Monday, January 25, 2010

Northern Jiangsu exploratory before Christmas 2009

can u all believe that alot of all these beautiful scenic photos were taken at yangzhou, suzhou, taizhou and najing etc by my nokia phone...i am sure many viewers woulld be tempted to visit these scenic places... if you notice, there is a special scene - we wore winter clothing at beach...

I was so lucky to have a chance to visit Northern Jiangsu with a free air ticket won from a lucky draw in Sept 09, otherwise, I may not really have the luxury of time to go all the way to the northern tip of Jiangsu Liangyungang (LYG连云港), a tier 2 city with an excellent port, for exploratory holiday. Friends were surprised that I chose to visit Liangyunkang as it has never been regarded as a touristic place, but to me, the pull is the hot spring in LYG.
2 Boarded SQ flight on the late afternoon of Dec 18 for Nanjing to commence my journey and was grossly lucky to also receive SQ Krisflyer sms on the same day informing that my long waitlisted biz class air ticket booking from Osaka to Singapore on Jan 2 was finally confirmed. Wow, my star must be shinning!

3 The flight from Singapore to Nanjing was smooth and comfortable, till the cold air hit me when landed as I was in short sleeve polo-shirt at the time that the temperature in NJ has dropped to as low as 2 degree and my jacket was in the check-in luggage. When I walked out of the aircraft, the Chinese customs staff could not believe their eyes to see me in short sleeve, another lady passenger was also concerned and advised me to keep warm. I thanked them for their care and quickly walked to clear customs and get my luggage. My friend GE jokingly said that myself and the other guy passenger in short pant could be voted as the most “ideal pair” for winter campaign in the NJ airport.

4 Friends Fan and Chang were so kind to bring hat and scarf to our lodge Central Hotel 中央酒店 @ Zhong Shan Road 中山路, an extension of NJ famous Jingling Hotel. It is centrally located in the heart of the town centre Xinjiekou 新街口. Must say that the hotel stay is cosy and comfortable especially of its wide spread of food at breakfast.

5 Old friends Leow and Chen joined us for the trip with their Chinese staff King, a friendly and multi-tasking lady like our little sister who not only get along well with us, but even provided us with greater flexibility of her driving capabilities and transportation. Her company adds life and colour to our interactions and visiting.

6 Our original plan was to stay in Lianyugang 连云港(LYG) for 2 nites, half a day in Yangzhou 扬州, 1.5 day in Taizhou泰州, 1 nite each in Nantong南通, Suzhou 苏州and NJ 南京, half a day in Changzhou 常州. But, we amended it unintentionally after realizing that the hotspring in LYG was far from satisfactory unlike Yangzhou, however we liked their Huaguo mountain 花果山 (monkey god hill) scenery in winter, the privilege of having nobody up the hill, no rush, ideal for videoing and photo-taking, the feeling and enjoyment/treatment was just like President Obama touring Great Wall in Beijing. Great!!

7 Yangzhou was surprisingly pleasing with its beautiful scenery at “slim west lake” and characteristic indivudual garden ‘Ge Yuan”个园, hot spring resort Tian Mu 天沐Hotel (even the hotspring facilities have yet to be fully developed but the breakfast was delicious), and the charming old town with lots of must try local cuisine and local brand cosmetic and fragrant as good souvenir. The credit must give to Yangzhou tour guide Kevan Huang who has made us stay for 1.5 day.

8 Another sweet surprise was the marvelous Taizhou wetland (we truly enjoyed the tranquility and bumboat ride) and the warm hospitality extended by the humble and knowledgeable tourism chief Liu Ning and Shen Qiang. Really appreciate their special efforts to make our visit unforgettable.
9 Lunch with ex vice mayor Zhang of Changzhou (now the PS of CZ Tech University) and ex Suzhou FAO Zhao to renew friendship was a breeze, and the discovery of the Changzhou Dinosaur Valley Hotspring 恐龙谷温泉(various types of hotspring and splash) is a bonus even though some of their Shanghainese customers didn’t behave themselves to upkeep the cleanliness of the resort. Hope that the management can be stricter in their enforcement to stop people smoking and eating when enjoying themselves in the pool.

The night scene of Suzhou Industrial Park was spectacular and has killed a lot of our e-film. Scenic Nanjing Xuanwu lake 玄武湖 park is also a plus, however, the park authority should have allow free admission for visitors to appreciate its beauty instead of collecting a fee which denied people from visiting it. Shopping at SIP Time Square (GE went to try on many swimsuits but none is suitable, I bought a stylish long jacket), Nanjing Xinhua Bookstore (bought internaional chess and books), Fuzhi temple夫子庙 and Xinjiekou underground shopping alley was something not to be missed.

11 After experiencing this unique tour, i would recommend travel agents of both sides to package some of these good places in their new itinerary for tourists and travelers to enjoy. This will not only help to open up new revenue-generating opportunities but also rejuvenate the common and outdated itinerary with fresh elements and activities.

12 Last but not least was the friendship gathering on Christmas’s eve with good friends Fan, Chang and Qiong. Massage at Shoujia 手佳 and haircut at Ruihui 瑞辉 were a lovely past time must do.