Sanya, China

Feb. 3. Friday, 12:30pm. Well, Hong Kong is gone. We are in the South China Sea heading for a place called Sanya, China on the island called Hainan. Sanya is nicknamed “Asia’s Dubai”. You will see why after I send some photos. To the west of Hainan lies the Gulf of Tonkin and to the west of that is Vietnam. The Gulf of Tonkin was important in the Vietnam War. Sanya is a resort area that caters to wealthy Chinese and wealthy Russians. More to come about this place tomorrow.
This morning, El and I attended a historic presentation on the voyage of Ferdinand Magellan. The first man to circumnavigate the earth. One of his five ships (the Vitoria) did (he, actually, was killed by natives in the Philippines). The voyage proved the earth was really round. Many still believed it to be flat. He was trying to reach the spice islands (Indonesia today). Spices were very valuable to Europeans in the 1500s. For instance, seventeen pounds if cinnamon could buy an entire ship. His ships crossed not only the Atlantic but also the huge Pacific Ocean. The Pacific is so large, you could put all seven continents in it and still have space left over. He started out with five ships and 250 men. The voyage ended three years later with one ship and 18 men. Most of the sailors died from diseases like scurvy and battles with natives. Interesting, huh?
Feb. 4. Saturday, 3:00pm. Just returned from an excursion that took us up to a mountain peak (like in Hong Kong) to take photos on the city and bay. After that, we visited a beautiful beach. It was called Da dong hai beach. Hai means sea or ocean. Therefore, it’s Da Dong in the sea. You can guess what the other part means. I could really do some great comedy with this subject!!! But Ellen won’t let me do it. Darn it!!! Anyway, we bought a beer for under two bucks at Da Dong beach. It was a much bigger Dong (oops! sorry) I meant bottle (twice as big) than we are used to in the states and Ellen drank most of it . What a lush!!! After the beach, we went to a pearl factory and showroom. Ellen was given a free pearl that a worker actually opened an oyster to get. We are now wealthy beyond belief!!! We found out that there are two kinds of pearls. Fresh water and salt water pearls. The salt water type are much more expensive. They come in three main colors – gold, black, and white but there are other shades like grey and pink. Very expensive.
Here is something of a mystery. When we arrived this morning around six there were no lights on in the city. This is a city of hundreds of thousands of people. Tons of tall buildings and not one light in any window. Very strange, indeed. The weather was beautiful. Sunny, Low humidity and mid seventies. Can’t ask for better than that! We sail out of here at 4:00pm heading for Singapore. Photos = Sampan in Hong Kong and the “lush” downing a beer on Da dong beach. Bye for now. Signed, Poseidon
P.S. Thanks Barry and Tao for the China tips.Sampan.JPGSanya beer.JPG