Monday, November 16, 2015

Taking a Cruise along Star Lake (星湖) @ Zhaoqing [China]

A cruise along the unspectacular star lake would have done little to my review but i would have to go through the process as part of the tour package. 

This brought back so much memories; I remember these padding boats used to be the rage in Singapore's reservoirs although it was a torture once we paddled to the middle of the reservoir on a hot day and realised we didn't bring any water! 

Our childhood memories shall remain as memories as our guide brought us to another section where motor boats awaited us. 

Pricing as listed above for your reference. From the look of it, i think we took the one-way route from memorial arch square to Star Lake (south gate) that cost 15 RMB per person.  

Time to embark - we didn't pay a single cent as this was included in our tour package. The lack of a proper sound system means you have to sit close to the tour guide in order to hear his commentary. 

The views - which weren't much. 

For a Sunday with a temperature that wasn't as hot as Singapore, i am surprised there were hardly any take for the paddling boats. Maybe just like the little red dot, people prefer to spend time in cafes, shopping centres or glued their eyes to the videos and games on their phones and tablets.

A happy-go-lucky tour mate, who was the "happy fruit" in our journey, checking out the murky water in the lake that was said to be bigger than the famous West Lake in Suzhou. 

High rise apartments overlooking the lake; property prices were said to be high as this area was renowned for its fresh air and clean environment. 

Continuing our way on the twelve-minute cruise; as dad and myself were seated right at the back, i couldn't hear anything from the guide and had to pleasure myself with photo-taking of unappealing sights. 

You see what i meant? Interestingly, there was another seven-star rocks in Guilin for which i would cover in a separate post. 

Things only improved (marginally) when we got closer and even then, i am guessing the above could likely be just mere rest stations for those who managed to get onto the island. 

The karst formation seen here was a teaser; somewhat like a smaller scale Guilin scenery that was touted as the best in the world. 

I was wondering then if i would ever have a chance to climb up to the top of the rock, right at a Chinese-style pavilion similar to the one in the above photograph. Turned out i did manage to get my wish come true in Yangshuo.

Guesthouses dotted the lakeside for this particular section; i have never attempted a free and easy in China and i guess i might take the plunge in the not too long away future! 

A golden elephant statue stood weirdly as a decor piece for one of the guesthouses. 

End of our cruise - for a person who digs paranormal stuff, the washrooms (the green tiled building to the right of the photo) gave me the chills! Imagine having to take a piss in it at night! 

This ranked higher on the paranormal scale although it was inaccessible. According to the guide, the lake was expanded with one half natural and the other man-made.

No swimming sign.

Aside from the murky water, the sighting of dead fish in the lake would make one think twice before jumping into it for a leisure swim. 

The quiet pier that we disembarked at. 

A temple that was right beside the pier; known as Lingxiao Palace (凌霄宫), i thought the religious abode honoured the Jade Emperor but was proven wrong when i read on a plaque that Guanyin Bodhisattva was the patron saint. 

This peak was also known Immortal Palm (仙掌峰) which means i could be wrong about the route that was taken by the cruise. 

Anyway, the peak was one of twenty scenic spots for star lake and the above was a pond where you can release fishes.

Since Lingxiao Palace wasn't part of our deal, we would make do with a model shoot of my dad with the stone lion right at the waiting point where our coach was waiting to pick us up.

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For the summarised itinerary of my tour package (guaranteed no shopping stops) to Guilin via Chan Brothers, please check out the link here.

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