Fall In Love With Hefei, China Through These Places

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Hefei is Anhui Province’s capital and also its largest city. This metropolitan is also the province’s main economic and cultural centre. As such, there are quite a number of attractions that will make you fall in love with the place at first sight. Here are some places you should visit whenever you are in Hefei, China.

 

Swan Lake

Pic Credit: www.ecns.cn

Located right in the middle of the city, this lake is like a sanctuary for people to escape the noises and busyness of city life. The lake is surrounded by lush greeneries and trees, providing shades on a hot day. There is also a walkway and bike paths surrounding the lake making it perfect for a refreshing stroll. Lining the landscape are a collection of impressive and artsy high-rise buildings. Given the right weather conditions, these buildings will be reflected on the pristine waters of Swan Lake, providing a picturesque scene worthy for your cameras. And if you are lucky, you might also spot a swan or two!

 

The Memorial Temple of Lord Bao

www.en.kfta.cn

Lord Bao was an extremely renowned officer during the Northern Song Dynasty, famed for handing out fair and sound judgments as a judge with an outstanding personality to boot. This temple is built to commemorate him and is among the most famous in China. The temple features statues, pavilions and stone inscriptions all related to the life and stories of Lord Bao. There is also a Waxwork Museum, a Cultural Gallery and the Main Palace Hall for you to explore and delve into the interesting legend of this great Judge.

 

Sanhe Ancient Town

www.hellotravel.com

The Sanhe Ancient Town is a water town with a storied history 2,500 years in the making. The name Sanhe, which means three rivers, is derived from its location, having the Fengle, HangFu and Xiaonan rivers flowing right through the town. Most of the buildings here still retain its original architecture dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasty. Among the attractions inside the town is the Wangyue Pagoda, an ancient 7-storey pagoda housing treasures and artefacts of ancient dynasties, and the Crane Cottage, the former residence of the famous Qing Dynasty General, Liu Bangzhang, which has been wonderfully preserved until today.

 

HuaiHe Lu BuXingJie

www.meanhui.com

Loud, lively and colourful, HuaiHe Lu BuXingJie is a must-visit if you love shopping for knick-knacks and tasting Hefei street food at its best. This pedestrian-only street is packed full with department stores, food kiosks and souvenir booths on both sides. When the sun sets, out comes the night market with its own unique offerings. There are a lot of hidden gems and tasty treats along this street. Take enough time exploring it and you will have the most memorable street shopping experience.

 

References:

https://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/anhui/hefei/

https://www.chinahighlights.com/hefei/attraction/

‘Tasting’ Port Dickson Through These 4 Places

Pic Credit: www.portdickson.sg

Port Dickson isn’t just about the sea and its beaches. This seaside town also hosts a collection of great eats that will delight your taste buds to no end. If you happen to be in town, do visit these 4 places for a taste of what Port Dickson has to offer.

 

Lucky King Bun at Taman Aman

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An enormous fluffy bun filled with thick and savoury curry sauce with selections of pork or chicken and potatoes. What’s not to love! Each of Lucky King Bun’s signature ‘curry buns’ easily feeds 4 people and is extremely popular with the locals and tourists alike. If you are in the mood for something spicy and unique, this is the place to visit.

 

King’s Char Kuey Teow (Halal) at Jalan Pantai

Pic Credit: www.kingscharkueyteow.com

Craving for some char kuey teow? Then give King’s Char Kuey Teow a try! They serve some unique variations of the popular dish. It is not just cockles we are talking about here. Their char kuey teow comes with choices of lamb, grilled chicken, squids and even crabs! Come here if you want some adventures with your plate of fried flat noodles.

 

Gim Men Teppanyaki at Kg Arab

Pic Credit: www.tripadvisor.co.za

What is a seaside town without its share of fresh seafood? This place has it aplenty and tastes great at the same time. Dig in with some stuffed crabs topped with sambal and mayonnaise, or bite into juicy huge prawns along with sides of freshwater oysters. If you fancy your food grilled, they do serve fishes and squids grilled to smoky perfection.

 

Pisang Addict Port Dickson (Halal) at Jalan Pantai

Pic Credit: www.portdickson.info

This place serves everyone’s favourite ‘pisang goreng’ in the most creative way possible. Want to have your ‘pisang goreng’ with some gooey cheese? They have it! Or how about with some cheese and Milo powder? They have it too. And did we mention chocolate sauce, salted caramel, blueberry jam and green tea powder? Visit them to enjoy ‘pisang goreng’ in ways you don’t even know exist.

 

And while you are at Port Dickson, why not come visit us at our newly opened Thai Odyssey outlet inside Tasik Villa International Resort. We provide a range of rejuvenating massage services to help unwind and relax your body after all your culinary and seaside adventures. Contact us at +606 – 644 8866 for reservation inquiries.

Thai Odyssey Tasik Villa International Resort

 

References:

https://says.com/my/lifestyle/awesome-dishes-to-order-the-next-time-you-re-really-hungry-in-port-dickson

https://www.tripadvisor.com.my/Restaurants-g303991-Port_Dickson_Negeri_Sembilan.html

Discover Wonderful Suzhou Through These 6 Places

Pic Credit: www.opportunity-china.com

Suzhou, a city situated in southern Jiangsu Province in the middle of Yangtze Delta in China, is popular for its landscaped gardens and immaculately arranged waterways. In fact, with around 42% of its area covered by water, it has been dubbed as the ‘Venice of the Orient’. Should you decide to visit wonderful Suzhou, here are 6 places you should consider slotting into your itinerary to fully appreciate the gems this city has to offer.

 

Commune with Nature at the Humble Administrator’s Garden

Pic Credit: www.traveltosuzhou.com

What Suzhou is famous for is its vast collection of beautiful landscaped gardens. Among the largest, and most well-known, is the Humble Administrator’s Garden. This 52, 000 square meters garden is dotted with elegant pavilions seated on top of flowing rivers, bridges that overlook creeks full of colourful fishes and beds upon beds of vibrant flowers that will dazzle you with delight. Besides manmade structures, the garden also houses natural landscapes like small hills, pockets of forests and mesmerizing natural rock formations. It is the perfect place to attune oneself with nature and appreciate the beauty we often forget about in our concrete cities.

 

Peek Into the Past at Tongli Ancient Town

Pic Credit: www.tripadvisor.ie

Being so near to the Yangtze Delta, Suzhou is inevitably full of water towns; settlements that have waterways as ‘roads’ and boats as transports. Tongli Ancient Town is one of these and as the name implies, is one of the oldest. The beauty of Tongli is that it is mostly untouched by modern commercialization. All the bridges, buildings and temples here are well preserved, so they look as they are since ancient times. The oldest structures go all the way back to the Song Dynasty. This is why the town has been known as a ‘Museum of Ancient Architecture’. For a peek into the lives of ancient people in water towns, this will be the best place to visit.

 

Be In Awe at Tiger Hill

Pic Credit: www.chinadiscovery.com

Tiger Hill is a 14,000 square meters hillock, rich with historical sites and scenic views that will make you open-mouthed with amazement. With just a short hike, you will be able to feast your eyes on precious relics, tombs of bygone kings, pagodas and temples set against a beautiful landscape. Among the spots not to be missed here are the Tiger Hill Pagoda (the oldest pagoda in Suzhou), the Tomb of King He Lu and Wanjing Villa, which houses a vast collection of miniature gardens and bonsai-styled shrubberies.

 

Witness Silkworms at Work at Suzhou Silk Museum

Pic Credit: www.chinadiscovery.com

Suzhou has been known as the Silk Capital in China since Tang Dynasty for its role in producing high quality silks for ancient nobles and royal families. The Suzhou Silk Museum is a centre dedicated to this ancient art form and showcases everything one needs to know about silk production. Through its 8 sections, visitors will be taken through a journey of silk production, from its history, the weaving process and silk exhibits, right down to the little silkworms in their silk cocoons. You can even purchase exquisite silk products here as keepsake. Do not miss this place. The sight of the silkworms alone is already worth the visit.

 

Feast on Authentic Suzhou Cuisine At Guanqian Street

Pic Credit: www.dreamstime.com

Guanqian Street has been around for more than 150 years and is known as one of the ‘four famous shopping streets’ in China. This street houses a colourful blend of old and new attractions, each selling knick-knacks and most importantly, authentic Suzhou cuisine. Whether you are looking for a complete dinner experience or a street food outing, you are in for a treat here. This is a great place to bring your taste buds on an amazing adventure of senses.

 

Shop and Relax at Suzhou Star Hub Mall

After an entire excursion into the history of Suzhou, it is only fitting that you bring yourself back to modern settings. Star Hub mall presents the best of modern Suzhou lifestyle in swanky style. Featuring modern architectural designs, this shopping mall is full with shops carrying international brands showcasing the latest fads in fashion and lifestyle. And after all the sightseeing and shopping trips, you can drop by our Thai Odyssey outlet inside the mall to treat yourself to a rejuvenating experience. Our luxurious spa sanctuary offers a range of authentic Thai massage services, from our signature Traditional Thai Massage to the ever invigorating Traditional Foot Massage. Let our highly skilled therapists bring your body into a deep state of relaxation and recharge it for another round of adventure in Suzhou. For reservation inquiries, you can always contact our friendly front desk staff at +0512 67633626 / 67633628 from 10am to 12am.

 

There are so much more to see and do in Suzhou than this list can do justice to. Use these 6 places as a start to your exploration and discover the abundant gems that this wonderful city has to offer.

 

References:

https://www.chinahighlights.com/suzhou/

https://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/suzhou.htm

 

Water Water Everywhere – It’s Songkran!

The Thailand water festival, or Songkran, is a New Year celebration in the country.  Customarily, Songkran is celebrated with the belief that, with water, it cleanses, purifies and signifies a fresh start to everything.  As with Asian traditions all over the world, before the beginning of a new lunar calendar, people celebrating the Lunar New Year festival are often advised to wash away their past or ‘bad’ chi by spring cleaning their houses.

Religiously, to start the day of Songkran, there will be bathing ritual for the Buddha images with scented water.  The ‘blessed water’ that was used to bathe the images is now used to pour onto someone’s palms, especially the elders’.  This is a way of paying respect and it is believed to bring good fortune.

Over the years, however, the pouring of water has become the throwing or splashing of water in the streets.  People from all over the world gather in Thailand for the carnival-gala good-natured fun.  Thais even walk with pails and water guns, some will stand beside the roads with a hose and shoot water at people passing by.  In fact, because Songkran is celebrated in April, the water splashing does not hurt at all as it is the hottest part of the year in Thailand, getting wet is refreshing after all.

The word Songkran, in Sanskrit, means the passage of the sun moving from one Zodiac sign to the next.  There are supposedly twelve Songkrans each year, but the most significant has to be the sun entering the first sign of the Zodiac, which is the sign of Aries, the Ram.  The date was originally set by astrological calculations, but it is now fixed on 13 April, and Songkran is celebrated officially as Thai New Year’s Day from 13 to 15 April every year.

Songkran celebrations are organized throughout Thailand while some cities take it a notch higher with activities and events that run for a week or more.  If you want to be in the centre of all the happenings, do book your accommodation and arrive a few days earlier at places like Chiang Mai, Phuket and Bangkok.  These cities will be clogged up to full capacity in April.

3 ways to celebrate Thailand Water Festival with Fun!


1. Know that you will get wet – and drenched!  Have FUN and LAUGH anyway.

 


2. Waterproof your valuable electronic devices such as phones and cameras to keep them dry while you are being splashed.

 


3. Get a bucket, buy or get an empty bucket free.  If you like more fun, get a water gun – and start shooting back!

It’s all about getting wet and be merry.  When you are drenched, put on your biggest smile and make peace, just give a shout out: “Sah-wah-dee pee mai” (Happy New Year!) or “Suke Sahn Wahn Song Kran” (Happy Songkran Day!).

From all of us in Thai Odyssey, Suke Sahn Wahn Song Kran!


 

Vacation in Koh Samui, suitable for all groups of people

How to get to Koh Samui, your haven of relaxation and calmness?

Did I hear that you want to play golf on an island amidst swaying coconut trees?  Did I also hear that your husband is asking for that promise you’ve made about the half day pampering spa treatment?  And didn’t you tell your teenage children that they are allowed to party the night’s out once they get good grades?

There is one place that is not too far away from Kuala Lumpur where everyone’s dreams or promises can be fulfilled.  A place where mum and dad can also tuck into their own romantic getaway. This place is the idyllic sun drenched island of Koh Samui, which means ‘safe haven’ and Koh is ‘island’ in Thai.

Maybe the gods have extra fondness with Koh Samui where they bestowed it with such beauty and magnificence that once you are there, you naturally submerge in its calmness and charms.

What are there on the island that will soothe the soul, calm the mind and nourish every cell in the body?  Let’s take three activities that will satisfy the Young, the Adventurer and the Vacationer:

 For the Young (and all the forever-young)

Take a closer look at Samui’s steaming street-side food stalls and choose everything from fruit shake to pancake roti, try to list your favourite top ten padthai or challenge your friend to a street muay thai, not the fight but the cocktail drink.  Check out the much talked about full moon party on the island or at Koh Phangan, another small island off the coast of Koh Samui.  You will never get to sleep once you are having fun.

 For the Adventurer (and the intrepid traveller)

Choose your kind of adventure, it could be a quiet meditation at one of the many Buddhist temples situated on the island or you could backpack to one of the shanties right down at the quieter stretch of sand in Bo Phut or Lamai, instead of the tourist packed resorts and shopping streets over in Chaweng area.  For more rustic adventure, head on to Ang Thong National Marine Park on a canoe.  When you are there, explore the caves and the underwater sights snorkelling while keeping your eyes open for dolphins and sea turtles.

 For the Vacationer (and Parents)

Samui is known as the health centre of the region for many justifiable reasons.  You will find a myriad of award winning all-star spa resorts to pamper your senses.  These are world class excellent spas located at secluded and private locales that are only accessible for people who truly want to enjoy peace and harmony.  Just relax while you are there, to enjoy your time to breathe in as you stretch in various yoga positions or just allow your muscles to be kneaded and caressed as you sink deeper into relaxation.  The breeze will bring you to slumber as you rejuvenate in total luxury and comfort.

To get to Koh Samui from Kuala Lumpur, there are inexpensive transportation by air.  Check out Air Asia or Firefly (operated by Malaysia Airlines) for the best fares.  Highly recommended will be Firefly because they fly you directly onto the island.  On Air Asia, you will arrive at the nearest town, Surat Thani, take a cab or a bus to get you to the pier in about two hours, then a ferry ride to the island in one and a half hour.  By the time you arrive at Chaweng area where most of the tourists book their resorts stay, it would have been a four-hour journey from Surat Thani.  With Firefly, when you alight, you are just 5-minutes cab-ride to Chaweng area.

It really doesn’t matter, whichever way you choose to arrive at Koh Samui, once you are there, you will immediately feel relaxed.  All you want to do is lay back and listen to the lull of the ocean.