Jan 022012

Start of trip

[FYI…if you’re reading this on Facebook, check out the site… updating blog look for 2012]

We took a family vacation to Sanya town, on the Southern tip of Hainan Island between 12/26 and 1/1. This was a budget vacation (we spent about $1100 including round-trip air-fair). The kids had a week off from school during the Christmas holiday because they go to International School. Most Chinese have no holiday during Christmas. So, we found out that its easiest and cheapest for us to travel within China during this time.

Our goal was to get somewhere warmer than Suzhou, where we could warm-up and play. We spend the first 3 nights in a Youth Hostel, then later upgraded to an economy hotel room. We spend our days either on the beach, or watching movies. We had 4 pretty sunny days with temperature around 27C.

Drinking coconut

Sorry, but not a lot of pics of food in this post. Kenaz and Akiva tried Coconut milk. We ate street food every night. This included boiled clams, stir-fried veggies, BBQ Chicken. And rice. I also tried a donkey meat sandwich. On one night we had some really good Guilin Rice Noodles. Every breakfast we went to a good Western cafe and had eggs and coffee. Pretty good breakfast. Unfortunately, that place had the cheapest coffee, and it was 20RMB.

The beach in Hainan Island is rather over-developed in parts, and Ghetto in others. At the beginning we stayed at the hostel. Not so great a beach, but its good to start off at a hostel where people can help us find out what’s going on.

Although the beach by the hostel was not really good, it was about a 15 minute walk to the Hotel Intercontinental beach. And because I’m white, I can pretend that I’m staying there and they provided free bottled water and let us use their beach parasols.

Around the hostel was a “locals” neighborhood. Lots of chickens walking around. Kenaz wanted to find and kill one (to eat). I met several Chinese senior citizens who were quite friendly. Apparently there are a lot of retirement housing in Sanya geared towards Chinese from the cold North, who spend their Winters on the island.

Das Boat

Das Boat

We rented a small inflatable row boat and went into the waters around the hostel. I was the Captain, of course. However, my crew didn’t cooperate with me very much. And our oars were of different sizes and didn’t fit into the oar locks. So we didn’t get far.

Chinese Churros

On the third day we moved to a hotel near DaDongHai (Great Eastern Sea). There was a street food fair there. We ate “California Churros” with icecream. But it wasn’t that good. In that same area all the shops had signs and menus in Russian. Sanya has become a big tourist destination for Russians (maybe coming from Siberia).

Near the food street was a small amusement park. We did bumper cars. Kids played on an inflatable castle. They had Micky and Minnie walking around posing for pictures. And one of the most spectacular things (according to the kids) were the Coy fish who were addicted to coconut milk. People were fishing them out of the pond using a baby-bottle filled with coconut milk.

Foozball at the Dolphine

In the mornings we ate breakfast and played Foozbal.

We saw two fires while in Sanya. The first fire happened while eating at night on the food street. A Christmas tree caught on fire in the parking lot. Second fire occurred the next day at a construction site near the hotel we were staying at.

I’m wondering if the fires had anything to do with us. Two fires in two days. Coincidence?

Finished sand castle

Of course, lots of sand-castle building.

We spend New Years on the beach. On New Years eve, before the ball dropped, we all said our resolutions. Haga’s resolution was to eat less sweets and also spend more time teaching the kids. Akiva made a resolution to help Mommy and Daddy more and learn more in school. Kenaz made a resolution to always be with Mommy and Daddy. My resolution was to have more faith in myself, other people, and God. And also increase the strength in my legs so that if everything fails we can live cheaply in a mountainous area were I will have to walk up and down hills all day. Then the ball went down and we said happy New Years. When we got back to the hotel, the kids crashed into the beds and went immediately to sleep.

So that’s it. We’re happy to get back to Suzhou, even though its really cold here. All in all, we had a very good, stress-free time. I’m definitely up for going back to Sanya. It was a nice, warm, easy, cheap vacation.

 Posted by at 7:08 pm

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