Day 5 (22nd June 2006)
Our fifth day was our ‘free’ day. Free in the sense that there’s no schedule and arranged tour for us. Definitely not free in the sense that no money required.
8.00am – We crossed the road in front of the hotel. After a few confusing moment, we managed to find a taxi stand. We got on a taxi. And I handed the map on which our guide wrote the Chinese name for the shopping complexes. My travelling companions were all for shopping.
Me, I drank all the sight along the way. People on bicycles on their way to work. I noticed school kids in t-shirts. People bringing vegetable to restaurants. Unfortunately I wasn’t seated next to the window and my digital camera was not fast enough to capture all the sights. Gang sat on my right. She opened the map and trace our route on the map. Ma Hen on the right fell asleep at some point of the ride.
9.00am – After getting caught in the morning rush, we reached our destination at the cost of RMB46.00. Not really. Our guide had written the Chinese name in reverse order. Taking our bearing along the main road, we walked to the right building. It was actually within walking distance. Since it was still early, we sat for a while and took another bearing. We decided to walk to the buildings across the road. We discovered a complex selling genuine electronics gadgets. It was very similar Low Yat Plaza in KL. I don’t know if my travelling companion noticed, but there was this solar powered charger. I think it was a telephone charger.
We crossed the road and went into another complex. This complex also sell genuine electronics gadgets. But unlike the first complex, this one was less ‘hyped’.
Then we went to the first shopping complex. We had a lunch consisting bread and ‘serunding’ (brought from Malaysia). After the replenishing, we continued to the second shopping complex for more shopping. By three o’clock, we were ready to head back to the hotel. Gang took out her map and we figured out that the best place to get a taxi would probably near the first shopping complex.
We got into a taxi. I took out our hotel card and handed to the driver. We made our way ‘home’. Both of my travel companions slept through out the drive back. I enjoyed the sights. Again, I was sandwiched by my two sleeping companions and could not take any photographs.
4.00pm – We reached our hotel. Feeling a bit tired, we decided to take a short nap before heading to Carrefour. The short nap turned into a deep sleep. By the time we woke up, it was already passed six o’clock in the evening. We decided to have dinner before heading to Carrefour. Dinner consisted of instant noodles. Fully aware that my stomach don’t really tolerate instant noodles, I ate it anyway.
7.30pm – We left the hotel on foot. We bumped into Dzul a few metres from our hotel door. He said Carrefour was just around the block. But the walk ‘around the block’ seems to be endless. It was around 8.30pm when we finally reached Carrefour.
Main item on the shopping list was drinking water and something to munch. I found two types of pillow on sale. One stuffed with buckwheat. Another was stuffed with bamboo. I bought both types. Good thing I brought my daypack with me. We loaded the daypack with the water bottles. Gang carried the daypack. Ma Hen carried the food. I carried the two pillows. The buckwheat pillow was heavier than the bamboo pillow.
Along the way, there were street vendors selling all kinds of things. Leather wallets. Shoes. Steamboats. There were even flowers. The flower buds were perfect – not torn – and fresh. If it wasn’t because of the quarantine law regarding plants and animals, I might have bought the flower.
10.00pm – We reached our hotel. Later we discovered from other group member that the taxi ride would have cost us RMB5. We packed our luggage. Earlier Dzul mentioned that we would be checking out around 7.45am.