Sunday, June 04, 2006

Day 12 - Royal Ocean World

I went down to take a look at Alvin. His forehead & neck still felt warm. He didn't want to go to the underwater world. Mr Tan would have to stay to keep him company. Zhi Hao & Han Long managed to persuade him to go. He stuck a cold plaster on his forehead & went with us.

We went to the Royal Underwater World, the largest underwater theme park in China. It is owned by a Malaysian Company. Our Singapore Government spent US$40 million to build BDSS, this Malaysian company spent US$40 million to build the world's largest underwater theme park in China.

This is only the first phase of the huge project. The Fushun Government built the roads & highways leading to the attraction.

A guide brought us through the many displays.

At the Polar Region, we saw the cute polar bears, penguins, seals, walrus & the white whale.

We went through the underwater tunnel which was divided into 4 themes.

* Shark region
The terrors of the ocean are gathered here. The park's longest shark, measuring 6m, glides among his kind.

* Rainforest region
The northern Chinese can see & enjoy the beautiful rainforests of the equator.

* Great Barrier Reef region
There is a 14m super large glass window where you can see the beautiful tropical underwater garden. There are 6 girls dressed as mermaids swimming gracefully through the water.

* Sea Animal region
Seals & sea lions make up this region.

The kids snapped away at the aquatic creatures. There were so many tourists that it was almost impossible to take pictures without including them. You had to snap & go. There is a never ending line of people posing in front of all displays.

Some don't even wait for their turn. They would cut right in front of you, oblivious to your presence. I had to delete many pictures later beause either the people covered up most of the subject or there were many pictures with these rude people's big heads in them. sigh......

There was a sea creature performance at 9.30 am. First there was the dolphin performance, followed by a seal & a walrus. The cute animals won the hearts of the audience.

Ying Zhi was picked to go on stage to feed the dolphins. Jaymes was selected to receive a kiss from a seal.

The kids were given half an hour to see the displays again. Most of them chose to spent their time in the souvenir shop, snapping up soft toys & keychains. Jaymes bought a soft toy doggie 33 rmb (S$6.60) & a crocodile bolster 120 rmb (S$24). The big baby!

Our next destination was Lei Feng Museum.

Lei Feng was a young orphaned communist soldier who idolised Chairman Mao. A hardworking & loyal soldier, he was an example for the people then. He died at the young age of 22, not in the war, killed by a falling post.

An earthmover once driven by Lei Feng.

A Russian Gasi 51 truck. They don't make this anymore. This is an antique.

As we were leaving the museum, it started to pour. Mr Yao went out to buy umbrellas.

We stopped at a restaurant for lunch. The kids enjoyed the meal. I like their baked eggplants.

We then took nearly an hour's ride to Shenyang Palace. As we passed through Shenyang Old Street, there were many old Chinese buildings which were hundreds of years old. You see many modern restaurants & retailers setting up shops in these old buildings. An interesting contrast.

We went inside the old Palace. It was very much smaller than the Beijing Palace. It was very old, some parts were crumbling. The once intricately painted beams were all peeling & dusty.

The sky was very dark & 15 minutes later, it poured. It was wet & cold. We took shelter at one of the porches of the many buildings. Many Chinese tourists looked at us in curiousity when we spoke. Some Chinese tourists mistook us for North Koreans. Our Chinese sounds so alien to them.

I went into the chambers of the Emperor, Empress & his favourite concubines. The rooms were cold & bare. Very different from the beautiful & grand scenes we saw on TV. Probably, in those days, it was considered grand, but I'm glad I wasn't born then. Or maybe I was?

It rained intermittenly. We were getting tired of opening & closing our umbrellas. It rained again as we were leaving. It dashed my hope of taking pictures of Old Shenyang Street. It broke the hearts of the kids as they were looking forward to shopping. ha ha ha......

We returned to the hotel earlier than expected. We went back to our rooms to freshen up before going out for dinner. After my bath, I was too lazy to go out again, so I asked Jaymes to buy a bowl of dumplings for me.

Mr Yao had asked the hotel to boiled some ginger tea because we were caught in the rain & drinking it can expel the coldness in the body. He phoned everyone to go down to the restaurant to drink the tea. Jaymes went, I didn't.

20 minutes later, a waiter brought up my cup of ginger tea. Mr Yao had asked him to bring it up to me. Hot tea on a cold, rainy day. mmmm.........

They had wantons (meat dumplings) for dinner. Jaymes brought back a big bowl of steaming hot dumplings. They were delicious. The soup was so hot it scalded my lips. The filling in the wanton was minced pork & prawns & pumpkin. Absolutely delicious!

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