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2006 Wuzhen

Day 3 (Nov 7 Tuesday): Huang Shan, Tunxi, & Wuzhen:

After another good lunch we started our journey to Wuzhen via Hangzhou.

After Tunxi, we passed through Hangzhou and was taken to a tea farm outlet for a taste of the famed "Dragon Well" tea. Its no longer my favorite tea though, "Great Red Robe" is, since you've to get the real top grade for proper enjoyment. It's somewhat against our 'no shopping' rule but the outlet served us the top grade and we eventually did some shopping. Five of us (me included) bought RMB3,600 worth (at least half the price in Hong Kong, says @ Ying Kee) and Peter a whole leg of the famed three-year aged "Kam Wah" ham at around RMB260. I don't think he is going to bring that back to Vancouver. Dear Peter also bought a piece of preserved chicken drumstick and a pig's trotter on our way to Huang Shan just in case the food at Huang Shan was lousy. I don't know what finally happen to the two items, in his brother's freezer in HK perhaps.

We arrived at Wuzhen around 19:45. Its the Phase 2 and was just opened (soft opening) about two weeks ago.

To get to our hotel, Ang Tung Inn, a 4-star hotel, we need to take a ferry and the water journey last about 7~8 minutes I'd say. The hotel is brand new. Cindy, the HK guide has to spend the night at B&B next to the hotel which actually is not bad. It'll cost you RMB200 to 300 with one bedroom and one kitchen plus bathroom. After checking in we proceeded to the main banquet room for dinner, and had our first encounter with fresh water hairy crab (actually half portion each). It's good service and good food again. By the time we finished it was quite late so we all retired to our rooms. The water tour will start after 08:30 tomorrow.

Day 4 (Nov 8 Wednesday) Wuzhen:

After the breakfast at the main banquet room, we spent sometimes checking out the hotel vicinity including the pier before embarking on the water tour. Since each boat can accommodate six passengers plus one rower, we divided ourselves into three groups. Danny, Frank & I plus spouses in the first one. Justin & James, spouses & in-law and the local guide in the second one. And Ben, Bob & Peter in the third boat with their wives. Cindy, the HK guide has to walked around and keep an eye on us lest we should, say, fall into the water which reportedly is about 17 ft deep. And Justin, the famed mountain climber nearly crashed his boat onto the embankment, so no rowing for everyone. Thus in my boat, the three wives just took turn to pose as rover. The scenery is lovely though quite a few of the structure and buildings are somewhat artificial. Nevertheless, its a worthwhile and relaxing experience.

After the water tour we've time just for a visit to a museum for 'bound feet'. I did take two photos but was told in the main area photography and video taking are not allowed. There must be over hundreds of tiny shoes including a pair for hooker with xxx rated scenes embroidered on both upper part of the shoes. And there're also the 'sleep shoes' for brides where the moms would embroider the necessary pictures and information (birds and the bees Chinese style) for their daughters' first encounter with the opposite sex in bed.

We then took the ferry again and started our two-hour journey to Suzhou.
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