Friday, April 26, 2013

Downtown Sanya Visit

The hotel was awesome but we needed to get into downtown Sanya to buy some snacks and drinks (cheap wine) so that we didn't go broke buying everything at the hotel prices.  We had been told that Sanya has many Russian visitors since it's the closest, warmest spot for them, at least the people in Eastern Russia.  It was definitely the case, all the signs were in two languages - Chinese and Russian.
It turned out to be a fun excursion.  We were dropped off at the 'mall' and stayed outside to the outdoor eating area.  In this outdoor area were community tables setup in the middle of a collection of food stands.  They were selling mostly seafood as you can see all the tanks but there was also some locally brewed beer and other non-seafood items.  Talk about fresh - pick your fish and they cook it immediately!

Mostly tropical fish and crabs.

These are the fish that we thought we were going to catch on our fishing trip...

Lots of crabs, clams and snails!

Pot of clams, shrimp,etc.

Chinese Crawdads

About 15-20 stands of outdoor kitchens.

We ordered a fried fish or two.  It was very good.

Fish, shrimp, rice and beer for under $10.  Our only cheap meal of the week.

Lots of outdoor shops for bargaining.
Big conch shells, pearls, etc. for cheap prices.

This was a parrot fish from one of the street tanks.  An awesome blue color
when it is outside of the water.  The Chinese eat all kinds of fish.  I don't think
that I have ever seen parrot fish on a menu in the states.

Large beautiful fish.

The beach was very busy at night.  Chinese don't like the sun so many seem
to do their beach playing after the sun went down.

We joined in the sand castle making!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sea Fishing in Sanya

Yu Gege is the fisherman in our family.  Yu Gege translates to "Fish big brother" and it's because he loves to fish.  So naturally when we went to Sanya we had to go fishing for the 'big-fish' of the South China Seas.  We looked through the local website, to find a fishing expedition.  It was about $50 per person and it they picked us up at the hotel and dropped us off in downtown Sanya's port. 
The waiting area for the boat.  It was crowded with others
either going fishing or waiting for boats to get wedding
photos taken aboard.
I made sure to set the boys expectations very low for what we would be catching because I could see it was not your typical Florida fishing boat.  But the trip out to the fishing hole was interesting in itself and worth the fee.

Most of the nice boats were being chartered for wedding
photo shoots.  It was an interesting mix of luxury on the water
and local low-income homes along the shore.

Yu Gege sitting on the yard furniture aboard the boat.  

True fishing vessels - encouraging.

This boat was called '<something> Great Wall' and had the
Great Wall of China motif.  I think in was a Chinese party boat.

Phoenix Island - a man-made island with hotels or apartments.

Wedding Photo shoot.  Queen and King for a few hours.
Ok, now on the way out of the harbor and out near the fishing spot.  This was said to be a deserted military island.  

Sloping hills into the water, seems like a good fishing area.

Maybe glacial by nature...

Out come the fishing poles.  Encouraging decent poles but the
size of the hooks was not good.  They were sized to catch
The boat anchored and we let out our lines.  It seemed to be about 20 meters deep but the current/wind was strong so the line went out much further.  It went to the bottom and we waited, and we waited.  Hey someone caught one!!!  They were catching 3" fish, argh!
One of the big catches of the day, argh!
The saddest thing was that they were keeping these bait-fish.  No wonder there weren't any big ones.  They were bucketing all these to do what, who knows.

Bucket of about 10 tiny fish.  The whole boat of 30 people's catch.
Not even enough for a cat to eat...

Local boat with Phoenix Island in the background.

Waterfront property.  Probably priceless in 20 years!
A disappointed day for fishing but hey chalk it up as another China-experience.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Yings in Tropical China (Sanya)

Life has been busy with Mama Ying working as a full-time substitute at the kid's school and Papa Ying's been traveling and working hard.  So our vacation to Southern China to relax was a great choice.  We booked it to Sanya, China during the Tomb Sweeping holiday week.  Sanya has weather like Florida and is being transitioned to a resort town.  This blog is about our stay.

We thought our flight was at 6:05 pm on Friday evening to get us into Sanya at about 8:45 pm.  So we got to the airport at 4:30 in plenty of time.  Turns out that our flight was scheduled to leave at 4:45 and that we had read our itinerary incorrectly.  Anyway, we got to the airport, checked-in and were prepared to run to the gate.  But we were told to go to another baggage counter.  There we were then told that our airplane was not here and our flight would be delayed until midnight, argh!

At the gate this is the notification of the flight
time change.  No attendant just a poster...
We ended up leaving Shanghai at 10:30 ish and arrived in Sanya about 1:30 am.  We walked out to get a taxi and found one outside the long taxi-stand line.  260 RMB ($40) for about a 45 minute taxi ride to the hotel, normally it would have been about 175 ($28).  Worth skipping the 30 minute taxi we thought.

3 am on a deserted highway in China.  Seems like a news story
waiting to happen...
But our taxi overheated and broke down about half way to the resort.  After we stood on the side of the busy highway in the middle of the night for 45 minutes another taxi showed up.  When we finally got there I only paid him 200 RMB ($32) and he was pissed.

At the Renaissance hotel and after much confusion about the reservation they graciously upgraded us to a villa.  The happy part of a long day traveling was that it was an unbelievable room (pictures later).  
Beautiful lobby, hotel grounds and ocean.

Massive snails in Sanya.  The hotel was trying to poison them
but not if Mama Ying could help them.

Taken from the beach area. No hotels nearby so the beach extended for many miles in either direction.

All you can eat breakfast are a big highlight.  Chocolate covered pancakes and waffles are the kid's favorite.

The Red Star Restaurant was great for breakfast and dinner

Our own personal pool that filled half of our backyard!

Two fountains and a waterfall.  There was three patios and exits from three
rooms of the villa.  
This was the common area of our Villa.  There was 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms,
kitchen and plenty of luxury.

This was the hotel pool with lights on the bottom of it.  The pool went on
forever.  It was the largest pool in China.

The GM said the hotel spent 100,000,000 RMB on the landscaping.

Looking back from the beach.  Funny signs.

Yangmei doing schoolwork with a pina colada in the pool bar.  

Outdoor shower that was like standing under a
waterfall.  I took at least one shower a day in this one!

Rub-a-dub-dub three kids in a tub!
A great a memorable vacation.  The next blog will be about our fishing trip in Sanya.