Posts filed under Travels

Not just Facebook and Twitter

Filed in Travels

Blogspot and YouTube are also blocked in China.

For the former, it means I can’t read my favourite blogs while in China.

For the latter, it means I can’t upload any of my videos to my YouTube account until I get home.

For my friends who are blogging on blogspot, you might want to consider moving to either or, both free like blogspot, but both not blocked in China (for now, anyway).

For what it’s worth, Seth Godin blogs on typepad, too.

Aiks … Google Docs is (are?) also blocked in China. And while I can read from within Google Reader, I can’t link out to the respective websites – that’s blocked, too.

Good thing Google Translate’s working – that’s my lifeline to online Chinese – English (and vice versa) translations.

Two giant pandas meet two giant pandas

Filed in Notebooks, Stress Busters, Travels

The two in the foreground are the “cover models” for Nostalgie’s “Giant Panda” notebook cover.

The two in the background are Mei Xin (left) and Feng Yi (right), two giant pandas living at the giant panda habitat at the Seven Star Park’s Zoo in Guilin, China.

I’d received the notebook as a gift from Ms Karen Doherty, Vice President, Marketing, Exaclair, Inc (exclusive US distributor of Clairefontaine, Exacompta, Rhodia, Quo Vadis, G Lalo, Brause, J Herbin and Decopatch products) in late March (thanks again, Karen). By then, I’d returned from my annual volunteer trip to Bifengxia Panda Base. But I was planning a visit to Guilin later in the year, and when that materialised and I was packing for the trip, I made sure to pack the notebook, to journal in, as well as to take a picture with Mei Xin and Feng Yi.

The picture was taken thro’ the glass display at the indoor enclosure. This is the best I can do for now, but I’ll be visiting them again a few more days, so I’ll make sure to take more, and hopefully better, pictures. In case anyone’s wondering, hand holding notebook belongs to keeper Zhang.

Room in Guilin

Filed in Travels

It’s unfair but, after staying in a low-end motel for 2 of my annual giant panda volunteer trips, I tend to associate giant panda volunteer work with “hardship”. Like I said, it’s unfair. Cuz last year, I stayed at a really nice hotel in Ya’an City. And right now, in Guilin, I’m staying at the Guilin International Hotel, where the room is even nicer than Ibis Hotel, Ya’an, but at twice the cost, it’s expected.

Probaby the most important thing in a hotel room for me – Internet access. In this case, on a nice writing table


Writing table is next to a fair size LCD TV on a swivel top, but all Chinese shows, even the English movies are dubbed in Mandarin; nope, no CNN or Bloomberg


Fancy wash basin reflected in the shower door. Toilet is next to shower and discretely hidden behind door


Top of mini fridge with something extra – boxes of playing cards, condoms and sex oil – for a price, of course


Checking in

Filed in Stress Busters, TravelsTags: ,

I flew to Guilin this morning. The flight was at 6:25 a.m., which meant I had to leave for the airport at 3:30 a.m.! Insane, but the KL – Guilin flight was not the only flight at that hour. LCCT was crowded with people waiting to fly to Macau and Colombo, too.

So, 4 hours later, I arrived in Guilin and after another 90 minutes, I’m in my hotel room. I’d booked the Guilin International Hotel, it’s actually the second choice, after the first choice was fully booked for the dates I’m in Guilin.

I selected both hotels based on proximity to the Seven Star Park. As it turned out, Guilin International, altho more expensive, is the better hotel cuz it’s closer to the Park. How close? The lady at the front desk said if I wake up early enough, I can jog there. Haha, do I look like a jogger to her? For sure, I’ll walk there.

Seven Star Park is the reason I’m here in Guilin. There’s a very precious resident inside the Park – my adopted panda, Feng Yi. She was moved here last December with another panda, Mei Xin. Her move to Guilin means I can’t see her when I go to Bifengxia. It also means I have to make separate arrangements to visit her. But on the plus side, it means I get to visit and know another city in China.

My hotel room is NICE. I’ll post pictures later. Right now, I need to go look for food.

Yes, the fact that I’m posting means the hotel offers free Internet access in all rooms. Most hotels in China do. I’ll also be posting more on my blog during this trip cuz there’s no access to Facebook and my blog is linked to my Facebook account. If you’re reading this, please post a comment so I know the link is working.

Let’s try again

Filed in Travels

The name of the supermarket that is within walking distance of Ibis Hotel and where I get my necessities (mainly water and water) is not EverJoy or NewJoy, but …

I saw the signage while waiting for my dinner at a fast food place across from the supermarket.

Dinner? That’s the subject of another blog post soon.