Lately, China has become the vacation destination for Malaysians especially Malays. Now why is that? First, it is an affordable temperate country; and secondly, the Chinese Islamic culture has been promoted heavily throughout Malaysia and that sets some comfort for the Malaysian Moslems to travel in China – to be able to know that there are ‘halal foods’ and little mosques for praying affairs. Since I am a historical freak, China has long become a fascination for me due to its long period of Imperial ruling, the live codes inside palaces, the relationships between emperors and concubines and also the magnificent architectures! So, when Kak Sarah, my school’s “Guru Cemerlang” proposed the idea of visiting China in an entourage coasting approximately RM2,000 early this year; I say, it’s a golden opportunity to set footstep inside the Bamboo Curtain!
The Forbidden City. –Courtesy of Teacher Azlin.
The Great Walls Of China – Courtesy of Teacher Azlin.
The Summer Palace.
The entourage gathered in LCCT around 6.00 A.M. as the flight was scheduled on 8.25 A.M. Supervised by Marsino (an Air Asia staff who happened to be Raja Ernie’s assistant; our Travel Agent), the group boarded the flight to Tianjin Binhai International Airport. Around 3.15 P.M., we arrived at Tianjin, China and there, we were told to equipped ourselves with thermal wear and winter coat as the weather was -4 Celsius! First time I boarded down the flight’s stair, the winter wind blew on my face! OH MY GOD! It was freaking COLD! But I was kinda like it because I am more into coldness rather than hotness. Thank God that I bought a pair of winter shoes at Jalan Masjid India; costing for RM77 only!
Cam-whoring in China! Actually, I was so bored waiting in the coldness of winter. (,”)
We were welcomed by our tour guide, Yue Li who claimed to learn Bahasa Indonesia for nearly 2 years and also our Travel Agency, Raja Ernie. With Yue Li’s tour-guiding us in Bahasa Indonesia (Urgh!), we boarded the bus from Tianjin to Beijing and it took us around 2 hours to arrive at the capital city of China. Since we had a tiresome 6 hours journey, the first agenda was to get our stomachs FULL! So, we went to a Moslem restaurant called ‘JudeHuaTian’ to savour dinner as China already got darker as early as 5.00 P.M. because it was winter; so night time is longer than day time.
It’s Tianjin down there!
Yue Li, our Chinese tour guide but able to converse in Bahasa Indonesia (Urgh!) for 2 years now… Always “macet, macet” (traffic jam).
Dining at “JudeHuaTian“. The waitresses were typical Beijing people. Rough and no courtesy in mannerism even in serving dishes.
After that, we went to see an Acrobatic show at Jin Sha Theatre. China is well-known for its marvellous skills in acrobatic and the artsy talents were definitely mesmerizing! The icing of the performances would be that few motorcyclists rode their bikes into one big iron ball and circled the ball in a very fast acceleration! It was a jaw-dropping exhibition, indeed! With that, we called it a night-off at Jin Hui International and Business Grand Hotel. It was a big hotel but seemingly deserted! Coincidentally, I brought along Stephen King’s horror novel “The Shining” of which I am in the process of reading it – which was about a haunted and deserted hotel!! Hahahaa, well, it set the mood to read, though *wink*
The acrobatic show in Jin Sha Theatre, Beijing.
The next day, on 22nd December 2011, our entourage had breakfast at the same “JudeHuaTian” Restaurant and then off to the first MUST-GO Government-owned institution catering for jades collections. I was told that any foreign entourage of tourists who want to visit China are made-compulsory to visit 11 MUST-GO places and these places are owned by the China Government. The places mostly sell fixed prices products (but still at cutthroat pricing!) and the salesmen/saleswomen would compete with each other to sell you the products in a saccharine way; but ONCE you decided NOT to buy, they will unmask the sweetness and give you unfriendly SOUR faces! The 11 places made compulsory are :-
- Jades shop;
- Pharmaceutical Institution (selling “koyok”, etc) at Beijing Bao Shu Tang Sci-Tech Pharmaceutical branch;
- Crystals museum and shop;
- Cloisonne/enamelware/porcelain mini factory and shop;
- Pearls shop;
- Massages & acupunctures parlour;
- Silks shop (1);
- Diamonds shop;
- Silks shop(2)
- Teas house;
- Knives shop
The instructors – trained by the China government – are all equipped with a fine scripted explanation in Bahasa Indonesia. They explained, instructed and demonstrated us to prove the efficiency of their products ALL in scripted speeches. Once a while you know they were recalling the words they rehearsed so much! In a way, it was disgustingly amazing, aite? They go to that length to sell their stuffs!
Jades-mat/pillows. Cooling effect as jades are water-based.
Jade technician in action.
Jade-made eagle statuette and also cabbage replica as a good ‘feng shui’ absorber. The flower part of cabbage is always to the door or windows to absorbed money while the head is in positioned into the house to retain the money.
Anyway, I’ve learned a lot about jades and how it can emit aura from the body and affects some ‘feng shui‘ radiance to the wearer. Jade is basically a ‘water-base’ ornament. It is always cool and strongly affiliates with longevity.
Beautiful Manchu princess gift and finely-embroidered tapestry.
Next, we proceeded to the Pharmaceutical institution/shop that sells “koyok” and a lot of other chinese medicinal herbs and ointments. You could see a big picture of Emperor Qianlong at the entrance. The female instructor there explained to us in the flawless scripted Bahasa Indonesia and gave her lengthy details about the advantages of using Chinese medicines. Nevertheless, the ICING of the speech would definitely be a demonstration of an ointment that was said to be able to cure burnt skin. So, the instructor burned a chain and then touched the chain in an instant move to let her skin burnt! Of course, she then showed to us her burnt skin and then rubbed the place with the ointment. Hahaha, but funny thing was that before the “burning”, her voice’s intonation was SO EXCITED and SPIRITED; but after her skin got burnt, the voice became so sad and whimpering-kinda-tone (probably due to the pain! Hahaha)!! Wow, talk about going to milestones just to SELL PRODUCTS!
The dramatist. A well-rehearsed presentation. LOL!
We then proceeded to the Crystal museum and shop which situated nearby the Ming Tombs. Unfortunately, my entourage tour didn’t cover Ming Tombs area *sad*. There were lots of crystals displayed there; worn by royalties and well-known people throughout the ages of history – some are adorned in a beautiful exhibition display while others are sculpted into statuettes emergences! But like usual, the China Government has closed all the doors to “imprison” all the tourists inside the shop so that no one can go out until the 20-25 minutes (allocation of time so that tourists are inclined to buy; it is said that they will only open the doors if some of people in entourage BUY the things inside; If not, they WON’T OPEN the doors!). Anyway, with the surrounding scenery of China hills and winter wind, the atmosphere outside was very soothing…..
The crystals. To be SOLD!
Lunch time; we then headed to Cloisonne/enamelware/porcelain mini factory and shop where there is a Moslem restaurant there with prayer rooms provided. In comparison to ‘JudeHuaTian’ in Beijing where the waitresses were VERY ROUGH (they served the dishes in harshly manner- the plates were placed with a loud CLANG! on the tables), this restaurant was MUCH BETTER as the waitresses came and smiled and bid us ‘hello’- the mannerisms were well-intact! Probably because the place is far from Beijing as it is located at Changping District (50 kilometres away from Beijing) that the courtesy and manners are still well-practised. Besides that, the prayer rooms clean and there were two dedicated janitors keep cleaning the Wudhu’ (ablution), toilets and front compartment of the prayer room. Kak Jun and I donated some money as we were so touched by the dedications; and certainly the toilets are WAYYYY cleaner than the ubiquitous DIRTY toilets in China!
Seemed like an office-like atmosphere for people to do porcelain/enamelware.
The much-better Moslem Restaurant with friendlier waitresses. Away from Beijing – in Changping District.
After that, our entourage headed for The Great Walls Of China!!! Yes! The epitome of China’s majestic imperial dynasties of all time! The length is said to be around 8, 851 kilometres stretching from Shanhaiguan (East) to Lop Lake in the west but we entered from Badaling, the northern pass of Juyongguan (Juyong Pass). For me, it was an unbelievable feeling! The place and the remnants I’ve always seen in TVs and maps and books since I was a little kid sprang open in front of my naked eyes! We went there and began climbing the Juyongguan.
Courtesy of Teacher Azlin.
Courtesy of Cikgu/Sir Rahim & Cikgu Sarah.
But, suddenly my camera’s batteries GONE KAPUT! That was unbelievable, isn’t it???! At first I didn’t know that it was due to coldness of winter that the batteries easily gone kaput- not until Kak Sarah’s husband, Cikgu Rahim pointed out to me *sigh*… Luckily Kak Lin and Cikgu Rahim got camera so I just asked their help to snap some pictures for me. We cannot ventured too high because of time restriction (when you joined entourage of group tour, time is always constraint and limited!); I went to the highest view possible and then sat on the brick stairs with Kak Jun (who also experienced camera’s batteries-gone-kaput), savouring the scenery. It was magical; Subhanallah! I wonder how would the olden Chinese subjects must have felt about this – they must be worshipping the emperors like gods with all these fascinating behemoths and architectures because even us, the now-people are mesmerized by these constructions, let alone those olden people ages ago, aite? Subhanallah!
Approximately around one hour and a half, we continued the journey to Badaling Ski Resort which was not far from The Great Wall of China. We could see a resort-like hotel with a humongous slops of snow behind. It seemed very Alps-mountain area and the weather was freaking cold as it was winter and we were in mountainous area; but I kinda like it. Raja Ernie whisked us to the skiing arena and warned us NOT to entertain any of the skiing trainers as they were expecting TIPS although these trainers KNOW NO ENGLISH! The power of money, you see? Well, as expected; we were thronged by these trainers badgering us to take them and always taunting us and begging us to take them as trainers, in the hope of making money! It was really hard to get a ski shoes from staffs who barely speak English and with trainers surrounding you like flies hovering faeces, you would get irritated, no?!
Badaling Ski Resort.
Nevertheless, the skiing experience WAS AWESOME albeit it was so cold and quite tiring as you have to balance the position of your knees and at the same time, pushing your body with the handles. I dared myself to do a slop from a high place and the momentum of skiing down was very satisfying! And yes, I agree with Kak Ernie’s LOUD ‘selling-points-but-make-sense’ statement that the cheapest skiing places in the world would definitely the ones in Beijing! Well, after having the fun of skiing on the snow, we then checked-in and got ready for dinner. The hotel was definitely a QUIET one and with my room facing the snow slope and heater didn’t functioning well, the Stephen King‘s novel “The Shining” really seemed very fulfilling when I read it. Well, luckily I got Marsino as roommate! Hahahaha!
Dinner at Badaling. Felt like in isolated deserted hotel ala The Overlook in Stephen King’s novel “The Shining” .. hehee…
The next morning on 23rd December; as early as 6.30 A.M., we make move away from Badaling and headed towards the Pearls shop. Like all the China government-owned places, the modus operandi was all the same – first the explanantion; next the shop-for-tourists-to-buy. We were told that most of the pearls were found in the water area of The Summer Palace and the age of the oysters could be verified from the strips on its shell-like surface.
Diagnosis and massaging. All for 20 yuan! Ergh!
After that, we proceeded to the massages & acupunctures parlour where once again the portrait of Emperor Qinlong was hung at the entrance. I wonder what was the connotation?! We were attended by a Bahasa Indonesia instructor who fluently belted out his script about the advantages of chinese massages. After the lengthy details, he then called ensemble of young masseurs and claimed that the massage was FREE. So our feet were all massaged and I’ve to say that it was very nice. Despite the language barriers, I’ve talked to the young masseur and he said he is doing his practical in the institution for 6 months as he is a Chinese Medicine student. Before the massaging took place, the instructor warned that tourists under 21 years old should not be massaged as the veins are still too young; so the masseurs were RELUCTANT to massage me as they thought I was under 21 years old!! Cliche, right? Anyway, after the massage, the young masseur just waited in front of me and I couldn’t understand until Kak Sarah told me that the masseurs all WANTED TIPS of 20 Yuan! Erghh!!! Well, it wasn’t much and deserved to be paid BUT the concept of claiming that the massage was initially free and then subtly forcing us to pay was very annoying! Well, that’s how China works!
Kak Lin & I in front of Bird Nest Stadium – Courtesy of Teacher Azlin.
On the way to lunch at a Thailand restaurant, we took sight-photo of the famous Bird Nest Stadium (Beijing National Stadium) which was built for Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008. After performing prayer in the restaurant, we make a move to Tiananmen Square! Yeay! This is the second place I’ve been waiting for its historical value!
Gate of Heavenly Peace with Mao Zedong’s big portrait.
Mao Zedong’s mausoleum (his body is embalmed and keep inside). The vast space of Tiananmen Square with crowd thronging.
Tiananmen Square is a vast space in front of the Forbidden City. It is considered as the 3rd largest city square in the world and has become the focal place for a lot of riots and protests held in the early 20th century. It was so vast that you’ll be amazed by that! People thronging and there were 2 horizontal-positioned LCD screens displaying the breathtaking sceneries of China’s mountains! At the side heading towards Forbidden City, there were soldiers guarding the Tiananmen Square; all stood steadfastly DESPITE the cold winter wind gushing and blowing! My, my – see how Communism ethics is professed? Amazing in a scary way! There was an underground tube that connected Tiananmen Square with Forbidden City; so off we went to other side!
At The Meridian Gate.
The first time I saw the glimpse of Forbidden City, my heart skipped merrily! The Imperial place I’ve been harbouring so much interest (all thanks to Chinese dramas such as “My Fair Princess” (Huan Zhu Ge Ge) & “Xin Yue Ge Ge”!) due to its political and secrecy behind the palatial architectures! I remembered that I’ve written an entry on Forbidden City in August 2009 when I served as a trainee-teacher KPLI in SK Sultanah Asma in https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2009/08/30/in-the-harem-of-the-forbidden-palace-hagia-sophia/ . And now TO BE ABLE TO SET FOOTSTEPS 2 YEARS LATER there was just so fulfilling, Alhamdulillah! Forbidden City is said to be largest surviving palace complex in the world and was the homes for the emperors in Ming dynasties and Qing dynasties. Our tour guide said that we would only took the centre pavement walk without venturing into each of the buildings and chambers due to time constraint (*so sad…sigh*). Furthermore, the walk on the main pavement alone would take approximately 2 hours to complete as there were 9 gigantic gates to pass through!
We entered from the Southern Gate (Gate of Heavenly Peace) where a big portrait of Mao Zedong, the Founding Father of Republic China. It was an ethereal feeling entering through the big archway gate. We walked and finally met the first gate entering into Forbidden City namely The Meridian Gate. Along the way, we passed through gate such as Gate of Supreme Harmony, Hall of Supreme Harmony, Palace of Heavenly Purity, Imperial Garden and finally exit gate, Gate of Divine Might. My, my…. along the journey, I’ve been wondering about the olden days. Such magnificent buildings catered for the Imperial Families while the subjects were left under the merciless wrath of the emperors! No wonder a lot of Chinese people fled from mainland China; thus creating the Chinese Diaspora all around the world. Life must have been very hard. Nevertheless, on the account of majestic palatial architecture, I have to say that they were mesmerizing! It was said that Forbidden City took a tantamount of 15 years to be completed! Amazing, no?
Heading towards the northern court/ gate.
In the Imperial Garden.
After Forbidden City, we then moved to the Silks shop where a cute salesgirl named Sarah was waiting for us. Everyone was so enthralled by her cuteness ala Hong Kong starlet despite her Chinese-accent scripted English-infused-with-some-Malay words. Same modus operandi and we were shown about the larvae and the chrysalises and then off to the shop. Although the fabrics seemed very of good quality, but there are expensive and seemed like no one bought from there. As expected all the salesgirls were vying with each other and kept pushing people to buy (but not as vigorous as the common market as this was Government-owned institution). Kak Jun said she bumped into the cute Sarah in toilet and knowing no one bought from them, Sarah put her sour face to Kak Jun!! LOL! Talked about the mannerism Vs money!
Around 6.00 P.M., we went to a Moslem Restaurant called “Western Mahua” to have dinner and called the day off at Jin Hui International & Business Conference Hotel in Beijing.
In front of the supposed bathing-spot-of-an-Empress-turned-into-jewellery-shop.
SK Serendah teachers did the ensemble pose. Hahahhaha! I am surrounded by all big sisters. (,”)
Could it be that he is really Malaccan-born Malaysian or he was just delivering his SCRIPTED speech to cut our throat subtly? Still remain secret. Only Malaysians entourage who visit Beijing can verify that….
On 24th December 2011, we began the day by visiting a diamond shop located opposite the view-sight of Bird Nest Stadium. It was said the place used to be the bathing place of an Empress (but I don’t know, it doesn’t seem right!). The shop owner , Mr James, was said to be a Malaccan-born but now resides in Beijing with multiple business in Myanmar and many more. He came in and gave us a casual-Malaysian-friendly-speech and serenaded us with his meagre childhood, etc.
I was quite taken by the speech – NOT until Kak Lin reminded me after that; that this was the supposed guy written in a Malaysian blog that was said to fabricate his ‘Malaysian-Malacca-root’ but when asked, knew nothing about it! The script was almost the same – meagre childhood; financing his workers, will-give-discount-to-Malaysian friends, etc. The elderly women in our entourage were very excited about this for sure! *Sigh* … Well, whatever it was, he sure cut our throats subtly as everyone was buying there; I, too bought several souvenirs there since it was a government-owned; so the price was fixed.
At the entrance.
A pagoda facing Kunming Lake. Ethereally serene!
The bronze ox – said to be able to control flood. The inscriptions on the body was transcribed by Emperor Qianlong himself.
The next destination is another anticipating spot for me; The Summer Palace! Yeay! The Summer Palace was said to be the emblem of Emperor Qianlong’s visions’ splendour and is mainly consisting of the man-made island that places The Longevity Hill and also The Kunming Lake. As we came during winter, Kunming Lake seemed to be frozen; but during summer, it is said that one can rent a boat that will sail around! Haish… Anyway, it was indeed a breathtaking scenery, Subhanallah! From the entrance, there are lines of willow trees aligned at the brink of Kunming Lake and from afar on the Yu Quan Hill at the opposite side, you can see the tall Yu Feng Pagoda erected gracefully on the top. So beautiful, Masya ALLAH! As you walked along, you will encounter a bronze ox statue facing Kunming Lake.It was said the inscription of the ox’s body was transcribed by Emperor Qianlong himself to control floods.
The Spacious Pavillion (octagonal views).
The Seventeen-Arch Bridge that connects the mainland with Nanhu Dao (The South Lake Island) where Longevity Hill lies majestically. There are 500 lions statuettes with different poses and 4 gigantic strange creatures at the mouth and tail of bridge.
There was also a big traditional pavilion called Spacious Pavilion with eight sides that could do 8 dimensional views. And not far from there was an arch-like bridge called Seventeen-Arch Bridge with 500 lions statuettes carved with different positions and 4 strange-creature guarding the mouth and tail of the bridge. It was really magical!
Scenery in Nanhu Dao (South Lake Island).
The beautiful Yu Feng Pagoda on Longevity Hill.
The water in the lake frozen! People could skate. Too bad I didn’t have the chance due to time-constraint. That’s the bad side of travelling with tour entourage.
The summer courts/room.
If you asked me, I would love to spend more time exploring every nook and cranny of Summer Palace but due to time-constraint and the irritating verbal cursing of some of the entourage member AGITATING to go SHOPPING, SHOPPING, SHOPPING; the time has to be cut short. Haish…..Kinda annoying because the purpose of us going there was to witness the grandeur architecture of Chinese dynasties, no? Shopping? You can do it in Malaysia! Kak Lin and Kak Sarah also shared the same opinions with me; but what to do – just go with the flow. At least, I’ve witnessed the architectures with my own eyes. That would be more than enough…Alhamdulillah.
The scenery of Summer Palace. I wish I had MORE time to explore it…. Sigh..
Next, we had to head for another Silks shop. Same modus operandi – forcing people to buy; and then straight to the Tea Shop/Herbarium where we were given explanations on several types of herbal tea and on how to drink tea appropriately; the position of fingers play PIVOTAL ROLE according to the gender of the drinker. A male would drink with two upper fingers holding the cup with the thumb while the other two lower fingers will curl inside WHEREAS a female drinker will hold the same position except that the two lower fingers will be branched out gracefully!
In the Tea House.
This is how a male hold the tea-cup.
Had luncheon at the same Siamese/Thailand Restaurant and then went to Niujie Mosque, the oldest mosque in China! Once you stepped into the mosque, it felt so right a home-ish aura. I guess that’s the beauty of Islam – everywhere you go around the world, you are bonded with your brethren under one faith and to worship no one but ALLAH SWT….The toilet was much cleaner than the ubiquitous toilets out there.
Niujie Mosque, the oldest and biggest mosque in China. With the Siak/caretaker.
According to Wikipedia, the mosque was built in 996 during Liao dynasty and was rebuilt during Ming and Qing dynasty. This implies that Islam has long etched in China since ages ago and I guess that is actually one of the affinities for Malay Malaysians to throng in China – due to Islamic aura. You can see A LOT OF MALAY MALAYSIANS thronging inside Niujie Mosque and the feeling of brotherhood triggered some to donate money to the Siak (Mosque caretaker) who graciously smiling to greet us. He didn’t complain when I shot photograph with him for 3 times because the other two shots were blurry. Always uttered “Bismillah…”
The well-scripted English presentation. But the knives were amazing, no doubt.
The last compulsory spots to visit as per Chinese Government’s tourism rules and regulations was the Knives shop. We were shown several metal-made apparatus such as knives and peeler that are so sharp and efficient for cooking and slicing meat and foods. With the already-memorized script, the instructor explained to us in a text-book Chinese-accent English.
The damn doomed place – where you have to be RAZOR-MOUTHED too in order to not letting yourself oppressed by the money-hungry China shopkeepers!
After that, the destination where those people were waiting for; that was shopping spree in flea market ala Malaysia’s Jalan Masjid India. I am not the kinda person who is into shopping and bargain so wasn’t really excited; but most of the entourage members were agitated – elderly women wanted to buy toys for their children, kids were agitated to buy toys and kept urging the parents…… I just hangout and followed Kak Lin and Achik scouting for their things.
In here, salesgirls would call you out along their shops and uttered few Malay words when they recognized that you are Malaysians (Malai-see-ya) and once you are interested and try to bargain the price, they would play sly by marking up the price. Let say you see a handbag; you ask salesgirl :
“So expensive! I want lower.”
“You show me what price you want”
***(Using calculator, you type the price) ***
“WHAT??? Are you kidding me?????!!”
The bargain process could elongate into a favourable condition or a worse. For favourable condition, once you showed disappointment of the high price and wanting to left the shop (away for few steps), the salesgirl will SHOUT and CALL you back by succumbing to the price YOU put; BUT for the worse condition, some will throw calculator and curse; and others will SHOO YOU OUT from the shop lot! Mannerism on dealing with tourists? That’s how China operates. And I’ve got a more dramatic experience, too.
Kak Lin and Achik were scouting for bags when a beautiful-trendy-yet-ferocious salesgirl came and urged them in a nearly flawless English. The scene was very irritating and I couldn’t stand the sight of that because before that Kak Lin had asked me to sort of give the salespeople the stern discounting pricing she was bargaining; so I felt like I need to usher ourselves away from the scene. I sternly said to her;
“It’s 50 Yuan or no at all”
But the salesgirl REFUSED and kept badgering Kak Lin and Achik. Irritated, I emphasized the price loudly. I guess she was annoyed and shouted :
“I don’t talk to you!!!! I talk to her! Why are you intervening???”
“Well, she ASKED me to say out the price and now you are FORCING us. That’s why I intervene!”
She then make a gesture to Kak Lin and Achik and me – saying :
“You are good. You are good. He’s no good.”
I became HOT and sprang out!
“How rude! We are customers and is this THE WAY you treat customer???”
“I don’t want to talk to you!”
We were practically bickering there and I guess the other shopkeepers were motionless because they didn’t expect that a childlike petite who seemed like a teenager no more than 20 years old could argue and shouted THAT loud!
“I don’t want to talk to you. Get out!”
“How RUDE! Don’t you dare to force us to buy. All right, I’ll call the police!!”
* I remembered that Yu Lie, or tourist guide told us to threaten the Chinese on calling police if there were any fiasco in buying things as the salesman usually recoil when policemen are mentioned*
“You wanna call, call arr!”
*But she seemed a bit recoiled. Since Kak Lin and Achik were trying to alleviate my anger (they were scared actually that those people my harm us; so did I – I mean, who knows there were ‘taiko’/gangsters lurking there, aite?). With eyes still in the DAGGER-LOOK position, I went out from the shop and waited for Kak Lin and Achik while other shopkeepers were like looking at me. Well…. FUCK YOU! Hahahaha! But anyway, we spent around 2 hours and a half there (as other tour member wanted 2 hours and a half SHOPPING! Ergh!) and then boarded the bus out from there. Thank God, I left the building! I got so irritated! What a rude bitch she was. Pretty-face but no mannerism; stuck-up China bitch, I say!
Our hotel in Tianjin.
Had dinner and then off to Tianjin as we afraid that snow might come down and that would definitely hinder the journey from Beijing to Tianjin as it took around 2 hours to reach from one city to another. With Kak Ernie, our travel agent and Yu Lie, our tourist guide in Jin Hui Hotel in Beijing as they were to board Air China with her family entourage, Masino had been left to take charge of us in Tianjin. We checked in at a Moslem hotel called Jin Ma Hotel (there was a Qiblah direction in every room) and called it off.
Night view and morning view from 11th floor of Jin Ma Hotel in Tianjin.
The last day, on Christmas Day which was on 25th December 2011 in Tianjin, we got ready and had breakfast at the hotel and then off to a nearby so-called Moslem flea day-market. Well, the people here were less vigorous and more cultured than Beijing people but still the quality of toilets were BAD. Imagine I went inside the small toilet only to find around 10-11 people waiting inside; some were urinating standing and there were 2 toilet cubicles. Since the toilet was SO CONGESTED, the two men inside couldn’t snap the door SHUT – but that NEVER stopped the men from doing their “defecating” business in SQUATTING position – visible to everyone else! Did they pay heed? NAY! I was like so shocked and really have no intention to pass urine no more! Sigh… toilets could be major problem especially for Moslems who are already accustomed to cleanliness and purification of the bodies.
The so-called Moslem market…but the toilets were still in meagre cleanliness….very unhygienic!
We had our lunch at a nearby Moslem Restaurant (bad toilet, too!) and then off to Tianjin Binhai International Airport as we have to go there approximately 3 hours prior to our flight due to international travel that required stringent procedures and luggages-checking. After a few glitches, around 3.30 P.M. ; all of us boarded the flight back to Malaysia. Alhamdulillah, there was no immigration hassles or whatsoever and touched down half an hour earlier from the scheduled 6 hours flight at 10.00 P.M.
Tianjin-Binhai International Airport.
Everyone was excited to go back to Motherland Malaysia! Yeay! Wanna get rid off China! (,”)
On whole, it was a whole new experience. If Melbourne etched saccharine memories, China left bitter sweet. I adore the historical remnant architectures as well as the vast natural and mountainous landscapes BUT the people of China were RUDE and UNHYGIENIC (spits and pass urine in public) and no courtesy of manners when dealing with tourists. Nevertheless, the opportunity to witness with my own eyes the magnificence of Great Walls of China, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and also The Summer Palace has somewhat somehow an already a satisfaction for me. I am grateful to ALLAH SWT for this opportunity which I never imagined would come true because since I was a little kid, I’ve always fancy these architectural wonders! Alhamdulillah; and to be able to use my OWN MONEY is another personal accomplishment, I say.
Bye China! What a myriad of experiences I had. Love AIR ASIA for its economical pricing. (,”)
“Mang Sui, Mang Sui, Ma Mang Sui” – Cantonese chanting for loosely “Long live the emperor”!
The opening theme for “Huan Zhu Ge Ge” (Princess Huan Zhu) drama. That was years ago during late 1990s. Bring back my China mode during childhood.