So I am sitting here in the Tokyo airport lounge thinking about my recent travels and I really want to record everything that I did on this trip in my blog, however, history has shown that I have failed on that many times. (e.g. China trip last year, Yosemite Trip, Iceland trip, and etc…) So I will try to do something different this time. My goal for this trip is not to post date my posts, but to talk about a day on my trip as I have time. Maybe this way I can actually get some of our (Vicky and Min’s) travel on paper.
So let’s begin, So as I stated earlier, I am currently at the end of this in Tokyo. The trip started from Seattle, to Beijing, then to Tokyo. In Tokyo, we stayed mostly inside the city however, we did travel outside to Endoshima and Kamakura area for a short day trip.
The food for the last few days has been amazing. Especially, the sushi and sashimi, just amazing. We were very fortunate to have few sunny days and few museum days (rainy). Today of course, our departing day is rainy. We statyed in Shinjuku and travelled around by walking, trains, and subways. So I will go more into that in my next post.
So yesterday was a good night, celebrating the Chinese New Year with friends, cooking some Crawfish etouffee, and playing few rounds of poker. The etouffee was extremely popular, it was all gone fairly early. I need to make alot more next time and the poker? Well, lets just say that I did not do too bad.
So Today isn’t too bad as well. Today is a really relaxing day at home made some red bean bao zi. It was ok. Only one batch turned out ok, and the rest looked really bad. It tasted ok, but just looked bad… however, I’ve learned alot and I think I’ve almost got it.
Today, we are traveling to Yuan Yang. Yuan Yang is a very small town in Yunnan province and the only way for us to get there is by bus. I’ve never travelled by bus in china before so this is a new experience. The bus ride to Yuan Yang is around 7 hours long. I did not realized how far Yuan Yang is and I did not realized how rural of a place Yuan Yang is. The ride to Yuan Yang was very interesting. The adventure began at the KunMing bus station.
Vicky and I were in the number 1 and number 2 seat in the big bus. On the way there, we went from the city of KunMing to the outskirts of civilization. On the way we saw all sort of development and lack of development.
As we get closer to Yuan Yang, the road are pretty bad and also we begin to enter mountain roads. I did not realized that Yuan Yang is broken up into two towns. The new town and the old town. The new town is more developed however there are not much to look at in the new town. The old town is less developed and is about a hour drive away in the mountain roads. Once we arrived at Yuan Yang our guide met us at the bus station, we grab our bags and headed toward our hotel. Our hotel is pretty much the only major building in town. It IS the best hotel in town or in the region. The room was clean, but a bit cold. There is a air conditioning unit with heater, but we are not allow to turn it on. The only thing that is there is a small electric pad that is on top of the mattress for you to lay on.
Shortly after our arrival, we drop off our bags and grab our camera, we went out to look for our first sun set. Oh … the reason why we are on this adventure is to take pictures of the beautiful rural southern China. Our guide took us to this secret location for pictures. He said to us, “the road condition is pretty bad, so we will be taking to little car to help us get around”. The little car is a 3 wheeler, similar to the three wheeler in Mr. Bean. The ride there was interesting.
Once we got to our destination, we immediately saw a water buffalo walking by with a farmer. We then walked down a small muddy trail to the terrace rice fields. The view was magnificent!!!
After our photo shoot, we travelled back to town and went to a small local restaurant for dinner. The food was decent and cheap. After dinner, at the town square there was a group of locals line dancing. Pretty neat!!!
So our plan tomorrow is to head toward our next location around 5 AM in the morning for sunrise photo taking. This will be an interesting morning tomorrow. More to come.
Today we travelled from Beijing to Kunming. This is my first time flying Air China and will probably be my last time. The flight was fine, the service was good except for the seat space. I was in a Boeing 757. However the seat spacing was so tight that the 3 hours flight was almost unbearable. I will probably never fly Air China again.
Once we got to Kunming. We got a cab and went to our hotel. After we checked in we went for lunch. I follow my number 1 rule of finding a decent place in an unfamiliar place. That rule is to always eat at a place where there are the most local people. We that said, as soon as we were on the street we found bunch of people carrying a little white lunch container, so we were off to find that food. It did not take long and we ended up in an alley and the food was from a travel agents staff cafeteria, and the place was packed. We bought food there. It was super cheap, and it was pretty good
My first day in Beijing. I am still majorly jet lagged. The air in Beijing is so bad that it did not help at all. Today was a very quite and uneventful day. Since today is Vicky’s birthday, I spend most of my time with her and her folks.
Check out the Amazing lunch we had.
I did go and check out an indoor ski place. I did not ski or snowboard but it was very interesting to see an indoor ski resort.
So it seems like in the last month I’ve spent alot of time in the airport, on an airplane, and just travelling all over the world. So for example, two weeks ago, I was in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. This past Thursday, I was in Princeton, New Jersey having a great time for work. Remember, I am working on Doctor House’s Hospital. Late Friday Night, I returned to Seattle, and Today (Sunday), I am currently in SFO waiting for my flight to Beijing. Yep… very very busy some business and some pleasure. The number of travel is really starting to catch up. So I know I still have alot of Mexico posts, that I have not updated yet, but I assure you they are coming. So let’s talk about my day today so far? My day started off super early. I took a cab from home to SeaTac airport, once checked in, I was able to spend some time at the United lounge. I thought the Delta lounge was bad, well, the united lounge was not any better, everything is very very basic. After an hour or so of waiting, I boarding my flight and headed toward SFO; The view in the morning right after take off was just amazing!!!
Once I’ve got to SFO, everything seems to be pretty routine, I went to check out the United Lounge in SFO as well, did you know there is a business class lounge and a first class lounge? I did not know that until I walked in to the wrong one. I wonder what is in the first class lounge. There was also this nice TV exhibit in the terminal in SFO. Very Interesting.
So this is the first time that I’ve ever take an international business class on a 747. I remember see the stairs going to the second floor of a 747 but I have never been there. This is my first experience of that.
My ticket, 14 is on the 2nd floor of the 747!!!!
Special entrance hall for business class passengers.
The steps up to 747 second floor. It is interesting, that first class is actually in the very tip of the plane on the first floor. I would have thought it would been isolated on 2nd floor, but it is not.
My seat. The video display is huge and the seat actually lay flat, which is pretty nice, but it is like sleeping on a hardwood bench for 6 hours, it is nice and flat but still not very comfortable.
However, once I borded my flight, we were quickly informed that there is a mechanical error and there will be some delay. After one hour, they kicked everyone off the flight, because they needed to “Reboot” the plane. I hope our flight wasn’t running Windows 95 or something similar.
After 2 and half hours later, and some terminal japanese food and another round at the lounge, we finally started to board the flight again. My flight to Beijing was 2.5 hours late.
Once on board, what’s interesting is that UA actually have the flight control communications linked up to their passenger entertainment system, so during take off and landing I was able to listen to the flight control provide directions to our flight. Flight UA 889. The Entertainment system is pretty nice, big screen, lot of movies. Very enjoyable.
This is our in-flight meal. Not too shabby, better than the Delta’s hot TV dinner but not as good as EVA air’s lamb ribs. humm…
So after a long day of flying and 2 movies later, I finally arrived in Beijing. Beijing air is as dirty as ever, I am sure it will take some time to get use to this.
Oh it’s been so long since my last post. It seems that I am getting lazier and lazier as time moves on. It is not that I don’t take pictures, I do, it is that I feel like it takes so long to post everything up. Maybe I should just give in to the Facebook only or twitter only world. Sigh….
So anyways, my in-laws are in town visiting, so after a week of cloudy weather and rain in Seattle, we finally got some sun today. So I decided to show my parents in-law a bit of our beautiful Seattle.
They day started with Ballard Locks. Yes we did see a few salmon, but what was more amazing was that we saw a sea lion near the locks. I have seen a lot of sea lions in SF, but never in Seattle. I thought that was pretty cool. We then went to the light house in Discovery Park. The day and the view was amazing. At lunch we stop in at O’Asian for some dim sum.
After lunch we went up to Kerry Park on top of Queen Anne Hill. The view of the city was fantastic. Then we visited Gas Works Park, which was another beautiful view. Yep, because of the nice weather, we tried to hit all the major view points around Seattle.
Oh… one foot note, Auburn lost to Arkansas today. So sad…. But besides that, it was a beautiful and an amazing Saturday in Seattle.
Today was a fun day, I really wished that Vicky was here. Last week, we hiked Lake Serene, this week it is Rachel Lake. A little about Rachel Lake, the trail head is just east of the Snoqualmie pass. The trail is 8 miles round trip and about 6 hours hiking time including breaks and stops. I felt the trail was pretty easy in the beginning, but after the fall, the trail got tough with all the rocks and trees, but the end was so worth the hike. Our day started around 8:00 at the Eastgate park and ride, we started from the trail head around 9:00, we were at the lake around 12 and back down around 3:30 or so. We stopped for ice cream at North Bend, and then went to Facing East for dinner afterward. All in all it was a very beautiful and pleasant day. Oh, I wish Vicky was here.
Oh… enjoy the pictures… I almost forgot … the lake water was ICE cold… I know… because I jumped in for a quick swim.
Here is the Photosynth of the Rachel Lake. Enjoy!!!
So this past weekend was my friend Howard’s Annual Tulip Ride. It was an ok day at first but it got really beautiful in the afternoon. The ride was a short and sweet. We rode from Bay View Park to the tulip fields and then to La Conner for lunch. Enjoy the pictures.
So it has been a while since I last posted. Lots of things going on, but I thought I would just post couple of pictures of the supermoon from this past weekend. Enjoy. I will have more stories to come soon.
Being home for my 34th birthday is wonderful. Watching Auburn Beat Ole Miss, picking persimmons, and just enjoying time with family in the lovely weather of Auburn is just wonderful!!! Oh and how I love our family’s traditional birthday chicken and meatball noodle soup!!!
– Took off early from work and took some engagement pictures with Vicky
– Since Mom and Dad is visiting this week, we went to see Avatar for the first time before picking up my parents.
Mom and Dad Visited this weekend. They arrived very very late Friday night. During the day, Vicky and Mom spent some time together and Dad and I went on to watch the first Auburn game of the season. Yes and we won!!! It looks like it will be an interesting season.
My family and I spend some time doing yard work and cleaning up the garage. The garage is one step closer to being clean and complete.
I also spent some time in the attic installing my ceiling fan.
After Mom and Dad left on Monday, we headed up to BC to visit our friend in Vancouver. It was a short trip, but a pretty fun trip.
Today was my last day in Macau, it is also my first day entering into China.
The day started off with some nice breakfast at the Hard Rock Hotel in Macau.
It was pretty interesting. Even though Macau is technically China, I still need to go through customs and immigration to go into China. Actually I had to do that when I entered Macau from HK. HK is technically China as well. I guess it is because of the SAR status. As soon as I cross the boarder, everything seems different. Simplified chinese verse traditional chinese.
Street of Zhu Hai.
The first thing we did after crossing the boarder is to go toward the seafood market. YUM!!!
No … I did not eat any of that sea worm. Yikes!!!
Yep my little sister is also in China to meet us 🙂
My little cousins.
Aunt and Uncle.
Mom and Dad
Now starts the cooked food section. So this is how it works, you go and pick out the sea food market, and take the sea food to the many restaurants near by and they will cook the sea food for you for a fee.
After lunch, we visited Zhu Hai and went on toward Zhong Shan.
Zhong Shan was the home of the Founding Father of the Republic of China. Dr. Sun Yet-Sen (Zhong Shan).
It has nothing to do with the site, but I thought the trash can looked cool.
Sun Yet-Sun’s Guava… the founding father guava 😉
Surprising to find the ROC flag in PRC.
The 3 Principle of the People. It is inspired by Abe Lincoln’s “Government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
Today is Day 2 in Macau, the day started off with a very normal breakfast with my father’s PhD advisor at the local Starbucks. Yeah, pretty funny huh… coming from Seattle, and I am in Macau having breakfast at Starbucks. But one thing they have that they don’t have in Seattle. Fresh Guava juice!!!
My morning sunrise from my hotel room.
The Macau Venetian!!!… just few weeks ago I was in the Las Vegas Venetian.. 😉
My Macau Starbuck breakfast, with fresh Starbuck guava juice!!!
After a full day of technical conference, we went to downtown Macau in the evening for a huge casino buffet. Afterward we went for some blackjack. The casino here in Macau is really interesting, first they can use 2 currency on the same table, HKD and Macau currency. The dealers were fast and sharp. Second, you can have side bets on the Blackjack table. I mean, you can watch a table and bet with someone else that is playing on the table. If he or she wins, then you win. Unfortunately, Today is not my day. I lost 🙁
There sure are alot of Pawn shops around the casino in downtown Macau.