Sunday, October 10, 2010

The good, the bad, and the gruesome...

Dearest BLAHG.... (ps...Maggie...that was a shout out to you) Beware this story is not for all to read.. Though it does include some great pictures and highlights of my recent trip to Yalong Bay in Sanya China....the very tip of China on the island of Hainan.

I decided that if I were to tell China as I experience it, then all stories must be told. I am not here to glorify anything or to tear it down.....Just to simply state my experiences..... So here it is.......oooweeeeoooohweeeooooh...

September 30th 2010. It is Thursday I and I am very excited to take a well deserved vacation!! After going to grad school full time and working my bones down all year, I felt this holiday "Chinese Independence Day" (The Mao regime proclaimed the People's Republic of China on Oct. 1, 1949) Read more: China: History, Geography, Government, & Culture — I figured it was time for me to enjoy a little time to myself, some nice weather, some of my favorite authors, take a few dives, and hit the beach.

The Good....Whaaaaa wha whaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.....

So after school I set off to the airport to for my warm breezy beach getaway. Now I will just state the my expectations were not very high. The Chinese all told me, Sanya is beautiful! Some of the other expats slightly discouraged my travels but saying that "the place will be a zoo" and that is was not as nice as it was cracked up to be. After a pretty easy flight I arrived late in the night to my hotel. The Crowne Plaza Sanya.

The best highlight of the trip, came when I entered my room and noticed right the middle of my floor was a gleaming LARGE bathtub. I fought the tears back from my eyes, never having realized that depriving me from "baths" for 10 weeks was such a thing to give up, but as I sat and stared at the pristine tub and the Chinese shutters that surrounded it I realized that this was a great investment and my worry about a expensive vacation soon vanished. Sometimes its is nice to stay in a place that is a bit fancier. The good returns upon the mention of my new found Chinese Friend Hense.

The Bad...ooohweeeeohhhhweeeooooooooo
It would have benefited me slightly to pay better attention to the forecast and realize that rain was in store for the next week in Sanya, but I figured ...Hey ! I am on a beach I am going to end up getting wet anyway. So while it was really not that bad. I spend 90% of my time soaked. Mostly from the torrential downpour that relentlessly hammered the coast for 5 days, and also due to me swimming, diving, and taking two to three baths a day...but really...hey you cant control nature.. The bad returns a bit later when i mention the creepy cab drivers.

The Gruesome.... Whahhhh whahhh whhaaaaaaaaaaaaa
So, all I really wanted was to read, go scuba diving, and see the rainforest, which I had researched and looked gorgeous. Being a lady that loves nature I was all about trying to get there. The problem started when the concierge said the the rain forest I originally wanted to go to was VERY far, and they did not think that I could get there.... BUT!! they said, there is another rain forest closer that has a free shuttle that will pick you up, it's called YANODA! So, great... I the spot for me.
So Sunday came and I woke up had a chat with Stephen and off to my adventure in the rain forest I went. It was raining of course and the roads were flooded but being a big bus made the rain not too terrible of an issue. I didn't even mind that the tour guide used a microphone that she had cranked to the loudest level with her already LARGE voice, at first I didn't even mind when the entire bus party kept shouting " YAAAA NA DA!!!!" and giving the peace sign.. I thought "oh look they are really getting into it!"

Well, when we get to the place lucky our tour guide asks Hense if he speaks English and lucky for me he does. So quickly we make friends and I learn that he is in business in Shanghai and his wife is a teacher. He is pleased to be able to work on his english with me, and I am pleased that i can ignore the crazed overactive tour guide. Basically I will say this, the rainforest was beautiful, lush, had waterfalls, and I was very happy to see that the country was taking pride in their natural environment. I had a great time talking with Hense and he invited me out to dinner with him and his family when I come to Shanghai. The rain was a bit much but hey this was not that bad I am on an island in the middle of a rainforest!
This is where things took a turn for the worse, in all seriousness this part is kind of gross. Just know I am warning you
So I finally get a little space from the YAAAANODA!!!! screaming guide and group and find myself wandering with my camera when I happen to see a little hut smoking, as I round the corner I see a puppy and immediately am so excited I start cooing at it in a voice only a puppy could love, i am petting it and saying how adorable he is... I even take a picture of this dog. I round the corner a bit more and notice that a family is camped out with tons of dogs seeming to have what looks like a picnic. I am sooo excited by all of the dogs! I love dogs!!! and I miss mine very much!!! Thats when my eye catches some movement by the fire....... and ...... right there 5 feet before me is a women skinning a dog, getting him ready to be cooked. In absolute horror I turned to run away and looked just as the young boy at the table was hitting the dog near him because he was begging for food, With tears welling up in my eyes and a new look at a harsh reality of a different culture. I tried to leave YANODA but was bound to it for a bit longer due to the group. I know that cultures view things differently, and I have grown up in a very different way even for mine, but that was one of the worst things I have ever seen!

SO I hate to say that it did, but I am having a hard time disassociating the d.o.g. experience from the rainforest. Once safe on my way back to the hotel in the van, I popped in my headphones hopping to take my mind elsewhere then where I was. The roads were still very wet, but i had about an hours drive back to relax. Well I finally became lost in the music, I was sitting all the way at the back of the bus, in the four seats middle when our bus driver SLAMS on his breaks I go flying and SMACK we hit something. I am like"are you kidding me what did we just hit?" So I look back and see a cow knocked over in the middle of the road. I am more then happy to report that he/she did get up and start walking and I have high hopes.... but I mean it was hit by a bus!

So the rest of the trip was okay, I went diving and saw a beautiful coral reef, I went swimming on the beach, I took a lot of pictures, i loved every second of my baths, I had a great long chat with Stephen one morning, but what i remember most unfortunately is the rainforest:(.

Getting home was also quite a journey... I will just say the town was flooded, it looked like I wouldn't make it to the airport on time, I had to pay a crazy amount of money to the cab driver there. Once I landed a creepy cabby kept trying to touch my arm, and leg and kept telling me he liked me... GROSSSSSS! after all that I return "home" to Hangzhou.... What a trip!