HENAN AND XIAN CULTURAL TOUR: FOOD, HOTELS, TRANSPORT.
In any tour it is not just the itineraries. We have only twelve in our group, we, therefore, do not have a Malaysian guide to travel with us. We are linked by “WE CHAT”, so that any complaints would linked to Desmond, the boss of Mega Top Leisure Travel, and Henan Travel. All parts of china have a standard time, same with Malaysia. Desmond travelled from Penang to meet us at KLIA 1, Kuala Lumpur, to provide tags for our bags, multi purpose electrical devices, and offered other help, including RMB 1500 to top up food. (We spend every cent of that allocation.)
The connecting flight from Guangzhou to Zhengzhou went smoothly in both ways, even though both airports were huge, and international and domestic counters were far apart. We were met by our Henan tour guide on arrival. She was a very knowledgeable, capable and friendly guide, who provided Chinese tea for us in Henan. Our coach was fairly new and clean, accommodating more than thirty people for twelve passengers only. The driver was very skilful and careful. To show our appreciation we tipped both of them again at end of journey.
The hotels provided were reasonable, China (not International) 4 to 5 stars. The only complaint was no porter services at all. We have no idea how the Chinese rated their stars; sometimes a lower star could have better rooms and breakfast. Overall breakfast was excellent, and rooms were fairly good in some, and excellent in one or two hotels only. Meals provided were the usual RMB 40 – 50 each, compared with the best provided by other Malaysian Travels, with exception of RMB 60 each for lunch at Anyang, RMB 80 at Xian, and an excellent steamboat of lamb, beef, vegetarian meals at Xian, Muslim quarters. Each meal would have 12-14 dishes, in private rooms. We topped up some dishes, especially braised pork, beef or lamb. There were fairly good meals, not fine cuisine; some very novel local dishes. The Muslim steamboat was the best. The itineraries (spoiled a little by the rain), meals and hotels were good at Xian, made up for the poor tourist guide there. We attended two paid live shows; and they were not quite to our expectation. There was not allocated shopping in our visit at all.
That long broad noodle was called “biang”, a new word coined by the then scholar.The chef would kept banging the dough on the table bench and the noise produced was “biang”, hence the strange looking word, which appeared in Chinese dictionary. The gentleman who hold high the “biang” for photography was Mr. Chiam, a therapist par excellence. In my group there were two Point Therapists. They massaged us often after our long tiring walk. Our group photographs, and some individuals shots were snapped by Mr. Danny Wong, a professional.