Archiv des Autors: Ervil

Manila-Butuan-Surigao-Siargao-Cebu-Clark-Manila in 7 days!

One of our adventurous trip began from Guangzhou.  We had a smooth departure and transfer without any delays. Then here it goes, the adventure begins when approaching the Philippine. This is the true story and everything happens in 7 days!! What a trip! Shortly before landing in Manila, there was a heavy rains. We could not land ontime, instead we were flying around the island for about 30 minutes before we could land in Ninoy Aquino Airport in Manila. We saw lightening and heard thunder from inside the plane. That was pretty scary. Hallelujah!!! 🙂 We are able to land safe and sound!! On the next morning, we started our day with a cozy ‚breakfast in bed‘.

Then we made a totally stupid mistake. We realized during the check out that our early flight is supposed to be half-hour earlier than we originally thought! We have only 40 minutes to catch our next flights to Siargao. Guess what, it took us 50 minutes to go to the airport. As a clear result we missed our next flights! Although after went through all the negotiations and pleadings at the check-in gate. We were still not allowed to enter the plane by the airline officers. Except if we are willing to pay for 25.000 USD to re-open the sealed plane’s door. Well, we didnt have any other choices except to purchase new tickets! The problem is there’re only direct flights 2 times in a week. It means we have to search other alternatives to get to Siargao Island via other cities on the same day. Here we are landing at Butuan, south of Manila. A very small airport, well let’s describe the arrival hall’s size round about 50m2 and equipped with only 1 conveyor belt for lugages!

20 minutes after landing, we continued our trip through land with a fully packed minivan to the next destination before taking another 2.5 hours ferry boat to the Island. Well forget about the cozy trip. It was a pretty bumpy country road and feels like in a car sauna with ‚limited‘ air-cond in the car, while outside was above 30C.

After 3 hours land ride, we arrived at Surigao. Unfortunately the next ferry to the island is on the next day. Thus we spent 1 night at Surigao. A small city with thousands of tricycles as major and most convenient public transportation.

sunset at marbles beach, Surigao. A gorgeus sky!!Next early morning at 5AM we need to buy a boat ticket for the earliest departure at 6AM! They only sell ticket on that day. No early purchase is allowed! It was a heavy rain, we need an umbrella inside the boat 🙂

Finally arriving at our destination on the 3rd day, the Siargao Island!! Island of coconuts & white sand beaches. Again welcome by the heavy rains 🙂

amazing view of ‚Cloud 9‘

and Alex! He wakes up every morning at 6AM (while I was still sleeping) and went out there to satisfy his hungry soul for waves… …  craving for waves… …

beautiful, comfort and exotic hut to stay in

extraordinary and super yummie food, fresh from the sea!

Island hoping, swimming & snorkeling for a fun day trip

The underwater world

swing swing the hammock…

a stop at the ’naked island‘

A dolphin’s burial

a visit to the local traditional market

After spending 3 nights at Siargao, we continued our trip to Cebu and stayed 0.5 day due to flight transfer. We went out and did a half-day city tour

After doing the short trip we returned to the Cebu airport to catch our next flight, however we received an announcement that our flight to Manila has been cancelled due to technical problems of night landing beam system at Ninoy Aquino. Luckily, due to our International return flight to China. The airlines has made us as priority passengers and they succeded to move us into earlier flight so that we are able to return to Manila on the same day. Again, welcome by the heavy rains, lightning and thunder. We could not land in Manila. Our plane has to land in the nearest airport which is Clark. After a 3 hours waiting time, we were informed that the weather in Manila was cleared and it was safe to fly. Also be assured by the pilot although the landing beam system was broken. He promised to fly us safe and sound! so again Hallelujah!! 🙂 we arrived safely and no damages. Returning to mainland China on the next morning and yes! this time no missing flight 🙂

The Chinese Venice ‚Wuzhen‘

One of the most popular day trips around Shanghai are probably to Wuzhen. Wuzhen is also famous as the Chinese little venice. As in many places in China, the old town is full of tourists and you’ll need to have ticket to enter the old town. There are museums, small stores, and restaurants spread inside the oldtown. The stores sell more or less the same things. Mostly handmade accesories (handicrafts).

Local home made Chinese liquor ‚Baijiu‘

Local Textile hand printing & colouring with natural colourance

and of course the Chinese opera!

Shanghai Expo 2010

The Expo is having at least 350.000 visitors every day! No matter wet or dry. What an expo, unbelivable crowd and everything is in extra large!! Here are some of the impressions! This was the queue looks like from my visit in May at 8:30 in the morning at one of the entrance gate.

queue behind me

queue on my right hand side

queue on my left hand side

the colourful queue in front of the Switzerland pavillion in the rains

the ‚Energi Kugel‘ inside the Germany pavillion

The Hamburg house

Indonesia pavillion

The 3 Gorges Dam

The world’s largest due to the length (2.3km), height (101m) isnt the most spectacular but it’s worth to peek. Arriving in Yichang, Hubei province before heading to the 3 Gorges Dam. Yichang is about 3.5 to 4 hours drive from Wuhan.

The front view from the North

Backview of the dam

Frontview from the south

The cranes which were used during the construction work

On the next day, we took a short 3 Gorges trip through the Yangtze river

Arrving at Sanxia Renjia, half-to-one-day hike through the gorges

Colours among the green… …  simply dropdead gorgeous

Those ships are basically out of used, they are there only for entertainment sake ‚touristwise‘ nowadays… …

‚Gorgehoping‘ to the other Gorge via ferry boat

Arriving at the other valley and hike up to the peak

XiAn, Shaanxi province

XiAn was pretty warm and dry in April. Shaanxi yellow earth mixed with air due to dry climate in April. Still it is described as the best time to visit, as Shaanxi is ussually either extremely hot or bitterly cold. Well, just like Wuhan so to say. XiAn has potential value of history and XiAn was China’s political capital. We spent 2-3 days there to see the most spectacular and essential sights. One of the top list around the city east of XiAn is the Terracotta Warriors.

The man who discovered the Terracota warriors in 1974.

A short visit to Huaqing hotspring on the way to the Terracota warriors. This park was once the favoured retreat of emperors anc concubines during the Tang dinasty. The most famous bather of all was Yang Guifei, a concubine often blamed for bringing the rebellion in 756.

Outside the city wall, XiAn famous landmark is the Big Goose Pagoda (Dayan ta). This pagoda dominates the surrounding modern buildings, restaurant and malls.

XiAn is one of the few cities in China where the old city walls are still standing. Built during the Ming dinasty.

Inside the city walls, the Bell Tower originally held a large bell that was rung at dawn and the Drum Tower marked nightfall. Both date from the 14th century and rebuilt in 1700s.

Heading to Muslim Quarter north from Drum Tower. The narrow lanes are full of shops & restaurants behind wooden doors.

Eating at Muslim Quarter is a great deal. Many common dishes in XiAn are offered here. The famous of all is the Yangrou paomo, a soup dish with crumbling flat loaf bread and adding noodles, mutton and broth.

In the north & west of XiAn is the Tomb of emperor Jingdi. On the way to the airport, we stopped here. The tomb itself is still being excavated, that’s the reason to make the trip out there!

Weekend trip to Hongkong

Arriving in Shenzen and taking bus to Lowu for ‚Border crossing‘

Had afternoon walk at Victoria Harbour that quiet windy that day, also reminded of my visit 10 years ago

kinda impressed of the environment/ health protection activities. Seen this sign quiet often in some corners in the city…

taking star ferry from Kowloon Island to Hongkong Island

on the way searching a 3D cinema that shows in OV which is hard to find in Wuhan

arriving at Paterson st. where our hostel is located

Free visit to a Zoo

what a long queue to drive up to the ‚Peak‘

watch out the boy scouts in HK

Alex met his good friend at Western Market, cute isn’t he?

The MongKok  electronic center, where thousands of Hongkongnese spread around here to buy their electronic wares

not forgetting to visit one of those flea market

On the way back to Mainland China through Macau and Zhuhai

Our trip during Chinese spring festival

Day 1: Arriving in Kunming. Take an evening walk at Green lake park & tasting the local speciality „Guoqiao Mixian“ across-the-bridge noodles.2010_m02_Yunnan_k01


Day 2: Arriving in Diqing airport, Shangri-La with approx. 100T population, altitude of 3,200m2010_m02_Yunnan_01

Visiting Sumtseling monastery built by instructions of the 5th Dalai Lama in the 17th century. Inspired by Potala palace and perched on a hill is one of the largest Tibetan monasteries in eastern Tibet.





The Tibetan prayer flags, each colour represents different element i.e. fire, water, sky, clouds and earth.2010_m02_Yunnan_03

The white stupa which can be found in almost every corner of the town/ villages/ mountains which shows how the religious people are.2010_m02_Yunnan_province_02

Driving to Dozong hotspring to have a hot bath & sauna, after having a strong sun intensity in the altitude of 3,200m2010_m02_Yunnan_province_01


Day 3: Driving out of town to Napha lake & marshland. The lake is however dried out in the winter time.2010_m02_Yunnan_08

then drive up to Nishar village which is rich in folklore & arts especially for clay and wooden arts.2010_m02_Yunnan_09

descend through wild landscape, drive along the Yangtze gorge in Yunnan province2010_m02_Yunnan_10

On the platform where I stand is the Yunnan province & the other side of the river is the Sichuan province.


Gradually approaching the Dhonpuling monastery2010_m02_Yunnan_12


visting the humble nunnery before returning to Gyalthang [Tibetan language for Shangri-La the town]. There are beautiful rice fields in the surrounding.2010_m02_Yunnan_13


I love this picture! Definitely one of my favourite taken picture during the trip.2010_m02_Yunnan_14

Day 4: A 5-hour trek that begins near Shidag mountain in the east direction of Gyalthang.2010_m02_Yunnan_15

Our first met with YAKs! 2010_m02_Yunnan_16


Met a friendly local Tsalang villager during the hike.2010_m02_Yunnan_17

Arriving in Kochi village for our homestay with a Tibetan family. Served with smile and self-made bread, Yak butter tea & Yak cheese.2010_m02_Yunnan_18

Day 5: A group picture with the host family before departing for the hike [another 5 hour trek to the surrounding mountains where the Kochi’s nomads graze their yaks].2010_m02_Yunnan_19


The way the villagers dried their wheat etc for different purposes.




Arriving  in Gyalthang’s traditional market and picture how the locals are busy in welcoming the Chinese New „Tiger“ Year 2010. It is amazing that the locals are still wearing traditional clothes & accesories in their daily life. This is showing their efforts in respecting & maintaining their worth culture.


Succeeded in turning the giant & heavy Tibetan praywheel only by 2 of us! It has to be turned for at least 3 times for respecting the 3 Buddhas.2010_m02_Yunnan_25


Day 6: Driving down the hills to Lijiang. A town with 1 mio population. Take a walk in the huge & pretty old town.




Doing the tea ceremony in the old town. Started at 11pm – 00:30am. Drinking 6 different type of tea incl. 3 years Puer-cha, 7 years Puer-cha and learning how to brew different type of tea. 2010_m02_Yunnan_28

Day 7: Driving back to Gyalthang from Lijiang2010_m02_Yunnan_30

Gyalthang at night2010_m02_Yunnan_32

Sitting by the fire to warm us up in the minus Celcius degree2010_m02_Yunnan_33

Day 8: Way up to Shika snow mountain 3,800m. Take a short hike in the Deer garden & picture live the nomad Tibetan villages & houses2010_m02_Yunnan_34


Not forgetting to turn the Tibetan pray wheels on the way down2010_m02_Yunnan_36

Riding horses in Shika’s valley/ meadow2010_m02_Yunnan_37


A beautiful & strong 8 years old horse2010_m02_Yunnan_38

Arriving in Gyalthang’s old town. 2010_m02_Yunnan_40

Invited by the hostel’s owner to join Nian fan „big dinner“ welcoming Chinese new year. Had „Yak hot pot“ with the newly known friends2010_m02_Yunnan_41

„Fireworking“ after dinner to welcome the new year 🙂2010_m02_Yunnan_42

Newly known friends in Gyalthang a night before Chinese new year2010_m02_Yunnan_43

Day 9: Fly out Shangri-La and returning to foggy Zero Celcius Wuhan with a stop over in Kunming.