of seeing of Dominic Chan (64) and Cecilia on board the Diamond Princess when our former CUVO (香港儲蓄互助社協會志願助理團) gang took the 22-days cruise from Vancouver to Tianjin (天津); and then, flew to Chengdu (成都) for the 14-days Sichuan (四川) tour.
On board the Diamond Princess, we visited cities of Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway; cruised the Glacier Bay and College Fjord; celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival; and terminated the first segment of the cruise in Whittier.
Diamond Princess continued crossing the Bering Sea with six (6) days at sea; hit with huge waves as high as the dining room located at Level 6; berthed at ports in Muroran (室蘭), Valdivostok (海參威), Busan (釜山), Dalian (大連), Qingdao (青島); and finally disembarked in Tianjin (天津), where we chartered mini-buses for the twelve (12) of us at all the ports except Valdivostok.
In Muroran, we visited the Hokkaido (北海道) natural beauties, Muroran sceneries, the cape and hot springs; sampled the Tarabagani and Kegani, the 2 of 4 most popular crabs in Hokkaido, of which the former cost about US$100 each. On top of the crabs, we ordered the maguro toro sashimi; sea urchin and pork ramen. John, our wine connoisseur, treated us with the best sake he could buy at site to go with the seafood lunch. Upon returning to the Diamond, we were beaten farewell by huge groups of local school performers.
In Valdivostok, we joined the Princess city tour; visited sightseeing spots and museums; broke off from our beautiful tour guides; looked for our pre-selected Aomz Kynbpa Café for lunch; and stopped by at the Tortoniya Confectionary House upstairs for coffee and dessert en route back to the Diamond.
In Busan, we visited the Beomeosa Temple (梵魚寺); continued to go to the famous Jagalchi Seafood Market; sampled different kinds of kimchi, grilled fish, sea urchin; and seafood fondue at one of the many local restaurants upstairs. After lunch, we visited the Gamcheon Culture Village; mingled with the local people on the streets; and finally, our ladies dashed to the shopping mall for last minutes shopping spree before returning to the Diamond.
In Qingdao, we were welcomed with the lion dance upon arrival. The chauffeur took us to the Dadaguan (八大關) Scenic Area; strolled along the Shanhaiguan (山海關) Road; visited the Huashiliu Castle (花石樓) which was once resided by the Chiang. We then visited the Tsingtao Beer Museum built in 1903; drank the bottomless draft and raw beer as we didn’t have to drive. Without exception, we tried some local seafood before returning on board.
In Dalian, we had a catching up to do on the road. My nephew, a Canadian from Calgary, working and living in Dalian, contacted us by cellular phone and decided finally to meet us at the “huabiao” pillar (華表) at the Xinghai Square (星海廣場). After his boarding of our mini-bus, he guided our chauffeur to take the picturesque shoreline, the Binhai Road (濱海路); and led us to the DaQingHua Dumpling Restaurant (大清花餃子) for lunch. Though we were not that hungry to start with, we ordered eleven (11) kinds of dumplings plus other dishes and consumed them all happily ever after.
In Tianjin, we disembarked at the port; checked into the Holiday Inn and picked up another couple before starting our day tour. We visited the Tianjin Radio & TV Tower, viewing the city atop; had lunch at the Goubuli Restaurant (狗不理); sampled the famous “goubuli” buns and other local dishes. After lunch we visited the Jing Yuan, Garden of Serenity (靜園), where Puyi (溥儀) lived after his overflown from the Forbidden Palace. Then we toured around the Italian Style Town and the Tianjin Ancient Cultural Street Tourist Area before returning to hotel for dinner. Early next morning, we flew to Chengdu and start our 14-days land tour in Sichuan.
Please check the photos.