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Sunday, June 6, 2010

~ Shantou 汕头 - Day 1 (Part 1) ~

1st June 2010 - We are scheduled to take the 8.55am flight from Singapore to Shantou (eastern city in Guangdong province). Since Feb 2010, Jetstar Asia has launched it's first carrier service into the Shantou Waisha Airport. This will greatly reduce the travelling time previously needed to reach Shantou by bus from other parts of China. Jetstar is currently flying betweent Singapore-Shantou 3 times a week (Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday) and the flight hours is just below 4 hours!

The main purpose of this journey is to bring my father-in-law back to his hometown in Jieyang (揭阳) for a visit. He has never go back before and it has always been his wish. Together in this trip also includes my big brother-in-law and his family. We bought the flight tickets (online) with Jetstar in early April and managed to booked a local tour to take us around Shantou.

The children are naturally very happy to go on an oversea trip regardless where we are going. Just the thought of taking the aeroplane and spending the next few nights in a hotel excites them. :) We woke up at 5plus in the morning and all ready to set off!


Arrived at Terminal 1 before 7am and ready to check-in.


Here we are on the plane. :) Gladys is busy browsing the menus and magazines while Denver is occupied with his PSP.
Meals on Jetstar either needs to be pre-purchased during booking or selecting from a range of food and beverages on board during meal services.

Although we had our breakfast already, the children are hungry still and so we bought 2 meals at $8 each. I preferred the fried rice compared to the sweet & sour fish rice which was rather plain.
We reached Shantou Waisha Airport (汕头外砂机场) - which is a civil-military airport at around 1pm. Our tour guide, 小黄 and driver were already waiting outside for us.

Some scenes taken along the way from the Airport to our lunch destination.
All of us are already famished by the time we reached the resturant. (潮洲菜馆 - 中国广东省汕头市长平路2号). It's 2pm and we still haven't had our lunch... usually by this time it would be the resturant's resting hours.. but since our tour guide has pre-booked and reserved the food for us so all the dishes are served very swiftly. 也不知道我们是不是饿昏了...桌上的菜特别好吃。尤其是那道四川菜, 越吃越开胃。 我为了它添了好几碗饭。哈哈!. Even the kids had their bowls of rice re-filled a couple of times. Every single dishes on the table were being wiped out very soon.
We felt re-charged again after a good lunch. :) Our first stop of the tour is 石炮台公园. Inside the park, there are some children rides and we can see parents taking their kids out to play. Only then we realised that today is Children's Day in China! (六一儿童节)
The kids are more interested with riding the car on top and so we paid 6元 (~$1.25 SGD) for each person. It was pretty fun as you can listen to pop music in the car and even change the songs by selecting the buttons on the front panels. On top of that, as the car is moving straight along the rail, it can also do up to a 360 degree turn if you turn the sterling wheel. Gladys keep turning the wheel left & right, making me dizzy.. Whooooz.. The ride will runs around the park which takes about 3 minutes plus to complete 1 round and you can have a good view from the top.

Next on are octupus ride, shooting game and mini-zoo ride...The boys like the shooting game more since they can get a prize by popping the right balloons. A test of their aiming skills.
Another car ride - about 4 minutes ... (6元 per pax)


After the children had their piece of fun, it's time to walk around the 石炮台 which is surrounded by a river.
It's a shame that we didn't get to go inside as it seems to have turned into an ice-skating ring which requires an additional entrance fee. So, we just walked around, took pictures and see the local children catching fishes.
It's interesting to see the different culture and observe the whole lot difference with how the kids are playing there compared to ours. The children have no issue with standing by the rivers or dipping themselves into the dark river waters, catching fishes without their parents screaming and nagging at them. This is probably exactly how and what we used to do back in the 50s to 70s in Singapore. SG children in our generation now have their parents paid to let them catch fishes in a destinated pond area with buckets and nets provided. They have also become more tech-savvy with more exposure to Internet, PS3, X-box etc.
Having said that, are we missing out the good old traditional, simple and natural way of play and fun? We are so used to the clean and green around us that I'm sure the children (even myself) won't be adventurous enough to get ourselves messy. :p
With the cooling weather, it adds on to the pleasure of strolling around.
Just crossing a few streets from 石炮台 is 海滨长廊. It is a good spot to see the coastal line of Shantou and we can even see the Queshi scenic area from here. Unfortunately, the pollution condition of the sea waters is pretty bad. Litters, stones and other materials can also be seen along the pathway which really spoils the entire view of this potential great scenic spot. Hopefully there will be some cleanup efforts to restore it's look.


3 comments:

  1. wow..how i wish i can travel this much!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, I am going to Shantou in April. Mind sharing the contacts of the tour guide??

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Transformers!

    We booked through another contact (which I can't remember) but you can try with Eng Seng Travel ^_^

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete

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