Thursday, January 29, 2009

A little Info about the USA - Hawaii

Hawaii became the 50th state after it was conquered by the US. Hawaii has a few islands with only a few native Polynesians left. Nowadays most people are from other states in the US and also other Asians living there, so there are many people of mixed races. There is very beautiful scenery and it is a very relaxing place for vacation.

Since Steve’s friends recommended we go to Maui (one of the islands in Hawaii), we stayed eight nights Oct 10-17, 2007 at Ka’anapali Beach Hotel in Maui, US$180+ per night for a double bed room. We booked our hotel room package which included car rental, so when we arrived at the Maui airport, we went to the car rental center and paid for car rental tax US$36.50. We got a car and map so we could reach our hotel.

Ka’anapali beach is beautiful; we strolled and swam at a small bay with fishes and coral, and watched the sunsets… Have you ever seen a moonset? One night at around 6pm, the crescent moon was in the sky before the sunset. We were watching the crescent moon slowly going down until it was gone in the direction of sunset. Is it moonset? In the sky without moonlight all of the stars are twinkling beautifully…

We joined four tour packages:

  1. Two hours (4-6pm) by small aircraft to see the scenery of Maui and an active volcano on the “Big Island” (the biggest island in Hawaii) from the air, US$395.68 per person. The tumultuous flight almost made Steve airsick – he had the airsick bag ready in his hand…
  2. Six hours (7am-1pm) cruise to snorkel and see coral and fishes at Molokini, an eroded tuff cone shaped like a crescent, and to Turtle Town, US$98.45 per person. Turtle Town not only has fishes and coral, but also has a few huge sea turtles swimming together with us…
  3. Eleven hours (7.30am-7pm) by van, US$114.57 per person, to the town of Hana to see the coast of Maui, the rainforest, waterfalls, black sand beach, mongooses (which eat snakes and rats), and the Ohe’o pools in Kipahulu. Perhaps the scenery was too beautiful – no one fell asleep or had motion sickness even though the road has 600 curves in 30 miles…
  4. Eight hours (7.30am-4pm) by van,US$93.73 per person, to see the rare native plant Silversword, a plant with silver leaves and flowering at 10,023 feet on the Haleakala volcano summit. We also saw a rare bird, the nene (Hawaiian goose). Then on to the Iao Valley to see the Iao Needle…

We drove our rental car to the aquarium (ticket: US$23 per adult), shopping malls and the coastal towns of Lahaina, Kihei, Wailea and Makena. We saw different water activities at the different beaches…

The last morning, we were swimming behind the hotel in the bay again. I could swim at the deep area and I like to see fishes and coral…suddenly, a large guy swam beside me, just a couple of inches away. I was surprised and didn’t know what it was. After it swam a little farther away from me I saw it thru my goggles in the water…it was a sea turtle. I didn’t see any sea turtles when I swam there two days earlier. Its head came to the surface and it looked at me a little while; then it swam back to the deeper area and disappeared. Steve thought it came to say goodbye to us.


Steve 的朋友介绍去 Maui(夏威夷的其中一个岛),我们选择有包括租汽车的旅店房配套,每晚US$180+双人房,10-17/10/2007八晚都住在 Maui Kaanapali Beach Hotel。我们抵达Maui机场,到租气车中心,须付US$36.50租车税。选了一辆车及拿地图驾到我们的旅店。



  1. 两小时(4-6pm)乘小型飞机,每人US$395.68,空中观看 Maui 的风景及Big Island(夏威夷最大的岛)的活火山。摇摇晃晃的飞行令 Steve 差点须要吐袋
  2. 六小时(71m-1pm)乘船,每人US$98.45,到眉月形的死火山 Molokini浮潜看珊瑚、鱼及到 Turtle Town浮潜,不仅有鱼、珊瑚,還有一些很大隻的海龟和我们一起游泳
  3. 十一小时(7.30am-7pm)乘旅行巴士,每人US$114.57,到Hana Town,观看 Maui 的海岸、雨林、瀑布、黑沙滩、吃蛇鼠的 mongoose Kipahulu Ohe’o 池。可能是美丽的风景令人陶醉,600个弯弯曲曲的30哩山路却没令人晕睡
  4. 八小時(7.30am-4pm)乘旅行巴士,每人US$93.73上到10,023尺的 Haleakala 火山顶峰,稀有的花草,如银叶开花的Silversword。看到稀有的乌类 neneHawaiian。及到 Iao ValleyNeedle

我们自行驾车去水族馆,购物市场及LahainaKiheiWaileaMakena 的海岸。不一样的沙滩有不一样的水上活动


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A little Info about Macau & Hong Kong

AirAsia is providing cheap flights, so everyone can fly! Steve and I had flown to a few places by AirAsia, like Miri in East Malaysia, Bangkok in Thailand, Hanoi in Vietnam and Macau. We traveled by ourselves and booked our own accommodations, sightseeing, etc. I recorded a little information for your reference if you decide to go.

Let’s talk about Macau and Hong Kong. We went on Jan 23-28, 2007 and the info given is based on that time. AirAsia didn’t have a Hong Kong flight at that time, so we flew from Kuala Lumpur to Macau. I booked hotels in Macau and Hong Kong online at We stayed at the Pousada Marina Infante Hotel in Taipa, Macau for MOP400/night, which included a buffet breakfast. If you book a hotel, please print the Chinese name of the hotel to show to taxi driver, since many of them don't understand English. I don’t remember how much the taxi fare was from Macau airport to our hotel, but the fare was MOP29 from the hotel back to airport. The hotel is in Taipa, but has a free shuttle that makes scheduled trips to and from the ferry terminal and main bus station. You need to remember which bus because many hotel buses are at the station. Don’t get on the wrong bus, and remember the when the last shuttle returns to the hotel. Take a public bus (prepare coins, it was MOP2.50 each time you get on the bus) to go to the attractions. You can get a tourist guide at the airport, ferry terminal, or the hotel counter. If you want buy local cookies & snacks, I recommend you buy at the shops near the Ruins of St. Paul's; you might get free samples of almond cookies that were just baked.

The ferry fee from Macau to TsimShaTsui, Hong Kong was MOP140 per adult, which included embarkation tax. We took a free tourist guide & map and asked someone for directions to walk to the Stanford Hillview Hotel in TsimShaTsui - it was HK565/night. (If you want budget hotels, here is a web site -

To take the MTR (rail transport) to attraction, the adult ticket fee for some places: Ocean Park was HK$185, Disneyland was HK$295, The Peak (Victoria Peak) Tram was HK$22, and the Lantau Island sky rail (near the Tung Chung station) round trip ticket to visit the world’s tallest Buddha at Po Lin Monastery was HK$88. (You can buy a one way ticket and then go take a bus from Po Lin Monastery. We wasted the return sky rail ticket!)

We stayed in the Silvermine Beach Hotel at Mui Wo, Lantau Island, it was HK$644/night. It is not necessary to stay on Lantau Island since it is more convenient to get to attractions by bus or MTR or ferry. The ferry fee from Mui Wo to Central was HK11.30/per adult, and was much faster than taking the bus between Mui Wo and Tung Chung. When we stayed in Metropark Hotel at Kowloon, it was HK$794.40/night. When we stayed in The Empire Hotel at TsimShaTsui, it was HK$2006 for two nights and laundry. (If you want to save some time, just stay in one hotel. It is very convenient to go anywhere in Hong Kong by MTR or bus.)

The ferry fee from TsimShaTsui, HK back to Macau was HK$137 per adult, which included embarkation tax.
抵尖沙咀码头,取地图资料或示酒店街名问人方向走路至上纲已订在尖沙咀的仕德福山景酒店,双人房每晚HK$565。若要廉宜的住宿,上纲 先订酒店。
可乘MTR快铁至各景点,有些景点的每大人收费:海洋公园HK$185迪士尼园HK$295,香港山顶观夜景览车HK$22大屿山吊览车从Tung Chung来回程HK$88(可买单程的,参观天坛大佛寺宝莲禅寺后可坐公共巴士去其它地方,我们没用回程票,浪费了!)。
住大屿山梅窝的银铲湾酒店双人房每晚HK$644(可不必要住在大屿山,有巴士、MTR或渡轮到各景点),梅窝渡轮至中环码头,渡轮费每大人HK$11.30,速度比梅窝 – Tung Chung站的巴士快住九龙维景酒店双人房每晚HK$794.40住尖沙咀的皇悦酒店双人房两晚加洗衣费HK$2006(如要省换酒店的时间,建议只住同一酒店,香港多区都有快铁或巴士,很方便去各区景点。)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bye-bye Peru

Our Peru trip was near its end for this time. I couldn’t say how much I understand about the humanity & culture there. I noticed in many places the walls had been covered with graffiti. Some places provided three bins, for paper, plastic and trash. There was a little story, when we were in Lima airport waiting for our delayed flight to Cusco (also spelled Cuzco). I had sat for too long and I stood up to stretch my body in front of Steve’s seat. A young Peruvian guy was talking on his cell phone and came to sit in my chair. Steve tried to mention that was his wife’s chair, but I thought it was okay and stopped Steve. It seemed that young guy realized it, but he still sat and talked on his cell phone. I was walking around the small boarding area. Many people came in and I didn’t see any empty chairs. I came to Steve’s seat several times and he asked me whether I wanted to change and sit for a while, I shook my head. I walked to a place I thought there was an open chair but there wasn’t. A middle aged man knew that I was looking for a chair. He stood up and asked me to have his chair. I didn’t know what language he spoke, but I guessed he was Japanese and it looked like his wife was in the seat beside his. It would be a shame if I took a seat from an elder person, so I shook my head and hand. So, I walked around again. About an hour later, eventually I saw that young guy stand up, but he put his things on the chair. I wasn’t mannered and moved his things to one side. I sat down by Steve. I didn’t care if I was overbearing (or the young Peruvian guy not much a gentleman).

We were in Lima airport again. We were annoyed when we knew our American Airlines flight departing to Miami was delayed 5 hours from the original 11.40pm. But we felt a little consoled, as we got compensation from the airline for the airport tax and a US$36 meal voucher for Papa Johns pizza. Ha-ha…I was greedy and ordered a lot of food and packed some to bring back home. Why not! Even if we just spent $1, we couldn’t change the remaining balance to money. I regretted I spent only about $25 of the $36.

It was hard to kill time; we went to the internet center for a while. We heard someone phone a hostel that he stayed in to request them to send a copy of their passports, as his wife’s handbag was stolen in the airport with both their passports inside! Ah, it seems there really are many robberies.

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0. HAPPY NEW YEAR! We counted down to welcome in 2009 in the Lima airport!

秘鲁旅行就这样告一段落了,谈不上对当地的人文了解多少,只是观察到很多地方的外墙壁都被涂鸦。有不少地方都没置三种垃圾桶供纸张、塑胶和杂物。另外说个小故事,话说在Lima在机场等延迟的Cusco (Cuzco)班机时,我坐得太久,所以站起来到Steve座前舒舒筋,有位秘鲁年青男人边用着电话就来坐了我的位子,Steve想示意是他妻子的座位,我阻止Steve,说没关系,那年青人大概也知道但坐着继续谈他的电话。我在这小候机厅走来走,人已很多,已没空座位。我不时走到Steve面前,Steve问我要不要坐下换他站,我摇头。我走去一处以为有空位但发现不是,有位中年男人,看我找座位,他起身要我坐他的位子,也没听清楚他讲的语言,我猜他是日本人,旁边坐着似乎是他太太,我不好意思要比我年长的人让座,我忙摇头又摇手。这样子我又走来走去,大概已有一小时,终於让我看到那年青人站起来但他用一物件摆在座位,我老实不客气的把物件移开坐下靠向Steve。我也不理我是否太霸道(还是秘鲁年青男人没风度)。

又回来到Lima机场了,得知原本11.40pm起飞到Miami的美国航空班机却要延迟5小时之久,有点欣慰的是有给我们补偿机场税及US$36Papa Johns pizza 餐卷。哈哈我很贪心买了很多食物,打包带回,反正不买白不买,即使若只买US$1,也没得换钱回,我还后悔只买了约US$25而已啦。


109876543210HAPPY NEW YEAR!我们在Lima机场倒数迎接2009年!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Peru - Lake Titicaca, Uros, Taquile Island

We joined a boat excursion on Lake Titicaca, going to Uros and Taquile Island. Remember to put sun block and wear sunglasses and a hat or scarf. If you have problems with motion/sea sickness, also bring some medicine, like Bonine or Dramamine. The swells on the lake can get quite high if the wind is strong.

Uros is a group of floating islands on the lake made from reeds by the people there. Let’s see their demonstration about building the floating island and houses; they need to re-build all the structures on the islands every three months. The ground must be covered with a new layer of reeds every two weeks, and when the island becomes so thick that it touches the bottom of the lake, it must be abandoned, and a new island is created! Men fish by boat, and women will take their goods like salted fishes and weaving to the peninsula to exchange things and tourist business. They invited us for a ride in a reed boat for S/5 per person. Our tour guide told us not to give candy to the kid as the dentist is far away at the shore and is expensive for the people there. Uros people are friendly and allow taking their picture.

If you take pictures of people on Taquile Island, they will show a finger up means they are asking you to pay S/1. Taquile Island is like a small mountain. Our boat arrived there and the tour guide wanted us to walk to the other side where the boat would pick us up. It was good to leave our little backpack in the boat as we needed to walk very slowly up hill at such a high altitude…. We walked about 40mins to the town square, and then followed the tour guide to a place to have lunch. It had two choices: either trout or an omelet, served with quinoa soup and tea (a local herb). Steve didn’t like his omelet much, and I couldn’t help him to finish it - too salty.

It took about 3 hours by boat to get back to the shore. Most of us, including the tour guide, had a good nap on the boat.

我们参旅团游Titicaca湖的UrosTaquile Island。记得涂上防晒膏及戴上太阳眼镜、帽或头巾。如你有晕船的问题,最好用一些药,湖可能会起高浪如风太大。


Taquile Island如你拍照那里的居民,他们手指一,即是向你要S/1Taquile Island如一座小山,导游要我们从船放下的地方走到另一瑞,船会在那儿载我们回,还是把小背包放在船,要在这高原的山慢慢走走约40分钟来到小镇。导游安排在某处用午餐,只有两种选择,煎鱼或煎蛋,配一碗quinoa汤及一杯茶(当地的一种植物)。Steve不喜欢他的煎蛋,我不能帮他吃,煎蛋太咸啦。


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Peru - Puno

Puno is a city on the shore of Lake Titicaca, and is about a one hour ride by minibus from/to the Juliaca airport. Here is a suggestion: the minibus stops to pick up local customers at a few places in Puno and drop them on the way, so it is better to ask the minibus to come to your hostel to pick you up 3 hours before your flight departs. Puno is at 3,800m altitude, which is higher than Cusco (also spelled Cuzco). The weather is warm in the afternoon, but changes to very cool at night. The altitude headache still had a tight grip on me.

After the train returned from Machu Picchu, I found I had lost my departure card. A staff person in Cusco airport told me to get a new one in the Lima airport. When we walked down a street in Puno, Steve saw an Immigration office near the Plaza de Armas. We went in to ask about it, the staff checked something on the computer and filled out a paper for me. She told me to go to pay S/8 at a bank down the street, and then come back again. We paid and took the receipt back to her. I needed to fill out a form, which was the same one as when we entered Peru. The staff recorded my info in a computer. She told me to go to photocopy my passport (she knows little English and was afraid I did not understand her instruction, so she showed me another person’s passport copy) at a shop opposite the Immigration office, and then come back again. We took the photocopy back there, and finally I got a new departure card.

我们坐小巴士约一小时从Juliaca机场到靠近Titicaca湖岸线的Puno市。这里有一建议: 小巴士会在Puno某处等载当地乘客然后沿途放下他们,所以最好在你起飞时间的3小时前要小巴士来旅店接你。PunoCuscoCuzco)更高每拔,在3,800米。下午还暖暖的,晚上却很冷。高原头痛症又死不放过我。

我在Machu Picchu乘回程火车后发现我的出境卡不见了,Cusco机场职员告诉我到Lima机场时处理。当我们走在Puno某街时,Steve看到immigration办公室,我们就进去探问,该职员在电脑查看之后,填写了一张纸,要我们拿着这纸到街尾的银行付款S/8,然后倒回。付款后拿着收据回去,我须重新填写如入境Peru时的表格。该职员在电脑记录了后,要我到对面的店复印我的护照(她只懂少许的英语,怕我不明白,拿别人的护照复印指示我如何做),然后倒回。复印后回去,终於重做好出境卡。

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Peru - Koricancha, Sacsayhuaman, Q'enqo, Pucapucara, Tambomachay

The city tour from 2pm – 6.30pm went to 5 places, with a tour guide speaking both Spanish and English:

Cathedral-Koricancha (also spelled Coricancha)

Sacsayhuaman (also known as Saksaq Waman)



Tambomachay, seemed like we needed reach there by walk through a path. I walked few steps, it felt so hard to move forward. My legs were so sore and I had a headache from the high altitude. We gave up visiting that place; we waited for everyone else by the bus. Steve asked Joe what’s there, he said, “Stones.”

You can plan to go to the above places by yourself if you prefer not to join the tour.

The last day in Cusco (also spelled Cuzco), Dec 29th, I bought a postcard, and thought to send it to someone. Besides our own home’s address that I could remember, I couldn’t remember any other addresses…. I wish you all receive this postcard that I sent to you in spirit! You knew the message, I was thinking of you all. I hope you received it!

The postcard we sent to our home address still hasn’t arrived yet!



SacsayhuamanSaksaq Waman