在錫金的中秋節:有機蔬食和隆德寺 Rumtek and Organic Veggie For the Mid-Autumn Festival in Sikkim

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Yesterday was the Mid-Autumn Festival for Chinese. Instead of moon cake and heavy feast, I had a feast with exotic organic vegetables, plus a visit to the Rumtek Monastery.

The day started with a 7am trip to the Sunday Farmers’ market in Gangtok where farmers in the neighboring areas would bring fresh produce to sell here.

因為星期天,附近農民都會帶菜過來賣,所以朋友早上7點就帶我去見識一下甘托克的農夫市集。
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圓圓紅紅的是錫金有名的“火球”辣椒,看著可愛,卻是世界上最辣的辣椒品種之一。

我是只要看到綠葉菜就很高興,所以錫金對我簡直就是天堂。印度其他地方往往只有小黃瓜、蕃茄、洋蔥、花菜、胡蘿蔔、菠菜、茄子,這裡從捲心菜、杭白菜、莧菜、香菜(芫荽)、西洋菜、白蘿蔔、南瓜、胡瓜……還有各式各樣不知名的野菜,看得我眼花繚亂的。

最重要的是,有我很愛的筍、蕨菜(大姐説共有五種)、龍須菜(現在知道了,其實就是瓜苗)和菌菇。

On top of the famous fireball chilies, there are all kinds of green vegetables, indeed a heaven for me! With my favorite bamboo shoots, ferns…(mushroom would only arrive after ~9am)

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好像是酒糟之類的東西,擁葉子包著販賣,看著就很討人喜歡。錫金是很注重環保的地方,這裡購物時給的袋子一律是紙袋或環保袋,沒有塑料袋。
Not sure what is this lady selling, but the packing looks nice and environmental friendly!

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朋友看到這個菜農剛擺出的小苦瓜很新鮮,所以來挑苦瓜。兩顆橢圓形橘綠色的果兒,也是苦瓜的一個品種~  右邊那個豆莢原來也是能吃的,我們挑苦瓜的時候,豆莢被甘托克蔬菜店老闆全部抱走了(這裡是批發市場),說是可以拿來生吃。

Two types of small bitter gourds. I have never seen that yellowish oval shape specie before. They looked more like fruits to me.

The giant bean pods are also edible. The lady purchasing them all (probably a local shop owner for retail) said people eat them raw.

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這個很像風信子的花兒是時令特產,朋友説是帶苦味的。買了一點回去,加了點洋蔥、姜、蕃茄炒給我吃,果然花的部份微苦,不過沒有苦瓜那麽苦, 花梗的部份倒是很香甜。
These Hyacinthus-like flowers are also edible. Stir-fried with onion, ginger and tomato, the flowers tasted a bit bitter while the stems juicy and refreshing like asparagus.

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這是蕁麻的葉子(左)和花(右)。因為是密勒日巴尊者在山上禪修時的唯一食物,所以我也弄了一把蕁麻葉回來,還沒吃到就是了。
Nettles leaves and flowers. A must-try for Milarepa admirers 🙂

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被拿來食用的花還很多,大黃花猛一看有點像金針花,不過我猜是某種瓜類的花。右邊那個乾乾的小花看來口感不會很好。左下紅色的是香蕉花。右下是筍,筍兒都是長條形的,非常鮮。

Some more flowers and fresh bamboo shoots. The red ones are banana flowers.

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去年在錫金吃到這個形狀的香蕉之後,覺得讚的不得了。我是從來不會主動買香蕉吃的人,但是這個形狀的香蕉有股誘人的芳香,平常那種黃色長年不壞的香蕉完全沒得比。

中間上面扁扁的蘋果看著很漂亮,竟然是福建來的。怪不得漂亮,亮晶晶的一層蠟吧。希望本地這些健康美味的有機農產品不會被進口的不自然大型農場產品取代掉。

最後是買了芭樂、木瓜和我的新歡——石榴。

Sikkim banana is very delicious with nice flavor, unlike the dull yellow ones we usually get in the ‘developed countries’ supermarkets. Pomegranate is my new love while the organic Bhutanese apples (even partially red inside) have been accompanying me since day one of this trip.

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這個是不丹來的有機蘋果,不是我們買的。從我來錫金的第一天晚上説好吃後,阿姨就放了一盆在我房間, 不時補上幾顆。每顆都長得不一樣,有的紅色果皮還會紅到果肉裡。不但甜,而且香氣距離一公尺都聞得到。

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最後離開市場時,看到有一車剛到的農民正要下貨(同一村的人會一起包車過來),於是搶到兩把之前沒有見過的白花。我在對街看見這花就衝了上前,到了花的面前,因為實在太完美了,一度悵然以為“原來是塑膠花”……但是再摸摸,真的是鮮花,有股野薑花家族的味道。

早起的鳥兒有蟲吃,雖然這個市集會持續一天,但是要買到新鮮蔬果或珍稀花卉,還是得趁早來,不然好東西很快就會被甘托克的商家給掃光。

Got these amazing white flowers after leaving the market. Freshly arrived with a jeep full of various products probably brought by people from the same village. We took most of them even before they reach the marketplace 🙂

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吃完中飯後,去了對山的隆德寺。就是十六世大寶法王離開西藏後所建立的寺廟,土地是當年錫金國王供養的七畝地。

After lunch, we went to Rumtek Monastery. Local people said there was huge rain last night so much so that they were worried about their houses would get washed away! But it was sunny when we arrived.

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大殿入口上方的五隻雪獅很可愛,每一隻表情都不太一樣。
Cute snow lions, each with its own cute expression.
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朋友嘲笑我朝拜隆德寺具有特別業障,去年是沒帶護照,今年是帶了護照卻沒有帶上錫金通行證,還好他特別問了一聲,所以開到一半又折回去拿。晚點到的好處是正好碰到修護法的時間,所以瑪哈嘎拉護法室和多傑綽洛(忿怒蓮師相之一)室都在修法。還朝拜了度母室,以及最重要的:十六世大寶法王的舍利金塔 _/\_。

喇嘛很慈悲的讓我們進去隔間裡朝拜,可以直接頂禮舍利塔,還讓我碰了一條平常加持寶瓶會用的那種五色繩,一端是連在塔上的。前天讀貝瑪薩公主傳時,正好讀到她有一顆spiritual turqiose,還在尋思是什麽寶貝,十六世金塔上所鑲的青松石諸寶貝裡,就有一顆是赤松德贊王的命力石!旁邊一顆則是瑪爾巴夫人給密勒日巴去向瑪爾巴求法的那顆青松石~~哇,能親眼見到這些以前讀過的寶貝真的是很啓發道心!

We were a bit late than planned due to my stupidity of forgetting to bring the Sikkim entry permit and hence driving back again after we almost left Gangtok. The good thing is that, because of the delay, the monks were performing the daily Mahakala and Dorje Drolo rituals when we were there.

The highlight was the Golden Stupa containing the 16th Karmapa’s relics. Moreover, the stupa is decorated with many precious objects. So thrilled to see the life force turquoise of King Trisong Deutsen  and the turquoise that Marpa’s wife gave to Milarepa so that he could make some offering in order to receive teachings……to see these things only read on paper before is such a blessing!!

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120930 Gangtok food 005朝拜完後,去十六世大寶法王總管的兒子家喝茶吃餅乾。喝完一家後,又去了十六世大寶法王的姪女家喝茶。她家有六隻奶牛,所以奶茶和奶酪都好吃的不得了~~

Then we visited two families by the monastery.  Had super delicious tea and curd, made from the milk of their family cows 🙂

吃飽飽回家後,雖說是吃不下飯了,但是大姐做的起司餃子太好吃了,本來說吃兩個的,最後大概吃了十個吧,還有一大碗湯!人在異鄉的中秋節,還是飽餐了好幾頓!

Though completely full after the tea, cookies, curd……etc. it is still too hard to say no to the delicious home made paneer momo (dumpling). Initially I just wanted to taste two and probably ended up having ten momos plus a big bowl of paneer veggie soup. Even though being abroad, I was not deprived from the Mid-Autumn Festival feast at all!

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Actually it has been one feast after another feast everyday since I came to Sikkim. Sample pictures of the amazing family cuisine I have been having in the past few days :-p

其實來了錫金後,沒有一天沒吃好的。朋友家餐餐好料,也許我應該開始寫一本素食食譜~
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宁波月湖 梅花 Plum Blossoms in Moon Lake, Ningbo

搭火车前有两小时的空档。宁波火车站的环境极差,于是在站前搭14路公车到月湖公园,想到湖边坐坐,消磨时间。

After purchasing my ticket, I had two hours to kill before my train ride. So I took 2 RMB public bus to the Moon Lake Park in downtown Ningbo for Just Sitting.

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凑巧园内梅花盛开,于是美美的在月湖赏梅一番。
It happened to be the season (early March, I guess) for plum blossoms. So many trees of flowers in various colors.

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最漂亮的是,风一吹时,片片花瓣飘洒,落英缤纷。适逢今天佛陀神变日(藏历元月十五),深深感受到花雨加持! 
The best part is when countless petals danced around in breeze. Indeed basking in the rain of flowers on Buddha’s Miracle Day (the 15th day of Tibetan new year). Namo Buddhaya.

紹興三天兩夜元旦遊 2 Days In Shaoxing

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自從Wordpress 在中國再度被封後,就沒有辦法用Live Writer 發博文。趁還有兩天在牆外,趕緊貼照片。

Since WordPress got blocked again in China, I have not been able to post via Live Writer. Hence the aspiration now is to post as many backlog pictures as possible while I am beyond the great wall.

元旦是去紹興過的。

紹興是老祖宗的地方。上一次去是1992年,印像最深的就是那青石板路、三輪車、綿綿細雨和也許是我幻想中的文人氣息。

I went to Shaoxing with some friends for the New Year’s Eve and the new year celebration. Some people needed to relax and to have a short retreat from work while some people like myself simply enjoyed a well-planned no-need-to-think-at-all trip.

Shaoxing is where my ancestors lived and the last time (also the only one time) I was here was in winter 1992, so exactly 10 years ago. It is a place famous for breeding advisers in the old days (as chief staff to governors and other high-ranked officials especially in the Ming and Qing dynasty) and wine.

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住的地方是禹陵村,號稱是大禹治水的那個大禹的家鄉,村人同大禹姓姒。

整個村子仿安曼被全部改建成一個旅館。車子停外面,坐那種高爾夫球場的電動車進村入住,村內只有住戶,很安靜。頗有中國式迪士尼主題公園的感覺。

旅館大堂供了一尊騎獅的文殊,還沒入住就覺得挺親切的。

We stayed in an ancient village of descendents of a great Chinese emperor five thousand years ago, Da Yu. In his time, those emperors/leaders dedicated themselves to benefiting people by works such as flood prevention and and they did not pass the helm to their own sons but to the most capable and wholesome person in the country. An amazing era!

Now this village has been turned into a five-star hotel, but they did a good job in preserving the original look. Each house is now a hotel room while larger houses serve as restaurant etc.

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111230 Shaoxing 027村內的餐廳外掛了一排臘鴨臘魚,適逢傍晚,西式打扮的廚子過來收蠟味。另有幾個小姑娘住客,自攜古裝來照相(看模樣還是學生,中國人的富二代有錢的叻~),於是成就了這麽一幅中西混雜、蠟味+宮女的古怪畫面。

This is a funny scene in the late afternoon. The restaurant staff dressed in western style were collecting sun-dried duck etc. on the street while some Chinese rich kids walking by in their self-bringing costumes for photo-taking. Hence a mix of western chefs, dried meat and Chinese palace maid in a small village.

村裡有烏篷船可免費乘坐。12月31日沒啥人,船老大無聊的在打盹,見到我們馬上眉開眼笑的問我們要不要乘船。
Free Wupeng boat ride is offered in the hotel. Wupeng boat is a traditional means of water transportation peculiar to Shaoxing, covered with an awning woven with thin bamboo strips and painted in shiny black, hence the name Wu-peng, literally meaning “black-awning”. Such a beautiful dusk on water.
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這是朋友的“房間”,非常之大。唯一美中不足的是,他們廁所的門是透明的,所以去上廁所前得探頭探腦、算算房間內有沒有人消失,以免自己成了不速之客。
This is the “room” of two friends, also our gathering place for all the evenings.
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這是我們的“房間”——平成街112號,兩層樓的房子,一樓是浴室和臥房,樓上是客廳和書桌。中國特色吧,樓上樓下各有一個超大電視,估計對有些人來說,在床上看電視是日常生活必需的一部分。很喜歡這條街的名稱,“平安成就”,大過年來住還挺吉祥的。
This our “room”, No. 112 of Ping-cheng Street, meaning the street of peace and accomplishment, very auspicious for the start of a year.
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村子夜景 night view of the village
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紹興市中心 Downtown Shaoxing

浙江富,建設好,但文化底蘊足,新舊夾織並存,沒有顧此失彼。
Shaoxing is a major city of Zhejiang province and ZJ is a very rich province. Fortunately although urbanization and economic development grew tremendously fast, they still preserve the traditional stuff pretty well.
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市中心的小丘“蕺山”是個散步和登塔眺望紹興市全景的好去處,旁邊有書院,山腳下有座古樸的大廟,廟外居民區還保持古色古香的樣貌,而且不是做做樣子,生活氣息非常濃厚。
In Jishan hill you can have a nice walk in the park and go up to the tower to have a birds’ eye view of the city.  By the hill is a nice old temple surrounded by a traditional neighborhood. Very kind and simple people. We even walked inside one old couple’s home to take a look at what it is like inside and what they are cooking for their children visiting later for the New Year gathering.
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我們頗為三八的跑到人家家裡張望,大叔大嬸正在為今晚回家吃飯的兒子烹調大餐。

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因為快過年了,街上各處掛滿了臘魚臘鴨風雞。阿彌陀佛。希望這些畜生已經往生極樂世界過個好年。

Because people are preparing food for the coming Chinese New Year in Feb, they use all the possible public areas to hang their fish, duck, chicken to be dried. Poor animals. Otherwise, you would usually see people hang their laundry, even underwear, all around. Definitely a scene only in China.

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不知紹興和雪梨是不是姊妹市,市中心廣場上蓋了一個雪梨歌劇院的山寨版公共建築。旁邊一個小公園倒挺好,有人在唱戲,唯一的觀眾就是閑閑沒事的船伕和偶爾經過拍照的遊客。這裡船伕的娛樂福利真是好。
They also have this funny building looked like the Sidney Opera House in a downtown plaza, right next to an ancient stupa and a park. In the park, there were people singing traditional tunes, with all the oarsman of Wupeng boats gathering together as the only audience. Life can be very simple and enjoyable for some people.

Food
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紹興隨便吃都不錯——千島湖農家菜、紹興飯店正兒八經的領導菜(響鈴好吃)。咸亨酒店是不得不去的“景點”,醉魚特好吃(我是不愛吃魚的人唷,都還忍不住吃完一小塊),臭千張我覺得很好吃,但是同行人都無法接受,個人覺得跟某些歐洲起司相比,其實是很ok的。太雕好喝,順口,10年、15年的都好。一大敗筆是環境跟我上次來的那個小店感覺完全不同,現在搞得跟食堂一般,隨時有旅行團大巴過來湧進百號人的浮躁感。

In general, very good food everywhere. Local dishes are delicious with their unique characters. If you dare to try stinky tofu, there are plenty of many other stinky-xxx local delicacies you can try here. Shaoxing Hotel used to be the best hotel in town and serves decent local dishes. Xian-Feng Restaurant is the most famous one in town where you can sample a bit of everything and purchase their famous wine. Just need to expect a lot of tourists there.

蘭亭 Lan-Ting

很靈的地方,地靈氣清,天下第一的《蘭亭集序》誕生地,果然不一般。
This is the place where Wang Xi-Zhi (303-361), the greatest calligrapher ever, created his best work while having an outing with some friends. Unfortunately we can only see its copy nowadays as the piece was so loved by an emperor that he ordered the original to be kept in his tomb for his accompany. The emperor was the father of Princess Wencheng, i.e. the father-in-law of Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo.
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告別···歸去 Last Walk Around The Hotel

臨走前在酒店又逛了一圈。見到一朵芭蕉花,船伕依然賣力的招呼客人。欸乃一聲過小橋,又是一年。
Before leaving, I took a long walk around the hotel village again. A banana flower stood in the coldness. The boatman continued to show hotel guests around with his warm gesture.  Another year comes.
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Reunion in Phuket 普吉小聚

120114 Phuket 008春節前,去了一趟普吉島。

上一次我們三人同遊是在外蒙古,這回其中兩人結婚生子,於是成了家庭聯歡活動——不過得不時提防一家的弟弟去咬另一家的哥哥。

之前對普吉這種度假勝地沒啥好感,去過之後,不得不承認人家歷久不衰還是有道理的。

首先,住的很好。可租可買的海景公寓,設備很齊全,再花200泰銖租個小摩托車,騎10分鐘車就到Kata海邊。

I took this trip to Phuket, Thailand before the Chinese New Year. It is like a reunion of three of us going to Mongolia together a few years ago.

Now the other two friends both got married and each has a baby son. So it is like holidays for two families. On top of everything fun you do in holidays, we also need to watch out the kids to ensure the younger one does not bite the older one.  (that is how Enzo likes to show his affection)

120116 Phuket 002之後搬去朋友的豪宅,晉升到七星級待遇,還附贈一個小朋友可以玩 🙂

I first stayed at a nice condo by Kata Beach ( in order to go to the beach, I borrowed a scooter and had my first ride after so many years. It confirmed that there are some things  you never forget)

Then I moved to a friend’s  beautiful villa. That is a really WOW place.

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(下面是 Kata Ocean View Condo 的房間隨拍。聽說明年已經幾乎訂滿了,現在主要是歐洲人和俄羅斯人在這裡。租房、購房請洽:www.oceanic-global.com/
Pictures of my room at the condo. It’s for sale or rent at www.oceanic-global.com. Mostly European tenants with emerging Russians coming to Phuket)
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Kata海邊人不致多到令人難忍。超級高興從寒冷的上海來到溫暖陽光下,而且終於有機會帶上一些買了很久卻還沒用過的東西:西班牙買的烏龜海灘包、日本的防水喇叭、印度的紗麗,加上德國的夾腳拖鞋和美國的太陽眼鏡,最近大概看了太多時尚雜誌,於是拍了這幅超級唯物的相片~
Kata Beach is nice as there were not too many people. I must have read way too many fashion magazines on iPad so cannot resist taking such a photo of materialism: my turtle bag from Madrid, water-proof speaker from Tokyo, sunglass from US, flip-flops from Munich, and the latest addition is saree from India which serves multi-purpose functions 🙂
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海邊雖有無數多餐廳,因為在曼谷狂吃了一圈,普吉第一餐決定吃路邊攤,就一份清爽的涼拌米線,然後買了山竹、芒果和龍眼回家吃。山竹吃到飽,呵呵。
Great salad for lunch and then fruits, fruits and more fruits for the rest of the day!
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躺在開冷氣的客廳裡,望著窗外不斷變化的海邊風景,從晴天到這個下午的海天層疊景色,大自然妙哉~
And one of my favorite parts is to watch the constantly changing view of the ocean while lying on the sofa. It changes from sunny blue sky to these elegant layers of colors from sea to sky!

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時間不夠去Similan Islands潛水,所以在Kata Oceanic View的介紹下,訂了這個Phi Phi島的一日潛水。

上了一艘俄國船,配到一位意大利的潛導,我們竟然還都參加過澳洲同一家公司Taka Diving的船宿潛水。

船上除了滿是俄羅斯人以外,還有兩個亞裔美國女孩令我大長見識!她們可是擦著眼影潛水唷,我還仔細觀察了,真的很防水,上來後,比我化妝5小時後還不掉妝。想像有人穿著泳衣加上舞臺濃妝…無語。

I did not have enough time for a liveaboard diving tour to Similan Islands and ended up taking a day trip to Phi Phi Islands. It was a Russian boat and guess what? full of Russian divers and all sort of alcohols. Of course, alcohols is only allowed after the last dive.

Also one eye-opening takeaway of the trip is that, as demonstrated by two American born Asian girls, you can have full eye makeups while diving. Wow, the waterproof cosmetic is certainly beyond my expectation.
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上面就是里奧納多拍The Beach的地方。人很多,還是在附近找個屬於自己的一方水天玩玩,比較自在。水是真漂亮。
Above is “The Beach” where Leonardo Decaprio shoot the movie. It was previously a rather unknown site, and now, thanks to him, it is pretty packed. Still, plenty of good sites to enjoy the water around the beach.
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總覺得這個船對著大岩塊的場景很眼熟,它們像是在進行某種特別的對話。
It feels like the rock and the boat are having a very special dialogue.

也還好沒去參加那個數日的潛水之旅。因為在上海重病,肺還沒全好,昨天才吃完最後一天的抗生素,今天就下海。第二潛時就覺得肺有點疼,為了避免永久性損傷,放棄了第三淺。才有時間拍了上面那些Phi Phi 島的相片。
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Overall, the visibility for diving in Phuket is not that good. Plus my lungs feel heavy and congested in the 2nd dive so I gave up the 3rd dive due to fearing that I had not completely recovered from the bad cold caught in Shanghai. ( What was I thinking? I only stopped antibiotics the day before diving…  Good that I did not do the 4 days trip to Similan Islands. )

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既然來了泰國,不按摩就太對不起自己。

第一天在海邊按摩店做泰式按摩,按摩員覺得我的背很僵硬,一直問我是幹嘛的,怎麽會把背弄成這樣?我都不好意思跟她説我是無業遊民。她可能以為我是窮學生,免費幫我做了運動按摩。

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朋友帶去的地方,環境就更好。附設Spa、蒸汽房和露天按摩池。

中國人也終於沒讓俄羅斯人完全霸佔普吉島,在這個按摩地兒,見到一團來自成都的大陸遊客。其中一位老先生,一進桑拿房,就“呸”的一口痰吐在地上!@#¥@《

我很努力的保持面不改色,內心一直祈禱高溫能把細菌都殺死,並且提醒自己千萬別踩到那個地方。最後,第一個憋不住跑出去的是他們自己人。

Spa and massage is of course on the must-do list. And I finally realized that the Bangkok airport massage price is several times of the prices in Bangkok downtown and Phuket!

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泰國是佛教國家,我們又全是佛教徒,所以也得去看廟。

Thailand is a Buddhist country and we are all Buddhist so we naturally went visiting the local temple.

廟的某些建築元素老讓我想到巴黎聖母院。
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上面左邊是高僧舍利,右邊是之前住持的蠟像。蠟像做的活靈活現的,我一進那房間就覺得毛骨悚然(很尊敬的悚然),還想搞不好是肉身佛。
To the left is relics of some highly realized monk of this temple and to the right is a statue of one of the high monks who passed away already. The wax statue was so vivid that at first I thought it might be a real body (many highly realized beings left their bodies without any signs of decay after they passing away)
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最後一天去了珊瑚島,主要是浮潛。
The last day we went to the Coral Island. Great weather, sunny but not too hot.
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年輕就是本錢,青春無敵!她們平均年齡不知有沒有10歲……
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略深的地方有海膽,有朋友不小心踩到,腳跟密密麻麻的都是刺。海膽刺很易碎,拔不出來的,導遊拿檸檬把刺都弄斷,讓我們自己人撒了泡尿,踩到水雷的就只能把腳浸在尿裡,等著尿把體內的刺給泡軟、化掉。晚上回家繼續拿醋泡。我開玩笑説你很愛吃海膽唷?她以前還真的蠻喜歡吃海膽蒸蛋。於是朋友一家人發願,從今年起,全家再也不吃海膽。
The visibility for snorkeling here is great. Have to look out for sea urchins though. A friend of mine unfortunately stepped into one 😦  Their family have an interesting practice of quitting one kind of meat each year to gradually become completely vegetarian. Therefore, naturally, the meat selected for this year is sea urchin.
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很喜歡太陽透過波浪映在海底的光明紋路,常常看著恍神,都沒有在看魚。
Love this light web of wave reflection in the bottom of the sea. Watching its wavy motion can bring me to trance.

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普吉吃的不錯,從泰國菜到意大利菜,都有好選擇。
A wide selection of good food, ranging from Thai to Italian. And we even found a jelly dessert same as something in Taiwan.

路邊攤還有賣跟台灣一樣的仙草,呵呵。
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很久沒喝酒了,最後一晚友人開了瓶紅酒,就因為我前晚説自己不喝白酒,這麽一來,不好意思又説不喝。果然一開始喝,就沒停的喝,連喝了四種酒,包括我愛極了的Limoncello。

副作用是一開始喝,就停不下來。回家後,把家裡各種酒類全部喝了一遍,當下感到“酒鬼大概就是這樣”。幸好過兩天就到了初一,再次斷除酒杯。

The last night in Phuket I started drinking again, from red wine, to Muscatel, to Mirto and the long-time-no-see Limoncello 🙂

The thirst lasted 2 days after I got back to the freezing Shanghai. I literally savored every single kind of alcohols at home except for vodka and finally quitting all again since the Chinese New Year.  Better stay away from anything that I may get addicted to.

Four Seasons Hotel Jarkata – a strange combination of tension and sweets

And I thought hotel in South Africa is super cautious when it comes to security – with numerous video cameras on the high walls and a locked gate!
 
Four Seasons Jarkata has two gates! Our car was stopped between the two and at least four security guards checked the hood, trunk, driver’s seat and even our seats. Moreover, we had to pass a scanner to enter the building. I wondered whether there’s any VIP around but it turns out to be their routine.
 
Yet Four Seasons does offer comfy room, coming with a big plate of chocolate, which makes it all worthwhile to go through the trouble. 吐舌頭