The Good, The Bad and The Ugly – 24 Days in Medite
3 days trip in EnShi city – need to be visited place in China
东京（Tokyo）君悦旅舍(Grand Hyatt Tokyo)¥2400起那时预约>
3 days trip in EnShi city – will remember this for the rest of my
Enshi city The total area is 24,000 square kilometres and the population
is 3,800,000. 52.6% of the population belong to the Tujia and Miao
nationalities. Should to know what Enshi is the only autonomous
prefecture in Hubei province, Best way to get to this place is to take
flight from Wuhan. is located 1 hours flight away from Wuhan. The city
has many hotels, restaurants and spas.The enchanting scenery and rich
Tujia ethnic culture have drawn many visitors from whole world and
abroad to this southwest corner of Hubei Province.
日本东京柏悦酒吧(Park Hyatt Tokyo)¥3484起那时候预定>
因挪森斯容慕斯商旅(Innocence Rooms – 韦斯特)¥349起那时预约>
The Nature of Enshi , HuangHeQiao
发表于 2008-01-30 18:18
Re-experincing Japan on a 7-day holiday
Fasinated by Japanese culture and artful scenary, I again picked up
Japan as the destination for my 7-day holiday during Chinese new year,
just a little less than a year after I killed 9 days there back in Feb.
- Despite my unsurpassed distaste of Japnese which I never want to
disguise on historical factors, I could not resist temptations of Japan
and its appealings as a place to visit.
There are of course added factors to it. Thanks to regular trips to
Beijing over the past five months and my patronage of Grand Hyatt Hotel
in Beijing, I have accumulated enough free nights for redemption.
Expensiveness has made Japan the best place to use up those free nights,
which would otherwise go expire by the end-April.
In fact, this is my 4th trip ever to this country. The 1st trip took
place in April 89, when I was still working at ICBC Dalian. Sponsored by
Bank of Tokyo, I came here, along with the other three from our bank,
for a 2-week training at Bank of Tokyo’s HQ. One and half decades gone
by since my first trip to Japan is only a short moment in mankind’s
history, but a memorable period we Chinese people should all feel very
proud of. Not only did the period witness profound social evolutions and
economic leap in our country, but also involved tremendous changes in my
personal life as well.
My journey to Japan back in April 89 was also my maiden overseas trip.
Today, my feet have touched down on soils of over 30 countries. 15 years
ago, I was here, overwhelmed by what I saw and shocked by modernization
gaps between the two countries. My mind and attentions were not on
anything cultural but fully occupied by obsessions in ways to minimize
my consumption in order to save up enough to bring home much admired
Japanese brand color TV, out of limited meal and transportation
allowance dispensed by the Japanese sponsor. Today, I am here, as a
tourist, financially independent, to explore Japan culturally. Material
part of Japan is no longer of my interests, as most of what are
available here are also attainable in China, more often than not, at
much cheaper prices.
I certainly view myself as a common example of beneficiary of Deng Xiao
Ping’s economic liberation policy. Deng Xiao Ping, the greatest mentor
and reformer in Chinese history, in my view, has transformed China and
lives of all Chinese people. He took China out of ideological traps
which Chairman Mao had enjoyed so much in building and fortifying.
Deng’s reforms have laid down solid foundations for ever-stronger,
wealthier peace-loving China.
My 2nd trip to Japan happened 13 years after the first one. In Dec. 02,
I was here for the second time on a 4-day marketing trip. From the
beginning to the end during the trip, I only stayed in Tokyo, busy
meeting clients without having much time to take a serious glance at the
city. Then it came my 3rd trip in Feb. 03, only two months after the 2nd
one, and now the 4th one, both of which are meant to be holiday.
On my holiday here in Feb. 03, I stationed in Tokyo and Osaka, commuting
to nearby cities via Shinkansen. The 9-day holiday covered 8 cities, one
city a day, including Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto, Nara,
Hiroshima and Sendai. My busy travelling schedule made it more like a
business trip than a holiday. It is only suitable for people like me,
who have been addicted to a life like a fast-running machine, have not
really learned how to slow down even when I am supposed to. Such kind of
hectic schedule is only possible in Japan, where Shinkansen trains make
trips to nearby cities from Tokyo/Osaka only a matter of one or two hour
While my trip a year ago only covered cities in central Japan, close to
Tokyo/Osaka, this time around I decided to replicate the model, using
Fukuoka as the commuting base, travelling to one of the selected nearby
cities each day in western Japan, including some rural areas.
Busy with a project, I had not had time to plan my journey, until 4:16pm
flight took off from Hong Kong airport on 18th January. Armed with a
travel guidance book, I quickly formed a clear idea during the 5-hour
flight over how to spend my 7 days efficiently.
When the plane landed at Tokyo Narita Airport at about 10.30pm (local
time in Japan is 1 hour earlier than Beijing time), the airport was
almost half empty. I was able to catch the last JR train (Japan Rail)
after converting JR weekly pass voucher (purchased in Hong Kong) into
offical weekly JP Pass at JP counter at the airport. JR Pass is only
available for foreign tourists, voucher for the Pass can only be
purchased overseas for conversion into official ticket upon arrival in
Japan. By the time I finally arrived in Century Hyatt Tokyo, it was
The next day when waking up, it was already 10am. The complimentary
breakfast offered to Goldpassport members was already closed. After
packing everything up and grabbing a meal box from a street vendor, I
rushed to JR Tokyo Station to catch the next available train to Fukuoka.
Only after I got myself seated on the HK-Tokyo flight and started
unfolding the travel guidance book did I realize that I’ve paid a price
for my stupidity and lack of advance planning. I mistakenly thought,
with Tokyo located in the center of the country, everywhere could be
reached via Shinkansen in 2-3 hours, as it was the case for my trip in
Feb. last year. On the back of such misperception, I set my base in
Tokyo and used up all Goldpassport points for redemption of free stays
for 2 nights at Grand Hyatt Century Tokyo and 4 nights at Park Hyatt
Tokyo. Among different classes of Hyatt hotels, Park Hyatt is the best,
followed by Grand Hyatt and then Regency Hyatt. As the only Park class
hotel in the whole Asia, Park Hyatt Tokyo offers unbeatable comfort and
luxury that is unmatched by any other hotels I have so far stayed. As a
matter of fact, my decision to take Tokyo as the commuting base is
partly related to my desire to refresh memory of my Park Hyatt
experience during my stay last Feb. and partly due to the fact that
Hyatt hotels are only available in limited cities in Japan. I need to
tailer the choice of commuting base to the cities with availability of
However, when opening the travel book on the flight, I then realised
that it is not practical at all to commute from Tokyo to western Japan
on a daily basis, with travelling time from Tokyo being 6 hours to
Fukuoka and as much as 17 hours to Kagoshima. Realising my mistake, I
adjusted my hotel bookings with four nights at Grand Hyatt Fukuoka, upon
my arrival in Grand Hyatt Tokyo from airport. Still, a part of my
mistakes can not be reversed. That is my flight bookings. As a price of
my stuipidity, I will have to waste about a day travelling back to Tokyo
from Fukuoka and return back to Hong Kong from Tokyo, instead of more
ideal route to take flight back to Hong Kong from Fukuoka directly.
However I dislike Japan and Japanese on historical factors, objectively
I could not help praising them for their superior quality collectively
as a nation and as human being. Honestly, over my stays there, I have
encountered nothing that warrants my complains, apart from expensiveness
in everything. After all, safety, cleanness and amicable natural
environment all come with a price!
Much publicity has been given to Japan about what make it good about the
country. Despite so, you will not fall short of pleasant surprises in
what you see there, physically or intangibly. If being asked about what
impressed me the most about Japan and Japanese, they should include
convenience, punctuality and safety of the society, high degree of
self-imposed disciplines, sense of responsibility and politeness of
people, and well-preserved natural environment.
Travelling by high-speed bullet train Shinkansen, you do not need any
allowance for missing schedule in planning train connections, as 99.9%
of the chance trains will arrive and depart almost exactly in time, only
missing the schedule by seconds, rather than by minutes. Exceptions to
such were rare, but were luckily encountered by me. On 22nd January, I
was trying to catch 7.56am train to Nagasaki from Fukuoka. The 2-hour
journey turned out to be a 4-hour one. The strong wind and heavy snow
hit western Japan, paralyzing railway network and leading to closure of
To me, Japan appears to be a fine machine, well maintained and fast
running. Each individual Japanese, whatever a role he or she is playing,
functions in precision as an integral part of it. The machine is so
well-lubricated that friction has been reduced to minimium. I have never
spotted even once any one arguing in public. Japanese people made their
name for themselves being quiet in public and polite to each other. Even
travelling in a bullet train, for example, you will not feel people
around you. What you will hear is only sound of page flipping (most of
Japanese read books on trains or subway) and, of course, noise of
running train itself. This is in sharp contrast to people in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong people are notoriously famous for their incapability of making
enough noise in bed with their sex partners (being the least frequent in
exploring sexual pleasure in the world) on one hand, and their excessive
power in speaking loud and noise making in public on the other. Luckily,
I am an exception in both regards.
While I can not hide my appreciation to Japanese in their sense of
social responsibility, disciplines, their nature in attention to details
and hard working, there is indeed a downside in their personality.
Masked behind their politeness are their cold and expressionless faces
and unreadable minds.
The 7-day journey elapsed quickly. On 23rd, I found myself having to
call my hard-won holiday an end, feeling just arrived. Taking into
account of the 1st and the last day, which were spent on flights, and
then barring many hours wasted on return journey from Fukuoko to Tokyo,
which could otherwise be avoided if with proper planning, I effectively
travelled 4.5 days only this time in Japan.
Despite limited time, I have had another good taste of diversity in
Japanese climate and scenery, running from snow-covered Nagasaki,
Goshiki-numa Swaps to sunny Himeji, from metropolitan Tokyo to rural
town of Dazaifu, from fountain-rich Beppu to volcanic, forestry
Kagoshima. Such has been made possible by highly developed web of
Japanese railway network. Railway network in Japan stretches into almost
every corner of the country and is unrhivalled by any other country in
the world in level of penetration and sophistication. The railway
network has served as nerves of Japanese society and contributed
massively to even development and wealth levels across the whole
Having traveled to over 30 countries so far, this is my 2nd try in
writing something during or post holiday. By doing so, I hope to share
my travelling experience with you, in the same way as I would like to
share with you my joy and sorrow.
1 day :
My first day was incredibly exciting the first place was be visited is
The Three Gorges – HuangHeQiao . We are entered the section where there
is a very deep limestone gorge. It was as good as any gorge I have ever
seen. I was surprised when I see 88-meter sightseeing elevator. This
elevator built between cliffs. The construction of the elevator which
cost 10 million yuan was completed in 2013.Now I know in China , the
focus is on creature comfort. But the people living here are far away
from technology and global advancement , more than you can imagine , yet
happy in their own space. Sometimes we need it that , leave big city and
just find a place where you can find yourself. It is better than nothing
, and absolutely Enshi city is the best place for that,at the time
hiking this mountains give me the new inspiration and motivation for
future ,this mountains tell me: open your eyes Sayat you can do it
anything! We met a lot of Tujia and talk with them , what we learn from
them is the sense of fulfillment in their lives. Happiness , they say
comes not from money but from within. And that’s the kind
we nomads feel every time we climb these peaks. They believe that they
are the sons of white tigers. After that, I also wanted to become Tujia.
发表于 2008-01-30 18:31
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly – 24 Days in Mediterranean Sea
July 31st – from Samos Island of Greece
After a long planning, I was finally on my way to Greece. On 27th, I
took late evening flight and arrived via City
w:st=”on”>LondonCity> in City w:st=”on”>AthensCity> on 28th
at about 1.30pm local time.
After spending three days in Athens and its nearby areas, including
one-day tour to Delfi (3-hours’ away from Athens), I was again setting
my foot for another tourist attraction, Samos Island last night. The
12-hour voyage ended at 8am this morning.
It is now 2.15pm local time. I toured the Island by the rented bicycle,
costing me Euro 3.0 for a day. Feeling somewhat exhausted (I am so sorry
for my bottom, not having endured such a long ride for quite some time),
I searched for an internet bar and started writing my first email for
this journey while having a short rest.
There are a lot to say and to write. I hate I am short of words to
describe the beautiful scenery and stories during my journey. However, I
hope I will have something visual to please you, i.e. photos and video
My short visit to Greece will end this afternoon at 5pm, which will also
mark the beginning of my trip in Turkey. There will be a 5pm boat taking
me from Samos Island to Kusadasi, the Turkish city 2 hours away from
Will write you whenever it is convenient. Internet access is not only
the issue of the cost, but something hard to come by here.
August 4th, 2003 – Westernized Muslim World -from City
My second email is now being sent out from City
w:st=”on”>IstanbulCity>, where I arrived early this morning after
a comfortable 12-hour bus journey from Pamukkele, a small city located
in the southwest of Turkey.
After ending Greece part of my journey on 31st July, I arrived in
Kusadasi on the same day following a 2-hour voyage from Greek Samos
Island. Kusadasi is a beautiful, western-style harbor city, packed with
numerous tourists from all over the world, mostly from Europe.
The second day after arrival in Kusadasi, I took an one-day trip to
Efes. Severed as a capital city for central Asia in the mighty Roman
times, Efes is still left with well-preserved architecture remains of
On the 2nd Aug, i.e. yesterday. I spent one day touring Pamukkele, which
is mainly famous for its cotton-white mountain, although the city is
also archeologically rich.
Today after arrival in City w:st=”on”>IstanbulCity> in the
morning, I spent the rest of my day patrolling around the old city of
City w:st=”on”>IstanbulCity> is unique in the sense that it
connects Asia to Europe. It is the only city in the world sitting in the
two continents. This geographical feature is also well reflected in
other aspects of the city, including food, architecture and religions.
The West meets the East in harmony here.
Turkish people are nice and friendly. Equally welcome to me is that
everything here is cheap. Tomorrow will be another day in City
w:st=”on”>IstanbulCity>. I plan to go to see Istanbul University
and have a boat trip to the Black Sea. Then I will finish Turkish part
of my journey by taking 9.25pm flight to Jordan’s City
Have to stop here now, it is about 12 mid night.
August 6 –What could you possibly expect – from City
w:st=”on”>AmmanCity> of Jordan
By now, I am here in Jordan’s City w:st=”on”>AmmanCity> only for a
day. The impression is very much mixed.
I arrived in the city very late last night at 11.30pm, after a 2-hour
flight from City w:st=”on”>IstanbulCity>, which cost me as much as
US$348 one-way only. Thanks to two Chinese I met on the flight, who
stationed here for an engineering project, I was able to get a hike to
outskirts of the city, from where I then took a taxi to downtown.
Upon my arrival in downtown, it was already after mid-night. I was truly
scared, when making my way through dark and dirty streets under dim
light in search for a hotel. I was tired and exhausted when finally
settling down at a place which I would not be willing to call as a hotel
although it is named so. At the moment I put down my luggage, I almost
had a strong wish to flee away from the city in the next minute.
I must have only gone to bed after 2am when finished shower and cloth
washing, but my late sleep did not help to extend my sleep to later
hours the next morning, thanks to horns and street noises which
commenced early in the morning.
However, I must say that my impression on Jordan may not be complete. As
time goes by, I become more familiar to the surroundings and the people.
Although I can not be complimentary to their hygiene conditions and the
messiness of the city itself, people here are friendly. Their
hospitality applies in particular to Chinese. When they know you are
from China, “You are welcome to Jordan” is for sure what you will expect
as a response! This is in sharp contrast to the image of the US in
Arabic world. My Chinese identity serves as the best assurance of safety
in this part of the world.
Relatively, Jordan is much more liberal when compared with many other
Arabic countries when it comes to religions and the code of
dressings/behavior for women. Despite so, however, it still caught me by
a big surprise when seeing 3X DVD discs on sale along streets. I even
encountered a cinema where several 3X films mostly featuring Turkish 3x
stars are on a show. This kind of things is absolutely unimaginable in
most of the Arabic world.
Today I toured City w:st=”on”>AmmanCity> city (not much to see
though) and also Jarash (one hour away by bus from City
w:st=”on”>AmmanCity>, famous for the site of Roman remains).
Tomorrow, I will head for City w:st=”on”>PetraCity>, the visit to
which is a must, according to people who have been there.
I feel happy that I will leave City w:st=”on”>AmmanCity> tomorrow.
One day is more than enough here, not for the people’s hospitality but
for the scenery and surroundings.
Well, there is much to write and say, but I must stop now. Since I
arrived in Jordan last night, I only had one light meal so far, as the
way Arabic food is cooked makes me feel very uncomfortable about hygiene
condition. I want myself to stay healthy throughout my trip, the way to
do so here is to eat as much fruit as possible in lieu of meat/rice.
This strategy does not work well, as I am very hungry now and need to
find something with substance to fill up my crying stomach. I will go
and get some fried food after exiting internet.
August 7th –The True Land of Wonder – from City
w:st=”on”>PetraCity> of Jordan
My 2nd day in Jordan started from a 3-hour bus journey from City
w:st=”on”>AmmanCity> to City w:st=”on”>PetraCity>. I got up
at 7am this morning and quickly packed everything up in time to put
myself in a taxi to Wahadat Bus Station for 8am bus. I was there at the
station just before 8am but the bus did not leave till when it was
eventually fully seated at 9.15am.
The 3-hour desert-crossing journey is an exciting experience.
Occasionally, I can spot a few trees standing firm, lonely but
relentlessly, adding much needed sense of life to boundaryless land of
At about 12.30pm, the bus finally reached City
w:st=”on”>PetraCity>, the city built along ridges of a mountain.
“Small is beautiful” may not apply universally but certainly fit well in
case of City w:st=”on”>PetraCity> when comparing it with City
w:st=”on”>AmmanCity>. City w:st=”on”>PetraCity> is much
smaller in size but prettier and cleaner.
The whole city is reliant on tourism industry and people there all make
their livings on the miracle works left over by people thousands of
City w:st=”on”>PetraCity> is number one tourist attraction in
Jordan, a visit to the city is a must for people touring the Mideast.
The ancient city, built in the 1st century AD, stretches over 3kms at
mountains at an altitude of nearly 1000meters above the sea level. The
well-preserved architectures, cave tombs, monuments and city gates were
all perfectly built in harmony with natural shapes of mountains, over
plateau or along cliffs, making it hard not to be amazed by intelligence
and power of ancient humanbeing.
The whole visit is a very strenuous one, as it involves repeated
climbing, but it certainly worth the efforts. It took me 4 hours on my
inward journey and another 2 outward. Many visitors would choose to
spend two days here, just for City w:st=”on”>PetraCity>. However,
this is not the style for efficient people like me!
By now, my journey is half completed. There are still 12 days ahead
before my scheduled return on 19th August. On one hand, I am a bit home
sick, on the other, I am still very much looking forward to new things
to see and the new places scheduled to visit.
So much for today! I am very much afraid that all my writings are lost
due to malfunction of computer or any unexpected problems with internet
connection here. So will not write for too long.
Tomorrow I am heading for Aqqab, a coastal city bordering Egypt and
August 10 – from City w:st=”on”>CairoCity> – Israel and Egypt in
I am now in City w:st=”on”>CairoCity>, sitting in front of the
hotel computer. There are a lot worth writing on what happened over the
past two days in Israel and Egypt.
August 7 was spent in Aqaba, a beautiful coastal city in Jordan. In the
Red Sea, I had my first swimming in the trip. As the transportation hub
in the Mideast, Aqaba borders Saudi in the south, Egypt in the southwest
and Israel in the west.
The next day I entered Israel city Eilat with intention to stay for just
a few hours before heading for Egypt from Eilat on the same day.
It was almost hassle free on Jordan side when crossing Anava checking
point. At this point of time, I had not yet realized ahead awaiting me
is the strictest security procedures in the world.
When getting myself to border gate on Israel side, I was asked by a
beautiful but cold-faced Israel girl to show my passport. The
information about me was communicated via headphone to her colleagues in
a building about 20m away from the gate. 10 min later, she directed me
to another girl who just stepped out from the security control building.
In the building, I was first asked numerous questions by a male officer.
Two people standing alongside the officer witnessed the questioning
process, which took almost 20 minutes and had covered any area you can
possibly think of.
It was not yet the end of nightmare. The questioning was then followed
by a thorough body and luggage check. My entire luggage was completely
unbundled and searched item by item. My body was touched from the top to
the bottom, and from the front to the back. No where else had I gone
through security control of such, not even in the US right after the
Followed by a 40-min security check was passport control. Again, many
questions were asked, but by a different officer. I was then told to
wait until further notice. The whole process that day took me about 1
hour 30 min just on Israel checking point.
Everyone, not just me, has to go through such tough procedures, which
are designed to prevent terrorists from entering the country. My recent
travel in the Mideast clearly shows that the deeply-rooted mistrusts
between Israel and Arabic world are still as deep as ocean and few
people believe the peace map will really bring about much needed peace
to the troubled region. As a small state being surrounded by hostile
Arabic countries, Israel is probably the country with the greatest sense
of insecurity in the world.
The feeling when entering Israel from Jordan was very much similar to
the one I had when crossing the US border from St. Diego to Mexican
Tuwana. Borders divide people on the two sides of border into two
different worlds. Israel is a highly developed and sophisticated nation.
You can easily believe you were in the US when in Israel, except for
multilingual signposts along roads and over buildings.
It is a pity that I could not have time to go to the holy city City
w:st=”on”>JerusalemCity>, although it is merely a 4-hour bus
journey from Eilat. In the later afternoon on the same day, I entered
Taba in Egypt, boarding the bus to City w:st=”on”>CairoCity>.
Very late into evening, the 6-hour bus journey finally came to an end. I
was eventually here in City w:st=”on”>CairoCity>, the city full of
numerous ancient wonders, the city I have dreamed of coming for a visit
ever since I was a child. Upon arrival, I was welcome and embraced by a
taxi driver at the bus station, who was among the many trying to offer
me a taxi ride. He took me to a downtown hotel, where I was entertained
by another business promotion. The hotel did not waste a second to
promote me a package tour tailed to my schedule. I happily accepted the
offer and sealed the deal with the hotel manager at a price 10% below
what was initially quoted, but only realized the next day when
travelling with other members of the group that I was being ripped off.
I ended up with overpaying him by a big margin in comparison with the
fair market price. Egypt is the best place to practice how to be a
cheater and also the place to learn how to prevent from being deceived
as it would not take too long before you can experience all the tricks
Egyptian people are applying.
I visited Pyramids yesterday. There were many to see during the rest of
my 9-day adjourn in Egypt. As to my feeling so far in Egypt, I have to
say it is mixed with many things good and bad and some ugly. I would
probably need to triple my write-up if I were to detail all in this
email. Let me reserve it for the next time.
August 14 – The Good, the bad and the ugly – from Luxor, Egypt
It has been 4 days since my last email on August 10th. In my previous
email, I summarized my impressions on Egypt as a complex combination of
something good, bad and ugly.
It goes without saying that long history, rich culture and spectacular
ancient remains are what attract people around the world, being major
elements that are good about the country. In addition, everything here
is very cheap, though I have not benefited much from its cheapness given
huge premium I paid for my tour package. US$100 is a big money and can
go a long way here.
To me, however, what are bad about Egypt outnumber what are good about
it. City w:st=”on”>CairoCity> is the largest city in Africa and in
the Mideast, with 17mn people cramped in the highly polluted capital.
The population of 5mn cars in the city is a big number but is mostly
comprised of something you could only find in Hollywood films in 1940s.
You will be amazed how those rusty steel parts, which otherwise should
have found their better destinations in smelters, are still put together
and operate as a vehicle. I am sure that there are no emission controls
whatsoever in Egypt. Air in City w:st=”on”>CairoCity> is so
polluted that concentration of exhausts, sulfur dioxide in the air could
well exceed that of oxygen. I find myself hard to breath when walking
along City w:st=”on”>CairoCity> streets.
Although the city is not short of traffic police, the city’s traffic is
not ruled by traffic laws, but by personal will of individual drivers.
It is almost a life-risking exercise to take a taxi or in the efforts to
cross roads, as cars are tailing each other, running fast as if they
were in a driving contest at a distance of just 2-3 meters between each
My view on City w:st=”on”>CairoCity> may sound biased, impartial
with some prejustice and certain exaggerations, but in fact all I am
telling you is nothing but truth.
Egypt is still a very backward county. China, though still has a long
long way to go before becoming a real world power, is far superior in
almost every aspect. Apart from City w:st=”on”>CairoCity>, other
places I have been to, including City w:st=”on”>AswanCity> and
City w:st=”on”>LuxorCity>, should be more appropriately called as
towns, dirty and shabby, rather than cities. It is said City
w:st=”on”>AlexandriaCity> is a much better, clearer city. Let’s
wait and see whether I will endorse such judgement. I will be there in
my last day in Egypt.
Egypt is the largest country in the Mideast. That, unfortunately in my
opinion, only applies in political terms, simply due to its sheer size
of population and territory. Economically and militarily, Egypt is
easily dwarfed by its small but mighty neighbor Israel.
Poor economic status here is partly a result of harsh natural conditions
(96% land as desert, plus hot weather). More importantly, it relates to
people’s lack of access to education and inborn nature of laziness of
the people in the Mideast.
Endowed with magnificent ancient remains, Egypt is relying on tourism as
the key source of hard currencies and employment (the second most
important hard currency earner being Suez Cannel). Without those, Egypt
has limited to offer to the rest of the world.
What are ugly about Egypt root in its poor economic conditions. With an
average monthly income in City w:st=”on”>CairoCity> at only
200-400 Egyptian pounds (or Rmb260-520), civilized way of living is
beyond the reach to majority of Egyptian. That is why, everywhere you
go, you will for sure be annoyed by people either begging for petty cash
or offering you goods forcefully that you have no interests in
acquiring. No tourist falls short of stories of being cheated one way or
It would be wrong if you are expecting any free service or help here.
Any help, however tiny like asking for a direction, will be followed by
a tipping request. In many cases, “help” is offered proactively without
your prior consent. For example, there are always people standing at
entrances to tourist attractions, offering you to photo with him. Then
tips are expected! Things like those are so annoying that not only
dilute people’s enthusiasm about Egypt but also test limits of tourists’
Corruption and backwardness often come as a twin. There is no exception
in Egypt. I hate corruption, as such is also very rampant in China too.
I saw many occasions where tourist police demanded from street hawkers
and negotiated with them for a fee to “buy” permission to sell souvenirs
So far, there seems to be only one thing in common about Egyptian, i.e.
they are all subscribed to one principal, i.e. “money pursuit”,
regardless of means. There is nothing wrong to worship money, but means
are what it matters.
Contrary to people in Jordan, Egyptian are not so friendly to Chinese.
In fact, there is an element of hostility. Many Egyptian people, when
knowing that I am from China, said to me that now everything in Egypt is
made in China. This seems to be a true statement, as I see even most of
religious souvenirs pertinent to Egypt are in fact made in China, let
alone clothes, watches and something within their affordability. On one
hand, Chinese products have special appealing to Egyptian, whose pockets
are not deep enough to be brand conscious. Chinese products are their
natural “value-for-money” choices. On the other hand, they dislike loss
of domestic jobs and markets at the expense of local products. A kind of
dilemma, isn’t it?
Much has been said about my impressions on Egypt. Now I ‘d like to
devote some space to my tour. So far, I’ve been to City
w:st=”on”>CairoCity> (Egyptian Museum, pyramids, sakkara, citadel,
etc), City w:st=”on”>AswanCity> (new dam, Abu Simbel, Phiale
Temple). I am now in City w:st=”on”>LuxorCity>, after a 2-day
sailing on a 5-star cruise. I will stay here for today and tomorrow.
Tomorrow night, I will be on my way back to City
w:st=”on”>CairoCity> by night train for a visit to City
By the time I am heading home on 19th, I should have been to all major
sites indispensable to visit in Egypt. On my way back, I will stop over
in City w:st=”on”>LondonCity> for a day, revisiting some places I
used to be quite familiar with, including Chelsea Cloisters, where I
lived for a year while in City w:st=”on”>LondonCity> back in 1994.
Although Egypt is a poor county and cheap in most of things, internet is
an exception owning to unsophisticated communication system. It is not
only expensive (Rmb13 per hour in an internet bar), but quality of
connection is too bad to allow you finish anything in one go. A day ago,
I was trying to access internet while the cruise ashored a city between
City w:st=”on”>LuxorCity> and City w:st=”on”>AswanCity>, but
I tried hard for more than a half hour. Eventually I had to give up as
the line was repeatedly disconnected before I finished typing more than
I am now in a tiny internet bar in City w:st=”on”>LuxorCity>,
choked in an unconditioned room under a temperature of 41 centigrade.
Please do not mind if I stop here.
August 16- With love from Cairo, Egypt
I thought my previous email would be the last one for this trip, but I
am impulsed to write another one, a short one though. I have just
returned to City w:st=”on”>CairoCity> by a 10-hour night train
from City w:st=”on”>LuxorCity>.
At 10.30pm yesterday, I was picked up by travel agency staff to head for
train station. In a taxi, the Egyptian explained to me that train
tickets at present were hard to obtain but he still managed to get me a
ticket, however, not with City w:st=”on”>CairoCity> as the
destination. The destination on the ticket is a city 3 hour away from
City w:st=”on”>CairoCity>. He apologized for that and handed over
to me 30 Egyptian pounds as the money used to purchase on train for the
remaining section to City w:st=”on”>CairoCity>. In this way, I
could still stay on the train through to City
After all those explanations and apologies, he begged me not to reveal
the situation to the travel agency in City w:st=”on”>CairoCity>,
to which I have paid for my whole Egypt trip as a package. He said he
did not want to lose the job, the means he relies on to feed his wife
and 2 children. I was very much sympathetic with him, who looked so
sincere, honest and innocent. I promised to him that I would for sure
keep it a secret from his company.
Soon after I boarded the train at 11pm, I asked conductor to issue me a
ticket for the remaining section till City w:st=”on”>CairoCity>.
By the time when I was asked to pay 52 Egyptian pounds, I then realized
that the whole thing might be a trick. Although I ended up with paying
additional 22 pounds apart from what I have already paid for my package,
I will still want to keep my promise, not to report the case to the
travel agency to put the guy’s job in danger. His job far outweighs a
small amount of my money. However, obviously, I can not like the feeling
of being deceived. I thought by then I had learned enough not to be
cheated, but the fact is that I underestimated their intelligence.
While I was cheated money over the train ticket, I saved an Egyptian
from financial losses. I went to MISR Bank yesterday afternoon to encash
my travelers’ check. The bank staff gave me 50% more Egyptian pounds
than he should. When I found out his mistake, I returned all excess
amounts to him. He then realized that he had mistakenly taken my US$
travelers’ check to be in Sterling pounds. He was very grateful to me.
Of course, there is a reason for him to be grateful. The error could
mean that the poor man could otherwise work for one month for nothing.
Worth mentioning about my tour yesterday is my visit to the Valley of
Kings and Queens, which housed tombs of many Egyptian kings throughout
18-20th dynasty (or 12-13th century BC). City w:st=”on”>LuxorCity>
was the Egyptian capital, the economic and political center during those
periods. For this reason, many kings chose City
w:st=”on”>LuxorCity> as a place to rest after their death. Among
62 tombs in total, tourists are allowed to visit 3 of them at present
with the others being still in the process of excavation or in
restorations. When visiting Tomb of Ramses IV, everyone’s interests were
arisen by the guide’s explanations on a part of well paintings. The
paintings were about lovemaking process between the God and the Goddess
before and after sex, with the God lying down and being served by
several Goddesses surround him. I was very much amused and surprised,
not only by the vivid descriptions and pictures themselves but also by
much more tolerant, liberal and open attitude towards sex by ancient
Egyptian than those contemporary. In other occasions, such as Luxor
Temple, wall carvings there carried a lot of pictures about male organ,
penis, in a very exaggerated way. Unfortunately tourists are prohibited
from taking photos or video pictures on most of those sites.
I think sexual pleasure was probably a luxury for ordinary people. It
was only the game preserved for the privileged few that time. For
ordinary people, male or female, their minds must have been fully
occupied by the practical needs to find enough food to feed and adequate
materials to cloth and a place to shelter, and must have faced endless
challengers in tackling with flood, starving, and alike.
With the presence of those pictures, I pampered my imaginations and
allowed them to go wild. I was wondering if there are any differences at
all between loving making in ancient days and now. At least one thing I
can be sure about is that sexual equality is an irreversible trend
nowadays. Coupled with a greater financial independence, much improved
access to education, fairer employment practices, women nowadays are
playing a more proactive role in sex. In the past, female’s role was
more of a passive one and her own rights were not respected. In essence,
however, women are in no difference from men. They need to love as much
as to be loved!
Including today, I will have two more days to kill in Egypt. Today is a
free day, I will wonder around in the city in the afternoon, may go to
cinema to see an Egyptian film even though I do not understand the
language. Tomorrow will be a trip to City
w:st=”on”>AlexandriaCity>. Then early on 18th my flight will take
me home (with a stopover in City w:st=”on”>LondonCity>).
The more I traveled the more objective comparisons I can draw, the more
I feel in love with my country, China. Our motherland is not just with
what my fellow citizens of China should be proud of for its past, and
its present, but also far more importantly for its great, unlimited
potentials, for its prosperous future.
Let me make this email to be truly the last one of this trip.
Day was an adventure we have seat a boat and tour through the river and
mountainsand we also see a lot of spectacular waterfalls. The boats
looks tradition Chinese boats but powered by engines, and fully air
conditioned, so comfortable. Qingjiang River is regarded as the “mother
river of the Tujia ethnic group. The water in the river is so clear that
can be taken as a mirror and the scenic beauty is excellent.
Amazing vies of waterfall at Qingjiang River
Dream team from different countries as like Kazakhstan, Macedonia,
Russia , Egypt , England, U.S and Serbia ,China
Five Stars Red Flag at Qingjiang River 五星Red Banner
Enshi Grand Canyon
My second day in Enshi city was also very interesting. I was able to
visit Enshi Grand Canyon. This Grand Canyon its about 2 hours drive from
Enshi City , view on he way to canyon is also amazing.The total trek is
around 10 kilometers and takes around 4-5 hours with many stops for
photo taking. We take the cable car and I’m seating there and just enjoy
the such a beautiful breathtaking views. Even this day was so foggy and
rainy , but the area look so photogenic during misty weather. The fog
blown around by the wind exposing crags and peaks , the freshness and
clarity of the air after the rain , and the occasional gusts of wind. i
felt alive ,truly. After that we did an incredible hike in enshi grand
canyon . after climbing hundreds of stairs ,we were rewarded with the
best view. The magnificent Enshi Grand Canyon is imposing yet spacious ,
presenting diverse layers of landscapes . The mountains and the
QingJiang river valley are deep , different from other mountains. So
that’s what I’m everytime cant tired to say : “Nature is the cheapest
and most beautiful attraction you can visit”. And yeap that place
namedby the CNN of USA is one of the 40 most beautiful places in China.
Virgin Tower (Enshi Grand Canyon)
After good workout in grand canyon in the evening we went to Girls City.
It’s the kind of place where you want to sit down , people watch ,
listen to the street musicians and enjoy everything around you ,and
that’s what we did.The food in this city is so spicy , especially spicy
fried potatoes ,but I love it, its so amazing to try some Tujia
The third last day was rather exciting. We headed to The TengLongDong
Cave . It is the famous karst phenomena in the region.
The TengLongDong Cave
Is located about six kilometers from Lichuan city , Central China’s
Hubei province. It is believed to be the longest monomer karst cave
system in the world and It is regarded as the biggest cave in China .
The cave’s entrance is 74 meters high and 64 meters wide, leading to
59.8 kilometers of passage way. In 2005 , it was ranked among China’s
six wonderful caves. Into the cave was a performance. We sat in the
forefront as very important guests. It was very amazing, national
costumes, showed their rich culture.I was just shocked by all this!
I’m so happy that I have participated this 3 days tour in Enshi city .
We made fantastic journey here. It is quite nice and well worth the
journey . In conclusion , if you do see anything in Hubei , Enshi city –
you must at least see the 88-meter sightseeing elevator of Huangheqiao
and Enshi Grand Canyon – you’ll be glad you went! I can’t imagine Enshi
will be so beautiful , best time to visit Enshi all year round =) I’m
very grateful to the company Ctrip I love you guys and Thank you for
making our trip unforgettable! And in the end just a poet by Lord Byron:
“There is pleasure in the pathless woods , there is rapture in the
lonely shore , there is society where none intrudes , by the deep sea
,and music in its roar : I love not man the less, but nature more”.