Monday, September 12, 2011

Manchuria Road Trip Part 04

Blowing off some steam: Andre Su from Taiwan belting out a Wu Bai number
Our Chinese host had done a great job.
So, here I am, on the last day of my tour in Harbin. We stayed at the Volga Manor which is pretty isolated from the outside world.
On the final day of the programme, we were taken to a few industrial locations where foreign investments had been highlighted.
These are really boring stuff I had to endure until lunch...
Superb feast: Western Chinese Muslim food
We had two Muslim journalists in the group.
So, the hosts must have been really kind to cater to their needs. What I find strange is the fact that they were picky about food, but not the booze.
Anyways, lunch was simply amazing. From Cow's head all the choice morsels to sliced lamb, anyone with Cholesterol problem would have a tough time.
After lunch, we rushed back to the Volga Manor for a tour of the facility.
This was followed by a dinner by our hosts and a trip to the Russian Spa.
Now, having my brains blown away by some Chinese Vodka, I must say that the steam bath.
But what I'm not used to seeing: are naked guys walking and just chilling out. 
For an Asian, I value my modesty, so, I put on a towel.
There were a few Russians who were 'back to nature' at the steam bath. They seem to be pretty okay with it, but I found it to be very gay.
A nice view of the Volga Manor

Sunset in Harbin's Volga Manor

Me, enjoying an electric buggy ride
I had a flight to catch at 05:00am to Pudong airport in Shanghai.
When I staggered back to my room, I've packed everything, leaving only the essentials. 
With only three hours of waiting time, I'd literally slept in my Polo Shirt and Jeans.
And before I knew it, I was on the way to the airport, still reeking of last night 42degrees proof Chinese Vodka. 
Throughout the day, I felt like I was pounded by a steamroller.
It took us two and a-half hours to get to Pudong and when we got there, there was another long and agonizing wait to check-in at the Malaysian Airlines counter.
Rene and I were eagerly waiting for a good lunch break at the departure hall.
Dancing the night away with the Russians

Shanghai beef noodles and dumplings
It took us an hour to clear the check-in counter and the Chinese CIC. 
Once we were done, we went to the airport cafeteria to look for something to eat.
We found a Shanghai dumpling shop and ordered beef noodles and dumplings.
The food was only so=-so and also pretty expensive.
While having a coffee break, I bumped into Ng Sek San, a folding bike kaki. 
Sek San was in Beijing cycling and did a solo ride in Shanghai. 
He brought his Brompton foldie for the ride and told me that the Ko Lanta Storm Riders were back with stories of epic proportions.
I told Ng about the CFAL3 ride on Sept 11 which he had totally forgotten about.
After catching up for a chat, we boarded the Boeing 777-400 which was bound for KL.
At 9pm, after five hours from Pudong, the flight landed at KLIA. I bade farewell to Rene after picking my baggage.
Michelle was waiting at the arrival hall.
I missed my kids and was told that they had waited for my return.
To sum it up, the Harbin trip was very interesting. Now, that I've seen China in a different light, I do plan to return to this ice city during winter...
The only slack I see during the media trip was the fact that the participants had no time to round up some souvenirs for their colleagues at home.
All I can say is that I am grateful to my big honcho who gave me this assignment and to the China Daily who organised a helluva great trip!
Post a Comment