Wanderlustful

Stories and photos from Elvina in China

A weekend in Xiamen

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The biggest event currently taking over the city I live in is one you’ve never even heard of, the 2010 Asian Games. But because of it, we had a school closing last Friday for the opening ceremonies. Taking advantage of the long weekend, we flew to Xiamen.

Xiamen is an island that’s part of Fujian province and just a bit north of here. It’s near Taiwan. We flew in on a Thursday night and went straight to the hotel. The next morning, we booked a tu lou tour for Saturday. Tu lou are circular earthen-made buildings. There are many floors and hundreds of residences in each one. It’s amazing to visit and really a throwback to a different way of living.

We spent Friday walking along Xiamen’s walking street, Zhongsan Lu. There are a number of shops, coffee stands and street vendors. From there, we went to the Gulangyu Ferry Terminal. Gulangyu is a small, pedestrian only island that is part of Xiamen city. Gulangyu used to be a foreign settlement and still retains some of the colonial architecture. It’s a great place to spend your afternoon, sip coffee or tea, read, and people watch.

On Saturday, we spent all day with the tu lou tour. A few hours there by bus, lunch, visits to the many tu lou. There were round, square, large and small buildings. I will post my photos to Flickr.

On Sunday, we just walked around some more and basically got ready to fly home. It was a perfect, short visit to Xiamen. It is a small city, in comparison to the many Chinese cities I’ve added to my “visited” list. It’s easily navigated by bus, and there is no underground system. The people are friendly and helpful.

I give a huge thumbs up to our accommodations on this weekend getaway. Staff were extremely helpful, the rooms was large and comfortable, good internet connection and a big vegetarian breakfast buffet. Good value for the money and I would stay there again. Below are the details:

Xiamen Ru Shi Hotel
35 Wenping Road
Siming, Xiamen, Fujian, China
0592-5831888

厦门如是酒店
福建省厦门市思明区文屏路35号

Written by elvina

November 18th, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Posted in travelogues

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Zhuhai

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Zhuhai is a charming respite from the crowds of Guangzhou. We took a bus from Tianhe Coach Terminal, which was 75 RMB for the VIP bus. You can also get frequent buses from the China Hotel, the Garden Hotel, the airport, and near the Guangzhou East Railway Station. The ride was about 2.5 hours.

Once there, take a peaceful walk along Lover’s Road, which will take you to the Fisher Girl statue, the symbol of Zhuhai. The new Yuangmingyuan is an imitation of the Yuanming Palace in Beijing and covers an area of 1.39 square km. Jintai Buddhist Temple was built at the end of the Song Dynasty, over 1,000 years old and worth a visit if you are in the Doumen area. You can also play golf or indulge in the hot springs. If that’s not enough, at the Gongbei port, you can literally walk to Macau.

Hotels are plentiful, from budget to luxury. Check http://www.ctrip.com for deals.

Written by elvina

September 30th, 2010 at 7:53 am

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New-ish adventures

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Hello! I’m no longer living in Suzhou, China and have moved further south to Guangzhou. The weather is not so great – blazing hot and humid. But what IS great is the plentitude of inexpensive direct flights to Southeast Asian destinations, an express train to Hong Kong and wonderful food.

We are hoping to pluck a weekend out to go somewhere nearby. I will report back if that can happen. Next, we have a 10 day school break for the Chinese National holiday, October 1. We have friends from Suzhou visiting Guangzhou for a few days, then we head to Hong Kong for two days, then end our week relaxing on the beach in Sanya.

Written by elvina

September 15th, 2010 at 9:04 am

Posted in plans

My photo was #8!

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This is so funny. I used to check dpreview.com for tips and inspiration for my photography. I haven’t done so in very long due to… well, life. It’s busy. They have this “Challenge” that I used to look at, and sometimes enter. Well, I just logged into the site after not checking it in almost a year and I see that I was #8 in the top ten runner-ups in of the challenges I entered. The challenge was “The Daily Round.” See it here. It’s not one of my best photos in terms of quality, color, etc, though.

Written by elvina

July 19th, 2010 at 7:17 am

Posted in photos

No news is… good news?

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So clearly I have been awful at keeping up this page. I had a goal to write a travelogue about each trip I went on. But I’m just a working person like you. It just so happens that I’m in close proximity to inexpensive and “exotic” travel destinations. Plus, being a teacher, I get extended holidays. This coming school year, I’ll try to write at least something about my trips. If I’m super ambitious I can try to write about trips retroactively. Hmm… let’s not get carried away here.

Something I don’t slack off on is my travel photography. Please do explore that. Isn’t a picture worth more than a thousand words anyway??

Lastly, here is a quick wrap up of the trips I’ve taken since living abroad in 2008.

September – Mid Autumn Festival 2008 – Beijing, China
October – National Day 2008 – Kuala Lumpur; Melaka, Malaysia
December Christmas/New Year 2008 – Ho Chi Minh City; Danang; Hoi An, Vietnam. Siem Reap; Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
January Lunar New Year 2009 – New York!
April long weekend 2009 – Qingdao, Shandong, China
May – Labor Day 2009 – Kashgar, Turpan, Xinjiang, China
August 2009 – Xian, Pingyao, Chengdu, China

October – National Day 2009 – Kunming, Dali, Xishuangbanna; Yunnan, China
December Christmas/New Year 2009 – Java, Indonesia (long layover in Guangzhou on the way home)
February Lunar New Year 2010 – Singapore; Cameron Highlands; Penang, Malaysia
April long weekend 2010 – Beijing, China
April/May – Labor Day 2010 – Guangzhou, China; Putuoshan, Zhejiang, China

Written by elvina

July 12th, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Posted in plans

Welcome to my wandering wonderings…

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Hello there. You have come across my space for sharing stories and photos from my travels.Stay tuned for more.

Written by elvina

October 20th, 2009 at 6:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized