Tam's China 2005 Trip

After 5 hours of sitting on the runway at SFO....and then 20 hours of travel...I made it! This was the first night, wandering the streets of Kowloon/Hong Kong. Crammed. Every bit of space is used! Las Vegas Style. Huge Hunky seafood, right on the street.
Typical neon laced street. Temple Street Market: Nighttime, outdoor and continues for blocks and blocks. Entrance to Temple Street Market.
Duck! The streets are busy all hours, it is a very safe feeling city.
Outdoor restaurant in the middle of Temple Market.
Fortune tellers On a more seedy note: I wonder what the "Friends Entertainment" Lounge is? What you can't see are the um...interesting items they were selling on the street along the block in front of this....
Looking across from Kowloon to downtown Hong Kong. 1:00 am -- Very safe City.
Art Museum Entrance. I really liked the Hong Kong airport. This place had yummy salt and pepper calamari. There was a group of people all wearing mismatched clothes like the ones at the counter....maybe they were traveling clowns? The ladies wore big hats with big flowers. Yes, Hong Kong was definitely a melting pot...I am on my way to Sanya now. Not a great photo. But I like the name/logo of this: Dragon Airlines.
I am guessing this says Southern China Airlines. Somewhere over Sanya...Island South of China. Hainan, Sanya -- They call it the Hawaii of China. Very different than Hong Kong, QUITE a bit more humid...English is hard to come by. Definitely further south and remote. Plenty of gap between the haves and have-nots. The hotel is so well done and so civilized, that I forgot I wasn't supposed to drink the water (it turned out okay). When I arrived in the Sanya airport. I needed Chinese money to get my cab to the hotel. -The bank machine didn't acknowledge my atm card. -There were no cash or bank exchange signs in English. It was by some miracle that I even wound up at the right counter. -Once there, they would not take my travelers checks or Hong Kong money. -You can imagine my sighs of relief when they did take my US Dollars!
Duck! again. This is my cab ride to the Resort.
There were lots of these. Along with bikers and carts. The cab drivers like to speed so we would be going 120km/hr, and then drastically and suddenly slow down for the carts, bicyclists, and scooters carrying 3 people at a time.
Beautiful, immaculate Sheraton Resort in Sanya.
View from hotel room.
I wish I had a better photo of this. The fashionable resort-attire for young couples is to wear a matching tropical shirt and shorts, and then to wear the same matching set as your spouse. The resort also supplied these great cotton Kimonos, which everyone wore. Between the Kimonos and the resort-wear sets, it sort of felt like everyone was wearing pajamas at the resort. I also had the best massage of my life here - Thai style -- applied by a talented skinny,bony girl with talent.
Gorgeous pools. You can see they are packed with people. :)
The beaches were pretty empty. Apparently, The Chinese don't like to sun or tan. Yes. This is literally 20 full grown men watching ice melt in 80-something degree sunshine. They were shooting a Perrier commercial. And they had to keep repouring the glass with fresh ice. They had no idea how much comedic entertainment they provided. Man with kite. Girl in Kimono.
Side by side in shade.
Where's Waldo the crab? ` ` There were these very cute and quick crabs. If you chase them long enough...yes...in little circles....they will stop for a photo. Don't ask me how I know this...cuz I am not telling.
On the road to Downtown Sanya.
The scaffolding is all bamboo.
Downtown Sanya: A typical Chinese City
I told the hotel I wanted to shop on typical main street. They gave a card to give to the cab driver. I had no idea where I was going. The cab brought me here. This is a grocery store on the main street. Open bins of every kind of frozen seafood you can imagine. Live seafood tanks in the grocery store.
A Marshmallow for every occassion - a whole aisle-side of shapes, sizes and colors. You can even stop and have a tea, to go with your marshmallows.
Downtown Sanya: Business District
All sidewalks were used. This was a typical alley street with little dimsum sidewalk spots.
A More efficient transportation than one would expect - Here they are moving a mattress. This is a mall called "The Beautiful meeting place supermarket" with store clerk ladies in little pinks suits.
Downtown Sanya: Where the locals live and hang
Common to see groups playing cards and cube games along the streets.
Washing dishes along the sidewalk. Dog on rubble.
Reading material for sale. Local cleaners.
She sells all sorts of unrecognizable meat and seafood on a stick. Local pool hall.
Downtown Sanya: More business District
Motor cycles are prevalent!
"Flawless English School Lights Your Way to a Brighter future" Typical street-side seafood tanks in front of restaurants.
I had a wonderful meal here for about 3 bucks. Uniforms are a big deal here for women. If you order a "Tiger" beer, it is served by this girl in the Tiger outfit...with the Tiger on her butt. The same restaurant has servers in with aprons and matching scarves. The hostesses had yet another outfit. The department stores had women attendants in matching pink business suits. And even on my flight home the flight attendants had different color uniforms based on their rank.
In this town, pretty much everyone knew only hi or hello in English. And they all liked to say it. These boys said hi, then I took their photo and showed it to them. They thought that was pretty cool. Selling sugar cane on the street.
Leaving Sanya, returning to Kowloon, Hong Kong
Travel riddle: Where can you get the worst American wanna-be cuisine ever (well so far in my travels)? When you are in some airport in some city in China. This is the worst sandwich I have ever had. Shredded (freeze-dried?) pork...with lots and lots of ketchup...with the crust trimmed. As you can see, I ate quite a lot of it. Do you ever order Bubble (or Pearl) tea? You can order them in iced teas or flavored milks, and in the states, you can also order them with iced coffee. However, in China they don't serve them with iced coffee. When I orderd a bubble-tea with coffee, I received a hot latte with them instead. I laughed aloud as I ate them warm with a spoon instead of the typical straw. Riding on subway from airport to city High rise apartments are prevalent.
Downtown Hong Kong, where the "expatriots" hang out.
There is a historic tram that goes to the highest point over downtown Hong Kong. There is an amazing view, which these photos fail to truly depict. From here you can see across the waterway to Kowloon where I stayed.
A waffle cone ice cream store...called "Ice Queen Pancake". From the local back streets in downtown Sanya to downtown Hong Kong, coconuts are served with straws. Coconut milk is popular. I ordered this on behalf of my husband who likes coconuts. This is the subway...at like 1:00 am. Still busy as I make my way from downtown Hong Kong back to my Kowloon hotel room.
This was in view from my hotel window. I don't think the translation is correct...
Very full alley-way shop Entrance to one of the main temples in the city. They are selling bunches of incense in front.
All sorts of very cool fortune and religious charms are sold here at the temple entrance - a couple of which I now own. Temple gate
See the smoke as you approach the temple? It is from the incense. The smell is already strong.... Paying respects...with bunches of incense.
Many people lighting many incense. The workers wear air masks.
Alley restaurant Alley barber shop...really!
Cementary along subway ride...I think.
Subway to the airport. That would be the Hong Kong airport, where I learned that even after reconfirming my return flight...that "I didn't have a ticket". After missing my plane, they told me it was a "computer glitch", and found me an alternative home.