Friday, June 25, 2010

Thank you? Or Thank you?

I LOVE HONG KONG!! Minus the hotel disasters, I still love HONG KONG!
Wish I could stay here longer though, I must come back!
Today we had congee for breakfast. The congee was so good, I think it’s because I hadn’t eaten in a long time. But it really hit the spot! After breakfast, we went to the Hong Kong convention centre, walked to the ferry depot and took a ferry to Kowloon. Kowloon is pretty incredible too. Very modern, in their buildings, and I love their shopping! We took a nice walk through the “Avenue of Stars” and while looking at the Bruce Lee statue, a massive tropical rainstorm down poured on us. *Side Note: Michelle and Louisa, the Toronto tornado rainstorm still takes the cake.*
A whole crowd of people starting running like Godzilla was chasing behind them. All I could see was a huge cloud chasing us and a whole bunch of girls wearing heels screaming their heads off. Luckily, we found some undercover area and didn’t manage to get very wet.
For lunch, we had some Hong Kong style Dim Sum. Exactly how it is back home, except Dim Sum back home is SOO much better. I’m not too sure if that made since..
After lunch, we hit Kowloon’s shopping district and shopped a little, lost some people, and wasted a good two hours. Yeah, we were all pretty mad at some point in the middle of the day. Since we were all pretty upset of how the day was going, we decided to head back to the hotel and eat some good Shanghainese food. Which leads me to where I am right now, in Matthew’s hotel room typing up this entry.
Hopefully, tomorrow will be better day. I had so many high expectations for Hong Kong, but I still LOVE IT! I think tomorrow, we are going to do some more shopping, meeting up with some relatives and visiting some Peak.
Oh, and guess what I found this afternoon in my hotel room? A crack in the ceiling..just wonderful! But I LOVE HONG KONG!

“Hong Kong” (in a Chinese accent)

Yes!! I’m in Hong Kong! Finally at last!
The flight from Beijing to Hong Kong was full of turbulence, and the flight was delayed by at least 2 hours. The food sucked, and I think I got food poisoning. I thought that I would never make it to Hong Kong but here I am…..
Right after we got off the flight and came out of the tunnel from Kowloon into Hong Kong, my Grandpa got all jumpy and the picture on his face was priceless. He is finally home! He is at old his stomping grounds, and back in the city where he raised his family.
Yes, I’m excited to be here. But for some reason bad things keep on creeping up. When I finally arrived to the hotel, it took us a good half an hour to our room. Once we entered the room, we found out it was a smoking room. We tried to change rooms, but the front desk insisted that the hotel was full.
While stepping out of the hotel for dinner, the humidity really got to me. It was a lot hotter than it was in Beijing. A LOT HOTTER! I could feel myself getting light headed from constantly going from the cold air conditioned buildings to outside where the humidity made you sweat at an instant.
After dinner, I decided to lay my head down for a little bit, but was soon awaken, when I heard a scream coming from my aunt from the washroom. I hurried to see what was the matter, to find the bathtub full of brown water coming from the ceiling. The whole bathroom floor was covered with water, and at that very second, we knew that it was time to change rooms. We called to front desk to see if we could change rooms, but again, they insisted that they would fix the problem and not give us a new room. The cleaning service came to clean up the mess, but still the thought of brown water seeking from the ceiling, while taking a bath, is pretty disturbing. Supposedly, a Japanese tourist from the floor above forgot to turn off his bathtub and decided to take a nap. I swear, things better get better in this hotel.
And, just when things were going down the drain, the hotel doesn’t have free internet. So, sorry about the delay in not updating this blog. But luckily, my cousin Matthew decided that we would split the cost of internet for the time that we spend here in Hong Kong.
Minus all the hotel disaster, Hong Kong is a great city, minus the weather. I really like all the buildings and all the lights. I wish I could spend the rest of my holidays here. I can’t wait to go shopping and take a look at what Hong Kong and Kowloon has to offer!!!

Let’s Get Down to Business!

Today, I climbed the Great Wall of China. I thought that I would not make it pass one tower, but I ended up climbing up four. The Great Wall is absolutely fantastic. Just to think that its thousands of years old, is incredible. While stopping at the towers to take a break, I got to take a look at where the slaves used to warn soldiers of when enemies were coming to attack. These towers had a weird smell to them. I can’t really explain the smell, but lets just say, it’s worse than the smell you smell when you go down a dirty parking lot stairwell. Yeah, it’s worse than the dried pee smell. But other than that, the view was beautiful, and I’m quite pleased with myself that I climbed that far. Although my knees are killing me now.
After the Great Wall, we went to a bunch of factory tours. At these factory tours, aggressive sales people were always on the attack to sell things to us. We went to an herbal tea factory, a silk factory and a jade factory. Some of us in our group were sucked into buying these purchases, and some of us decided that we would save our money and spend it on something else. Our tour guide Alan, made an approximately $650 US worth of commission from the purchases we made at these factories. We could see the money signs rolling off his eyes!
Alan thought since we spent most of our day on our feet, sent us to get free foot massages. The place we went too was full of massage trainees looking to get some training time on some new patients. Basically, we were their guinea pigs. I decided to soak my feet in what seemed like tea. After I removed my feet from the tea, my feet became extremely itchy for the whole night!
Getting a relaxing treatment was nice, but I was in the mood to do some shopping. Alan took us to a market in a bust part of Beijing to do some bargain hunting at this mall. My aunt who lives in Shanghai decided to help us bargain since she knows fluent mandarin. There was a knock off Dolce and Gabana trench coat that my other aunt wanted. The trench coat was offered to her at 700 Yuen. My aunt talked the salesperson down to selling the coat for 150 Yuen! We all were shocked at how she criticized the quality of the coat, and how she was able to talk down the price by some much. I’ve decided to take her everywhere I shop from now on!
We spent our last night in Beijing at a nice restaurant. Except that they served us this really weird looking beef/meatball dish. I swear it looked like dog food. I decided to try some, and it tasted exactly what it looked like…dog food. Not saying that I’ve tried dog food before. But it was pretty nasty.
Tomorrow, I’m leaving for Hong Kong. I’m kind of excited! Looking forward to hearing some Cantonese, and something that I can understand!
Good-bye Beijing!

Smog City, China

It’s my second day here in Beijing. My blog is blocked and I can’t update, which is seriously getting on my nerves. But I’m leaving for Hong Kong in two days, so hopefully I can posts these entries up!
My first full day was just packed with activities. My family rented our own bus complete with our very own personal tour guide. His name is Alan, and he can speak Mandarin, Cantonese and English. He’s a really nice guy, but he keeps on holding us up, constantly talking on his cell phone.
Anyways, yesterday we visited the Forbidden City. It was extremely humid. I thought I was going to suffer a heat stroke, but thank god I didn’t. The tour gave us free bottled warm water. Although it did keep me hydrated, warm water doesn’t mix well with humid weather. The Forbidden City was nice, but I couldn’t pay much attention as the humidity was really getting to me.
But, oh my goodness, after the Forbidden City, we went to the Summer Palace, just a wonderful place to be. If I had a choice of which one was better, Summer Palace takes the win! Summer Palace was built for the emperor as his summer home. There’s a mad-made lake and a man-made mountain. I took lots of pictures, and we got to ride this dragon boat across the lake. According to Alan, our tour guide, Summer Palace’s lake and mountain took approximately two years to create. Thousands and thousands of workers dug up the lake and piled it together, to make a mountain.
After dinner, we caught a Chinese Cultural show. It was an absolute spectacular. My cousin Matthew was randomly selected to volunteer to take part in an act up on stage. He had to sit inside a huge vase while being twirled by a girl with her feet. It was a hoot, everyone just about died laughing. He wasn’t scared at all, and was happy to take part. Probably one moment he will never forget.
On a negative side, Beijing has the craziest drivers ever. I thought I was going to die a couple of time, while on the tour bus. The driver was always constantly honking at other drivers. But a good bus driver otherwise.
Tomorrow, its time that I climb the Great Wall. Not too sure if I can make it due to the heat, but I’ll see how far my legs can take me!

Up In The Air. Beijing here I come!

So, as I write this, I am flying over somewhere in Siberia. My cousin Matthew is sitting to my left and my cousin Jordan is sitting to my right. I was actually surprised that they served good food on the flight. The in-flight meal was a choice of either beef or chicken with a side of rice. I chose chicken, which was pretty good. A little spicy and a little sweet, but didn’t come with any vegetables. Although, the beef choice came with vegetables with pieces of gai-lan and lo-bak. The meal came with salad, a dinner roll, and some sort of cheese cake, which I must say was pretty darn good. They also served a tuna salad sandwich, which I gave to my cousin, because it was probably the most unappetizing sandwich I have ever seen. It also smelled funny. Hopefully, he doesn’t get sick!
I have a good 4 hours left on this plane ride. My feet are swollen, my thighs and back hurt and I seem to be really tired, but can’t sleep. I tried stretching my legs, and walking around, but it didn’t help much. There is no air conditioning on this plane, which means the atmosphere is very humid and disgustingly sweaty. The movies on the plane are okay. I’m currently paused at the movie “Bride Wars”. Matthew is watching Sherlock Holmes, which he finds very boring. But I think the most awesome feature that the plane provides are cameras filming the outside of the plane.
Oh, and before I forget, just my luck, I already broke my pair of headphones. I think I either stepped on them, while they were in my backpack, or their just really crappy. Also, my hand lotion exploded in my purse. But luckily I put it in a zip lock!
Anyways, I can’t wait to land in Beijing, get something to eat and then hit the sack at the hotel. I’m super tired and I’m pretty sure that I won’t be able to adapt to the jet lag. So, wish me luck!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I'm so sorry for not updating. I am without internet here in China. I'm currently using my cousins paid internet at our hotel in Hong Kong. But I have been updating everyday here in China. So, keep on checking back on when I load all of my entries!
If you're wanting to know, I'm having fun here! Getting use to the lifestyle here in China, it's way different than life back in Vancouver. Missing everyone! I'll update soon again!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

One More Night's Sleep

I have one more night's sleep then I'm off bright and early to catch my 1 o'clock flight. I'm packed and ready to go. I still have some jitters in me, not to sure if it's excitement or uncertainty. I know I should look at this trip as a learning experience and go to China with an open and positive mind. I'm just not looking forward to the plane ride. It's so freaking long.
So, tonight, hopefully I'll be getting a good nights rest. I think I've prepared myself as much as possible, minus the knowledge of mandarin and squatting. But hopefully, I'll get help with that (minus the squatting). I'm going to update as much as possible. I'm going to be writing on the plane, and post my post as soon as I get internet.
So, wish me goodluck! I'll be arriving in Beijing at 2ish am Pacific time, 5ish pm China time. So, if you get a phone call late at night, it might be from me, haha! (Just joking, but it might be as soon as I get a calling card!)
Ok, so the next time I'll be writing will be up in the air on an airplane headed for Beijing!
China, here I come!

Saturday, June 12, 2010


YES! One more week until I leave. I've decided to start packing tomorrow, since I don't have time any other day in the week. But, I've come to realize, that I'm actually not that prepared. I haven't exchanged any of my money, I haven't done any research about anything about China (ie. the language and the sites I'm seeing), and I haven't even decided what I really want to see and do in China. Sure, this trip is about finding my roots, but finding my roots must involve something. We're only going on one tour in Beijing, which will obviously help. But in the rest of the cities that we'll be visiting, we'll just be cruising around ourselves. Not knowing anything of what is going on. Hmm, maybe it's time to do some quick research on the internet.
So, now I'm a little worried about getting over jet-lag. People have told me, once you get to China, jet-lag doesn't effect you. But once you arrive home, you'll be tired for days, and maybe possibly months. Last year when I came back home from my trip to Toronto with my friends, I swear, I was tired for 1 month. And, sadly enough, the time difference is only 3 hours. Sad, I know.
Just imagine me coming home from China. I think I may be distinguished as a zombie. And just my luck, I have one day to rest, and then it's back to work! So, I guess now the real question is, will Meghan make it through her jet-lag? Or will she be a zombie at work? We'll just wait and see...
The days are now dwindling down. 7,6,5,4,3,2,1!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

25 More Exciting Days!

I have 25 more days left to China, and if I needed to leave right now, I could.
Today, I finally got my travel vaccinations, which I thought would be more painful, but didn't hurt that much. Although the nurse did say, I might have sleepy symptoms, and a possible fever. Let's knock on wood that I don't. And she also gave me my shot in the middle of the waiting room for everyone to see. I was not too pleased about that.
I also got my travelers visa, and a hideous photo to go with it. Trust me, you don't want to ever see that photo. It doesn't live to exist! Really, it's that bad!
So, basically, if someone came calling to me to go to China, right at this moment, I could. Except that I have a job that must comply with and probably won't give me time off, right at this moment. Oh well...
But I'm still pumped for this trip. Everyday, I'm still counting down. I think the waiting part is the most exciting. But once you get to your travel destination, everything goes by so fast that the excitement completely vanishes.
But, hey I have 25 more exciting days!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Yes, finally, I've been waiting for this countdown for a very long time. One month from now, I'll be departing on my trip to China! I still have some excitement in me. :)
So, I thought I'd ought to let everyone know! Well, whoever it is who reads this blog.
Have a great long weekend everyone. I'm especially looking forward to it!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

39 Days Left: To do or what not to do? That is the question.

It's May 12, 2010 today, and I have some bad news.....the Canucks are out of the playoffs. I'm so sad, they were supposed to bring back the cup to Vancouver before I left to China. Well there's always next year.
So, on Saturday, I went to a family dinner, with members of the China traveling group, where everyone was very excited about our upcoming trip. We talked about the different cities that we'll be going too, airplanes, food and vaccinations.
It turns out that I am the only one out of our China traveling members that is going to get shots for the trip. My mom has written out a whole list of shots that I have to take, which I am not very pleased about. Me and needles don't like each other. Although I did go through a bunch of acupuncture sessions, but it's not the same. So, I guess the question for everyone is, should I get shots or not? What do you guys think? Should I follow peer pressure, and do what all of my fellow China traveling members are doing? Or take shots, and hopefully I don't get any symptoms from the vaccinations. It's a hard decision, but I have to make it very soon.
As for my traveler's visa, I got one! But guess for how much? 5 freaking dollars! I couldn't believe it! I recently talked to a friend, and she said she paid $60 for her's. But I guess we're getting a discount, since our group is enormous.
And as for excitement..I'm actually still excited! I can't believe myself! I mean at first, I was a little nervous about traveling outside of the continent, since it's my first time and all, but I'm actually excited to venture out. I already prepared myself for the plane ride, even though I have like...39 days left. But I mean 13 hours is a long time. So, I'm bringing a bunch of books and 2 iPods, I know I'm weird. But I mean, what happens when one runs out of batteries? I'm also going to be blogging throughout my plane ride. Even though there's no internet way up in the sky, but I'll post my entries once I get internet, wherever that may be. I'm not sure if the hotels have internet. Actually, to tell you the truth, I don't even know what hotels I'm staying at. We'll just see when I get there, hopefully the hotels are nice...
Anyways, the sun is coming out here in Vancouver and the weather is nice. Too bad it's not going to be like this in China. Comfortable weather is all I need to survive. But scorching heat, I don't know. I'm actually scared about the weather. I think I'm going to buy a case of water. And a nice summer dress :)
Enjoy the weather everybody! I have 39 more days left, can't the days go by any faster??

Saturday, May 8, 2010

43 Days Left!

Today is May 8, 2010 and I'm actually feeling quite anxious to get to China. I have no idea what has gotten into me, but I'm actually excited. Can you believe it? I would have never thought..
Well, as of today, I still haven't gotten my shots or my visa. Which may be a bad thing. However, tonight I am having dinner with the members of my trip, so maybe I'll get some advice from them as to where I should get my visa and which shots I should take. But then again, they may be as clueless as I am.
Anyways, you may be wondering why I'm so excited to get to China. Well the first thing that comes to my mind, is that I really want to go on vacation. I want to get away from everyday life here in Vancouver. A couple of days ago, if you asked me the same question, I would probably have told you that I'm not all that excited. I have no idea what has changed my mind, maybe it's just the mood that I'm in today...
Tomorrow I'm going to be heading down to the States to do some China "clothing" shopping. I want to find some nice runners for the trip to make my feet comfortable as I hike up the Great Wall of China. I know I'm going to be doing lots of walking, so why don't I invest in some comfortable shoes? Also, of course, I want to buy some summer items I can wear to fight the hot and gross China weather.
I can't believe I have 43 more days left. It seems like ages from now, but I know it'll go by fast. I am excited to go to China today. But tomorrow, will it be the same? I don't know.
Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there. I hope you have a relaxing day spent with a wine glass in your hand and a foot or back massage given by your significant other or children. I'll be definitely needing one of those when I get back from my trip!
Also, be on the look out for guest bloggers writing on this blog. I'm going to ask if any of my other China traveling members would be interested in bloging and giving their point of view.
Hope everyone has a great weekend!
And GO CANUCKS GO. I mean it this time boys! Pick up your game!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Countdown to China: 48 more days left!

When my family first organized my trip to China, the first thoughts that came to my head were, no facebook, no twitter, no youtube for 2 weeks! I know, it's sad. China has most recently banned these socialization sites, for the reasons I do not know. But when I told my mom about my dilemma, she considered an idea about writing a blog. I thought it was a cool idea, and with the positive opinions from friends and family, I decided that I should document my trip to China. Before, during and after.
Today is May 3, 2010 - Happy Birthday Matthew (One of my fellow China traveler members). I am still kind of nervous about going to China. Being born and raised in Canada and living in Vancouver, I'm so used to the clean air, the mountains and the beauty of the bright blue sky on a sunny day. I'm used to eating the multicultural food the city has to offer and using clean washrooms. Maybe you can say that I'm being spoiled by living in such a great city. And perhaps, maybe it's a good thing that I am adventuring out to another country (outside of North America), especially a country that my father was born in and where my ancestors originated from. But I really do not want to pee in a hole or eat dog. I already know that I am going to complain about the heat and possibly the smog and smell of the city. But maybe I should take a chance at accepting what China has to offer, minus eating dog, I would never do that, ever! Oh, and I am also not to excited about the plane ride. I have never been on a plane longer than 6 hours. A plane to China takes at least 13 hours. I know that isn't long considering any travelers traveling from Vancouver to Australia. I heard it takes like a whole day to get down under! (Get it? Down Under. Yeah, I know my jokes are lame). But when we booked the flight, we wanted to find the cheapest flight possible. So, we're flying China Eastern. According to one of my home-stay students who is from China, China Eastern is possibly one of the crappiest Airlines China has ever invented. Okay, maybe I'm over exaggerating. But my dad insists that their pilots are very well trained...we'll just wait and see. Hmm, maybe I should stop complaining. I'm going to have lots of fun, right?
So, it is time now that I prepare myself. I have 48 more days until I leave. I still have to learn how to speak words of mandarin and how to say "Where is the washroom" or "Can I have that for 2 dollars?" fluently. I still have to get my shots and my visa (I know, I'm slow at getting things done). I recently bought some treats for any little kids I see at my grandfather's village. My mom bought treats for little kids at the village when she went, like 25 years ago. So, I thought I would do the same. When she went to China, she wrote in a journal about her daily activities. I thought it would be a cool idea to continue in that same journal, except that she threw it away when she was renovating her room. So, I guess blogging would be a better idea. I'm going to try my hardest at updating and uploading pictures. I'm not technically with it, when it comes to computers. People who know me very well will know that!
So, let the countdown begin!
Oh, and by the way, GO CANUCKS GO!! You boys better win the cup before I leave to China! :)