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In the days after Joe and Du Xue’s nuptials, the lot of us (Joe, Du Xue, myself, Joe’s dad, Craig, and Du Xue’s brother) spent a few days milling around Ganyu taking in the sights. One such sight was a nearby mountain made popular in the story “Journey to the West.” Originally a Chinese folktale, this story has been made into a popular children’s book and has recently become a 3-D animated movie. The mountain itself, however, has always been in 3-D…something to which our several hours of hiking can attest.

Following his father’s example of hospitality put forth the previous day, Du Xue’s brother, Du Yang, was adamant about paying for everything: our taxi to the mountain, our admission to the mountain, bottled waters, and some fun and games on the hike up. The mountain was fairly developed with a paved trail and several monasteries, temples, and other sights along the way up to the top. A few roadside stands had archery games for those who wanted a break from hiking. Once we reached the top and enjoyed the scenic mountain tea terraces and the hazy riverbeds, we were relieved to find that the foot of the climb was only a short gondola ride away.

    

    

Lest we forget, there were actually a few monkeys on monkey mountain. Go figure, right? Anyway, not 100% what type of monkeys these guys are, but if you force me to guess, I’d say macaques. Professors Tappen and McNulty, if you for whatever reason are taking a break from teaching Anthro 1001 and to read this, please let me know the correct identification. As for the rest of us, we’ll just admire how cute they are.

    

   

On Tuesday we left Ganyu. Du Xue’s family had arranged a van to take us to the airport in Lianyungang. Craig and I parted company with Joe and his dad at the Shanghai airport, and the two of us continued onto Macau. We originally woke up at 6:30 that morning in Ganyu and traveled via cars, planes, trains, buses, and a ferry for nearly 15 hours before arrive in Macau. When all was said and done, we dumped our bags at the hotel and treated ourselves to a huge late night dinner at a nearby Korean restaurant.

Macau is a unique melting pot of different influences. Until recently a Portuguese colony, Macau gives off an “East meets West meets Vegas” kind of vibe. There are highrise apartments with clothes on the line on every block, the streets all have Portuguese names, and many of the tourist attractions here are either preserved colonial buildings, big open European style plazas, or casinos. In general, Macau seems pretty small and very walkable. We did much of our sightseeing yesterday before heading to Coloane, the much quieter, southern part of the Macau peninsula.

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We checked into our posada after some brief difficulties trying to figure out which bus stop we wanted, and found ourselves a big Portuguese meal in the village of Coloane. Our digs here are much swankier than in the hotel in which we stayed the first night.

Tomorrow morning and afternoon we’ll spend in Macau, taking the evening to fly to Bangkok, Thailand. Once there, we’ll connect with an old high school friend, Jean, before hitting up the beach town of Hua Hin for a weekend in the sun.

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