Interlaken at Shenzhen

July 5, 2010 at 11:37 am | Posted in me | 2 Comments
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Interlaken is a famous, beautiful tourist destination in Switzerland.  It looks like this:

The Chinese, being industrious imitators, have adapted and recreated the idea 20 minutes east of Shenzhen, rather close to where I work (The entrance is a 10 minute taxi ride from my factory) in a large valley.  That was my destination for my weekend holiday trip with my parents: Interlaken OCT, Shenzhen.  Therefore, what I actually saw when I got there, was this:

But first, some background.  Less than a week before this holiday trip, there was an accident in their amusement park section, where some electronic failure on some revolving octopus thing threw some carriages at others and killed a few people.  So they closed that entire section of the park, which meant that I could not go and get myself killed.  The first exposure that we got to the place was the lobby of the Interlaken OCT hotel, which we weren’t staying in.  Instead we would be residing at some other Interlaken hotel on the other side of the valley.

Check out that awesome lobby entrance that wasn’t ours.  What was left of the entire place were a tea place high up in teh valley, the Interlaken middle area and a plant-related section.  The amusement park section, which is what the name of the entire area is named after, resides at the bottom of the valley, closest to the main entrance.  In a way, it kind of resembles what being Chinese is all about – we like, this that and the other, so let’s mix it all up into one big pizza and everyone will love it!  Which is how you get disgusting pizza topping combinations at the local Hong Kong Pizza Huts.

The first thing we did was get soaked.  The temperature was in the high 30s all weekend with blue skies, the aftermath of a week of heavy rain.  While I would have squirmed uncomfortably in the past, long range hiking has completely desensitized me towards walking around with a sticky shirt, so I bore with it.  We had lunch first, high up in the tea stream valley.

Lunch was decent, though there was too much red on the chicken pieces for my mum’s taste.  We then had some free time before dinner, where we watched a show, walked around some plants and went on a train.  The heat was compounded by the fact that, like many other places in Shenzhen as far as I know, they skimped on the soap and the air-con.  The soap in the washroom had hardly any oil-removing qualities, and the air-con is minimal.  And it hit 40 degrees, which can probably explain how everyone at the show was nodding off.  The circular train trip was very relaxing though, and helped provide a few photos which can explain more about this imitation Interlaken. (Interlaken + imitation = interlakimitation?)

There was a suspended bridge that wasn’t wobbly.

You can see parts of the tea valley in the background, behind that squinting alien in blue.

The view from the train was not only spectacular, but it also helped exhibit the best (read – most profitable) qualities of the entire area: private houses.  There are around 200 or so properties, located at privacy-protecting distances away from the crowds that have all been sold out.  Prices are reportedly around 2000 RMB per square foot, with each house being around 2000 square feet.  My numbers could be wrong though, I’ve forgotten most of it already.  Nevertheless, all sold out, at inflated prices due to demand.  The third photo is completely unrelated and is just a view of one of their planty bits.  The first two however, is just a cash machine.

Here are some other photos I took before dinner:

We had TCBY because it was so hot.  I can assure you that it had negligible air-conditioning.  Speaking of which, I don’t recall seeing any TCBY shops in Hong Kong anymore. :/

Deli menu.  Obviously, they still need help with English.  The prices were outrageous though.  One can of coke was around 10-15 RMB.  330 ml!   I can get a 600 mlk bottle of Pepsi at the store opposite the factory where I work in China for a mere 2.50 RMB.  Regular lunches at the restaurants were in high twenties and thirties.  Fortunately, they had a branch of KFC there which had medium sized cups of soft drinks for 7.50 RMB.

The views though, are gorgeous.  In fact, it’s so pretty I saw 5 different couples taking wedding photos there.  of course there is a photo studio right inside the hotel ready to take advantage of that.  Didn’t check the prices though, I’m still very aware that all the looks are highly artificial, and that the design wasn’t a result of some natural evolution, but some silly designer under the instruction of an overeager client.

What’s that pigeon doing on the parade train track?

It won’t work, there’s no parade today, you silly pigeon-brained thing.

Dinner!

Cans of Wang Lao Ji (王老吉) were retailing at 12 RMB a can.  It was so hot we didn’t care about the price :/  The air-con in this restaurant was better though, just not at Hong Kong levels of iciness yet.

AFter dinner we headed back to our hotel, a car-themed blob on the side of a mountain.  In addition to having regular rooms, they also rented deluxe immobile caravan homes. (immobilised mobile homes)  I was paired up with the 18 year old kid from another family, who wanted to stay up and watch football.  Unfortunately, it was only 8:30 pm, and we had time to burn.  So I took an extremely early shower and headed to bed and read Aria and Amanchu!.

I feel that it looked futuristic so that it would be easier to clean.  Also, their idea of an automobile-themed hotel consisted of the same bunch of 20 or so framed prints of various supercars and concept cars hung up periodically along the corridors and inside the hotel rooms.  Also, note the lack of a second bed. 😦 So unfortunately, we had to share.  I took right, which was closer to the door.  The first match, Germany against Argentina, was awesome.  I was predicting a 3-2 win for the Germans, but that notion was pretty much smashed after the 3rd minute of the game.  He waned to stay up for the second match, while I didn’t actually care, but we eventually settled for waking up at 3:30am to watch the second half.  It was boring.  Spain had brilliant passing and hopeless finishing, because Paraguay had all their people defending and 1 guy up front, whom they would fail to lob long-range passes too every time they gained possession.  Until Spain scored a goal so that we wouldn’t have to watch them grind it out during overtime and take penalty shootouts.  In the end, I effectively had 4+2 hours of sleep, interrupted by a midnight match.

The next morning’s breakfast buffet was not noteworthy.

Our first destination was a 1970s Russian aircraft carrier, which got sold to the South Koreans after the cold war, who had to sell it to the Chinese at half-prices during the Asian financial crisis.  The Chinese spent 3 times the cost of the price they paid to renovate the ship (much of it paid to tow the ship all the way down to Shenzhen) and turned it into a tourist destination.  Meet the Minsk.  Me, being me, this place did not stroke my interests…much.  You can pretty easily see that I was not paying attention to the tour guide much.

Their souvenir stores however, were of great interest.  Apparently I wasn’t supposed to take photos, but I had my earphones on ( and mp3 player off), so I could pretend to ignore them.

Check out that totally relevant swag.  And golden rocket launcher. And…spades?!  Cue photos of squinting alien in …white and purple shirt.

I think they had Chinese and Russian fighters.  Check out that helicopter blade.  Said helicopter, probably some MiG thing, had a face like a garoupa.

Their English still needs working on.

Sitting in the harbour, you could see Hong Kong from the side aircraft carrier.  Bits of Sai Kung at least.  The weather, as you can see, was superb.  The view however, is marred if you turn your head a bit more left.

More photos before we move on.

Our next stop was lunch, on the TOP floor of a restaurant on a hot day.  No chilliness of air conditioning could push back the heat of the roof.  After lunch, we went to the Shenzhen museum of Shenzhen history.  The building is actually rather well designed, with a giant open space in the middle.

That’s the roof, followed by an example of how very realistic the models were.  Every single one of them.

They even had this, a stereoscopic 3D television.  No glasses needed.  It made me want a 3DS.  This is the sort of technology I think they’re using on the new system.  For the final destination of the trip, we went lychee picking at a farm.  I had one.  I walked around, plucked one and had a second.   And then I stopped and walked back to the bus, because it was too hot outside.  You were allowed to eat as much as you want straight off the trees, and any you carried out had to be paid for, at 10 RMB a pound.

Spot the lychees!  See the beautiful weather that was boiling hot in real life!

We then went back to the Hong Kong, where my mum cbf-ed to cook dinner so we had a buffet dinner at the Cityview hotel right next to the YMCA and Kwong Wah Hospital.  They prepared baked Alaska on the spot for dessert.  After which I left early so that I could go to Sino centre to buy a copy of the Borderlands double game add-on DLC pack for the price of the entire set of Borderlands on steam today.

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2 Comments »

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  1. Hey, Leo! First off, this was “posted in me”. Why does that sound awkward?

    Anyway, awesome mini-holiday! I’m having a long holiday and so far I’ve been doing nothing but mana training on Tibia. Yay.

  2. This small blog on Interlaken had some great photo shots and some real good info on the beautiful town. Seems like it was a great trip. alan


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