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Shek O, Hong Kong – 石澳

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I had made arrangement with friends to go down to Shek O to take the Harvest Moon on Moon Cake  Festival nite. Unfortunately, it rain quite heavily and we felt quite disheartened and wondered whether to go or cancel the trip.

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Source from Wikipedi:

The name “Shek O” literally means the “rocky bay”. The entire area is a peninsula on the southern coast of the Hong Kong Island, facing the South China Sea. Shek O is surrounded by Shek O Country Park,Big Wave Bay and Cape D’Aguilar.

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Shek O Beach is a sandy public beachat Shek O. The water quality is fair and is gazetted Grade 2. It is a popular weekend and holiday destination, offering a public barbecue area and many restaurants. The rocky cliffs provide an excellent place for sports climbing.

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Around one mile north of Shek O beach, after passing the Shek O Country Club, is Big Wave Bay. As its name suggests, big waves roll on to the beach, propelled by the wind, making it a popular destination for surfers. Wind surfers can be found in the sea off Big Wave Bay and Shek O beaches. The Dragon’s Back above Shek O is home to Hong Kong Island’s only paragliding site. Paragliders can be seen riding the lift and landing at the nearby Rocky Bay. Big Wave Bay Beach is also the site of prehistoric rock carving similar to those found on Cheung Chau Island.

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Both beaches have basic bars and restaurants, and equipment hire, such as body boards and lilos. In addition, Shek O Beach has a small golf course.

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Due to the isolated location of Shek O, the environment near the beach remains rustic and quiet, which is one of the area’s main attractions.

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It is easy to get there by the local bus. Shek O  is served by Shek O Road, which connects Tai Tam Road to Stanley and Chai Wan. There is one public transport link toward Shek O Beach: bus route 9 from Shau Kei Wan. There is limited parking near the beach. It is also served by red minibuses

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Luckily, the rain stop and we did get some of the sunset and the Harvest moon, as I didn’t bought my tripod stand with me so I have missed out all the best bit  as going out to the rocky cliffs. We had our dinner in one of the restaurants in the Shek O village.

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It is worth a visit to this beautiful village and enjoy sun bathing on the beaches when in Hong Kong. It is cool way to avoid from the busy crowds in the cities and this is the place just for it.


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Cheung Chau, Hong Kong -長洲

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A day trip to visit Cheung Chau, Hong Kong -長洲. Cheung Chau known as Long Island is located 12 km south west of Hong Kong Island. The small dumbbell shaped island approximately 2.5 kms in length, it has a population of around 24,000 whose live in the central part of the island.This endearing Island is full or colors, character which is a surprise to many visitors and it is easily reached and worth a visit.

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Arriving at the island the ferry enters the busy harbor. The island has a large fishing fleet and trawlers can usually be seen berthed alongside  sampans, junks,  and houseboats. The ferry pier is on the west side of the island next to the Praya which is lined with seafood restaurants and small shops

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Cycling is popular and two seat tricycles with sun canopies can be hired from shops on the harbor side on Praya Street and Tai Hing Road and these are an enjoyable way to explore the flat western side of the island. On the opposite side of the causeway on the eastern side of the island is the sandy Tung Wan Beach and at just round the corner beyond the Warwick Hotel at the southern end of the beach is the attractive Kwun Yam Bay and Cheung Chau Windsurfing Centre.

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There are tourists guides for the trails such as “Italian Beach” and then round the coastline past Reclining Rock to the Cheung Po Tsai pirates cave. Along the pier there were lot of restaurant offering seafood dishes but find one that have lot of locals so that not  overcharge by the restaurants.  We had tried the local popular dishes are the “mango rice pudding”, porridge and the desert.

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I fully recommend this Island for a day trip and trekker who love to hike when in Hong Kong.  A ten stars scored for this little fishing Island.

 


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The Grand Canyon, Zhangjiajie, china -大峡谷 (中国) – Day 3

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After our trekking on day 2, our guide had arranged for us to have  massage for our legs and body. My husband, son and friend went for it and it cost 120 RMB  per person which was good and they enjoyed it.  The next morning our trip began at 8.00 a.m. to the Grand Canyon, 大峡谷 which only  20 minutes away from Wulingyuan.  The entrance fee is 150 RMB which come with a tour guide from the National Park to explain the history of this place and lead us into Canyon.

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We had been lead into two mountains gap and  there is a steep stairs leading down the Canyon, it is narrow and steep stairs with the iron railings to hold on it. We can see the gap between the two mountains cliffs which is know as “一线天” with the light from the sun shone through the gap.  When we came to a level stop  our guide gave each of us a canvas and gloves which cost 20 RMB, the canvas to tie around our waist and we must wear the hand glove as we need to go down by  the slides to  the bottom of the Canyon.  The guide teach us to  how to control the movements by using  our legs on either sides of the slide to control the speed of going down. We have to slide down around seven levels to the bottom of the Canyon.

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We were scared but it look exciting and we enjoy it. Once we reached the bottom of the Canyon, the beautiful forest with light from sunlight make the forest look magical.. While we trekked into the forest we can hear the sound of the waterfall and we even can go near to the waterfall to get wet and cool down from the heat. We followed the wooden bridges with the ponds surrounding the forest the guide told us that the water in these rivers only flow inwards around these mountains. Every turn and bend  the ponds changed colors from green to blue  and as we walk deeper into the forests the colors keep changing at every turns and bends. There were so many species of butterflies  and other wildlifes in these forest.

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We had seen some local were down at the bottom of the waterfall  enjoying a cool dip.  The beautiful ponds and forests surrounded by the mountains as a backdrop. I have never see such an amazing place like this before especially there aren’t a lot of tourists which is a plus side.  The most horrible nightmare was  happening to me as our next adventure  was to swing from one mountain to another mountain by sitting on a string make chair and control by the pulley to swing us over to the other side.  Our guide didn’t tell me in advance and I scared of heights and this was going to kill me.

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All of us have to wear a safety jacket then the helper will assist us onto the chair. I told the helper that i will walk to the other mountain but been told there wasn’t  any other alternate or route to the other mountain. This is their way to travel from one end to another. The helper let me sat on the chair for 10 to 30 minutes so I can  get used to it,  till I am ready then they will swing me over.  It took me about 25 minutes to get used to it and the helper swing me out to the other mountain. I tried to open my eyes to look into the canyon but my heart seen to stop beating,  I had no choice but to close my eyes and pray to God to lead me to safely in one piece.

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I am so lucky that my chair swing straight to the other end, as for my sisters and daughter, they were stuck in the middle of the  of mountains and the helpers had to use the pulley to pull them toward one end.  My children love it and my sisters and friend they simply love and enjoy it. This was a great adventure that was once in a lifetime that everyone must experience it. We all decided there was only one word to described it “Cool”.

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The adventure does not end here as our guide told us that we needed to walk for about 500 m away, there was a boat trip to cruise around the canyon to enjoy this majestic canyon and this boat trip will take us to the exit of the National Park.  On the boat trip our tour guide and another lady guide sang their local mountain song while we cruising  around the mountains and give a soft and tender feeling to this beautiful place.

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This magical place was not in my itinerary as I do not know about this place even with all my research into the website. Been told by the guide that this place is founded in year 2008 and every day they have about 10,000 tourists visit this place. We are lucky that there weren’t  a lot of tourists on this day.

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This is a most interesting and adventure site to recommend to all my friends and it is a must to visit as it worth all the monies for the entrance and extra fees incurred.


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Zhangjiajie National Park – China – Avatar Hallelujah Mountains – 張家界 (中国) – Days 2

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We had been trekking into the forest for almost 3 hours  and still have not reach our destination and our guide Tung trying his best to encourage us that it almost reached to top of the mountains. During our trekking uphill there were lot of tourists came down with carriages where 2 men holding the chair and going uphill or downhill. It cost about 100 RMB to 300 RMB. We finally reached the top as I am always the last one due to taking photos at the same time.

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When we reached the top of the mountains all the members of our group were speechless the scenery was amazing and out of this world.  Especially my daughter who doesn’t keen on this trip was impressed with it. All my relatives and friend were smiling and laughing together,  all the pains we have suffered from our foots were forgotten.  It was summer the hottest period in China so we can’t see the cloudy sky or misty fog around the mountains.

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Source from Wikipedia:

Zhangjiajie (张家界; Zhāngjiājiè) is a prefecture-level city in the northwestern part of Hunan province. It comprises the district of Yongding and counties of Cili and Sangzhi. Within it is located Wulingyuan Scenic Area which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992 as well as an AAAAA scenic area by the China National Tourism Administration.

The new name of Zhangjiajie City was adopted in 1994, after the National Forest Park in the Wulingyuan Scenic Area (武陵源) in order to give it more prominence and after this site had been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. The National Forest Park had been given the name of Zhangjiajie after the name of a small village located within its bounds, and now a popular tourist attraction within the park.

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Zhangjiajie is most notable geographic features are the pillar-like formations such as the Avatar Hallelujah Mountain. The weather is moist year round, and as a result, the foliage is very dense. Much of the erosion which forms these pillars are the result of expanding ice in the winter and the plants which grow on them. These formations are a distinct hallmark of Chinese landscape, and can be found in many ancient Chinese paintings.

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After enjoying ourselves for an hour, we had to walk down hill to take an Elevator to another level to view the scenic view. At this level the scenery is similar to the the top of the mountains but at least it save our energy to walk down. We had to pay for the ticket to take the elevator which is 70 to 100 RMB. Took a bus to the Shili Painted Corridors  is a 5 kilometers long canyon. There are dense wood, fragrant flower and grotesque rock in the canyon. and we walk on the corridors to see the unusual peaks which represent a senor man reading, tiger roaring. mouse looking sky and etc. There were lot of buttery and other insect around these densely forest and we missed the last train so we just returned to the bus station to take the last bus out of the National Park. We were lucky as it closed at 6.00 to 7.00 p.m. during summer so that we can enjoyed the sunset scenic view of this beautiful National Park.

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This is a 10 stars scored National Park which is out of this world and fully recommend to all my friends if you are going to this place spent at least 2 or 3 days there as everyday the view change due to the weather  and you will get the see the amazing beautiful landscape out of this world. If I do have the budget to visit China again this place will be my next destination again but in different season so that I can see the different scenic view in their amazing surroundings.


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Golden Whip Brook, Zhiangjiajie, China – 金鞭溪 (中国) – Day 2

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Once we came out  of  the Huanglong Cave, Zhiangjiajie, -黄龙洞,   our guide Tung met us at the entrance.  He explained to us that our day was full of trekking and sightseeing so to save time he had order the local dishes for our lunch.  We had a wonderful lunch and time for our walk.

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Our next destination was “Golden Whip Brook, Zhiangjiajie, -金鞭溪. The entrance fee is 245 RMB which included the Zhiangjiajie National Park and the ticket is valid for 2 to 3 days. Golden Whip Brook was situated at the Wulingyuan Scenic  Area -武陵源 of Zhangjiajie. The brook meanders its way through 5.5 km (3.5 mi) of mountains and valleys. It is about 2 mile from the entrance to the waterfall where we stop for half an hour to soak our feet and enjoying the fresh mountain water.

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After busy soaking our foots and taking photos our guide lead us to the densely forest where lot of monkeys asking for foods from the tourists – we were advice not to feed them. I had a great time enjoying myself taking photos of them especially one of the monkey who face keep changing with different emotions and I couldn’t resist to take a serial photos of him/she.

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It was a long walk and along the forest the stream flow and we even can go down to the waterfall or the stream but due to our shortage of time and we still have a long way to trek up to the mountains so our guide just gave us time to rest and carry on our trekking uphills.  The youngsters will take about 1 or 2 hours to trek uphill but unfortunately, the guide Tung didn’t aware our  group of 7 people some at the age of 60+, 50+ and 2 youngsters, both myself and my 2nd sister weren’t so fit so it took us longer to trek uphill. There is a easier way to go uphill is  by the cable car but due to the tour guide know our interest in forest and wild life so he choose the trekking and we will get to see more of the wild life in Golden Whip Brook.

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There are also more scenic place near Golden Whip Brook but we do not visit them as the guide only lead us to the most beautiful one and other almost similar so we don’t have to waste our times and have more times for other sight-seeing. The other scenic places nearby are Golden Whip Rock- 金鞭岩, Purple Grass Pond – 紫草潭, Jumping Fish Pond  跳鱼潭) and Zhangliang Tomb – 张良墓.

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Please note that in my photos there were not a lot of crowds and the reasons for this is our guide Tung trying his best to avoid those crowds by taking us to these scenic places at a different timing so that we will not clash with the lot which meant we must rushed to take to last cable car or we might missed one of the bigger and scenic spot which is a must to visit but we can’t due to they are going to close  and we can’t go there.


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Day 2 – Huanglong Cave, Zhiangjiajie, China -黄龙洞, Furong Town Zhiangjiajie, China ( 中国)

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Our hotel was at Wulingyuan district in Zhiangjiajie which is near the Zhiangjiajie National Forest. The hotel room cost about £20.00 to £30.00 gbp per room. We had our breakfast at the hotel, the driver and tour guide Tung came to sent us to Huanglong Cave, 黄龙洞.   Been told by the local that these mountains had shifted the directions of the front entrance were due to the feng shui effect that caused this movement.

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It was 20 minutes walk to the front entrance and along the way to the entrance surrounded by a garden with windmill machines operating the water movements.  Our entrance fee for this place came with a guide to explain the history of this cave,  a boat trip around the inside cave and then trekking into different chambers of the caves.

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Source from Wikipedia:

Huanglong Cave (simplified Chinese: 黄龙洞; traditional Chinese: 黃龍洞; pinyin: huánglóng dòng; literally: “yellow dragon cave”) is a karst cave located near the Wulingyuan district of Zhangjiajie City, Hunan, People’s Republic of China and a national 4A rated scenic area. As of 2010, the cave has over a million visitors per year.[ Since 1997, the Huanglong Cave scenic area has been managed by Beijing-based China Datong Co. Ltd. It was previously managed directly by the Hunan provincial government.

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In addition to the cave itself the Huanglong Cave scenic area includes Huanglong Cave Ecology Square (simplified Chinese: 黄龙洞生态广场; traditional Chinese: 黃龍洞生態廣場), completed in 2009 by restoring the landscape of the area adjacent to the cave entrance. In 2010, the Zhangjiajie government ordered the construction of the “Hallelujah Concert Hall” (simplified Chinese: 哈利路亚音乐厅; traditional Chinese: 哈利路亞音樂廳) as the centerpeice to the Ecology Square, not far from the cave entrance. The hall has a grass-planted roof and cost 160 million Chinese yuan.

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Covering a total area of 48 hectares (120 acres), the cave system extends to 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) in length and is divided into dry and wet levels. The re are four levels, thirteen chambers, three underground waterfalls, two underground rivers, three pools, ninety-six passages, as well as an underground lake. The largest chamber in the cave is 4,000 square metres (43,000 sq ft) and the highest of the three waterfalls is 50 metres (160 ft) high. The guided tour through the cave lasts about two hours and includes a boat ride down one of the underground rivers.

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We were so happy and enjoying ourselves at this beautiful Huanglong Cave and thank to Guide Tung who know when there weren’t lot of crowds/tourists so that we enjoy the scenic view and take photos of this beautiful place. We spent half of the day at this beautiful spot. This is a beautiful national scenic spot and it is value for money which a must to see when in zhiangjiajie.


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Zhiangjiajie, China – 张家界,中国 – Day 1

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The seven days to visit Zhiangjiajie, China started to change from bad to good once we had met the young tour guide. He had arranged seven seats for us in the big tour bus to take us to Zhiangjiajie which took about 5 hours. Once we reached Zhiangjiajie and then transfer our luggage into a small 7 seated car with a driver to take us to visit scenic spot in Zhiangjiajie.
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The tour guide Tung took us to a local restaurant which is specialized  for the 5 tribes dishes in Hunan. We had a good lunch and dinner at this beautiful restaurant. After our rest the driver sent us to our hotel and tour guide Tung arranged 7 tickets for us to see  the Chinese culture show in the National Theater.
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The culture show was amazing with actors and Theater there was a great master showing his kungfu where he was weighted down with 5 big block of concrete. After the show the driver drove us back to our hotel so it went well and peacefully for our 1st day in Zhiangjiajie.
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At last now I can sleep in peace as the tour guide Tung will arranged and organized for our group to see all the scenic spots in here and I don’t have to worry about anything now and can relax and enjoy myself. My first impression of Zhiangjiajiie  was “wow” factor as all the way to here I saw beautiful mountains with lakes surrounding it.
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