Tag Archives: China

Favorite Picture-Memories from Taiwan, Hong Kong, China

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The day before our departure, we did last shopping and dinner with family. My grandma invited me to her bedroom to show me all her arts and crafts projects and old pictures she has. I was so touched that she invited me to see her bedroom because I know it is a very private place to anybody. Then, my dad came in too and I could tell he was also very touched. These are the type of favorite moments of my trip that a photograph can’t capture. But I thought I’d compile favorites of those memories that I did get a picture of in chronological order with a link to the corresponding blog post : )

 

First Day in Taiwan Lost in a Bustling Neighborhood

Getting lost on our first day in Taiwan with my dad and walking around for 45 minutes following people’s directions was fun.

Dad

 

The Mountain and Please No Pee Splashing

Eating, Eating, and More Eating

Spending time in the mountain, hiking and eating lunch with my aunt/her husband/grandma’s friends.

mountain kaohsiung

Grandma Leg Lift

 

Sad Beginning at Guanyin to Happy Ending at Xiziwan

Our visit to my grandfather’s resting place and then enjoying a family outing biking at Sizihwan.

inside columbarium

taiwanese hot dog

 

Can You Say Awk-Waaard

Spending the day watching my dad play golf and being his paparazzi.

golf

 

Hot Sping-ing in Zhiben, Taitung

Visiting hot springs for the very first time! This is also the only picture I have of just my granma and me (I think).

Fengshan Station Taiwan

 

Grandma is Like the Energizer Bunny

Just Arrived to Hong Kong

Dad and I driving around on the moped a few times (and getting lost).

moped kaohsiung

 

A Different Side of Sizihwan

After being stood up, my dad wanted to make it up to me (even though I was stood up by someone else) so we went out the whole day to Sizihwan with my cousin as our “tour guide.”

jumping cijin tunnel

 

Salvador Dali Art Exhibition in Kaoshiung

Seeing the Salvador Dali exhibition in Kaohsiung with my cousin was a lot of fun too. I realized that I have a tendency for abstract art and Dali is now one of my favorites.

salvador dali art exhibit

 

Self-Guided Tour of Lotus Pond in Kaohsiung

Video of orchestra: Orchestra at Lotus Pond, Kaohsiung for Chinese New Year

Going out by myself to explore Lotus Pond was unforgettable. I enjoy solo-touring. I take my sweet time taking pictures and walking around.

Spring and Autumn Pavilion

 

Finding Fo Guang Shan Monastery

Fo Guang Shan Videos – favorite is the ending : ) Fireworks at Fo Guang Shan

The biggest adventure was finding Fo Guang Shan Monastery and spending the entire day by myself. One of the most unforgettable experiences in Taiwan.

Fo Guang Shan Monastery Taiwan Fo Guang Shan Monastery Taiwan Fo Guang Shan Monastery Taiwan Fo Guang Shan Monastery Taiwan

 

What Happened to the Taiwan Trip Posts?

Riding the Maokong gondola and finding out that my dad is scared of heights.

maokong gondola taipei

 

Hello, Hong Kong!

Having the freshest of them seafoods I’ve ever had!

Sai Kung Promenade

 

Highest Viewing Platform in Hong Kong

Enjoying a yummy latte at The Peak in Hong Kong and taking in the 360 degree view of Hong Kong.

victoria peak hong kong

 

Dongguan, Guangdong Province, China

I got to see a more relaxed side of my dad and even karaoke’d with him and his friends. I think he’s fun to hang out with and I can see how his friends enjoy his company because he’s always down to do anything. But with family, we see a more serious side of him so this was another priceless experience.

dongguang karaoke

 

A Little Sightseeing in China

During this trip, I found out my dad really enjoys biking. We rode the bike three times and each time, I would see a big smile on his face and him saying how much he missed riding a bike.

biking in dongguan

 

Last Day in China – Xiqiao Mountain

Sightseeing with my dad’s friends was fun. One of them got a calf cramp from walking up the stairs so my dad told him to sit on the floor and stretch his leg. Then, my dad kicked the sole of his foot hard and the cramp was gone. My dad starts joking around saying that he came to China just so that he could kick his friend. And what an expensive kick that was LOL Everyone was cracking up hard.

nanhai guanyin xiqiao mountain
Seeing my third auntie (right) at night for dinner after she got off work was nice. On our day back from China, she came over to have dinner and I finally took a picture of her, my sixth auntie, and my dad.

family in taiwan

 

Photo Nostalgia

One my most favorite things about my trip was seeing old pictures. I love all of them but if I had to choose one, it would be seeing my three oldest siblings riding one bike while my second oldest sister is hauling them lol

siblings biking

 

Chung Tai Chan Monastery

Lastly, visiting Chung Tai Chan Monastery was nice. But meeting the nuns was even better. Monks and nuns are so mysterious. They have such different energy than other people like us and I loved meeting them.

Chung Tai Chan Monastery

I only have one last post of my trip. I can’t believe I posted about every single day I spent there. That would be 36 days!

Last Day in China: Xiqiao Mountain

Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2

On our last day in China, we went to Xiqiao Mountain, which sits on a dormant volcano in Nanhai District, Foshan City, Guangdong Province. That’s a mouthful… Xiqiao Mountain has over 200 springs, nearly 30 waterfalls, nearly 50  caves, and over 70 peaks! I wonder why there were barely any visitors. There is so much to see here and it’s a very beautiful place.

We started our tour with issues at the very entrance. Apparently they check the driver’s license and it has to be a Chinese national. Otherwise, you cannot go in. Then they charge a fee per person and they take a quick picture of the car before entering. Once we passed the entrance, we began our drive up the mountain to our first stop: Nanhai Guanyin Culture Park.

Nanhai Guanyin Culture Park

Yet another gigantic Buddha statue – this one is over 200 feet (60 meters) high! It is of the Guanyin goddess as I explained back in my post on Self-Guided Tour of Lotus Pond. But this statue is the South China Sea Kwan Yin goddess. Even though I saw many temples while in Taiwan, I’m still amazed by them. I love the spectacular views from the bottom and from the top. They are both such different views. I love the tradition of burning incense, the ringing of the gong, the walk up the stairs as you get closer to the statue, and the small shrines inside the giant statue.

This park reminded of the Fo Guang Shan Monastery in Kaohsiung but a lot more compact.

nanhai guanyin xiqiao mountain nanhai guanyin xiqiao mountain nanhai guanyin xiqiao mountain nanhai guanyin xiqiao mountain nanhai guanyin xiqiao mountain

nanhai guanyin xiqiao mountain nanhai guanyin xiqiao mountain nanhai guanyin xiqiao mountain nanhai guanyin xiqiao mountain

After walking around the Nanhai Guayin Culture Park, we made quick stops here and there before heading back to Dongguang. It’s too bad we weren’t able to see the caves and cliffs though!

Small Stops in Xiqiao Mountain

We made a quick stop to see the Leafless Well. It’s called leafless because although a tree is over the well, there is never a leaf inside it. But I beg to differ. There was a leaf in there… I have a terrible quality picture to prove it haha Also, there is a belief that if you drop a coin, it will hover on the top of the well before sinking slowly moving back and forth like a leaf. We tested it a few times, and nope. The coins all dropped immediately and sank straight down. My dad’s friends said that maybe it worked with the older coins but the new ones are too heavy. Hmmh… Possibly…

xiqiao mountain

Then, we walked around a small neighborhood with no living person. Everything was either closed off with chains or it was abandoned and overgrown with trees and weeds. We made a final stop at the Sifang Bamboo Garden to see the famous square bamboo. Supposedly it only grows in that area of China. But I did my googling around and it appears there are other places where this peculiar square bamboo grows! ] And if you are wondering, the scientific name for the square bamboo is: Chimonobambusa Quadrangularis. You’re welcome ; P

sifang bamboo garden xiqiao sifang bamboo garden xiqiao sifang bamboo garden xiqiao

I’m very sad I didn’t see more of China. There is so much to see there but it’s so intimidating because it’s so big, not a lot of people speak English, and it can be dangerous if you are not with someone who knows their way around. But I’m optimistic I’ll come back eventually to see more!

Last Few Days in Taiwan

We returned to Taiwan the next day and we were all feeling down in anticipation of our departure back to our lives. My third aunt came by to see us and sadly, this is the only day we took pictures with her. She always brought us fruits and she is very sweet, quiet, and polite. All my aunts and uncle and dad look similar. My grandma has very strong genes! Now all my siblings and I look alike my dad, which means, we look like my grandma.

family in taiwan

I only have four more days left of my trip to Taiwan. I can’t believe I came back a month and a half ago. Life moves too fast.

A Little Sightseeing in China

Wednesday, February 27 and Thursday, February 28

Shang Village, Shunde District

Bruce Lee’s Grandparents Hometown

Bruce Lee Paradose

We did a little bit of sightseeing and visited Bruce Lee’s grandparents hometown. The Bruce Lee Paradise park was closed by the time we got there but I got to see the big sculpture of Bruce Lee from the entrance. They even have a website for the park with moving birds: Bruce Lee Paradise in Shunde District

Bruce Lee Paradose Bruce Lee Paradose

We also went to Shang Village to see Bruce Lee’s Ancestor’s House. It was closed too but if you go in, they have some sort of small museum of Bruce Lee. I visited his grave in Seattle, WA, and now I’ve visited his grandparent’s hometown. I should have visited his hometown while in Hong Kong too! LOL

bruce lee ancestor house bruce lee ancestor house

After our little Bruce Lee tour, we stopped by a small restaurant that looked like it was in the middle of a small town with tiny unpaved roads. Surprisingly, this restaurant is very popular and has won many awards. The chef is very popular and even with his fame, he continues to stick to his roots and works for his small restaurant. Food was again, yummy yummy.

Foot Massage Should be Called Something Else

The next day we stopped by a nice hotel to get a “foot” massage. It was a dark room with three big lounge chairs facing a TV in the middle. Each of us was paired up with a girl masseuse. We had a fruit platter with tea brought to us. The massage wasn’t just for the feet, it was pretty much every part of the body for like an hour or more!

Biking Trail in a Tiny Farming Island

biking in dongguan

After the “foot” massage, we headed to a tiny farming island riding a boat towed by a little boat. The boat ride to the island is free but there is a small fee to come back from the island. It’s just a 15 minute slow ride across a huge river. The air was extremely polluted this day. Something I really hated about Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China was the air quality. It’s always hazy and the air is heavy on the lungs. I wore my handy face mask, not like it helped much but I’d like to think it purified something.

biking in dongguan biking in dongguan

You can rent bikes at this little island and they have a very nice and clean paved road that circles around the island. I recall it was only a 45 minute bike ride around the entire island.

biking in dongguan

I love seeing my dad riding the bike. He seems to really enjoy himself.

biking in dongguan

While riding, there were doggies everywhere! With lots of bald spots and I could see them scratching a lot. There were also lots of fish farms and produce gardens. A lot of people come to have fresh seafood in these little boat restaurants located around the island.

biking in dongguan biking in dongguan biking in dongguan biking in dongguan

Back to Eating

When we headed back, we met with my dad’s friends to have hotpot. I miss hotpot… Must do one, one of these days…

hotpot dongguan

Dongguan, Guangdong Province, China

Continuing the last few days of my trip to Taiwan and a couple of stops to Hong Kong and China. We are almost done with the trip to Asia posts…

Monday, February 25 and Tuesday, February 26

Crossing the Border from Hong Kong to China – No Powdered Milk?

So backing up over a month ago, we arrived to Dongguan in Guangdong Province, China. We took a short bus ride from Hong Kong to Shenzen to cross the border. I was nervous to arrive to China because of the perception I had but it’s just like any other border crossing. Funny thing is, the border line is not even definitive. It’s just a guesstimated yellow line.

I found it interesting to see so many children in uniforms crossing back and forth. I was told that many Chinese parents send their kids to private boarding schools in Hong Kong. There were dozens of children in different uniforms huddled in line one after the other when we left back to Hong Kong on Saturday. Another peculiarity I saw was that powdered milk is a big deal in China. There are strict restrictions of how many cans (2) can be brought in to China at the border crossing in Shenzen supposedly due to a shortage of powdered milk for infants in Hong Kong. Sounds like something more to me… But anyway, so Chinese parents prefer other brands of powdered milk for their infants because the milk manufactured in China has a bunch of crap in it that is making infants sick and sometimes even causing death… Scary… Is it all propaganda? Is it more of a political issue of import/export? Who knows…

As soon as we were out of customs, my dad is already freaking out that someone is going to kidnap me. I felt safe at the border crossing and Shenzen seemed like a very developed and clean city with lots of buildings.

Dongguang

After crossing the border, my dad’s friend’s brother-in-law picked us up and we drove for a couple hours to Dongguang. China is so huge. I mean you knew that, but China is so HUGE. We stayed in this little dusty town at a very nice hotel that had karaoke every single night. I could hear it until 2 am. People like to party and karaoke. Or maybe is a bunch of men looking for hostess’ company? The hotel we stayed at was very beautifully decorated (on the inside). It was very classic, reminded of a 1980’s hotel. As if I was globe-trotting at the age 0-5? Right? But you know what I mean… It was just very 80’s. I should have taken pictures… Sadly, I don’t remember the name…

The small town in Dongguang is the hometown of my dad’s compadre. It’s a dusty little town next to tons of factories. Apparently everyone knows each other there. Lots of money-making factories, few people reaping the benefits, lots of hard working people getting paid a tiny fraction of the profits these factories are making. At first I thought, how unfair! But sounds like any other place in the world (replacing factories with corporations), if I put it into perspective.

Karaoke in Dongguang

dongguang karaoke

The next day we had amazing, delicious authentic Chinese food. Food in China is something else… It is so good!!! Especially the goose… It’s like duck but more tasty because of more fat. And the veggies tasted so fresh. And the seafood is to die for.

At night we headed over to the karaoke adjacent to the hotel which is also part of the hotel (3rd floor). There is also a spa and massage place. Hmmh… What a combo, you got the fancy hotel, karaoke with hostesses, and spa/massage with more hostesses… I smell something more than just innocent singing and massages. This article in wired.com describes the karaoke scene nicely and it’s pretty much accurately described: The Hot Zone.

Just like the article describes, I saw beautiful women with their hair up in high heels and short skirts. We were in a group of wives and husbands, and dad and me, so we just had one attentive hostess. I would imagine that typically it would be one hostess per man. Our young hostess was pretty and very flirtatious. I felt terrible that she had to stand around serving everyone in these high heels and short skirt that kept on moving up. She looked exhausted by the end of the night.

dongguang karaoke dongguang karaoke dongguang karaoke dongguang karaoke dongguang karaoke

Besides feeling sympathy for our hardworking hostess, I had a great time with my dad and his friends. And it was fun watching dad relax and have fun. I asked him to sing a song with me but I realized at the end it was a stupid song to sing there hahahah Hotel California. His voice is way too deep for this song so it was just me singing and him waiting to see if there was a low note coming up.

On top of that, I’m a very shy singer… So I was sitting down the whole time. YAWN. Sorry dad’s friends, no fun to watch and hear me sing : P