In our sixth hour of being airport refugees at the Hainan Mei Lan Airport. This has been truly a memorable experience…livin’ the ghetto life.
The last few days have been packed with adventure as we explored what we could of Sanya.
Saturday, February 18 2012
After Betel Nut Valley zip lining, West Island scuba diving, & Little Fish Hot Springs on Saturday, we returned to our hostel area to explore. We took these 1RMB bicycles to “explore the city”, but got jipped since it was rigged – they took us to a restaurant they clearly had connections with and dropped us off while selling the food and “authentic ambience”. We took one look at the menu and left. We decided to walk all the way back to the hostel.
We spotted EFC, which turned out to be a complete ghetto KFC copy, China edition. Blegh, lower prices but way worst taste.
We ended up returning to our favorite Halal noodle shop for freshly made noodle shop. I completely KO-ed while eating, and don’t remember how I got back to my hostel when I woke up on Sunday. Drunk on sleep (or lack thereof)?
Sunday, February 19 2012
We checked out at noon, stashed our belongings, and promptly returned to the noodle shop. The family that owns the business were amused, especially when we asked for a group picture with the head noodle maker. All of China on that street did their characteristic stare.
I left a message of thanks for driver Little Chen, and we enjoyed Sanya Bay Beach under the golden sun.
We bused it to DaDongHai Bay, sipped on a coconut, and walked along the beach. I sang a song at the big open air Karaoke Bar. Although the music was so loud, I felt so happy to finally sing again.
Next came the main attraction: motor boating and banana boating!!! It was sooo much fun! First was the banana boat, and K & I managed to only fall into the ocean 1.5 times. Vincent & Henry were less lucky, with Henry enjoying a full mouthful of the salty sea water. Water kept spraying in our faces and I was basically blind, but it was pure exhilaration.
Next was the motorboat. I mounted the jet ski with a coach behind me, and shooted out into the water. I enjoyed making fast turns and revving up speed that my coach almost fell into the water. Oops.
We enjoyed the beach immensely, and our time was filled with random but cool experiences, i.e. life sized Micky & Minnie Mouse and Chinese sheep character Xi Tai Lang strolling along the beach while Henry photobombed and bemused them with push-ups and exciting poses.
We left the beach and exercised on outdoor Chinese gym equipment alongside old people, and witnessed this crazy pro gymnast with muscles of steel twirl himself on the double bars.
After taxi-ing back to our hostel, we decided it was essential that we try Hainan chicken before we departed, and we did just that. It was decent, but the duck tasted AMAZING.
There was a time crunch as we needed to make the 10pm train back to Haikou, so the four of us split up and used our combined efforts to flag down a taxi during peak hours. Jay-“running” across those broad busy streets with plenty of traffic was pretty intense for me as the clock was ticking.
We finally hopped in a taxi, and I had a great chat with the super friendly cab driver about Hainan, my views on Chinese people, and progress.
The 10pm train was the last train to leave the station, so our train was relatively empty. Haiku greeted us two hours later with a 10 degree weather drop and only one taxi left in the taxi queue. To achieve peace of mind and conserve funds, we opted out of karaoke to stay at the airport.
Monday, February 20 2012
Little did we know, our airport experience was ghetto at the start. The gate was blocked since all flights had already departed for the day, so we had to trudge up the ramp with our luggage on foot. A few ten minutes later, we were ushered by security to the first floor since they would close it until 5am.
We were dismayed to find people strewn out over the seats everywhere. At 2am they turned off the lights. 3am we huddled on the floor next to a pole with a charger. 7:13 am and here we are, livin’ the high life stretched across 3 chairs.
Will keep updating.