If you have been following my Twitter updates, you would have known that Saucer and I flew (again!), this time to Xiamen, Fujian province, China, about one month ago. It was technically Saucer’s company trip which was supposed to last 3 days, but we extended it to a week since we were already there. We arrived a day before his conference started, so the first night’s hotel was under our own expenses. I consulted my Beijing friends on the hotel recommendations and we ended up staying at this hotel called East Vanguard or Wan Jia Dong Fang (万佳东方) Hotel.
Wan Jia Dong Fang Hotel
It is quite a pain if you don’t know Chinese whenever you visit China, because most of the communication is being done in Mandarin. Also, if you noticed, the hotel name is also purely in Chinese characters! So, if you’re Chinese-blind like both of us, you better start jotting down the names on paper. From the Xiamen airport, we took a cab to the hotel (by showing the driver my piece of paper ) and it was only less than RMB40 (~RM20) for the ride!
Customary tea set in every hotel we stayed in Xiamen
When we reached the reception, it was another headache as I muttered out the little Mandarin that I knew, trying to get my room reservation. Luckily, the girls understood my difficulty and were really friendly to me! Before long, we were given keys to our double room! I must say, for RMB288/night (~RM144), we got pretty good travel deals!
The bed was King sized, with comforter and plush pillows. One gripe though, for I felt that the bed was a little too hard! *LOL* Also, I realized that out of the 2 hotels that we stayed in, both provided the tea-making facilities. I soon found out that Xiamen was actually famous in producing “Tie Kuan Yin” tea leaves, hence you can see loads of tea shops in Xiamen!
The room also came with a flat screen LCD TV! Not bad, right? But I didn’t really watch that much TV as most of the programmes were local and in Chinese.
Flat screen LCD
The bathroom and toilet were spotlessly clean, and there was even a bathtub!
Bathtub with window to the bed
Toiletries were plentiful and I loved their comb and toothbrushes! They looked like they’re of higher quality compared to the normal toothbrushes I found from hotels. Will show you a picture perhaps in the next post?
Artsy painting on the wall
Entrance of Wan Jia Dong Fang Hotel, Xiamen
On our first day, by the time we checked in, it was already past 3pm. Since we were hungry, we decided to go out and look for food. We asked the receptionists for recommendations and they asked us to walk to their famous Zhong Shan Lu Pedestrian Market, which was about 15 minutes away. Considering their cool weather that time (around 16C), we decided to walk and do some sightseeing along the way.
Zhong Shan garden
Along the way, we passed by the Zhong Shan garden, but we didn’t go in, because I was already famished! In fact, the only thing I was paying attention to was food! *LOL*
Balloons outside the Zhong Shan Garden
Building just opposite the Zhong Shan road
Soon, we saw the road that we were looking for! Zhong Shan Lu Pedestrian Street!
Welcome to Zhong Shan Lu Pedestrian Street
Saucer at Zhong Shan Lu
We were actually at the other end of the Zhong Shan Lu, the quieter end, in fact. The road stretches for quite long, perhaps over 1km? And it ends just by the sea, overlooking an island. Anyway, once we entered the road, we spotted a few young girls sitting on their skateboards.
Young girls on skating boards
They chatted for a while and soon, they were all sliding down the slightly sloped road having fun!
Sliding down the road
If you noticed, this road is also special because it’s closed to motorists! Which meant that one could walk anywhere along the road without much danger of getting knocked down. And I liked that! Most of the time, pedestrian streets are usually packed with people but here, the roads were so wide I actually felt comfortable walking along them.
The wide streets of Zhong Shan Road
Can you spot Saucer?
Of course, we didn’t just go there to walk! My mission was to look for food, and indeed, we found a really nice noodles place! That will have to be saved for my next entry, since my stomach is growling again now. *LOL* (Why am I always hungry?)