Friday, May 28, 2010

Beijing Trip : Day 1

ehem. where to start.

well first of all, you can take a look at the itineraries.. HERE and HERE. :D

Date : 14th May 2010

I went on a 5 day + 4 nights trip to Beijing under Lahazan Travel & Tours. The flight was at 9 am but we had to leave the house by 5 am to make it to the airport in time. Oh, I went to Beijing with my mum, everybody else was sulking at home. ehehe. >:)

We were the earliest to arrive so we stopped at the surau to pray Subuh. Later, the rest of the group arrived. The group was organized under KUIS and lead by lecturers from KUIS. So only me, my mum and one married couple had no relation whatsoever with KUIS. haha. We actually joined this group bcoz, our neigbour, Umi, her brother in law was one of the lecturers of KUIS, so she invited us to join in to complete the group. I'm going to stop talking about KUIS now. eheh.

So we boarded the plane before 9 am. At first, I was suppose to sit on a different row than my mum, but we exchange seats among our tour group, so all is well. Thank God! if not.. it'll be 6 hours of agony, bcoz i'll be sitting next to a total stranger. i'm not a friendly/chatty person when it comes to strangers. i get nervous on flights, so i need to be sitting next to people i know. wahaha. btw, my actual seat was 19D, but i sat next to my mum which was 20D. :D

oh ya.. one question. why on earth is the airplane seat, named as A, C, D, E, F, G, H, K. Why did they skip B, I and J? i always wondered why. there have to be reason. any ideas? i've googled, but to no avail. T_T

food on the plane was REALLY GOOD! we even got ICE CREAM! for breakfast the choice was either Nasi Lemak or Sausage & Omelette. I opt for the Sausage & Omelette and my mum chose Nasi Lemak. If you want to know what i ate the whole day for Day 1 pls head to my food diary.

we arrived exactly as planned, no delays! we passed thru the temperature detector.. but sadly the machine weren't switched on, and there were nobody eyeing the machine. erk! i could see medical inspection and quarantine areas for H1N1 on my right, but all of them were empty. it was like China didn't take any precaution. i was imagining that there would be people wearing mask and gloves and in biohazard suits. but i got nothing! :-s

what they have was.. a big ass signboard. ehehe. i'm clearly joking, u know that right? :P

btw, here's the big ass signboard.

okay.. skip all the boring immigration stuff. oh wait. i can't skipped that, i need to tell u something. the queue was all long, so they opened up more counters. a few of us m'sian including myself and my mum had the opportunity to queue in front of the 'Citizen of China' counter. hahaha. So we played along and talked about not been able to go back to our hometown 'China' for so long until now. ehehe.

when it was my turn, i passed my passport, and the immigration guy with a serious face, kept on looking at me, and looking back at my passport photo, as if he didn't believe that the person in front of him was the same person in the passport. i know i look really different coz the passport photo was taken 2+ years ago. i was still quite chubby at the time. and i wasn't wearing glasses in my photo.

another thing i noticed was, there was this on-the-spot review in front of me, while i waited for him to finish. it lets we the customers judge the service of the staffs working there.

the choices are..

:D = great service
:) = good service
:| = average
:( = poor
T_T= very poor

i don't really remember the exact words they used, but i did remember the emoticons. it was hilarious. i weren't kidding about very poor = crying. :))

so after the guy finished stamping my passport, i quickly pressed the 1st button, great service. there was a loud ringing sound, i thought i won the lottery. haha. the guy smiled coz he knows that i gave him good reviews. hoho, ok now u want to smile, huh? i should have pressed very poor, to see whether i could make him cry. :P

okay. next, we met our tour guide, Vivian. She's a student and a citizen of Beijing but she can speak Indonesian fluently. Wanna listen how a Chinese speaks Indonesian? haa.. I even recorded a vid (below) just to show u some proof. :P

when u travelled to a foreign country and following a package tour, u got to remember ur bus. coz there are lot of similar bus around. u don't want to board the wrong bus, and end up at the wrong hotel/place. Vivian told us the plate number of our bus was.. 8623.

i tried to remember it by heart, and also did what i'll always do in situation like these which is, SNAP A PHOTO! a few of my group commented that my method was brilliant! hahaha. so most of them proceeded to snap a photo of the bus as well. ekeke.

the first stop was to the Acrobatic Show. seriously? i mean.. i know the itinerary but we were not really in the mood to see an acrobatic show. but yeah.. we went thru it non the less. We arrived late, so the show had already started. We couldn't really concentrate on the whole show, bcoz we had to find a place to pray Zuhur and Asar. it was almost Maghrib so we had to be quick. We all prayed near the hallway at the acrobatic theater. I manage to finish praying before other people started pouring out. but some of our tour group was a bit slow, so the other people looked at them quite strangely. ehehe. i assume that they have never seen people with white telekung praying in the middle of the hallway. ehehe. Vivian said that.. there are not many chinese muslims who still pray/fast in China. Only a handful practices Islam strictly. :(

i manage to record 3 videos of the acrobatic show. pls click on the links below. i didn't want to publish in here, coz might slow down the loading of my blog. :D

videos uploaded:
. Acrobatic Show (Part 3)

next was DINNER TIME! arghh.. can't wait to eat. i was so hungry. we went to chinese muslim restaurant (of coz). the lauk pauk was suprisingly quite similar to our malaysian dish, but there was 1 dish that stood out and had that 'chinese' taste to it. i could taste the distinct chinese herbs/spices. i was quite worried that people would find it odd to snap photo of food, but lucky me.. i had a 'friend' (as u can see from the pic below) who like to snap photos of food as well.

my tour group has 15 people, usually we'll be eating at 2 separate tables, so 7 + 8. group of 8 was awesome! i had to make sure to eat with the same group of people, bcoz the other group was not big eaters and it bothers me that i'm still eating and everybody else has stopped eating. FYI, i'm really slow at chewing my food, so i need all the time in the world. majority from group of 7 were serious and not as cheerful like our group. i learnt that on Day 2. the thing is, the 8 people (includes me and mum), were all Kelantanese descent.. which explained why we got along so well. we were able to talk about food, and lots of other personal/wacky stuff. :D

after our tummy's were full to the brim, we could now go and see our hotel. at last! so we reached at Bai Ming Wei International Hotel, also know as Beijing Famous International Hotel. I shot the picture (below) on the second day. we arrive at night and i couldn't capture a good/non blurry photo. ehehe.

there was this interesting revolving door at our hotel. i've seen this at other hotels as well. i'm quite intrigued yet scared of this door. i'm afraid that the door will trapped me inside. :-s

here's a video that i recorded. when i went thru it, the door slowed down and almost stopped, but bcoz there were people coming in from the entrance, the door continued to revolve and i managed to exit the door unscathed. phew.

on Day 2, the door completely stopped, and i was trapped inside it for a few seconds (it felt like minutes). thank god there was another person with me. if not i would be screaming.. "LET ME OUT OF HERE!" while banging on the door. :))

all of us got the keys to our rooms and off we go! our (my mum and my) room was the most farthest of all. i had to drag 2 huge luggage so it was quite tiring. our room was.. room 8149 on the 4th floor. once we reached our door, i looked for a slot to insert the 'key' (card) but there was no slot. only then i bothered to look at the instruction behind the card. this was not even a swipe card.. u know like touch and go. eheh. don't even need to touch the door handle, just 'wave' around like a magic wand.. and then 'bzzt', turn the knob and the door is OPEN! :P

here's some photos of our room. we got 2 single beds. thank god. i prefer to sleep alone coz really wanted to sleep butterfly style. :))

looks nice huh? yup.. its really nice. but one thing is not so nice. the hardness of the bed. it wasn't ermm soft at all. it was hard as a board. T_T

i could feel the spring pocking on my back. i prefer sleeping on my side, but bcoz the mattress was too hard, i had to sleep on my back. the pillow was fortunately quite comfy and soft. so all it well. :D

they were nice enough to provide us with a digital weighing scale. very nifty. u don't want to gain weight while on a holiday!

i showered, prayed, and off to bed!

... to be continued.

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