Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Beautiful China - Day 4 and 5: Yangshuo to Guangzhou

Summary of Day 4:
Yangshuo train station
Opening Taobao packages
Food Delivery
Guangzhou Restaurant
Crystal KTV

Day 4 was just very chill as we went for breakfast at a random eatery at West Street.

 Soy milk.


 Guilin Bee Hoon.

Xiao Long Bao...

Then it was time to bid goodbye to this picturesque place.

We dadidi to the Yangshuo train station, but was almost late for the train as we didn't expect the journey to take that long.

Luckily the train station isn't a really busy nor big station, so we collected our tickets and got to the gate pretty quickly.

We were back to Guangzhou only at 3+pm, and dadidi to Liling's house for one thing that I have been waiting for - Open our Taobao loots.

I had bought a lot of items from Taobao prior to the trip, and made them deliver to Liling's house in Guangzhou. So on this last day at Guangzhou, we decided to set aside time for that. Since we had missed our lunch, Liling also ordered food delivery to her house. It was amazing cos the app, similar to all the food delivery apps we had in SG, had so much more variety.

Anyway, the evening from 5 to 7pm is the peak traffic period, so we waited until after 7 to dadidi to our hotel.

By 8pm, we went to this famous dimsum place that I googled and found - Guangzhou Restaurant. 

There are various branches and we went to the one in 百福广场.

To be honest, I feel that it is nothing much. AND the price was much more steep as compared to other dimsum places.

Price: CNY 80.40 for the dishes above

Lastly, we went to Crystal KTV nearby. It is a 7-storey building with themed KTV rooms at each floor.

The fruits that they ordered:

Scoring at the end of every song:

Like the previous trip to Taiwan where a friend brought us to a massive KTV joint, this place was as amazing. The room had a mic stand, crystal balls, 2 screens, amazing acoustics, and on-the-ball service from the crew.

Apparently KTV is a big thing in China and Taiwan. Not SG.

We actually surprised Yeehan by also celebrating her birthday at the KTV.

And that's all for the 4th day. I went back to the hotel; was feeling bloated/indigestion and actually puked. hahaha...

Summary of Day 5:
Dimdoudak dimsum
Back to Singapore

Next morning, we dadidi to Dimdoudak 點都德, a famous dimsum place that sells pretty affordable dimsum. Everyone would always go to the Beijing Lu branch, but we checked and found another one that is closer to our hotel. Note: no info could be found on Google so we were using Baidu instead.
You can see the list of branches from here.

Anyway, the service at this place was atrocious though. Not sure if it is the same for the Beijing Lu branch. We were ignored; waiters seemed to be blind. After waiting like a million years and waving our order chit, then did the waiter came to our table.

There wasn't any introduction on how to use the tea bags or teapot, And we saw another table as clueless as us. We just trial and error and was just glad to start eating.

The food was good and cheap. That's all that matters for now.

Price: CNY 48 for all dishes above

As you can see, CNY 48 is approximately SGD 9.70. And that's the price for 3 pax. Dimsum in Guangzhou is really quite affordable.

It was a whirlwind 5 days in China, and we embarked on our journey back to Singapore, happily, and finally. 

Mandatory plane food SG bound:

*I puked another time when I was at the Guangzhou Baiyun Airport.
And I was diagnosed with stomach flu when I went to the doctor next day. hahaha.

Pls prepare a healthy body and strong stomach when going to China.

So that concludes the 5 days in China!

Do pm/email if you want to know more about the details and pricing of transport/food/accommodation.

Click below for the rest of the trip:
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

Monday, May 22, 2017

Beautiful China - Day 3: Yangshuo

Summary of Day 3:
Silver Cave
MaLing Village of Timbal
Yulong river
West Street

Day 3 was the highlight of our trip as we finally get to see the beautiful lime karsts so famously known throughout the world. However, do note that we only visited the Yangshuo region and not Guilin.

First up, we had breakfast at a Taiwanese cafe near the hotel simply because other places weren't opened yet.

Then we went to the meeting point for the van to come pick us up for our 1 day tour (the package that we bought the night before) around Yangshuo.

First, we were brought to the Silver Cave. 

I've been to the famous caves in Korea and Hanoi. And I assure u, they all look the same.. except that this one, has too many ups and downs, which meant we had to climb a lot of steps. And also probably because after the halfway mark, it became very stuffy and we just wanted to quickly come out and thus walked very quickly.

Not sure if it was the high altitude or my bad stamina, but I was exhausted after the climb.

Next was a village of the aboriginal people, MaLing Village of Timbal.

That was the guide in charge of our group. She's one of the aunties in the village and was a very good storyteller. She mentioned that the village uses a lot of silver ware and that using silver bowls, combs and all would make everyone immortalvery healthy. And then they brought us to this huge room with lots of... u guessed it, silverware. We were quite overwhelmed by the hordes of tourist buying silverware and our tour guide (from the package we bought) saw that we were not interested and asked us to leave for the van first.

The van then brought us to lunch at this home-style eatery. All I know was that I was bloated and didn't have much of an appetite, and that the food was oily and salty. Well, #welcometochina

The van then brought us to our final destination, and what we have been waiting for the entire trip - bamboo rafting on the Yulong river! There was practically nobody here due to the off-peak season, which was good for us.

Just a special mention, as our boatman didn't open the umbrella for us even though it started drizzling, we didn't tip him after the ride. We asked not once but twice before he opened it. Yea I was so pissed I just opened my own raincoat I got from the Liu San Jie show the night before. (and he still didn't get it and continued to row like there's no rain)

It is a norm to give tips to the boatman. My friend and another couple from the other boats mentioned that their boatmen were quite in-their-face when asking for tips. Ours was just, quiet.

While the other boatmen warned them of the drops, ours didn't. And as u can see from the video, my camera got splashed at. And this was the biggest drop where our pants were soaked.

Ok no wonder it is off-peak season. No one wants to get wet when it is cold... and I didn't know we would get that wet.

Anyway, I thought the view from here wasn't extraordinary. Felt that the one I saw at Halong Bay was even nicer... like why!

The view from here was more of dying trees and moss and grass. The karsts were far away from us and didn't feel that spectacular. Probably because the karsts were right beside us when we were at Halong Bay and I felt consumed and overwhelmed by nature. This, however, was just looking from afar. But of course, the view was still good enough, and the bamboo rafting was another thrill ride (minus the boatman).

Everyone said that the Yulong river in Yangshou had the best views, but I think the ones I would like would probably be in Guilin.

Ohwells, we survived the ride and got off to irritating vendors selling coachellas by the bay. They were literally pestering every passenger who got off the bamboo rafts. I just shook my head and ran off towards the van waiting for us.

What a ride!

We went back to the hotel after that to change out of our soaked pants and rested. It was a tiring day and I think it made me even more ill than before.

During the evening, we went out again to walk the West Street.

Pictureque view, isnt it?

 Dinner at a nearby HK cafe.

And the rest of the food we had for our last night here. Yes we had oysters again.

I felt tired so my friends headed off to McD for supper while I went back to the hotel alone to rest. If it was any other lousy hotel, I would be scared to be alone, but nope, the bed was sooo comfy I just fell asleep immediately even with all the noise downstairs hahaha.

That's all for day 3!
Days 4 and 5 to follow..

Click below for
Day 1
Day 2
Day 4 and 5