Sunday, August 18, 2019

Day Seven of Our Eight Days' Guizhou Tour Package by Chan Brothers Travel

I couldn't sleep much given my loss the day before and woke up early for breakfast at Longdu Jingyi International Hotel. Well, not much mood for me to fill up my tummy despite the many words of encouragement and condolences offered by my tour mates.

With some time to kill before the tour group congregated at 10.30 am, i brought my dad to check out the calm lake across the hotel. Not an easy task given that the pavilion where i lost my DSLR is by the lakeside. 

The said pavilion that incurred much sadness. 

There was actually a prequel for my loss and it all started at silver shop housed within the Kaili Minority Cultural Museum (凯里民族文化馆) next to our hotel. 

Selling quality and beautiful silverware (including jewelry), i couldn't decide then if i should buy a bracelet with Buddhist scriptures written on the inner surface. It didn't take me long to decide to save my money instead; should i have bought it, my DSLR might still be with me as i definitely wouldn't have time to rest at the pavilion.   

Given my frustration with the loss of my camera (and six days of photos), i was determined to go back and buy the shining bracelet (costing RMB 498), which caught my eye the day before! 

Dad playing with a stray kitten next to the museum. It's interesting to note that the kitten expressed much more interest in my dad and he's not known to be a pet lover. Click here for more photos.

On our way back to Guiyang! 

Actually not really; we were brought to the Minority Culture Museum of Qiandongnan Prefecture in the same Kaili city instead where we gained insights about the minorities in Chinese (notably the Miao and Dong which had a high concentration in this prefecture) and Lu Xun. 

A ferocious looking dog standing guard over a few cages on a pickup truck. We didn't think too much about it as we were in a rush to return to the coach parked a further distance away and i didn't peek further to see what's being caged. It was hence with surprise that my photo did manage to capture what seemed to be another dog in one of the cages.

Turned out there's a restaurant selling dog meat not too far away. :( My stand has always been that every country has their own culture and it's not appropriate for us, as foreigners, to raise our opinions.

On a happier note, i still don't get it why my dad likes to take pictures with the coaches! I do take photos of the coaches but mainly because i need to keep a copy of the license plate in case i couldn't remember the driver for our tour group! 

Saw on the road - how to navigate with so many items?! If i am the driver, i would likely have an accident right after making a turn since i have severe doubt about my balancing. 

侗嘎佬 - a restaurant still within Kaili city; aside from musical performance right before entering, the men were subject to rice wine drinking as part of their welcome guest custom! 

Dad was drinking again! 

Nothing beats seeing the grinding of corn into corn meal; guess they went into making our dishes earlier although it could have been for show only since it's much more efficient to use machine-ground flour.

Out of Kaili, onward to Guiyang where we enjoyed the scenery dotted with rolling hills, agricultural land, hillside cemeteries and swathes of canola flower fields. 

Harnessing the wind for power! 

Safety alert - if the gas tanks were to scrap across the tarred road, would the sparks of friction result in an explosion? Just wondering. 

BRT stands for Bus Rapid Transit with a dedicated line for buses! I originally thought it's a train system and till now, still don't understand the difference it has with our bus lanes in Singapore, with exception that the latter operates only during peak hours.

Qianling Hill Park (黔灵山公园); i don't visit parks when i am on free and easy but it's the norm when it comes to tour packages! Thankfully, the parks in China are unlike the ones we have in Singapore.

Furthermore, the season i chose is always during spring when temperature is much cooler than Singapore. Hence, i am not complaining about the 900-steps climb up to the temple, with the monkeys as companions! 

The ancient Hongfu Temple (弘福寺); have your wish granted by performing a simple ritual in front of the nine-dragon screen! Click here for more info.

Had a little disagreement with my dad towards the end of the Qianling Hill Park (黔灵山公园) visit. Therefore, kept myself occupied with photo-taking of the busy roads after office hours. 

Many motorists and passengers on bikes continued to be helmet-less.

Did you notice the Jiaxiu Pavilion? It's the icon of Guiyang and heavily featured in mementos for tourists! More would be share about the historical structure in due course as we went there the very next day. 

Dinner at 南粥北面! This is the same restaurant where i found a urinal that's not for normal people. Click here to understand why! 

Morning takeaway operation for the restaurant where buns, eggs, porridge etc would be on sale; a bun cost just 2 RMB (about Singapore 40 cents).

Tickets for the optional Colourful Guizhou Folk Show and Dance (多彩贵州风) at Guiyang Grand Theater! Our tour guide, Huan Huan, was honest right from the beginning of our trip by telling us the real ticket price (at RMB 198) was cheaper and the extra top up (to a total of RMB 250) was for them. 

Unlike my first visit to China, i am already quite used to such optional items for the tour package and was already prepared for the extras. And since Huan Huan expressed such honesty, i think it's a given to support her! 

I wanted to share the compiled videos of snippets of the performance but my software appeared buggy! Anyway, just refer to the photos as above first. 

To say i am impressed is an understatement! There's just something captivating about the props and attires of the minority tribes. Even though the show doesn't have much acrobatic elements; the songs were catchy (especially 我在贵州等你, i am waiting for you in Guizhou)!

And it's fascinating to see the use of LED TV walls as replacement for the traditional props! The details and effects were incredible; we should have such technology exported to Singapore, at a reasonable cost. 

Dolls for sale after the performance! You can also choose to buy the CDs for the performance even though many in the audience were happily recording the whole show! 

Remember New World Guiyang Hotel, our accommodation in day one of Guizhou? We would be staying at the same place on our last night in Guizhou too.

Some pictures for your viewing pleasure; bathtub, walk-in wardrobe, a sizeable gym! The only one thing i dislike (applicable for most of the hotels we stayed in this trip) is that there's usually no lock for the bathroom and one even had a transparent door! 

Since it's our last night in Guizhou; time to prepare the basic tips for the tour guide, tour leader and the driver, and the feedback form! To be frank, this was one of the best trips i had in China (despite the LOSS) and i believe it's only right to top up a bit more for the tips. 


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