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Monday, 13 April 2020

8D Xi'An China, Day 7

Destination: Xi'An (China)

Duration: 8 days 9 to 16 Nov  2019
Mode of travel: Celebrity tour with CTC Travels
Damage: $1419/pax + RMB200 (fee for guides) + RMB600 (cable car and performance)
Flight: Scoot, we had 20kg baggage and 7kg hand carry, 1 dinner
Accommodation: We have 4 accommodations, details will be in the post
Weather: -2 to 18 degrees
Currency: approx. SGD1 = RMB5
Time difference: same as Singapore

zero (traveled on coach the whole day)

The buffet breakfast was too chinese, or rather looked like buffet lunch/dinner.

It was difficult for me to find anything to eat.  Even the porridge looked so starchy with very little rice grains, omg....

That Valley of Waves is so far away from Xi'an city that the whole day we were on the road, so as stated above, zero itinerary.

During one of the toilet break, my old gangster bought a stick of deep fried chicken coated with MSG and chilli powder.

No, not grilled, it was deep fried, I know the difference.

This day we had the whole day in bus, the tour guide doubled as a salesman with local tibits.
We bought some stuffs and this was Xi'An special: Mega Giant Red Date (狗头枣).  It's shaped with a bigger bottom and gradually became slightly smaller at the tip.

The locals thought it looked like the shape of a typical dog's head, thus derived it's chinese name.

 Some other things we bought:

Digestive tea, good for lowering blood pressure.

This is freaking nice!  Should had bought more!

This was all gone within a week.

Had lunch at a typical chinese restaurant.

 Nap a bit, listened to Spotify a bit....

Put on make up before the Gala Dinner.

Back to Titian Times Hotel, we were given another suite.  I think we had tried all their different room types le.
This had a enormous see through washroom, I was wowed.

Gala dinner was held here.

The interior design was dazzling from ceiling to floor with complicating paintings and carvings, replicating ancient grand palace.

A row of "royal" arm chairs to satisfy more than one king, heehee...

The dishes were eye pleasing and tasty, but the portions were so small.  I only get to eat one piece from each dish and some dishes I was too slow.  My table of peeps ate like no tomorrow.
Cold jelly pork is a intricate dish, too many steps and very lengthy to get it done.

Some veg spring roll, 10 bite size piece exactly for our table of ten.

1.5 inch ribs were also 10pcs, which landed in a unknown (and un-notice) corner of my stomach.

Hohoho.... this is 甑糕!  I saw this in 孙俪 (Sun Li) chinese drama 那年花開月正圓 (Nothing Gold Can Stay)
It's sweet glutinous rice, sticky texture with red dates and red beans.

Some soup with fish maw.

Braised belly.

Some pancake.

Rayson sang a few songs, got lucky draw, played games and a birthday celebration for Nov babies.

Xi'An's beautiful night as we head back to the hotel.

We sneaked out again around 8pm.
We walked passed a train station.  I had been to China a few times but restricted by package tours, had never experience their MRT.  Maybe one day, but don't know when this day will come with world wide pandemic now.

We found XinJi Ancient Town 兴集古镇。

After the ancient gate was a short lane with 2 rows of shop houses by both sides.
The ancient beauty was all blocked by commercial shops and eateries under traditional brick tiled roofs.

It's not crowded, in fact some shops were preparing to close.

Surprised to find Hong Kong style roast meat eatery here and they were almost sold out.

I was trying hard to take nice pic of the real ancient town but it was just too difficult.

Traditional wooden doors were the best I could get hold of.

We left shortly.

Despite of the mobile police station nearby, we didn't feel that secure.

Day 8 is going to be a lengthy post with lots of photos, sorry to keep you guys waiting.  Meanwhile just swing over to
Basically I talk about my daily life, especially what we eat and cook, also sharing personal lobangs.

I am taking forever to post cos' have been binge watching drama, heehee....  Thanks for reading and hope we all can fly and travel again one day.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

8D Xi'An China, Day 6

Destination: Xi'An (China)

Duration: 8 days 9 to 16 Nov  2019
Mode of travel: Celebrity tour with CTC Travels
Damage: $1419/pax + RMB200 (fee for guides) + RMB600 (cable car and performance)
Flight: Scoot, we had 20kg baggage and 7kg hand carry, 1 dinner
Accommodation: We have 4 accommodations, details will be in the post
Weather: -2 to 18 degrees
Currency: approx. SGD1 = RMB5
Time difference: same as Singapore

Date: 14/11/2020

ZaoYuan Village (枣园革命旧址)
Valley of Waves (波浪谷)

It's so cold.

But nothing's stopping us to step out.

Finally a clear look of the hotel in day light, it's so uniquely beautiful, I didn't want to leave...

We had a half an hour morning walk, hoping to see more peacocks.

We didn't see anybody else.

We followed the sign up.

The huge greenhouse got no flowers inside and we didn't see any peacock either.

The cafe wasn't open yet so could only take pic at it's entrance.
It's so pretty (the flora arch, not me >.<).

On the way back for breakfast and took a random pic.

Bicycle rental which we didn't get to enjoy.

Alright, here we were.
Plenty of land and space in China, the buffet breakfast was spacious.  Space is very important to me, congestion blocks me up from head to toe.

While loving the interior, the breakfast was average.

Took some veg, tofu skin and braised duck wings to go with porridge.

Not too satisfied, had a bowl of rice noodles in tomato soup, I dumped in some chilli.

Lastly finished off with coffee, I was so sleepy omg...

After dinner, we went to the car park to watch a traditional "drum dance".

We later joined in the dance lolxx...

Rayson took over the drum, not sure how and when PapaVoo took the "kling klang" and they had a life performance without any rehearsal.  Everybody was cheering and clapping, great fun!

No itinerary in the morning, only ride on coach.  Didn't wear contact lens cos I was ready to sleep my way through.
I actually slept until drool sia.

Saw this cute pup during toilet break.

Scenery along the way was beautiful with hills and water.

The coach's glass panel was dirty so the photos couldn't be perfect.

We stopped over at no where for lunch.

We were served rice with grind corns (小米) which I later bought some home.
If you are my reader at Ordinary Auntie you can see the colorful grains I used to put in rice.

After lunch we were finally near the first itinerary of the day:

ZaoYuan Revolutionary Site (枣园革命旧址)
Zao Yuan's direct translation to Enlish would be "Red Dates Garden".
It's a historical site for those who are interested in China's history.  Cut and paste information:
In October 1943, the Secretary Department was moved to this place. The former residence of Mao Zedong is at the northwest with the residence of Zhang Wentian on its left, and that of Zhu De on its right. In August 1945, Mao Zedong flew to Chongqing from here, and had a peace talk with Kuomintang. The Secretary Department withdrew from Zaoyuan in March 3, 1947.

Everybody flocked to stand in front of the statues for photo, I not interested to "fight" with the crowd.
To be honest, I know very little about China's revolution.  Among the statues, I only could recognize Ma ZeDong in the middle.  So, not much "feel" in me.

This will be a great place if you are studying this part of history.  I could see the local tourists were very excited and there were some students seated outside having lessons.

What I am always interested in will be the buildings.  
I figure out that in 1940s, walls were built with cement and bricks, while the slanted roof tops were still old traditional tiles.  I also observed that in this region, arches are commonly constructed.  That explains the architectural design of our previous hotel.

Some old furniture inside.

Missing keypads.

Moving away from the crowd, the Gazebo was overlooked by most visitors.
The frames were made of solid timber and I thought it's so pretty.

Low resting sofa.

Saw a little stone table for chess with stone stools outside, so primitive.

We didn't see any red dates cos it's not the season.  Walking out, 2 rows of tall trees by the path had a charming feel of autumn.

I think I have to plan for a autumn trip somewhere to enjoy some golden and red foliage.

We traveled another couple of hours to the next spot.

They called it Valley of Waves (波浪谷).  After more than 4hrs of travelling, we were pinning high hopes.

It turned out to be a great disappointment, we didn't see any valley at all.  Scroll down for pics...

I kinda overslept and didn't change into contact lens.  Good thing that I didn't, cos it was extremely windy with sand (and I ate a bit of it whenever I talk).
Behind were caves formed naturally probably due to wind erosion.

Not a cloud in the sky.

So desolate.

The other site we went to were litter all over.

No valley, only little hums which is a far cry from what we seen online.

It was very warm should had leave my coat in the bus.  Had to put it on cos it's very difficult to carry in hands.

Tried the make the best shot out of the worst.

We were done in about an hour.

We checked into MingDu Hotel (靖边名都大酒店) around 5.30pm but this pic was taken around 7.30pm.

We were told this was one of the best hotel in this area, there weren't much options here.
I saw there were some shops and malls around the hotel.  I told hubby that it's our chance to escape to have dinner our own.

Our room was big though a bit old.

Had no idea what's the empty display cabinet doing here.

There's a computer which we didn't use.

The toilet was all wet after a shower.

Dinner with the group.
We sat for a couple of dishes which were enough to make us leave without regrets.

We went to the supermarket to see the market price of the groceries.
Later manged to buy a pair of inner pants for him cos he didn't bring enough.  That's what happened when I asked him to pack his own luggage.

After looking around, we decided to have dinner at Maison.
1st floor was bakery, 2nd floor dinning.

I think it's swiss roll inside the mega white rabbit candy wraper.  Would had bought it if this day was the last day of our trip.

I remembered buying this in Singapore for the same price but in SGD.

Relaxing and quiet place although most of the tables were occupied.

Decorative bookshelf with dummies, not real books.

I was really happy to be here.  The food and drinks we ordered were normal but nice enough.

Mocha RMB18

Strawberry Milk Shake RMB16

Spicy mini lobster with rice RMB38

Steak RMB138

After dinner, we walked around hoping to do some shopping.  Our tour guide had mentioned that things were expensive here.  True enough and I wonder why.  I briefly checked the prices of the clothes, I rather get them from Taobao.

We only bought a small bag of melon seeds which was still warm from the toaster.
I never like melon seeds cos I can only crack open 3 out 10.  But these were freaking yummy especially when it's warm and mostly importantly, extremely effortless to crack open.

A mobile food stall outside our hotel which we were tempted to try.
However there wasn't any price indication, so we gave it a miss in case we kena chop carrot.

That sums up Day 6, now left with Day 7 and 8.  After which, this blog will be freeze till COVID-19 is over.

Although mentally prepared, we are still very upset to cancel our Tokyo trip.  Else we should be on the plane on 21st Mar.  T___T  

Travelling is my passion, it's something that keeps me going in life.  Please send me your condolence cos I feel so broken.  All travel plans for 2020 have to be put on hold I supposed, haiz......  But at least, we are not contributing to the increase number of imported cases.