Saturday, March 9, 2013

Passing Time in Paradise

Finally we were in Sanya! I had decided that this would be the highlight of the trip for me. I was ready to enjoy the sun, beach, and seafood! Only one thing was standing in my way-the stomach flu. Talk about bad timing. It lasted the entire time I was there. The nausea would come and go but it was the worst when I was being squashed on the hot, sweaty city buses that continually jerked and got even more crowded with every new stop. It was a main source of transportation.

In spite of this I still managed to enjoy our trip to China's paradise and on our second night there after an entire day at the beach getting nice and sunburned we found a massive outdoor seafood restaurant to eat at. 
I wasn't really up for pigging out on crustateans but I knew it would be fresh and oh so tasty- it was! 

When we arrived there were young girls everywhere trying to get us to come and eat at their section of the giant warehouse of a restaurant. I guess you have to fight for your tables here. We sat down at one right where it opened out to the street and were able to see some fireworks going off while we ate. Pretty magical. But before getting our food we had to communicate what we wanted and I've kind of specialized in learning the names of food in Chinese so I started trying to order. Once she realized that I could speak a little Chinese she took my hand and dragged me all the way to the back of the warehouse to her seafood suppliers. There were rows upon rows of aquariums with everything that you could possibly eat out of the ocean. It took a good 4 minutes to walk all the way from our table to there. This place was huge.

It was a little torturous standing back there around all the smelly sea creatures trying over and over again to communicate what we wanted and refusing her push for us to try this or that. I was starting to get really sick. Finally, after getting our order straight and paying for the seafood up front she took it to her chef who cooked everything to perfection. It was the best seafood I've had. We left with satisfied tummies but unsatisfied wallets. It was way overpriced (probably because of the holiday) but we knew we had to enjoy a seafood dinner at least once while on the island. It was worth it!

The following day we set out to relax at a luxurious Hot Spring spot in the hills of Sanya about and hour away from us. We had to take a couple buses and one taxi but we finally got there. The internet said we could catch a shuttle at a specific resort but turns out the internet lied. It's always an adventure trying to find your way around China.
Momma Olson I found another place with your name on it! China loves the name Linda hehe.
Right after taking the above picture to show Momma Olson we boarded our second bus of the day. We were on the bus for only a moment when we realized there was a full on Jerry Springer moment happening behind us. Claws were out, glasses were flying, and babies were crying. There's no telling what they were arguing about but it seemed to me like one woman defending her man and attacking another nearby man who got kicked off the bus with scratches down his face. Once he was gone we were on the road again still wondering what that was all about.

The spa was divine and a lot like the one we visited in Huangshan only full of people. They had a lot of different hot pools but it was so painful the first few minutes we got in the water. We thought our skin was burning off because of our sunburns. We didn't think that through all the way. We figured out techniques for entering hot water and managed to find some not so hot pools and all was right in the world again. 

Letting the fish nibble on our toes and tickle our feet.

The pool in the top right was my favorite. It was the perfect temperature and deep enough for me to swim around like a fish. We competed in your typical races, breathing contests, and handstand standoffs.

The bottom left picture is where they boil their special hot spring eggs. They tasted like normal boiled eggs but the Chinese probably believe they have some healing powers.

We spent the next day at a different beach than the one down the street from our hostel. This beach had much clearer water and was conveniently located next to the nudist beach. We didn't venture all the way down there and thankfully all we could see were crispy, tan forms of people.

Andrew, Rebekah, and I were the only ones who wanted to go to the beach and so we relished in our seaside afternoon together. She worked on her tan and Andrew and I pretended we were deep sea divers looking for treasures at the bottom of the ocean with our goofy goggles. It was one of my favorite memories of the trip. We shared a lot of laughs and found a lot sand dollars, shells, and coral.

After the beach we met up with everyone (but Wayne who got the stomach flu) at a Brazilian BBQ buffet where they bring meat to your table and shave it off a onto your plate. The pork was tasty but I stayed away from the little birdies. My favorite part of the meal was all the fresh fruit and cold ice cream. Mmmm.
Another great meal with the family we call friends. 

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