one person speaks or even whispers at one side of it, another would be able to hear rather clearly on the opposite side. This is because of the conductibility of sound waves; the wall itself has eaves and is hermetically laid. These factors are supposed to let human voice "travel" round the wall easily.
Temple of heaven 天坛
Am i synchronized to the terracotta?
The terra cotta army is the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. The Terracotta Army figures lie underground for more than 2,000 years. In 1974, farmers digging a well about 1500 meters east of the tomb uncovered one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world.
Terra cotta army 兵马俑

Yingxian wooden pagoda is located at Shanxi province and was built in 1056. It appear to be five storey but in fact it is nine storey for it's four hidden storey. This wooden structure pagoda did not use any nail and rivet and is the only highest and oldest Buddha pagoda built with wood only.

Yingxian wooden pagoda 应县木塔

The palace was built in the 7th century by King Songtsen Gampo in order to greet his bride Princess Wen Cheng of the Tang Dynasty of China. Lozang Gyatso, the Great Fifth Dalai Lama, started the construction of the Potala Palace in 1645. The White Palace used to be the living quarter of Dalai Lama while the Red Palace is completely devoted to religious study and Buddhist prayer.
Potala Palace 布达拉宫

We rested and have coconut drink before leaving Splendid China. We board the metro back to the hotel and rested until 7pm before we went out for dinner.
Such a huge coconut for RMB10

We had dinner at a cafe near the hotel. The dinner cost us RMB28 ~ S$6 which is cheaper than Hong Kong.
Our dinner

After dinner, we went to the supermarket nearby to buy mineral water before heading back to the hotel.
Durians can also be found in China so who say the Chinese don't like durians

>>Day 6: 13 Mar 09

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