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Liaoning, 2013

a travel blog by prrrrl


Musings, events, observations and (mis-)adventures of a travel-holic fleaing the summer heat of Beijing. Daring RJ was brave enough to come along on the 'seat of your pants flying' ride!
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Fossils!

Chaoyang, China


We made it! After first heading to the bus station to buy tickets out of town (next day, as the last bus would not allow sufficient time to see the fossil museum necessitating an over-night in a city we were told we could not over-night) we hired a pedicab (no longer an applicable name as they are all electric or gas now) to get us to bus 15, the vehicle that can take us to... FOSSILS!!! The pedicab takes back to the train station. We thought that was fine until we learned that bus 15 does not pass by the train station. A very kind chaoyang-ian says she'll ride (a different bus) with us and take us to the correct bus stop. That's why I love the Chinese! A long city bus ride later she points us to the unmarked bus stop. We get off and wait. It takes a while but Bus 15 finally comes and we make it to fossil paradise!

But we don't have same day tickets out of town and we don't have a place to stay in this foreigner-forbidden city. What to do? I had a plan all along. At the ticket counter I tell the 5 ladies behind the counter (and only me and RJ in front - read that, "almost no visitors, way over staffed") that we need a hotel for they evening. Sure enough, these very helpful ladies call around and find us two, TWO!, hotels that will take 'outsiders.' One one cheap and near the train station, one is expensive and not. To the great Surprise of all who know me well, I chose the latter. 'Near the train station' is code for filthy. Read the next post for how the day ended!

permalink written by  prrrrl on October 2, 2013 from Chaoyang, China
from the travel blog: Liaoning, 2013
tagged Plans, Fossils and Botel

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Dig it!

Chaoyang, China


Fossil blog
The Bird Flower-rock (fossil) National Geological Park is 60% kitsch, 30% awesome. They have the actual pit where some of the first fossils were found. They have a long, deep trench showing the sediment layers. This is not open air but in a modern building resembling an ankylosaurus. They have a museum showing scores of fossils pulled from the site, including a turtle visitors can touch, the famous feathered Dinosaur and a specially lit main feature: two small Dinosaurs caught in the act of creating new little Dinosaurs. The hokey parts are the animatronic T-Rex and others since the animatronics is hokey and these Dinosaurs were not found in Liaoning. The petrified Forest is disappointing in how pieces were poorly glued together in columns of their original growth. I'd prefer to see them the way they were found. Also very hokey is the fake and unimpressive in size Volcano.
But still worth the trip for the fossils, dig site and trench. Ahhhh...


permalink written by  prrrrl on October 2, 2013 from Chaoyang, China
from the travel blog: Liaoning, 2013
tagged Turtle, Trench, Fossils and CaughtInTheAct

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Hot Lap of Luxury

Chaoyang, China


Guilded lions outside, huge elaborate lobby modeled after French aristocracies of the 17/18th centuries, shiny everything! And only 499 ren min bi per night ($80).

The room had the usual western amenities of soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion (but in an embossed leather box), a blow dryer, big screen TV, iron and board, not free mini bar and plush towels, and the Chinese amenities of slippers and an electric kettle. But it also had a safe, a mini fridge, two bathrobes, a scale, wall panel push button bed lamps, wall panel push button nightstand lights, wall panel push button vanity light, wall panel push button over toilet light (which never turned off), wall panel push button do not disturb light, wall panel push button entry light, wall panel push button shade over the jacuzzi up or down (there being a huge window between the bathroom and the main room a shade comes in handy) and two full-face gas masks. Did I mention jacuzzi? Oh, you were focused on the gas masks. Yes, we found that odd, too.

For all this luxury there was one little flaw and one huge flaw: big, ugly stain on the carpet and the AC did not work. Hands down the fanciest place I've ever stayed but no AC?

permalink written by  prrrrl on October 2, 2013 from Chaoyang, China
from the travel blog: Liaoning, 2013
tagged Luxury, PushButton and GasMasks

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I tried, I really tried

Beijing, China


Errand list:
Buy hats for Jensen
Pick up black ball gown
Pick up dance skirts

What I accomplished:
Bought a wrist watch


permalink written by  prrrrl on October 6, 2013 from Beijing, China
from the travel blog: Liaoning, 2013
tagged Errands, Failure and Diversion

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Spotty Chinese

Beijing, China


One word (bian3) came back to me without me thinking the English first. Yea! I'm actually not sure of the English translation. I just know how to use it in Chinese.
Another word (hao3 mi3) I knew I should know just wasn't there till I asked the stone vendor. The frustration of long language breaks


permalink written by  prrrrl on October 6, 2013 from Beijing, China
from the travel blog: Liaoning, 2013
tagged ThinkingInChinese, ForgettingWord and LongAbsence

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Thanks for the work out, Google Maps

Beijing, China


My friend's House is east of the outlet mall. I know that now because I GM sent me northwest of the outlet mall. I'd been to SZ's House before via subway and remembered it being close to the mall. Unfortunately I wasn't sure of the direction. I trusted GM. I walked 2+ kilometers in the wrong direction then had to taxi back to the mall then beyond. So much for saving money by using public transport. At least I was not trying to arrive fresh. I had already had a long day tramping (a Kiwi term for hiking) about the city.

permalink written by  prrrrl on October 6, 2013 from Beijing, China
from the travel blog: Liaoning, 2013
tagged Walking and WrongPlace

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Where white cats are gray

Beijing, China


The drum Tower hostel has a very laid back resident mouser. It should be a black and white cat but not in smoggy, dusty beijing. It's black and several shades if gray. Can cats get smog balls?

permalink written by  prrrrl on October 7, 2013 from Beijing, China
from the travel blog: Liaoning, 2013
tagged Dirt, Cat and FutileGrooming

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Not dining alone

Beijing, China


Ah! The pick your own restaurant! A refrigerator case with baskets of veggies, meats, mushrooms and organ meats on skewers makes it easy to get what you want. I went for almost one of each veggies, tofu skin, fish and shrimp balls and a couple mushrooms. Once I fill my basket I give it to the cook and he/she (though I've never seen a 'she') boils it for me. My cooked selections are brought to the table with a sesame dipping sauce. Hot pot made easy! Though this qualifies as a hole in the wall establishment they have nice mostly matching china and elaborate embroideries under the glass table top. The waiter brought me complimentary just boiled tea (and yet another compliment on how good my Chinese is). So nice! Then another visitor dropped in - a cock roach fell, feet up, between my tea cup and the bowl of dipping sauce. The supine position gave me time to select a napkin to squash it with. The tea being so pleasant, I've extended my stay so I can enjoy it at a drinkable temperature. Cock roach, schmock roach - I'm enjoying myself

permalink written by  prrrrl on October 7, 2013 from Beijing, China
from the travel blog: Liaoning, 2013
tagged UninvitedGuest, RelaxingLunch and FreeTea

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