Swingin' da MoODz

Wilkommen Sie in die "Bitchy World"! Just babbling about things in my life in general, nothing more or less :P

Friday, June 13, 2008

My Great Experience at the Great Wall!!

Not so long ago, I just had a chance to be on a Boeing 747 of flight TG 614 bound for Beijing, originating from Bangkok. After a 4 hour something flight, here I am at the new Beijing Capital International Airport. And it's HUGE indeed!!

If my memory serves me correctly, the taxi-in to the new terminal felt like forever!! I don't wanna be partial or anything, but after arriving at the terminal, even though it was quite a walk until you get to the immigration...at least it was bright and nice in the terminal. I just couldn't help feeling a little excited...especially after numerous hideous, tedious, gloomy times I usually have whenever I have to be at the airport in Bangkok!

The immigration line was quite long but it moved very quickly. The immigration officers seemed like they know what they were doing and I didn't feel any attitude, bullshit, or smirky at all..unlike the ones in Thailand. I'm not sure if this has just been improved due to the coming Olympic Games, but it's doing pretty good for sure. What I also like about it is that they have this little thing in front of the immigration counter while you wait for the stamp to get in, it's the thing that has the immigration officer's ID number, and you can give feedback how he/she does her job with the smiley faces for content, and pouty faces for discontent, etc. regarding the wait time and such.

In front of the terminal, taken from departure level though!

Inside the terminal, again, departures..not arrival :P

The view of check-in counters :)

The section of the Great Wall of China that I went to is Mutianyu, which is located in Huairou district, northeast of Beijing. According to the historic record (and the back of my entrance ticket), this part of the Great Wall was built up by the General Xuda who served the Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang in early Ming Dynasty on the ruins of the Great Wall in North-Qi Dynasty. The Mutianyu Scenic Spot is hugged by mountains with beautiful natural sceneries.

The entrance ticket for Mutianyu Great Wall is CNY40. I am not sure if that includes the cable car ride up to the Great Wall (I think it does, though) because I got the ticket for Toboggan ride on the way down for CNY50, which that ticket could be for just the toboggan ride only, or it's for both the toboggan and the cable car? (Sorry for not being so accurate on the information, having ZERO knowledge in Chinese language really contributes to that factor!)

The cable car up to the Wall, I felt a bit like I was at the amusement park :)

The view of the cable car from the top after I got off...(couldn't take photo much while riding on it, my hands were freezing...from the wind..and from the height, hehe)

The photo I managed to take while riding the cable car...looking down below...
The GORGEOUS greenery view of the Great Wall....isn't it beautiful?!?!??!

Walking along the Wall, you can just keep on walking....it's such a longggg way!

Climbing up the watchtower ;)

The toboggan ride, or speed chute...my first time EVER...at first it looked kinda scary because I was concerned about the safety aspects of it. But after I got on, OMG!! I LOVE IT!! SO MUCH FUN!!! But I tried not to go too fast because you might slip out of the rail which I heard someone did that before!! Also, they won't let you ride alone unsupervised. Whenever someone decides to do toboggan ride for going back down instead of cable car, there will be a staff riding either in front of behind you, to make sure that you arrive safely.

The picture of the Wall (top), the toboggan rail (left), and the cable car (right).

Shopping for some souvenirs before leaving...me and a Russian hat. Ok..I don't know why "Russian Hat" is so abundant around here in "China". My silly guess is it has something to do with the relationship between the two countries, communism, or whatever. Or it could be just the fact that it's so comfy and warm..which would suit the cold weather:)

So that was my first visit ever to mainland China. Too bad it rained after that, so I didn't get to go see the Forbidden City, or any other attractions around Beijing. I really look forward to going back there again one day!! Zai jian!!

Friday, June 06, 2008

A Bright Hot Sunny Day in Napa!

Wow....it's been 3 months since I last updated my post!! I would probably forget how to log in if I hadn't saved the password on my computer? heheh.

I guess I have been VERY VERY busy for the past 3 months...with..hmm...stuff, hehe :)

Recently, I just got a chance to visit San Francisco (again!) for a few days, quite unexpected actually. Since last time I already did the major tourist stuff; Golden Gate, Alcatraz, and such...so this time it should be something different! Napa Valley!!!

Sunrise from San Francisco horizon...taken from inside the plane...

The drive from SFO city to Napa wasn't too bad or taking too long, if you don't end up stopping by at the stores, or getting lost like we did, hahaha.

Heading to Napa Valley via Bay Bridge :)

After stopping by at Target to get some snacks, sunglasses, and stuff...we finally made it to Napa!
The vineyards are so neat and green..very pretty to look at! I just somehow felt so peaceful by looking at it!!

Luna Vineyard, the first stop!

Me in front of the vineyard, unfortunately, some ppl thought I was in a corn field..BLAH!!!!

Ok, let me be clear first...I'm not a wine expert or anything. I just drink it occasionally. So I don't know much about which wine is good or whatever. It's just a matter of...do I like the way it taste or not! hehe. So, since I'm not a wine snob..any white wine with fruity or sweet taste would do!!

Me with a Pinot Grigio...I am diggin' it!

I'm not usually nature crazy person...but somehow...I just love the 'greenness' of it!

Me and a glass of Merlot, I think! Not typically a fan of Red, but this one is pretty good!!

Nothing special about this photo, I just like the way it look :P

Too bad the wine tasting generally ends at 4-5pm, so if you don't start early...you might not get to cover many vineyards..and there are SOOOO MANY!! But then again, I don't know if it's a good idea to try to cover as many as possible anyway, I mean..my tongue will probably get tired from tasting the wine..and would probably get confused with the taste, hehe.

Saw a premium outlets sign on the way back!! Gotta check it out!!

Heading back to the city now :)

Sunset from, once again, San Francisco horizon :)