Friday, August 29, 2008

Jinan City of Springs in Shandong Province

Jinan (济南), is the capital of Shandong Province, is located in the mid west of Shandong, and the city is on the Yellow River (Huang He).

Jinan is famous for its springs from ancient times. The fact is Jinan has 73 springs. Some of Jinan springs such as :

1. Baotu Springs has several temples and pavilions.
2. Black Tiger Spring "sounding like the roar of a tiger" "spouts out through three carved tiger heads" into the city moat.
3. Five Dragon Pool "located on the outside of Ximen of old city of Jinan and on the north of Leyuan Bridge."
4. Pearl Spring (Zhenzhuquan) located on the north side of Quancheng Road, this spring got its name because its water jets from underground like strings of pearls.
5. Five Dragon Pool (Wulongtan) located outside the west gate of old Jinan city, this pool gathers spring water from five locations.
6. Thousand Buddha Hill (Qianfoshan) some 2.5 kilometers west of Jinan, Thousand-Buddha Hill is considered the "number one hill of Jinan."
7. Li Qingzhao Memorial Hall, the famous woman poet of the Song Dynasty, was born in Jinan.

Other scenic spots in Jinan are Yellow Cliff (Huangshiya), Four-Gate Pagoda (Simenta), and Magic Cliff Temple (Lingyasi).

Jinan Photos :

Jinan Spring

Jinan SPring

Watch a spring in Baotu Spring Garden in Jinan Video

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Post-Olympic Travel Bargains

"Beijing has really redone itself in ways that will continue to benefit travelers," says Pauline. To prepare for the Summer Games, the city built nearly 1,000 new hotels, many ranking four or five stars. It also opened the swanky new Legation Quarter (formerly the Qing Dynasty-era American Embassy compound), which is home to luxury restaurants, art galleries and nightclubs, and expanded its subway service, making attractions such as the suburban-based Summer Palace more readily accessible. And to help prevent all of its anticipated visitors from getting lost, it posted English-language signs throughout the city.

But probably the biggest lure for prospective travelers is its fire-sale prices. "[The Chinese yuan] is still so weak, just 6.5 to $1 U.S.," says Frommer, who just returned from Beijing. "I don't think I once spent more than $5 on dinner." The deals have only gotten better since the closing ceremonies. Here are some of the Post-Olympic discounts travelers can expect.....

read article

2008 Worldwide Travel-worthy Events

January: The Sundance Film Festival
The Sundance Film Festival runs from January 17 through the 27 in 2008, where viewers have the pick of indy flicks.

read article

World's 'New 7 Wonders'

Great Wall of China
GREAT WALL OF CHINA
The 4,160-mile barricade in northern China is the longest man-made structure in the world. The fortification, which largely dates from the 7th through the 4th century BC, was built to protect the dynasties from the Huns, Mongols, Turks and other nomadic tribes.

read article

Looking for Labor Day park lodging? It's not too late

Although Labor Day weekend is heavily booked, vacancies, cancellations and no-shows happen. And some campgrounds are first-come, first-served. If you arrive early, preferably Wednesday or Thursday, you can likely find a spot to pitch your tent or park your RV, officials say. Just don't assume it will be easy. Although some Americans, struggling with costly gas and tight budgets, have cut back on travel, foreign visitors, drawn by the cheap dollar, are flocking to parks.

At Grand Canyon National Park this Labor Day, for instance, "the demand seems to be up," said Kevin Dillman, director of central reservations at Xanterra Parks & Resorts, which handles bookings for nine national parks. "We have fewer rooms available." As of Aug. 14, lodges at the South Rim were "pretty well sold out," he said, although Yavapai and Maswik lodges, near the rim, still had rooms.

read article

VIEW OF MALINDIG FROM SAPINIT HILL, BUENAVISTA

TUNGKOL SA STTC ASSEMBLY

We've been occupied with culture and tourism related activities and haven't had the time yet to report more about the STTC Assembly. We are aware that Mr. Dave Katague is waiting for these reports that he wishes to share with our kabayans in the U.S. They are forthcoming but for now, we are posting this article which appeared in the local weekly, THE WEEKLY MARINDUQUE.

LUBOS NA TAGUMPAY ANG “MARINDUQUE RISING!”
Ni Jet Claveria
MULA SA: THE WEEKLY MARINDUQUE
July 27-Aug 2, 2008


“Ito na ang pinakamatagumpay o isa sa pinakamatagumpay na pagdaraos ng STTC assembly sa loob ng nakaraang labing-apat na taon!”. Ito ang mga katagang nabanggit ni Col. Andrew O. Nocon, ang chairman ng Southern Tagalog Tourism Council Assembly na ginanap sa Boac, Marinduque Hulyo 23-25.

“Ito na nga ang panaka-puso ng mga panturistang destinasyon sa Pilipinas!”, sabi naman ni Director Louella B. Jurilla, ng Department of Tourism Region IV.

“Isang mataas na “9” ang rating namin sa Marinduque hosting”, banggit naman ng delegasyon ng delegasyon ng Quezon sa pagtatapos ng assembly proper.

Ang mga dumalo sa asembliya ay lubos na namangha sa pagsalubong na ginawa sa kanila mula ng dumaong ang sinakyang mga barko sa Balanacan Port at isa pang daungan sa bayan ng Gasan. Ang mga moryong bulaklakan (moriones) ng Mogpog, bagamat tapos na ang Semana Santa, ay naging paborito ng delegasyon na kunan ng larawan sa pamamagitan ng camera o ng kanilang celfone.

Sa unang oras pa lamang ng registration sa Mogpog Central School, ay humigit sa 200 delegasyon na mula sa ibat-ibang bahagi ng Calabarzon at Mimaropa ang nagpatala. Sinamantala naman ng mga guro ng Mogpog District ang pagkakataon upang ipakita ang mga katutubong sayaw ng bayan at ang kasaysayan ng Marinduque sa pamamagitan ng bigkasan.

Kinagabihan ng unang araw matapos makapaglibot ng bahagya ang mga bisita sa Mogpog, Boac Cathedral at Marinduque Museum, idinaos sa Boac Covered Court ang Mayors’ Night bilang opisyal na pagsalubong sa mga bisita.

Punong-abala dito ang pangulo ng Mayors’ League na si Mayor Ruben F. Revilla ng Sta. Cruz, at ang mga mayor o vice-mayor at mga kagawad mula sa anim na bayan ng Marinduque. Isang cultural number hinggil sa alamat ng Marinduque ang ipinakita ng mga Santacruzin at nasundan ng masayang sayawan at inuman.

Sa ikalawang araw ay nilibot ng delegasyon mula sa 10 lalawigan ang apat na bayan ng Gasan, Buenavista, Torrijos at Sta. Cruz para sa “Marinduque Rising” tours. Ito ang natatanging paksa ng asembliya bilang pagkilala sa pinagsamang kagustuhan ng mga Marinduqueno na maiangat ang turismo dito.

Ang pagbisita sa mga bayan-bayan ay naisakatuparan sa tulong ng mga punong-bayan, tourism councils, tourism office at tanggapan ng punong-lalawigan. Nasilayan ng mga bisita ang butterfly breeding sa Gasan, ang mga produkto, tunog at kulay ng kinikilalang cultural nerve-center ng Marinduque, namasdan ang maalamat na Tres Reyes Islands, hanggang makarating sila sa Buenavista upang bisitahin ang Marinduque Hot Spring Resort.

Sa may pagitan ng Buenavista at Torrijos ay sinalubong naman ang grupong STTC ng mga naghihiyawang mag-aaral na may mga flaglets at ng pamosong OMPSA Drum and Lyre Band ng bayan ng Torrijos. Hindi makapaniwala ang marami sa delegasyon na Torrijos ang isa sa bayan ng Marinduque na higit na nasalanta ng bagyong si “Frank”.

“Pinahanga kami ng mayor dito sa ginawang paglilinis at pagsasaayos ng kapaligiran”, ani Atty. Apolinario Makalintal, pangulo ng Batangas Provincial Tourism Council.

“Regular na dumadalaw ako sa Marinduque dahil may mga kamag-anak ako rito, subalit humanga ako sa mabilis na pagdami ng mga maliliit na resorts. Promotion ng Marinduque na lamang ang kailangan marahil”, dagdag ni Pancho Lardizabal ng Batangas.

GOVERNOR CARRION

Sa kaniyang mensahe sa ikalawang araw ng asembliya idiniin naman ni Gov. Bong Carrion ng Marinduque na ang pagiging puso ng Pilipinas ng kanyang lalawigan ay hindi haka-haka lamang. Aniya, ang Marinduque ang geographical center ng Pilipinas at ang National Mapping, Resource & Information Authority (NAMRIA), ay magtatayo na ng isang eco-park sa mismong Luzon Datum of 1911 site sa may Sitio Argao, Balanacan.

Sinabi rin ni Carrion na siya ring tumatayong chairman ng Committee on Tourism sa Regional Development Council ng Mimaropa, na ang pagdalaw ng mga bisita sa Marinduque ay maihahambing sa isang baying sumasalamin sa tunay at sinaunang mga Tagalog, “welcome to ancient Tagalog country!”, aniya.

Sa kanyang pahayag sinabi naman ni Roberto Cereno ng Botanic Gardens, Parks and Ecotourism Division sa Los Banos, na nababagay sa Marinduque ang konsepto ng Green Tourism. Aniya ideal setting ang isla ng Marinduque para sa uri ng turismong ito na malawak na ang narating sa popularidad sa Europa. Magkakasama rito, aniya ang agri-tourism, eco-tourism, cultural tourism at adventure sports. Higit ang pagkiling ng green tourism sa pangangalaga sa kalikasan, na siyang dapat nagunguna lalo na sa mga maliliit na islang-lalawigan.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ever considered a vacation by train?

Amtrak has vacation planning and discounts for seniors including one 30 day flat rate package. I thought about one trip going North and then East across Canada. There are also hotel/travel packages to major cities.

Amtrak Vacations

Zhuhai 珠海 Pearl River Delta Bars and Pub

Zhuhai (珠海) or literally means "Pearl Sea" is a coastal city with a number of islands, located in the Pearl River Delta, Zhuhai borders Jiangmen to the northwest, Zhongshan to the north, and Macau to the south.

Zhuhai has a various kinds of water entertainment therefore prevail here. You can take a ferryboat to the charming islands of Zhuhai or just have a cruise in the offing. Also, you can do water sports like surf-riding, diving and sailing.

Zhuhai is wellknown for its nightlife and bars. So many nice bars and pubs you can spend your night at.

Zhuhai recommended Bars & Pubs such as :

House Bar
Specialties: A bar famous for its excellent jazz music, wonderful singing and dancing performances, table show, authentic cocktail and American bartender show.
Address: District H, Shuiwan Bar Street, Gongbei, Xiangzhou District

COHIBA (Xiyanghui Bar)
Specialties: This bar boasts that it is the most gentle one in Zhuhai, sticking to the traditional European style and English bartending method; the bartenders there are mainly from Hotel Lisboa of Macao.
Address: No.203-209, Shuiwan Bar Street, Gongbei, Xiangzhou District

Red Bar
Address: 1F, Haiwan Haoyuan Business Center, No.225, Shuiwan Bar Street, Xiangzhou District


Famous Bars in Other Places of Zhuhai

Disco Yesterday & Club Tomorrow
Specialties: It is the best disco bar in Zhuhai with ancient Egyptian-style fittings and excellent lighting and acoustics.
Address: 1F, Yuhuayuan, No.2041, Yingbin Avenue, Gongbei, Xiangzhou District
Bus Routes: 1, 2, 10, 11, 32

Mengdu Bar
Specialties: A bar with good environment, excellent DJs and acoustics.
Address: 1F, Taihe Business Center, Ningxi, Xiangzhou District
Bus Routes: 10, 11, 12, 14, 20, 32, 55, 56, 201, 609



Zhuhai favourite bars

1. Xiangjiang Football Bar
Add: No.5, Haibin nan Road
Tel: 3370126

2. Baohao Bar (Leopard Bar)
Add: Jida Shuiwan Road
Tel: 3360101

3. Zhen'ai Bar (True Love Bar)
Add: No. 257, Jida Shuiwan Road
Tel: 8185866

4. Lingjiaozui Bar
Add: Qinglv Zhong Road, next to Haibin Beach
Tel: 3353468

5. Huanle Zhicheng (Happy City)
Add: Qiannan, Qianwu County, Doumen District, Zhuhai
Tel: 5522666

6. Pingsha Xin Jiaodian Disco (New Focus Disco)
Add: Pingsha
Tel: 8222744

7. Haojing Buyetian Bar (Goodview Outdoor Bar)
Add: Rengong Hu, Jing'an County, Doumen District
Tel: 5523478

8. Manli DJ Club
Add: Xiangzhou District, opposite to Baihe Supermarket, Nanxiangli Bus stop
Tel: 8196786
Highlight: Manli is the only professional DJ training center!

9. Yingwu Bar
Add: Haizhu Mansion, Jiuzhou Avenue, Jida
Highlight: quiet, for white collar

10. 2008 Qidian Bar
Add: South Gate of Swimming Stadium, Zhuhai Sports Center
Tel: 2614208
Highlight: Music, music, music! Rock, Blues, Jass, Ballads, Country¡

11. Julong Club
Add: Tangjiawan
Highlight: high-class disco

12. Xideng Bar
Add: 1/F, Heping Mansion, Ningxi
Tel: 2288095

13. Wushi Bao (Warriors' Castle)
Add: Doumen District, opposite to Doumen Stadium
Highlight: Performances after 10pm, Quality Hi-Fi

14. Shenlan Bar (Deep Blue Bar)
Add: Jida, opposite to Jiaotong Bank
Tel: 3377313

15. Imagine
Add: near Jinan University
Tel: 8532798
Highlight: near campus, uni culture

16. Langman Jiuzhou Hao (Romantic Jiuzhou Ship)
Add: Jiuzhou Port
Highlight: Two-storied, with performances like music, dance, acrobats in first story and piano performances in second story.

17. Minggu Wu Bar
Add: No. 116, Gaosha Zhong jie, Gongbei District
Tel: 8110456
Highlight: Meet international friends

18. Xiri Qinghuai Disco(Old Days)
Add: G/F Yuhuayuan, Yingbin Dadao, Gongbei District
Tel: 8119988
Highlight: Egyptian-style decoration


Zhuhai Photos :

Zhuhai Pub

Zhuhai Pub


Watch Zhuhai Bar Street Video here

Friday, August 15, 2008

Nanjing city favourite pub and Bars

Nanjing ("Southern Capital") is the capital of China's Jiangsu Province, and a city with a prominent place in Chinese history and culture. Located in the lower Yangtze River drainage basin and Yangtze River Delta economic zone, Nanjing has always been one of China's most important cities. There are so many tourist sites in Nanjing such as Memorial to the Nanjing Massacre, Fuzi Miao, Zhongshan Ling, and Lingu Si.

Visiting Nanjing, here are some recommendations on some nice pubs to hang out. Here are some of the places that I have survied from some forums

a) KTV
1) The 6th Avenue (第六大街)
This place is big and crowded, nice atmosphere with stage performance and main hall. Plenty of ladies, standard OK.
Add : To be advised

2) Fu Lin (福临)
Standard type of KTV with Only 20+ rooms available, middle class standard, have branches.
Add : Hong Wu Lu next to Bi Feng Tang (洪武路避风塘)

3) Cheng Shi Xiu Xian Hotel (城市休闲)
It is located within the hotel, a usual hang out of my customer there. Less than 20 rooms. This place can be a little wild but so far has not met those striping KTVs. As commonly reported on website news. This place is under renovation, not so sure whether completed or not.
Add : Zhong Yang Lu near to coach station.

Prices are all rather similar RMB500 & above, RMB200 tips.

b) Pub
1) Nanjing 1912
This place is similar to the Shanghai Xintiandi. Only being there for a little while, so nothing much to comment. This place is rather new, a little quite but there was a pub very crowded.

2) Pubs at Xin Jie Kou
Only went to 2 of them, nothing much, young and student type of crowd. Drinks are relative cheap.


Nanjing Nightlife Photos :

Nanjing Bar

Nanjing Bar


Nanjing Nightlife Video here :

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

LETTER TO GOVERNOR CARRION

Governor's State of the Province Address
Tuesday, August 12, 2008 9:57 AM
From: This sender is DomainKeys verified "Willie O. Monroyo"


Dear Gov. Carrion,

My name is Wilfredo (Willie) Monroyo. I was born and raised in Poctoy, Boac, Marinduque. I have been living in the US for the last 32 years. In that length of time, I have never lost contact with my family trying to keep informed of the developments in our Barangay, Poctoy and of course the Island of Marinduque.

For the first time, I read an official report from the Head of the Province about concrete developments, genuine concerns and visions for the province through the Governor's state of the Province address.

I applaud you for the accomplishments stated on your address delivered on July 8, 2008. I saw parts of them if not all when I was there in 2007, September and October.

I would like to comment on Infrastructure, farm to market road projects. I noticed the approximately four kilomenter dirt road stretch from Maygayo to Tumapon, Boac remains the same for as far back as 1950's when I was in Elementary and High School. This dirt road serves as the main artery connecting Ilaya Barangays to Poctoy, Maybo, Malbog, Tumapon, Daig, Maygayo to town proper. The road becomes impassable after a typhoon or sudden heavy downpour due to mudslides and earth erosion. When this happens, jeepneys and tricyles cannot ply between barangays and town proper. This is causing hardship to farmers, small retailers to conduct their regular trades. This is also causing inconvenience to regular commuters, high school and college students from the affected barangays.

In behalf of the people of the mentioned barangays, I hope the improvement of the road will be considered and included in your next project.

Thank you for your time. God Bless Us All!!


Sincerely,


Wilfredo MOnroyo

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Bikaner, Camel Country and more

Apart from the Junagarh Fort, Bikaner has lot to offer to the tourists.

The other major attractions here are:


Devi Kund

Eight Kilometers east of Bikaner, this is the site of royal chatris of many of the Bika dynasty rulers. The royal crematorium has several exquisite cenotaphs (Chatris). Each Chatri is dedicated to the memory of rulers of Bikaji dynasty and is situated on the exact place where they were cremated.

There are beautiful paintings on the interior of the chatris inside the dome. The paintings even today appear very fresh.

A sample of one of the interiors of the dome can be seen below.

That is for the tourist attractions of Bikaner. Apart sight seeing in the city we went around the streets of the city in the market area. You will find lot of sweet stalls or bakery's around. Bikner is famous for Bikaner Bhujia. It is a spicy snack made from moth dal, spices and edible oil. There are lot of varieties in them. We purchased quite a few varieties for the rest of the trip.

From Bikaner we traveled to Jaisalmer, the Golden City.

Distance: Bikaner ---> Jaisalmer is 333 kms

P.S: December is the month when lot of tourists land in Rajasthan. So if you really want all the arrangements to be done properly this has to be done before October end.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Bikaner Camel Country

On the way to Bikaner from Mandwa, we had our lunch at the road side Dhaba. We reached Bikaner around 3:30 in the afternoon.

Binaker’s history dates back to 1488 A.D, when a Rathore Prince, Rao Bikaji, established his kingdom here. Bikaji choose a barren wilderness called ‘Jangladesh’ and transformed it to an impressive city, called Bikaner after the founder’ name. More popularly called the camel country, the city is renowned for the best riding camels in the world.

The wells of Bikaner: an important source of water is other attractions of the city. These are built on high plinths with slender minareted towers on each of the four corners and can be noticed even from a distance.

The major attractions here are:


Junagarh Fort

Junagarh Fort was constructed between 1588 and 1593 by Raja Rai Singh, a general in the army of Mughal emperor Akhbar, with embellishments in the form of palaces and luxurious suites added by subsequent
Maharajas.


Despite that fact Junagarh doesn't command hilltop position, as do some of the Rajasthan’s other grand forts, it is no less imposing and a credit to its planners and architects has never been conquered.

Apart from the fort and the palaces within in, Bikaner has quite a many more attractions.

P.S: December is the month when lot of tourists land in Rajasthan. So if you really want all the arrangements to be done properly this has to be done before October end.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Shenzhen Metropark Hotel information

Shenzhen is a city of sub-provincial administrative status in southern China's Guangdong province, situated immediately north of Hong Kong.

Visiting Shenzhen may be confusing for the first time tourist. There are a lot of hotels there, some of the most famous is Metropark Hotel.

Stayed at Metropark Shenzhen, hotel is nice, big suites, RMB440 per nite, i found ctrip.com to have the best rates compared to others. Hotel is about 10mins walking from Dongmen walking street, plenty of food, clothes, and pickpockets there. Night time, keep walking along the dongmeng towards seibu/panglin hotel. If dunno direction look below to get rough idea.

Metropark Hotel, Shenzhen information and address
2088 Dongmen Zhong Road, Luohu District, Shenzhen

China Hotels Reservation Hotline
Tel:(8621) 6322 3855
Fax:(8621) 6360 0967

Shenzhen Metropark Hotel :

Shenzhen Hotel

Shenzhen Hotel


Watch Shenzhen Metropark Hotel Video here

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

BALANACAN STATION - THE MOTHER OF ALL SURVEYS





Top photo: The original Luzon Datum of 1911 marker.
Middle photo: Jovs Lilles of the Marinduque Tourism Office being interviewed by host Franzen of "Trip na Trip", TV program on Channel 2 during a special feature on Marinduque recently.
Bottom: View from the triangulation site overlooking San Andres Island.

(Photos courtesy of Jov Lilles and Gerry Jamilla).

TASK GROUP BALANACAN CREATED
(From PRS92 Newsletter Vol. 1 No. 2 2008. NAMRIA)

NAMRIA Administrator Diony A. Ventura has created the Task Group
Balanacan headed by Mapping Department (MD) Director Jose
Galo P. Isada, Jr. to undertake the development of the
triangulation stations Balanacan and Baltazar.

The task group will undertake research and gather available records and maps/plan, coordination meetings with concerned agencies, and information campaign activities. It will conduct resource assessment and demarcation surveys. It will prepare plans
and secure necessary construction permits or clearances from concerned authorities for the civil works that will be undertaken.

The Balanacan Station defined the origin of the Luzon Datum
of 1911. All surveys in the Philippines were corrected and based
on the position of this station. The formed triangulation network
spanned vast distances with stations that were located in high
mountain peaks and far across straits and channels.

On 02 June 2008, a team headed by MD OIC Assistant
Director Randolf S. Vicente conducted a reconnaisance survey
of the vicinity of the “mother of all surveys” in Balanacan, Mogpog
town, Marinduque.

Monday, August 4, 2008

THE STTC 3-DAY MARINDUQUE AFFAIR IN PHOTOS.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF GERRY JAMILLA, Marinduque Tourism Office.


The Cultural Showcase for the Governor's Night.




Marinduque Tourism COuncil Chair, Lord Allan Jay Velasco.


Director Jurilla on Marinduque's being "the heart of Philippine tourist destinations".

Governor Carrion on Marinduque's being an "ancient Tagalog country".

The indefatigable STTC Chair, Col. Andrew Nocon at the formal opening of the assembly.

At Chateau du Mer, Assembly Hall.


With DOT Regional Director Louella Jurilla.




Crossing the bridge to Marinduque Hot Spring Resort, Malbog, Buenavista.


Photo shoot at a coral grotto, Sapinit hill.

At the Lourdes Grotto in Sapinit, Brgy. Bagtingon.






Cultural show with a version of the legend of Marin and Garduke.

Food galore.

Boac Mayor Bongyat Solomon welcomes the delegates.




In the evening of the first day: MAYORS' NIGHT. Hosted by the League of Mayors of Marinduque's six municipalities. Boac Covered Court.

A Welcome Dance from the Mogpog District School teachers.



The rest of the delegation arrived via Balanacan. Shown here at the Mogpog Central School, first stop for registration



The indigenous music of Pangkat Kalutang welcomes the Mindoro delegation in Gasan. The delegation sailed from Port Recordo to Gasan Pier.