Sunday, December 2, 2007

Now I am a 'hao han'

Trip to China

When I retired in July 2005, I intended to travel around but was unable to do so due to unforeseen circumstances. Finally, in September 2006, I had the chance of touring Beijing, the capital city of China for 8 days.

Only when I was in China did I realise that I knew practically nothing about Chinese history except for the name of Shih Huang Ti and Emperor Qian Lung as depicted in the drama series shown over the idiot box in Malaysia.

Our tourist guide, Sam Sung (whose surname is 'Sung' but prided himself for having association with the well-known Korean brand by giving himself a Christian name 'Sam') related the history of every place that we would be visiting. It put me to shame for knowing so little history of China, the birthplace of my forefathers.

The Chinese are really business-minded as we had to pay for every single tourist spot that we visited. As such, tourism really helps to bring in substantial revenue for the government. I wonder whether our country should follow them in this respect.

The first place we went to was the Tian An Men or Tianan Square and took a group photo there. Then we were entertained to a performance of Shaolin Kungfu before checking in at a five-star hotel. I spent most of the evening switching from Channel 1 to Channel 99 of the TV set in the hotel room to see what was on. Most of the programmes were in Chinese except BBC, CNN and CCTV English version.

The next day we went to the Great Wall of China - a place to which every Chinese must go so as to be qualified as a 'hao han' (good man). Well I was there alright and the photo here proved that, so can I be called a 'hao han' now?

As for food, it is oily and salty but Beijing Duck was delicious and the chef made a fuss about it by cutting the roasted bird in front of each table.

This delicacy is synonymous with Beijing and tourists are deemed not to have visited the modern city if they have not savoured it.

Then we were brought to the site of the royal burial ground - Shi San Ling (13 royal tombs) for a visit. We descended the underground tunnel to see the burial place. It was dank and had a moldy smell.

Other places visited included palaces and temples.

I was seated right in front of the man who performed the face-changing act - a skill not taught to any Tom, Dick and Harry. We could not figure out how he did it. The person who owned the restaurant where we saw the performance happened to be a Malaysian! He chatted with us for awhile, beaming all the time.

Traffic in Beijing is very busy too. However, very few or no motorcycles are in sight. What replaced them are bicycles - lots of them along cycle lanes abreast with buses and cars.

We also visited the zoo to see the panda – the national treasure of China. It is not a herbivore as we think it to be as it is shown to be eating bamboo leaves. On the other hand, it is an omnivore, feeding on plants and animals. Its body is dirty as it does not care about cleanliness. The photo I took of one of them was actually yellowish.

I hope to visit China next year. This time I will be going to Yunan or Kuiling.

The Great Wall of China

Hao han I am now.

Beijing Duck for the table

The chef cutting the roasted duck

Posing in front of one scenic lake

Retrieved pearls from a cultured live oyster
Would you like to dance on stilts like us?

I am actually an omnivore

Can you see the air-conditioner on this modern Mongolian tent?


Miss Jojo said...

the mongolian tent air con is so cute! :D

ZuiYanHong said...

Concrate: to be a "Hao Han"