After a hiatus of 2 months, I’m on the road again, this time travelling to the city of Xiamen in China, and what do we have here at KUL? The classic Boeing 747-200, belonging to Iran Air.
Registration EP-IAH, her maiden flight was in Dec, 1976. More than 30 years in the air already, this grand lady!
This is my transport to XMN, reg. B-5215, Xiamen Airlines Boeing 737-700, flight MF858. Next to it is a sister ship, another 737-700 bound for Fuzhou, the capital of Fujian province.
Some 3,000km away, and 5 hours later, here I am at the honeycomb-y XMN terminal.
And where exactly Xiamen is? It’s a coastal island city of 2mil people, in the province of Fujian, which faces Taiwan.
We are putting up at this posh hotel with a fetish for glass – the stuff is everywhere.
A tea-house in the lobby …
… which can drive any tea-lovers crazy.
In the well-appointed room, glass everywhere …
… at every corner, and …
… especially in the bathroom. Sure, nice to look at, but in my humble opinion, not so practical. Could be dangerous when you bang into them. Look at that sink-y bowl!
But the view out the window is fantastic, especially as the sun sets over mainland China. Yes, Xiamen is on a coastal island.
The lounge at the top of the hotel is very cosy …
… where drinks are served in optical-illusioned glasses …
… with a splendid view of downtown Xiamen to boot.
Truly a booming 21st century city.
The next morning we decide to wander around. Spanking new elevated highways.
Very clean-looking too. Do they wash this thing at night?
We spot a park, and stroll towards it.
Facing China mainland, Xiamen is on the western edge of an island in the Taiwan Straits.
That’s the mainland on the other side. 200km behind us is Taiwan.
Being a Saturday, families (typically, Family = Mom + Dad + The Single Kid) throng the park. These 3 boys are from 3 families.
As KC looks on, sharing a bike is not easy.
Noon and we are on the road to the industrial city of Jinjiang, well-known for its factories churning out apparels, fabrics, footwear and building materials, the stuff China is famous for.
A modern toll expressway connects Xiamen and Jinjiang, and the 80km journey to the northeast is done in quick time.
I’m told this expressway goes all the way to Shanghai, some 1000km away.
Lobby of our hotel in Jinjiang. The Chinese seem to like this sorta theme, but it hurts my eyes.
Curvy corridor to the rooms, and nice doors too.
Nice room, looks comfy … but let’s check out the bathroom …
Uh-huh? Slit-defending? Now, whose slit needs defending from whom?
Ahhhh … you mean slip-resistant not slit-defending. Direct translation plus a bit of strategic typo can change the context totally, right?
Wa-hey, there’s even an internet-connected PC in the room, that’s cool, though it’s crippled with malware. I boot it up and find my family gallery in Chinese! I have no clue how to switch it to the English version.
Anyway Jinjiang looks pleasant and prosperous, thanks to the booming economy.
Shady avenues make strolling in the the hot and humid summer day more bearable.
Otherwise you can stop at the many roadside stalls to cool yourself with some fresh fruits.
Or maybe get a packed duck, ready to go. Poor bugger.
Downtown Jinjiang and the imposing city hospital dominates.
Risking my life to get this middle-of-the-road shot of a roundabout.
Same roundabout from my hotel room, which shows what a well-groomed place Jinjiang is.
And of course, it’s not enough. Hacking the hills for more factories I guess.
Later in the day, we find ourselves on the way back to Xiamen.
Re-entering Xiamen Island.
And despite the cool-looking car navigation system with GPS, our driver manages to get lost!
But all is not lost, we soon find our bearing and head for our hotel in downtown Xiamen.
> To be continued