A Travellerspoint blog

August 2007

Do You Wanna Know What I Rekkon

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, Do you want to know what I rekkon? I rekkon that the last two days bus rides have been right up there with some of the 'Awesome' ones I've taken since arriving in China. They have been so scenic and diverse. Thursdays from Ningbo to Wenzhou was full of small villages and many other 'costal watery sights' like bridges, boats and rivers. Zhejiangs east coast is totally awesome, especially the more south you travel. Today's bus ride however was much more amazing than Thursdays. After leaving Wenzhou I sat pretty much glued to the window the entire way to Fuzhou. The further south we travelled the more passengers there were glued to the window. I realised how much I really do love Fujian Province and its wild and rugged terrain. After today's bus ride I'm personally putting Fujian on par with Guangxi for scenic beauty. Amongst the huge lush green mountains are sheer peaks of rock. Between them are found clear running rivers with picturesque villages built along side. Amongst all this can be spotted temples at all different levels of the mountains. After travelling across the middle of China for over a month I really came to comprehend the beauty of the southern greens! More so, the wildness of Fujian Province! It really was a stunning bus ride that sadly had to end. Here I am once again in Fuzhou City and sadly once again I have not enough money to stay and explore it. I already have my bus ticket home to Shaowu that leaves at one thirty tomorrow afternoon. Tomorrow the 'Beer Noodles & Temples' adventure ends as my bus arrives in my lovely little city built along the Min Jiang (Min River). I am really looking forward to being back, not because I want to stop travelling but because today I realised how much I have missed Fujian and its beauty just as I once missed (and still do) Guangxi Province. So for anyone wanting a beautiful bus ride, take the bus from Ningbo to Wenzhou and then from Wenzhou to Fuzhou. I rekkon you won't be disappointed!

<u>Do you know what I also rekkon?</u> I rekkon that little girl over there has super squinty Chinese eyes. There is a birthday party going on here in Mc D's (where I sit with my super ElcheapO Coffee writing this) and her cardboard hat is squashing her eyes together making them Super Chinese. I rekkon that's really super cute! I rekkon the above reminds me of when I am in class and when one of the MANY students who needs glasses to see the board, they put their fingers at the end of their eyes and lift the skin. I rekkon this makes them look Super Chinese just like the little girl over there. I rekkon if we did that anywhere in Australia we would be taken to court for being racist. I rekkon Mc D's can't cook a chicken wrap. I rekkon even if they hired KFC workers something would go wrong and it would still taste like cardboard. I rekkon I might as well be eating the Super Chinese Eyes girls party hat. I rekkon it hasn't stopped raining all day and that it's not going to stop for the next few days. I rekkon it's really cool that KFC and McD's staff get to wear micro-fibre uniforms that include lowcut jeans. I rekkon that's really great for both summer and for me! I rekkon the Mc D's girl was a little silly giving me four sugars and no milk. Not that I wanted the milk but what if I did want the milk. I rekkon if I wanted four sugars I would have asked for four sugars. Normally I would give the milk back and ask for a second sugar. I rekkon it's really cool that all Foreigners look the same to Chinese people. So much so that someone has confused me for 007 or Austin Powers and is sending me secret messages on my hotel phone. Every few minutes it rings a different amount of times and then stops. I rekkon that makes me an International Man of Mystery! I rekkon it's crazy that my room has a bath but the plug hole has a steel rod coming out of it so no one can put a plug over. I rekkon that being in China, if anyone does step on the steel rod they can't sue for compo.

I rekkon that's crazy! I rekkon the girl over there with the laptop just wants to look cool as she just sits there, looks around and shakes her hair every now and then. I rekkon she does look kinda cool though as her lap top is a Sony! Oh Errrr, I rekkon she's got money! I rekkon it feels like I'm sitting in Mc D's in Melbourne as there are just as many Chinese people in it. I rekkon if the girl with the lap top shakes her hair one more time dandruff will fill the keyboard and it won't work anymore. I rekkon that's the reason she hasn't typed anything for the entire time I've been here. I rekkon the keyboard is already full of dandruff! I rekkon my Lonely Planet Guide is in so many pieces that if I threw it into the air it would be like playing 52 Pick up with a deck of cards. I rekkon it's a well travelled little bugger! I rekkon I'll be sad to see it go when I receive the latest edition from Rob and Jo when I get back to Shaowu. I rekkon you want to know what I really really REALLY rekkon! I rekkon that's it mate, the 'Beer, Noodles and Temples' Adventure is at its end. I rekkon I had a great time and visited some awesome places full of so much beauty and history. I rekkon I met a beautiful girl with whom I still constantly chat to all day every day. I rekkon I visited some awesome temples and climbed some beautiful mountains. I rekkon I met some great people whom helped me a lot along the way with whom I shared some great moments. I rekkon most importantly, I drank some tasty beers and ate some delicious noodles! I rekkon more importantly than 'most importantly' is the fact that I survived all those bus rides! I rekkon 'Life Huh!' 'Go Figure!' Beers N Noodles toya....shane _____________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was The Doves The album 'Lost Souls' _____________________________________

The Journey Home

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The Journey Home 2

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

A Beautiful Island N a City Demolishing itsHistory

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, Man, talk about dark curtains! I planned rise and shine with the sun but each time I woke up it was dark so I thought I'd enjoy more sleep. When I finally woke enough to question the night's length I found it was nearly ten. That's what happens when you get an expensive hotel room cheap! They actually have real curtains and not just cloth that stops people looking in but nothing else like the sunshine. After a quick chat to Amigo I raced out into the day and made my way down Xincheng Dadao which took me back to the Big City Bus Station where I got myself a map and then continued down to the round-a-bout with a big statue thingymabob in the middle. What it was is anyone's guess. I stood looking at it for a short time and finally gave in and began walking again. On my map I found one of the cities several freaky little mountains and decided to head towards that as it would take me towards the river. When I reached it I decided it was a 'Failed Guilin Karst Peak' experiment. It's known as Yongu Shan and what ever the building is at the bottom of it is also anyone's guess. All up combine the strange mountain and the strange building you have a one strange....um.....place, thing, area.....whatever! I then zig zagged my way between Jiangbin Lu, Liming Donglu and Xueyuan Zhonglu. Here I found a heap of old streets and buildings but sadly every single area had already begun being demolished. I then slowly mapped my way to Renming Lu which meant I was pretty much in the middle of everything. I spent awhile walking around the 'shopping streets' and then headed to Zhongshan Gongyuan (Park). There is always a Peoples Park near this area of every city. If there is a Renming Lu you know there will be a patch of green somewhere near by. The park itself was small and shady and I spent sometime beneath its leaves to cool down before moving on towards the Lucheng District where I found a heap of alleyways to walk around. Sadly ALL the old areas I came across on my days walk were all marked for demolition. Most had already been started and others were in the 'getting ready' process. How sad it is that this part of Wenzhou will soon have lost most of its history! At least most other cities (including Shaowu) have built around the old sections. Usually in the centre of a city block can be found some old alleys and buildings. Is the Wenzhou government embarrassed of its 'oldness'? Does it believe if they leave it then people won't want to move here? Maybe they think they can't have both old and new! How strange and how sad! After a bowl of noodles I made my way towards Ou Jiang (River) to find the ferry that would take me across to Jiangxin Dao (Heart of The River Island). The ferry ticket includes the entrance fee for the island along with the return journey. Not bad for only 20 Yuan. I spent the short ferry ride chatting to a lady who is a Chinese English Teacher in Wenzhou. She was proud of her city and its wealth and truly believed that ALL the old areas should be demolished to make way for all the wealthy new arrivals that move to Wenzhou each year. Ok! I thought We really aren't going to get along to well now are we! When we reached the island I waved goodbye and began my little island adventure. The island has two beautiful pagodas that are located on each end. You can't climb them but from the mainland and the ferry they are extremely beautiful. The islands walking tracks take you past beautiful lawns where you can squabble with the 'not so friendly' geese. There is a large theme park at the pack of the island but I chose to stay away from the Chinese 'nuts and bolts' of it all. Thunder and lightening had been dancing around above for about an hour before I decided it was time to head back across to the mainland. My next aim was to find one of the Churches down Xinhe Jie. On the way I dropped into a busy little market place for a look. I soon found Songtsi Shan upon which sat a beautiful pagoda. By now the sun had almost left my world and night had surrounded me. Photos were pretty much out of the question which was a pity as I found one of the little Churches beside the mountain. Across the road was an awesome looking building that was built in the shape of a huge archway. Very impressive! I could hear some music coming from beneath the huge Archway Building thing so I decided to head across to see what was happening. Cool a fashion parade was happening. The girls were stunning but looked about as happy to be there as I would have been working back in an office! ARGH! I then aimlessly walked around the city for a few hours and found a KFC for an ElcheapO coffee, to rest and to sit and write these words. So I now sit somewhere between Renming Lu and the road just over there on my map. Yes, that one with all the Chinese characters on it. Let's just call it Noodle Road. As if hasn't been change to Pin Yin it means I haven't walked it just yet. So now I will do my best to make my way home. Probably not the best idea at night but hey, I have a few hours to kill and I believe judging by the map that it will take around two to two and a half hours. Remember, you can't get lost if you have a map or a taxi! Beers N Noodles toya....shane _______________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was MC5 The album was 'Looking At You' Awesome band and awesome album!

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Lexus Cars Apartments N Where The Hell Are We?

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, Ohhh Mate! Tired, so tired. The noise here last night was a right pain in the butt. High heels climbing the stairs then walking along the hallway. Knock Knock Knock on some door. She repeats 'Au Mor' several times. He yells something back. She says something in return. They begin debating over money. He or she accepts and she enters the room to leave a few minutes later (is that normal in China?). If she or he doesn't accept more high heels along the hallway to the next door. Then the heels go back down the stairs and the next set of heels climb the stairs to try their luck! Finally it all stopped and I could turn my TV off and grab a few hours sleep. Now that's the reason why such a clean hotel is so cheap! I left around mid morning and headed down to the bus station and found out I had to head to the other bus station which was the 'real long distance' bus station. The one I arrived in was the 'short' long distance bus station. Got that? Neither did I when the young guy behind me tried to explain it to me. I said, oh so this is the 'bus station' and that's the 'long distance' bus station. No he said, down there is the 'local' bus station, this is the 'short' long distance bus station and the one you need to go to is the 'long' distance bus station. Um? So I said, so the one down there is the 'local' bus station, this one is the 'short' distance bus station and that one is the 'long' distance bus station. No he said, this one is the 'short' long distance bus station. For some reason there HAD to be a 'long' in there somewhere. OK, moving right along! My friend walked me out and told the cab driver where to take me and after a big thanks I was on my way across town. WOW! Ningbo really is a big city and strangely the cab only cost 5 Yuan. How could a cab ride that far only cost 5 Yuan. In Shanghai or Hangzhou it would have cost at least 30 Yuan. And why the hell build a new bus station half way to Shanghai. I can't believe they built a bus station so far out of town. My ticket to Wenzhou cost me 117 Yuan in the good book it said that it takes around six hours but my journey took only three and a half on a beautiful super bus. As we were approaching Wenzhou I actually wanted to stay on the bus for a few more hours. The journey was a very beautiful one and I sat looking out the window for most of it. As we drove south the scenery began to change little by little. We passed by many mountains with little villages below but the most beautiful were the little river villages that could be seen out side of each city we passed. Even the cities looked beautiful as we sped along. They were only small and usually built on both sides of a river. When we arrived at Wenzhou the lady next to me totally confused me. I asked her if this was Wenzhou and she told me no and as we arrived at the bus station everyone began getting up including her. I then asked again and she said yes. She was actually from Wenzhou but it seemed that we weren't in Wenzhou until we arrived at the bus station...OK! I then asked if we were at the west bus station (written in Chinese) and she said yes. Cool I thought, I'll just grab a hotel around here and make my way anywhere on foot. I left the station and headed out front and grabbed a Tuk Tuk driver and we began the Cheap Hotel Boogie. We found one just up the road and it was beautiful! Even had a hair dryer in the bathroom. It took a bit of bargaining but in the end I won. Hey, why do hotels have phones in the bathroom? Seriously, why do they? I can't seem to figure it out. Why would anyone answer the phone whilst they are on the toilet? I honestly don't understand why there is a phone in there when there is another a few meters away next to the bed. So anyway, I asked the desk girl if she had a map, which she did. I then asked her where the west bus station was and she pointed to it. Cool. I then asked where we were and she moved her hand way up the page and pointed to a big round-a-bout. No No I said and pointed to the west bus station and she said No No and pointed way up the page. BUGGER! The lady on the bus really was either terribly confused or totally insane! I would like to suggest that maybe she couldn't read Chinese but she was reading a Chinese newspaper. MMMmmm, maybe she hates Foreigners! BUGGER! So, the bus station I arrived at was the Big City Bus Station and I was located right in the freaking middle of no-where. BUGGER! I spent the evening walking around what seemed to be expensive apartment and car city. There were so many apartment complexes. It was like walking around Queensland's 'Gold Coast'. Maybe everyone in China moves to Wenzhou to retire. I lost count or interest in counting the amount of Lexus cars that passed me. Seriously, I remember counting over thirteen. Maybe it was the same one and the driver liked Foreigners, or maybe it was the lady from the bus driving past giggling her butt off each time. After a few hours I found a little noodle eatery and dropped in for a noodle soup and a bamboo tray full of dumplings. The dumplings were awesome but the noodles were pretty much 'Ma Ma Hoo Hoo'. That's a serious Chinese word. It means 'Just So So'. It also means 'Horse Horse Tiger Tiger' so how it got to mean 'Just So So' is beyond me. I love it. It's my favourite Chinese word. After dinner I walked some more and then found a Net Bar and hung out there in the air conditioning for a few hours. When my money ran out my computer shut down and I lost a huge email I was working on. I hate that! And of course I hadn't 'saved it as a draft' for sometime. Why didn't it warn me? There is always a warning that comes up in Chinese. I then nudge the person next to me who then rubs their thumb and fingers together to tell me I need to put some more money on. That was enough for me! I was out of there and off to find a beer and some bbq. Beers N Noodles toya....shane __________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was Australia's 'You Am I' The album was the awesome 'Hi-Fi Way'

Wenzhou City

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Ningbo Citys Wonderful Gardens Rivers N Beauties

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, Today was a huge day! A day of walking and a day of beautiful Ningbo! I decided not to zig zag so much today but to walk close to water and relax with the green all around me. The only plan was to walk at least half the city along the river. I headed out for a noodle breakfast and then decided to begin at the lake. The day was a scorcher and the heat very draining. It took me about an hour to adjust and fill myself full of water. Moon Lake (Yue Hu) is beautiful. I slowly made my way around it and found the door ways etc that I had found last night in the fading light. Whilst I was taking a picture I heard someone say, 'that's a beautiful door'. I looked over to find a young foreign guy. He came over and we introduced ourselves. His name (I think) was Hans. He was a uni student and from Holland. He was in Ningbo visiting his father who lives here with his beautiful new Chinese bride. They have opened several factories and life is once again good! We got to talking and decided as we both were out doing the same thing, why not spent the day together. Why not I thought, it'll help me with my promise of a slow day. We spent several hours 'snapping' our way around the lake and found what I thought was Mr Fans House but it was the Ningbo Textile Museum. Maybe Mr Fan was the textile guru in the past. It was a nice place to visit and only cost 10 Yuan to enter. There were a heap of pictures and it was obvious a run down on the fabric/textile industry in this area. We then moved on to the Bell Tower which was open and free to enter. Thankfully as it was tiny and really had nothing in it except for a few pictures. Not so exciting so we left wondering where the bloody bell was. HHHmmm! We then walked around the area where the night market was and found it was also a day market but it was only half as much fun in the light. Can't they ever get enough of selling things that people buy but never use? I honestly thought it only worked at night time and that during the daylight hour's people had more sense. Not far past the market was Zhongshan Gongyuan (park). Here we walked around its small yet shady grounds as the 'elderly peoples' karaoke cackled beside us. We then headed to KFC to try to cool down a bit and maybe dry off a tad. Man it was hot out! My next stop was to visit the Portuguese Catholic Church that is found just over Xinjiang Bridge. Hans decided to have a look also so we headed towards the Yuyao Jiang (river) and walked beside it until the church came into view. Mate, how surprised was I of its beauty. It really was a stunning sight. It has to be one the most beautiful churches I've visited in China. But I don't think anything will surpass the French style Church I visited in Yangzhou! Plain and simple yet stunning! Known as Tianzhu Jiaotang, this one was built in 1628 and after being destroyed it was rebuilt in 1872. Sadly it was closed so we couldn't check the inside out. As I'm more of an 'inside a temple man' than an 'inside a church man' this didn't worry me too much. The outside was enough for me. As Hans had a family dinner party to attend we said our goodbyes and I continued to walk along the Yong Jiang (river) which is the second fork that runs into Fenghuang Jiang (river). Here is where I found the 'jazzy' new and wealthy part of town. All the new apartment buildings were built in an 'arty' manner and to accompany them were heaps of expensive bars and coffee shops with more expensive cars parked out front. This area can be found between Reming Lu and Zhongmu Lu (around the ferry terminal area). I walked around here for awhile and then headed back to the church, crossed the river and headed down to the Baizhang Donglu Bridge. After crossing to my side of the river I made my way along the Fenghua Jiang (river) to the last bridge. I then headed slowly back to the hotel of 'Scantily clad Night Beauties'. So, Ningbo. What's it like? The river walk really was beautiful and if I was to spend one more day here I would walk the other half of the city along the river. It is a pretty little city that reminds me a lot of Hefei in Anhui Province. It's mostly surrounded by rivers and bridges and the riversides are full of green leaves, grass and gardens. After a shower and a rest I was soon visited by the Night Beauties who were obviously on their break and brought along some Joutsa (dumplings) and more green tea. We done our best to chat about where I had been that day and after awhile it was time to lay both their chop sticks and themselves down and begin work again. Beers N Noodles toya....shane __________________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was Roger Waters The album was 'Amused To Death'.

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

The Beautiful Night N Day Staff N KFC

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, When I woke I felt so tired this morning like I really need a good rest for a day. I've promised myself a day or two but have ended up walking on those days too. Can't waste the great weather and who knows, I'll probably never be in these cities again so I just have to make the most of it. But after many hours on the hills yesterday, I really am tired and my feet really are sore. So upon waking I decided to head down to Wenzhou and to then grab a bus to Fuzhou and head home. A good twenty or so hours of sitting time over a few days. That ought to do it! BUT....nothing ever works out that way hey! I found out where to catch my bus from and then grabbed a bus across to the East Bus Station. Now how is this for an answer to my thinking of splashing out when I got to Fuzhou and grabbing an expensive hotel (well for me anyhow) and spending the day in bed resting. When I got out of the cab there was a huge wind and when I opened my wallet three one hundred Yuan bills flew out and were swept up the road. I didn't know what to do. I kind of just stood there in bewilderment as they whirled their way onto the road never to be seen by me again. I usually keep them zipped up in the back but I had taken them out ready for the next couple of buses. Well, there went my nice hotel. It looks like bugs in my room and noodles are still on the menu! Not so Ha Ha! BUGGER! When I turned to walk into the bus station there was a guy on a 'big skateboard' type thing at the door. Why was he on the big skate board? Because he had no legs and his arms were also pretty much non-existent. I looked at him and reached into my wallet and gave him a surprising amount and thought to myself....maybe it's his turn to rest. I only have tired feet from walking to long. But the fact is, I have feet to mistreat! As I walked to the ticket booth I decided that the long bus ride home was obviously a stupid idea and got myself a ticket to Ningbo City instead. It was now financially impossible to go to Putuoshan which is supposed to be stunningly picturesque islands not far off the coast. The ferry rides to and from, accommodation, the island entry fee along with the entry fees to all the sits are now beyond me The bus to Ningbo cost 65 Yuan and took nearly three hours from station to station. When I arrived at the south station I grabbed a map and began the 'Cheapest Hotel Ever' Boogie! I found several I would normally stay in but I need bus fares home so I continued until I found one that I would 'not usually' stay in. It was clean and very cheap. HHHhhhmmm, there is only one reason why it would be so cheap and that would be because of constant knocks on the door. Just as I threw my bag on the bed and pulled out my map to see where I should begin I got a knock at the door and a soft voice began saying; 'Un Mor, Un Mor'. When I opened the door I found a rather beautiful woman aged around thirty or so already dressed for action with a sexy smile. Sorry baby, if I can't afford to ride the ferry to Putuoshan I certainly can't afford to ride you either! She didn't understand most of what I said but the parts in Chinese she did and get this, she then began bargaining with me. Her price dropped quicker than a bride's nightie and I soon had my wallet out showing her my life's worth. Once she understood that she stopped bargaining and began asking me about my life instead. Bloody Hell I thought, I'm worth so little that a freakin prostitute stops dropping her price! I hate staying at these places. Not because of the sexy women walking around scantily clad but I hate thinking about what diseases they could have and what is walking around the hotel. It's not fair on them as people but I'm in China and there is a lot of AIDS walking around hotels such as this one. I hoped she would tell her scantily clad buddies and they wouldn't come knocking on my door. She soon fluttered her eyelids in amusement that she was worth more than me and then raced off to the next door. I spent the rest of the afternoon walking around town checking the place out. I thought heaps of foreigners would be spotted here being so close to the coast but I never spotted one. When it grew dark I headed to a Net Bar and spent a few hours catching up on emails. I then continued walking around town and found the Drum Tower which is at the end of Zhenming Lu at the Zhongshan Xilu end. I walked around there for awhile and then slowly made my way home along the banks of Yue He (lake). When I finally arrived I was set on by the 'Night Staff Beauties' and luckily the 'Day Staff Beauty' came to my rescue and told them not to bother trying. Gawd, talk about feeling sorry for myself. I now had the 'Day Staff' telling the' Night Staff' I was too poor to worry about. But then a strange thing happened...No, there were no freebies (rabies maybe ha ha, just joking!) not long after I got a knock on my door and they had returned with KFC and green tea. It was obviously their break and they came to share their food with me. Unfreakin believable! Go figure! Life huh! Beers N Noodles toya.....shane __________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was Ozzy Osbourne The album was 'Ozzmosis'

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)