It’s been a rough year part 3

April

In mid-April I stopped teaching and we enjoyed the visit of Liebling’s sister Dom and her partner Olivier. We did the Pearl River cruise, the Peak in Hong Kong and the Chen Clan Academy all once again. We went to the popular Chinese tourist destination, Yangshuo. A cruise down the river Li, mud bath, bamboo rafting and tour of the layered rice fields in the mountains were part of the trip. We had a great time.

We returned home to Guangzhou for one day and left for Japan. We did not enjoy it so much at the time, but as we look back on it, we are glad we visited this country. One memorable event was attending the Sound of Music in Japanese and the behavior of the patrons and staff. The transportation system (trains, buses, subway) in Osaka and Kyoto are something else.

The River Li cruise

Proof that I am in China.

Layered rice fields in the mountains.

The Chinese are forever taking pictures of themselves because it is necessary as proof to  friends that they actually visited the area. This photo was taken, printed and laminated within 3 minutes. There were 5 more photo ops down the river.

This mud bath was in a cave and made you float like a cork in water. Next to it was a hot springs.

School children at the botanical garden in Japan. Never in my life have I seen such disciplined kids.

All the different school uniforms are a sight to behold in Japan.

A great show. The spectators were something else too. Surprisingly, all the shows were scheduled for 2pm, even during the week.

May

May saw us returning to Thailand for a second time. We met up with Liebling’s youngest sister DaniPou and had a riot. Phuket Fantasy will live on forever. As Liebling was working the first time we went to Thailand, we visited much more this time. A highlight of the trip was an elephant ride through a nature preserve.

After Thailand we were off to Taiwan. By this time we were pretty much tired out of traveling so we only stayed for 5 days, all our other out of China trips being at least 10 days long. Liebling worked while I went sightseeing.

Liebling and Danipoo taking a break at the Jim Thompson house.

Which one of these is not like the others? Which one of these doesn’t belong?

Buddhas, Buddhas and more Buddhas.

A highlight of our trip, riding on elephants. The nature preserve was top notch and the elephants were very well treated. A welcome break from the pitifully depressing zoo’s in Asia.

No trip to Thailand is complete without a stay on the beach. I had the 2 hottest babes in all of Thailand.

Biking in Taiwan on a 12 km bike path. It was a welcome relief from all the museums and temples I visited on previous trips, although I did visit a museum in Taiwan. Bike rental $5 CAD. Taxi to get there and back, $70 CAD. Hours in fresh air, priceless.

June

We stayed home in June hosting  visitors from Canada. Our pregnant daughter and her husband, Liebling’s brother’s family and a colleague of Liebling were all staying with us, at different times. Our blue eyed blonde pregnant daughter was a hit. I think an alien from outer-space could not have caused more of a stir. We had our fill of the Pearl River cruise, Chen Clan Academy and Aquarium super market.

In Hong Kong for the 3rd and final time with Juliane, Ghyslain and baby Tweety. The baby must have thought he was in Thailand as he became a she once everyone was back in Canada.

Our friend Karine trying out the exercise equipment in the courtyard of our apartment building. She bought and shipped back home 3 kgs of tea.

Our 6th and final Pearl River cruise with Pu, Oran and the joker’s family.

July

We had to start facing reality; our adventure was coming to an end. We shopped for things we saw during the year and wanted to take back home. Shipping stuff home was proving to be a daunting task; our landlord was nowhere to be found with our 2 months rent deposit and you cannot move anything out of your apartment without the landlords permission. We managed to eat lots of deep fried shrimp and I had to say good bye to Pizza Hut and KFC, my refuges when China was too much China.

Another outing with Mr. Pu, a Litchi orchard, Liebling’s favourite fruit.

The Nutcracker ballet we took Mr. Pu and his wife to that turned into an acrobat show.

Upon hearing that we had not visited White Clouds Mountain, Mr. Pu arranged an outing there. In the photo is Guangzhou, estimated population of 15 million. Notice how the smog envelopes the city and the blue sky near the mountain.

Packing up the house. Seventeen boxes of stuff that will cost more to ship than it cost to buy.

Our very last supper with Pu. We managed to pay for this one. I will miss him so very much.

We leave for Canada in less than 24 hours. A few more posts and the blog will be left to waste memory on a website for a few years until it is deleted.

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