Juliet Sinclair's Trips

Joined November 2016
  • Day6

    Day 5: Wuhan

    November 21, 2018 in China ⋅ ☀️ 57 °F

    Instead of having the boring hotel buffet for breakfast today, we chose various street food. Our rule is trying out the stall that has longest line. It didn’t take long for us for find such a stall, a line was constantly forming in front of this noodle shop. Steve and I got the Wuhan sesame sauce noodles, and Evan got spicy tofu noodles. I told the cook to make Evan’s noodles extra spicy and he delivered. Evan said it was one of the most spicy things he’s ever eaten! We also got a spicy meat pancake that’s cooked in stones (basically a layer of dough cooked between hot stones), which was very tasty.

    We then headed to Wuhan university. I had lived my whole life right here by the university, went to Middle school, High school and university here. The hill in the middle of the school was part of my playground. I had climbed this hill for so many times, had my first date with my first boyfriend at the age of 15 in this hill, shared our first kiss here. There are so many beautiful memories!

    For the first time in 20 years, I climbed this hill again. Nothing much changed, which is so rare these days in China! I recognized the stairs, the rocky slopes, the large holes that are likely fox holes during the war with Japanese, the forts that are long abandoned. I absolutely loved the experience!

    Walking around the university campus, the posters are advertising a large event to celebrate 125 years anniversary for the school. As one of top 10 universities in China, this school is also one of the oldest and biggest. Our 2 hour walk hardly covered 20% of the school.

    I was happy with the fact the school seems greener than 20 years ago, but sadly the outdoor movie theater is now a parking lot. Although my brother said they still show movies occasionally (just need to ask the cars to move out first). A small forest near the school grand entrance had been turned into a park.

    The more I walked, the less I recognized.

    I am glad I will always have Lujia Hill, the only place remain unchanged in China for me.
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  • Day5

    Day 4: Wuhan

    November 20, 2018 in China ⋅ ⛅ 55 °F

    We started the day with a buffet breakfast at the hotel, then headed to the Yangzi river ferry boat with my brother and mom. My father’s ashes were spread near the intersection of Han River and Yangzi River, which is in the path of the ferry boat ride.

    I used to take this ferry boat ride every day when I worked at the other side of the river. My commute consisted of a long bus ride from home to the river, then a ferry boat ride to the other side of the river, and then another long bus ride the other side of the river. One way trip would take me 2 hours!! Just recently, I had a nervous dream about not able to catch the bus to get to the ferry boat on time. Clearly this 4 hour commute still haunts me to this day.

    We arrived to the other side of the river, and visited a Wuhan history museum. I was happy that Steve and Evan had the chance to learn a bit more about my hometown.

    Wuhan holds a significant role in the history of China. After Opium War between Britain and China in mid-19th century, the Western winner of the war forced China to open its ports to allow the Opium trade (mainly for Britain to dump massive amount of Opium to China and made millions of Chinese drug users), Wuhan was the port that reached furthest inland for the Westerners. The city was then divided 5 ways among Britain, France, Russia, Japan, and Germany. The unfair treatment of Chinese by the foreigners caused deep unsettled feeling in the city, and a death of a paddler caused a uprising which resulted in a massacre.

    10/1/1911, a revolution to replace more than 2,000 years old feudal system with a republic of China started in Wuhan, which lead to the overthrow of Qing Dynasty. It became the first Capital city of the Republic of China. Then during WW2, it was captured by Japan, became a major port for Japanese Amy’s transportations. After WW2, 8 years of civil broke out, this city was once again a major battle ground due to its significance in transportation.

    After the Communist Amy won the war, Wuhan was once considered as the Capital of the New China, but they decided to choose Beijing instead.

    OK, end of the history lesson, back to the journal.

    My sister in law met us after our visit to the museum, with several bunches of white and yellow chrysanthemums. We then went back to the ferry boat, feathered at the tail of the boat. Once the boat started moving, we each took some flowers, and throw them into the river in remembrance of my father.

    Stood against the railing, I cried.

    I remembered when I was about 5 years old, my dad held my hand walking towards an outdoor theater to watch a movie. The moon was full, the summer night was hot, he was reciting a famous poem about the moon to me, and I recited back to him. I kept looking at the moon, wondering why the moon kept following us.

    I remembered one morning when I was a teenager, my dad forced me to get up early in the morning to climb a hill with him. The morning dew wet the bottom of my pants, the mist made the air cooler, waking me up from my sleepiness. Once we reached to the dirt trail at the middle of the hill, he started practicing his Tai Chi, and I started with my run against the rising sun.

    I remembered when I was preparing for my college entrance exam, I was studying none stop for many, many days. My dad saw my exhaustion, and took me for a walk against the sunset. We talked and talked, until the moon rise.

    The boat arrived, l said goodbye to my dad.

    At night, my brother and mom came to my hotel room. We talked until midnight, about my dad. After sharing many memories, we concluded that my dad was a flawed man, but a good man.
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  • Day4

    Day 3: Wuhan

    November 19, 2018 in China ⋅ ⛅ 52 °F

    Sitting on the balcony with some really yummy street breakfast food (varies fried dough and hot soy milk), enjoying the Shanghai magnificent skyline right outside of our apartment window, was the highlight of our trip in here.

    This Airbnb apartment is walking distance from subways, the Bund and Nanjing Pedestrian Street, which we took full advantage while staying here. I think it was really neat staying among the Shanghainese. A lady took interest in my family when we rode the elevator with her. She asked do you live here. I said no. She asked are you a guide for the foreigners. Before I answered she already concluded that no, that’s your son, right? I said yes. She then said your husband is very handsome!

    Generally people are curious but polite.

    Shanghai Railway station, according to Steve’s research , is the biggest railway station in the world with 1.3 million square meters!

    The high speed train only took 4 hours to bring us from Shanghai to Wuhan. We thoroughly enjoyed our first class seats with spacious chairs, large clean bathroom and nice services.

    It was an quiet and emotional reunion with my mom and brother. No tears, just a lot of talks about my father’s memorial service. We will be visiting his burial site in the river tomorrow.
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  • Day3

    Day 2: Shanghai

    November 18, 2018 in China ⋅ 🌧 52 °F

    Today is the only full day we have visiting Shanghai. We started the day with some really tasty soupy Potstickers. These little dumplings had soup inside and crispy bottoms. So yummy!

    We then headed to one of the biggest pedestrian street shopping centers in the world called Nanjing Road. You can find most of the fancy shops from all over the world and Chinese company flagship stores. Occasionally some shady characters would come up to Steve (seeing he is foreigner) and offering Rolex watch in poor English. I still remember I once bargained with a lady years ago near here. She offered Rolex for $10, I asked if she was willing to sell me one for $1, she was so offended that she walked off in anger. No such drama today; Steve simply walked away without saying a word.

    We walked through a really big Lego store here. The LEGO displays in this store are massive! They must’ve used hundreds of thousands legos for them! Very impressive works! Next door is one of the very fancy Starbucks that only serves reserve coffees. Steve ordered a pour over and said it’s delicious.

    Next stop, Yu Garden. This tourist site used to be the home of some very wealthy people in history. It’s originally built in 16th century, then continually being added with more elements throughout the history since. It’s a really big garden in the middle of this restless city, like a little calm oasis in the middle of constant chaos. The garden is built with many, many twists and turns, with beautiful flowers, interesting rock formations, ponds and tiny bridges. You simply have no idea how big the garden is when you first walking in. Then every corner of this garden offers more details, every turn offers a different displays of beauty. We enjoyed this site very much!

    Next stop, the second tallest building in the world, called Shanghai Tower. Due to rain and lower hanging clouds, we didn’t go to the observation deck because it’s in the clouds. So we walked through a massive underground system that offers many more fancy stores and restaurants, and then arrived at the famous Pear Tower.

    Since Peal Tower is Lower, we decided to go up. It offers 3 levels of observation decks at 360 meters, 296 meters and 250 meters. When we reached the highest level, it’s surrounded by thick clouds, we had to wait for breaks in the clouds to see out. The second tallest level was a bit more clear; we could see many high rises and had a nice view of Shanghai. The lowest level, which is still really high, offers glass bottom view, meaning you would stand on the clear glass and look straight down. People with vertigo should definitely not to attempt this.

    Dinner was at a restaurant called Xingdalu, a one star Michelin Star restaurant. This was the first time we went to a Michelin Star Chinese restaurant, and the food was indeed really, really good. Their attempt to reinvent tradition dishes was very successful. For example, a simple Mapo tofu had some really nice abs mild fish fillets in it, brought some tender sweetness to the spicy dish. The pork belly dish was magnificent!

    This amazing meal brought our day to a perfect ending !
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  • Day2

    Day 1: Shanghai

    November 17, 2018 in China ⋅ ⛅ 63 °F

    Visiting China for this Thanksgiving Week, and Shanghai is our first stop.

    Several years ago, we took the maglev train( Magnetic Levitation train) when we had a stopover in Shanghai but never exited the station. This time, since we plan to spend a couple days here, we took the train again. With the speed of 435 mph, we arrived our destination in 7 mins! So cool!

    Instead of staying at a fancy hotel, Steve booked an AirB&B apartment. Since it’s located within a normal apartment building, finding it among hundreds of apartment buildings proved a bit harder than a hotel. Fortunately the owner gave us some pictured instructions. It’s kind of neat to live among 21 million Shanghai residents for a couple days.

    As soon as we walked into the apartment, we were at awe when we looked out of the window: a magnificent Shanghai skyline displayed right in front of our eyes!

    Exhaustion didn’t stop us from heading to the Bund, and check out the skyline up close.

    After a satisfying Hotpot dinner at a famous restaurant, we walked alongside thousands and thousands tourists towards the Bund.

    The Bund is a very unique site: this waterfront area was the Chinese headquarters of most major financial institutions from all over the world during the colonial period, so there are many historical buildings at this side of the river. But if you look across the river, you will see one of the most impressive skylines in the world! Many architectural achievements are displaying their glories in colorful neon lights, welcoming visitors from all over the world.

    The stark contrast of the sights perfectly demonstrated the 2 Chinas: the old colonial China in Shanghai was once famous for the signs on its buildings read “Chinese Native and dogs are not permitted to enter”; the new China that has the development speed that is unmatched in the history, is changing the skyline of this city in daily basis, showing off the enormous economic power.

    After coming back to the apartment, with the ever changing neon lights from the high rises in my eyes, I have to say I am proud of my motherland.
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  • Day3

    Day 3: Singapore

    May 29, 2018 in Singapore ⋅ 🌧 81 °F

    Day 3: Singapore

    We met with Anna again today, to check out more unique places and neighborhoods.

    We started our day with an amazing tour of a unique museum called Intan. Alvin, the owner of the museum also lives here with his family. Started at the age of 7, Alvin became passionate about leaning his Peranakan (this unique culture started about 200 years ago when the Chinese men married Malay women) heritage, and he found he could do so by collecting antique pieces. The Peranakan families speak English at home, follow Chinese traditions for holidays, weddings and funerals, but follow Malay culture for food and clothing. The fusion of different cultures created some very interesting antique pieces that combined all 3 cultures. From our conversations with Alvin, you can tell he is very proud of his heritage, and very passionate about preserving it, which displayed in every corner of his house. After some traditional home made tea and treats, we left the museum/house with big smiles on our faces.

    We then visited Little India, the Bugis Street and the Malay center. It’s so strange to step into The Little India, it transported us back to India! The smell, the color and the people, were exactly same as what we saw when we visited India. Same can be said about the Bugis Street too. I thought I was back to China already! Right next to the Malay center is Arab Street with a masque, and the very next street over is one of the most trendy places in Singapore with bars and live music.

    Only in Singapore where you could be placed in a different cultures just a few blocks away!

    However, the absolute favorite thing for today is our dinner. The restaurant is called Nox - Dine in the dark. What an unique experience we had at this restaurant! Everything about it is top notch with attention to detail. The food is amazing, the service is full of caring and gentleness, a truly must do experience if visiting Singapore.

    We were greeted by our downstairs server with a warm smile, and he took a note of any dietary restrictions from us and served us drinks. We then put our phones and watches into a locker so nothing would create any light on our body.

    A blind waiter then slowly lead us to upstairs, which is completely pitch black! You truly can’t see anything! There were 3 course meals, each meal comes with 4 dishes. You supposed to eat from the 6 clock position, then move to 9 clock, 12 clock and 3 clock positions, to consume all dishes. The challenge was actually when I need to pour water out of a bottle into my glass.

    When we were not able to see what we were eating, our sense for tasting has heightened a lot. Everything tasted so much more intense and delicious. I especially loved the steak and fish dishes.

    Through out our dinner, we were guessing what we were eating. After the meal, they gave us a sheet of paper to test how much we could taste. Believe or not, we got more then 80% correctly. The waiter then displayed all the photos of our dishes, and explained every ingredient in the dishes. It’s so much fun!

    Another interesting day in Singapore!
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  • Day2

    Day 2: Singapore

    May 28, 2018 in Singapore ⋅ ☁️ 81 °F

    Day 2: Singapore

    We met with our tour guide Anna this morning. She is a proud Chinese Singaporean, who has vast knowledge of the history and architecture of this amazing city.

    We started our tour with a Temple in Chinatown, where seamen preyed for safe passage when crossing the ocean to reach Singapore for the past hundred years. There is one very unique thing in this temple that you won’t find it anywhere else in the world. There is a figure on the beam that’s holding up the roof, it supposed to be a British person. Because when the British East India company colonized this city in 1800s, they were the much hated overlords of the common people. Having this British guy holding up the roof in a very uncomfortable position was a subtle way for the people to show their hatred.

    Food is super important for this city. Due to its diversity of different cultures, the food here are a wonderful fusion of many flavors. The best places to experience this are the many hawker centers in the city. We visited 4 of them today and tried 8 very different dishes. Oh my goodness, everything we ate tasted amazing!! I was so full at the end of the tour I had to cancel our dinner reservation for tonight.

    I don’t know if you have heard of a fruit call Durian. People call it the King of Fruit here. It’s famous for its bad smell when opened and unique tasty flavor. Under Anna’s guidance, we had the chance to try it out. We had to hold our noses before we put it in our mouths, and try eating it without smelling it first. Only after we took the first bit were we allowed to use our noses again. Well, I have to say the taste is indeed very interesting, I cannot even describe it because it tastes like nothing I had ever eating before. After I took the first bit, I didn’t experience any bad smell. I guess Anna’s advice really worked! Will I eat this fruit again? Maybe.

    Another very unique thing about Singapore is their public housing. 80% of people lives in public housing here, and they are the nicest apartment buildings in the city! Rich, Middle income and Poor people all living together at the same space. The only difference is that the rich people can afford to buy the unit and the poor people need to rent it. But the living conditions are exactly the same!! What a truly innovative way to offer equality among everyone!! Anna said we are going to learn more about the process more in our tomorrow’s tour. Can’t wait!

    By the way, the public housing apartment building picture I showed in the post has the 2 levels of outdoor gardens (one at middle and one on the top) in the building. They are the largest in-building gardens in the world!

    The more I learned about Singapore, the more I fell in love with it!

    The day ends with a wonderful music and light show at the Garden by the Bay Supertree Grove.
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  • Day1

    Day 1: Singapore

    May 27, 2018 in Singapore ⋅ 🌧 82 °F

    Day 1: Singapore

    After a very nice breakfast buffet at the hotel (the pancakes they served were all precisely same size and really yummy), we walked to the beautiful Garden by the Bay park.

    The Flower Dome in the garden is a lovely botanic garden that has unique flowers from all over the world, and the Cloud Forest features a very tall indoor waterfall and a winding walkway through the vertical rain forest.

    We then crossed the river on the pedestrian bridge that double helix shaped, towards Singapore Flyer, the massive ferries wheel (one of the biggest in the world!). From the bridge, you can also see our hotel and the art museum at a nice angle.

    The view from the Singapore Flyer is very similar to the view from our hotel room.

    Steve and I then visited a Fish Spa, where you put your feet in the pool, allowing the fish to eat the dead skin off your feet. At the beginning I screamed a bit because it’s so ticklish when the fish were nibbling my feet. But after a while, I got used to it, and started to feel very relaxing. My feet feel so smooth afterwards!

    After a longer than intended nap time at our hotel room, we went to Candlenut, a restaurant specializing Strait-Chinese cuisine, very unique Singapore food. The food was very good and the deserts (all 5 of them when eating their tasting menu) were even better! Check out the gold on top of my tiny bit size cake!

    The plan of visit the rooftop infinity pool was canceled after realizing how tired we all were. Heading straight to bed after an amazing day!
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  • Day0

    Arrival Singapore

    May 26, 2018 in Singapore ⋅ 🌙 79 °F

    After 16 hrs of surprisingly pleasant flight (Singapore Airline is truly the best!), we arrived at our hotel: Marina Bay Sands.


    This hotel is legendary and massive! With hundreds of shops, restaurants, theaters and rooftop infinity swimming pool! We actually saw a show about this hotel at the Travel channel once, never thought we would actually stay here one day.

    Hotel room is big, the bathroom is really nice, love the balcony overlooking the bay as well.

    This is our home for the next 5 days. Can’t wait to jump into the famous pool, and explore the city tomorrow.
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  • Day3

    Day 3: Boulder, CO

    November 24, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 57 °F

    Today’s main mission was climbing a mountain! The Flatiron Mountain to be exact.

    After about 45 minuets of driving from Denver, we arrived at Chautauqua Park, where the trail starts. Looking at the mountain from distance, its imposing formations didn’t seem very friendly. We eagerly started walking toward it, couldn’t wait to conquer it!

    The first part of the trail is paved, weaving through the meadows going upward. The dirt trail was followed by rocky road and lovely trees. As we climbed higher and higher, the trail became increasingly more difficult. Some parts required us to climb with our hands on the ground.

    We were surprised at how many people brought their dogs with them, and that those obedient animals were all really well behaved and had no problem climbing the large rocks.

    After more than one hour of climbing, we finally reached the top of one of the peaks. We were met by a very strong and cold wind. That didn’t deter Evan from climbing to a notch at the edge of the cliff, telling me to take a photo of him. My body was swaying in the wind, my hat was about to be blown off the mountain top, and I was having trouble holding my phone to take a photo. So Steve climbed to the edge of the cliff and took a photo of Evan. I told them to come back from the edge. I only dared a couple of peeks of the lovely valley 1,400 feet below us, trying not to imagine Evan slipping and falling. I couldn’t even look at him as he made his way back from the notch, climbing at the very edge of the cliff against the strong wind.

    We met a very nice lady from CA, about 60 years old. I was very impressed she made this far all by herself. She took some photos of us and I took some of her. Believe or not, she was brave enough to also climb to the notch so Steve could take photos of her sitting there, inches away from more than 1,000 feet drop. Good for her!

    We continued our climb towards the peak next to us but we had almost run out of water. Not knowing exactly how far away the next peak was, we turned back.

    Climbing down was a lot easier than going up! Although many times I had to use my hands to hold the rocks behind me, and place my feet at the tiny holes, so I didn’t slip too far down. Unfortunately, this was also the moment when I realized that my walking shoes have lost most of the traction, placing me in more danger of slipping. Fortunately, when I did slip, it happened at less dangerous places. Well, god reason from me to get new shoes! YAY!

    Once we got back down from the mountain, we drove to Downtown Boulder, took a well deserved break at a local coffee shop called Laughing Goat.

    Our next destination is Estes Park, which is located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountain National Park. We started our one hour drive in the lovely mountain roads. By the time we arrived at the Estes Park, we noticed a lot of police cars around and many families with kids walking on the road. We didn’t think much about it and went to a nice restaurant, and had a great dinner.

    However, after dinner, as we were trying to leave the town, we realized that the whole town was blocked off for their Thanksgiving parade! We drove around and around, couldn’t pass the police barricades. Finally we had to stop the car and asked a policeman for directions to our hotel. He was nice enough to point a way out of town for us.

    After much twists and turns, we finally arrived at our hotel called Della Terra Mountain Chateau, and checked into our mountain cabin. After we turned on the cozy fireplace, everything was all good!
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