Show me the way to the pyjama party

Trip Start Feb 11, 2009
1
6
14
Trip End Mar 04, 2009


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Friday, February 20, 2009

Day 8 Sanya
Able to sleep in today. Tidied the cabin up. Jackets still stink of smoke. I'm going to ask Chris and Ron if I can take it up to their cabin and hang then over the chairs on their verandah otherwise the smell will never go.
Windjammer was packed. Did three circuits before I found a table for us. Couple sat down and we started chatting. Judith and Steve from Vancouver. They sullied my view of the worldiness of west coast Canadians (hello Patricia). When I said we were from Australia Judith said "yes, I know. Peter Allen was/is from Australia isn't he?" Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. The only thong she could think about Australia is a sad dead old poof. Also found out that she likes cruising because she can get an American breakfast and food she recognises for dinner. Her husband sounded way more adventurous.
Bumped in to Chris and Ron who were also doing there own thing and were Heading for "The End of the World". Like me, Chris had read that there was a public bus that we could catch. We docked at what is pretty much a brand new port. Called Pheonix Island it is totally reclaimed and sitting just off the beach in Sanya Bay. There is a model of what it will look like and it is like a cross between something from Dubai and the Gold Coast.
Today's debarking will go down as another example of why cities with no experience should not build cruise terminals. It was a disaster. RCCL could have done it better but they are the victim of the port here. There is only one narrow extendable gangway at the terminal building. Passengers being passengers they all want to get off asap. So the aft stairwell was packed and the line extended right along deck four to the showroom, that is, the full length of the ship. We'd never seen anything like it. Mathias, our German friend told us to head down to deck 2 and join the line down there. We all got the most fantastic death stares as we pretty much jumped the queue.
Al and I would have walked to the main street that was (we found out when we walked back) only about 10 minutes walk but we decided to catch the ships shuttle as we believed it would take us to the centre of where stuff would be. WRONG!! For our USD12 return pp we headed away from Sanya Bay and were dropped at a silk shop. We tried to ask the local 'guide' who was on the bus directions to the local bus. After much trouble we determined there was no local bus to XXXX. Only way was taxi.
We'd read that taxi drivers here had a bad habit of agreeing on a price and then asking for more before they take you back to the port/your hotel etc. But this was our only choice. The guide, and she tried very hard, found a cab and then negotiated a price for us. She kept saying 600 but wrote 300 and said it over and over. Eventually she realised she was getting her numbers confused and said yes, RMB300. So about $70 for the four of us there and back and he would wait 2 hours.
So of we went. Right back past where we came from. Typical cruise ship shuttle.
Chris is an anxious traveller. Chris should travel with eyeshades like they give you on planes. Was hilarious how much she jumped every time the driver strayed past the middle of the road (every 100 metres or so). The further we got from the town the more the countryside opened up. Lots of agriculture. What looked like beans growing on pyramid trellis, some rice, lots of other stuff. We were maybe two km inland and the whole way there was a constant row of highrises, either complete, or under construction, along what we presumed was the bay. Next came the cattle wandering aimlessly along the road then dogs and chickens. Drove past lots of touristy places - an animal park where we could see elephants and water buffalo. A water park that from it's humungous signs had jet skis and speed boats and slides. The car parks of these places were packed.
With a big smile our driver indicated we had arrived. Another giant car park full of buses and taxis. He wrote his registration number down so we could identify his cab and also the time we should be back - 4. Fingers crossed he's here when we get back. Was RMB60 each. I paid 2x100 and got my 80 back. Ron handed exactly 120 and was asked fr another 10. The "pick me' sign Al and I had both been wearing must have been passed to Ron and Chris.
To be honest the park itself wasn't much to write home about - a few statues, some giant topiary creations - dragons, elephants, two whales, a peacock. What was the attraction was the people. Sanya is a mega tropical tourist destination for Chinese, especially honeymooners. For some reason known only to these people they must wear matching Hawaiian outfits, we're talking shirts and shorts here. Was too funny for words. Took way too many pictures.
Managed to get in two myself. I'd heard that the Chinese, maybe Asians?, often will ask if they can have their picture taken with you. A lovely little old guy came over to me and pointed at me and his camera and I said of course. So his wife snapped away. Then she raced over and swapped and he took our picture. Very lovely.
Saw the Love Rock where honeymooners and anyone else I suppose could go out in a very small boat driven by crazy guys and look at the rocks I suppose.
We'd laughed enough at the pyjama party so headed out the longest exit in the world - about 200 metres of shops - to find our cab guy. There he was, hanging out with the other taxi drivers. Drove us back via the beach of Sanya Bay. Some gigantic resorts, the biggest of all a mega Howard Johnson. Lots and lots of couples having wedding (honeymoon) pictures taken on the beach. One girl had this weird red creation on that you could have used a car cover for a very big car!
Decided we wouldn't go all the way back to the silk shop where the ship shuttle would pick us up and asked to be dropped off near the bridge to Pheonix Island. Our unused seats on the shuttle were a donation to Royal Caribbean. Wandered around the area immediately off the island. Ended up in a bar/restaurant and ordered some beers by using Chris' book of symbols. When we paid they were RMB6 each, maybe $1.50.
Chris and Ron headed back to the ship, Ron likes his ships dinners, and we'd decided we wanted a last Chinese meal at our last Chinese port. There was a huge restaurant beside the bridge. In we walked. It was like royalty had arrived. We were escorted to the upper level. Sat down and a hoard of about 10 girls surrounded us, half of them asking questions in Chinese.
When we'd entered there were dozens of plastic bins full of fish and crabs and shellfish. So I guessed we went down there, chose something and then they cooked it. I got up and pointed down the stairs but was waved back to my seat. Next minute menus were placed before us and a huge pot of green tea. One menu was entirely in Russian, the other in Russian and English. I tried to indicate we couldn't understand the Russian one to no avail. So we ordered off the English one, beef and pork. Obviously we weren't capable of doing the seafood thing. Ah well. Next we tried to order beer. We were offered a sheet of pictures of vodka. Nyet spasiba. The meal was very good if a tad on the greasy side. Wandered back across the island. It will be quite spectacular when construction. Back on board right on 6.30 for a 7 pm departure.
I was downstairs typing this up for Thursday night's posting. Al bumped in to our table mates and let them know we wouldn't be having dinner with them as we'd eaten offshore but might join them for dessert. Which is what we did. Early day Friday. 7 am arrival in Chan May for our tour to Hoi An.
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