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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Shandong, China

Jan 24, 2008 - Meet the parents - our first visit to the countryside

SO today we had to be up and ready to catch taxis to the countryside by 9am. I had also been woken last night with the suggestion that if I could have some sthings packed to take out that would be good too, so I was up and showered with my main back pack packed and ready to go for 9am. I seem to be getting better at packing the bag (the fact that I have to wear like 7 pieces of clothing at a time certainly takes some bulk out of the bag) and I also am planing what things I can jetison along the way to make room for souvenirs and presents......

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Jan 23, 2008 - The morning after the night before. Chinese KFC

So this morning brought with it the headache you still get whether the beer is 3%, 5% or vodka... memo to self - never again (at least until next time) To make matters worse Nikki bashed on the door bell too early wanting water as she had none left in her cooler/heater thingy. This morning we went back to town to get Mel (bridesmaid who arrived overnights) nails done, I just sat quietly in the corner, and also Nikki had had one of her nails burnt last night and this needed fixing. Conveniently it was also the same one she had accidentally...

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Jan 23, 2008 - Dining out in China

So I haven't really explained the phenomenon that is eating in China... Tonights dinner was a perfect example and I will try my best to explain it here for you. To start with we headed up the street that our hotel was on looking for somewhere suitable to have a simple dinner, the other guys (bridesmaids, Nikki and Tony and SAm and Liam ) all vetoed the first place we passed - Hot Pot (see 28Jan entry for details, we had it last night and I quite enjoyed it), and the next option seemed to involve bbq ing meat out on the street and then...

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Jan 22, 2008 - My first day in Dezhou - nails, foot massages and interesting sales pitches

(Added 25 Jan - Alright, weddings over, the nails can come off, hopefully I can get these overdue entries finished with much less difiiculy typing. Also, with the arriva of more foreigners I have had more conversation and not feeling so unco when I go to speak English after listening to Mandarin for a few days.) Today was of course my birthday, so thank you to those that sent me messages on facebook/here and mobile. If (like Dad) you got confused about which phone I am carrying, I will get your message in March and thank you then. On the...

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Jan 22, 2008 - My Birthday - big night out in Dezhou

After a Nana nap in the afternoon, it was time to head off to my "Birthday party" organised by Tonys cousin. We went to KTV which is a room with a big screen, stereo and microphones - karaoke. I don;t know what it is about me and overseas holidays but I won't karaoke in Austrlia but always seem in a position to "have" to do it when I'm away (same deal in NZ). This was a night where I learned (as if I didn;t know) that even though it may be 3% beer, if you drink enough 3% beer, you will still feel sick in the morning. It also doesn't help...

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Jan 21, 2008 - Day 2, Arriving in Jinan, drive to Dezhou

OK, so I'm finally in China proper... I arrived at Jinan and hit straight up by the very cold air even in the closed airport. So I went straight into the toilet and added some more layers and got out my possum merino scarf gloves and hat I bought in Brisbane... I also experienced my first Chinglish which I should have taken a photo of but didn't want to draw even more attention to myself. It was in the bathroom and was along the lines of "recycle save bumf" I'm not even sure what it meant. Nikki and Tony were waiting for me and we headed...

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Apr 20, 2007 - Quindao

Qindao wasn't that great, I'm not going to try and kid myself. There wasn't much to do here, the language barrier had a huge impact on our stay although it made things pretty interesting, it just doesn't top the list. First day, Candace, Leah and I decide to search for a tea set that I've been wanting since Malaysia, but have decided to wait until China because I thought there would be more options, better prices, and what not so that's first thing on our list! The travel agent on board leads us in the right direction, we hail a cab and...

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Sep 9, 2006 - To Mount Tai

Today, September7, we got to sleep in. We were free until 11:00 A.M. so what did I do? Of course, I woke up at 5:00 A.M. and couldn't get back to sleep, so I got dressed and went for a walk. I got out there just as the city was waking up and the street venders were getting set up for breakfast. At 11:00 A.M. we checked out of the hotel, got onto the bus and went for lunch. After lunch we headed south through the mountains to the city of Tai'an. Interesting note 1: for each lunch and dinner, in addition to the food our group is allotted two...

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Sep 6, 2006 - Our day off

Today, Monday, is supposed to be a day to ourselves but they offered an optional tour for a nominal fee so we decided to go with them. I wanted to visit a "hutong" and figured it would be easier to get pictures if I was with a tour group. You could really get some amazing pictures by being a little aggressive but I can't bring myself to be that "in your face'. I find the ordinary chinese to be very shy and private and really don't want their pictures taken. If you ask someone if you can take their picture nine times out of ten they'll say...

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Aug 17, 2006 - Finish sightseeing in Qufu and then drive to Tai Shan, "walk" up mountain

Up and at it this morning - Off to see the Confucious Temple and Mansion. Confucious was born into a noble family in 551BC on September 28th. His father was 64 and his mother in her 20's. He married at 19 and had 1 son; all the temples were built after his death as the Emperors all respected the Kong family and built pavillions and temples to Confucious. From the 44th descendant to the 77th, the title of Duke Yantsen has been given to each of the descendants. The last descendant lived at the mansion in 1924. At the beginning of the Republic...

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Aug 16, 2006 - Continue on to Qufu

The train station wasn't quite as bad here in Nanjing as it was in Suzhou - at least we only had one flight of stairs to maneuver our luggage down! Long day on the train from Nanjing to Qufu - 7:30 til 2:30. 7 of us were in a cabin for 4 - they're called sleepers, but they're hard benches (triple decks). The Chinese people slept well all day; Judy, Rick, Martyn and I played bridge using a suitcase for a table. The toliet was the WORST. Eastern toilet - what they call a squat pot! We finally arrived in Qufu. Confucious was born and died...

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Jun 2, 2006 - Climbing the holy mountain

From Shanghai I headed to Tai'Shan, China's holiest mountain. According to Chinese myth the mountain was formed from the head of Pan Gu who created the earth and those who climb it will live to be 100 years-old it is claimed. I managed (just) to climb the mountain getting up at 5.00am (in an attempt to avoid the worst heat of the day) and when I eventually got to the top, I was so out knackered I felt like I was going die and wouldn't even live to see the next day let alone be 100 years-old. But when I got my breath back the view was...

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