Tuesday, April 15, 2008

So What's in Zhuhai? - Our Next Stop

From Hong Kong, we went to Macau but only in transit to Zhuhai, China. We left our hostel at Hongkong at 11 am, took the 11:30 ferry from HK to Macau and went directly to the border. The sea was rough as it was drizzling that time and there was a strong wind. From the Ferry Terminal in Macau, taxi cost about 25 pattacas to the Porto Do Cerco or the Macau side of the Macau-Zhuhai Border. You see, you just have to cross this border by walking through and you're in Zhuhai. There are two buildings: the Macau side which is called the Porto Do Cerco and the Zhuhai side which is called Gongbei. A visa is needed to get to from Macau to Zhuhai. Check this blog for the options on how to get one.
Having arrived at almost 3 pm, we were starved already. We were booked at the Hotel Jumbo which is just about 5 minutes from the border. Right in front of our hotel is ShunAn Restaurant which was recommended to us by a hotel staff. A waitress from the restaurant fetched us. Apparently, their specialty is seafood. And why not? We were in Zhuhai which is a city by the sea. The food was really good. We had shrimps in garlic, an appetizer which we suspected was made of eggwhites and some herbs, some shellfish, and kangkong (morning glory) with oyster sauce. Unlike what we picture of Chinese dishes, the ones we had were not oily at all. In fact, they hardly had any oil in it. The best is the service. We had a waitress that waited on us literally, and she was paying attention and anticipating your every need. Service fit for a king. The only trouble is that it was hard for us to communicate with her and almost everyone else. it was good that there was one who had very little knowledge of english. She didn't understand everything we said but at least we got almost everything we wanted.
We didn't go out after that. Instead we stayed at the hotel to rest. It had been a long day.
In the morning, we had a buffet breakfast at the hotel and went to the Meixi Village. It turned out to be Chen Fang's ancestral home. He was one of the richest and kindest man in the history of China that some archways were built for him. There was a wax museum within the compound. The wax people looked so real they were both beautiful and eerie at the same time. One of the vendors sold wooden fans which you could have your name in chinese characters written at the back. My husband bought one for my daughter. Of course, we weren't certain whether he wrote the correct name on it. None of us spoke or read or wrote in Chinese anyway.

We tried going to the Agricultural Academy but couldn't understand nor were we understood by those whom we asked so we didn't find it. My mistake was that I didn't ask the hotel front desk to write the chinese name of the place down. We ended up taking pictures of flowers and a small reptile - a lizard or at least something that looked like one. Anyway, we took the bus from the station. From there, we went to have lunch at the McDonald's at Hita Plaza which was near the Fisher Girl Statue. After lunch, we went to Jing Shan Park where we took a cable car to the top. The view was panoramic up there. You could see the Pearl River where the statue of the Fisher Girl is, the view of Macau and almost the whole of Zhuhai, with its hills green of vegetation. I bought jade miniature of the statue for only 15 RMB. We had the option of taking the sliding car going down to the entrance but opted not to grab the opportunity. It appeared to be quite a high and rather scary ride and we are not made for that kind of thrill. When we got down, some man sold us fans again and we bought some at a much cheaper price. My daughter kept laughing at how I practically coerced the guy to give it at a price lower than that of the fan we had earlier bought. I got three for 55 RMB. Her fan was 20. Talk about bargaining skills. hehehe

We walked toward the Fisher Girl Statue and passed by the Haibin park along the way. Nothing spectacular. It was a nice place though because it was full of trimmed grass, and there were quite a number of trees that gave the park its shade. From there we went to the Fisher Girl Statue. It is a monument to remember a demi goddess and her "true love". We took some pictures (some were of my crazy poses) and went on our way to the Hita Plaza once more to have dinner and do some shopping. It was frustrating though because the prices were not as low as expected. I was told later that we should have gone to the Lianshan pedestrian street or the lower Gongbein underground shopping center. We didn't because we were too tired from all that walking. Next trip maybe.

The following morning we were off to Macau. As expected, lunch was at 3 pm - again!

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