it was my first visit to the skypark and i made it all the way to the top, where the infinity pool is located.
take me back to the years.... when life was carefree
i first heard of 'lake entrance' when a returning student from melbourne was talking about some of the places she had visited during her university vacations. apparently, she liked the place very much. i had wondered why a lake would have a entrance when it was supposed to be a body of water surrounded by land. now, after visiting the place, i have a better idea of how the name was derived.
lakes entrance is a man-made channel - which is dredged regulary - that links the bass strait and the tasman sea to a number of lakes in the gippsland. the three main lakes are king lake, victoria lake and wellington lake. this part of victoria seems more popular with the locals than with the tourists. overseas tourists will rather go to phillip island, which is also in the same area, the gippsland, to watch the fairy penguins.the cunninghame arm bridge (in the above picture) is a footbridge that takes you from the town of lakes entrance to the 90-mile beach. the actual length of the beach is slightly more than 90 miles (144km).
we stayed in this rented house on a hillock that overlooks the lake. it is indeed a wonderful getaway - quiet surroundings and good view of the scenic lake. i think we paid aud$275/night, shared out among 3 families, it came up slightly more than $91/night per family.
since we did not go fishing or cruising, we did some land tours, visiting the nicholson river winery and a brewery, where we had lunch. we had wanted to visit the buchan fairy cave but changed our mind because of the changeable weather.
the giant pandas like to climb trees and stay up there after they have had their meal. on some trees you can see as many as 6 or 7 pandas. pandas are actually quite shy animals; if the visitors make too much noise, they will move away from the edge of the enclosure. the panda population at the base has increased from 6 giant pandas rescued from the wild to more than 80 today.
those who have done their tour planning will normally take the bus to the 'top', where the long lake is, and make their way down. on the second day, you could start from the primeval forest and cover the other side of the 'y'. for those who like to trek, there is a trail, with extensive boardwalks, that leads all the way from the top to the entrance gate, a distance of some 30km.
most visitors to jiuzhaogou would combine a visit to huanglong. it is a good idea to start with a visit to huanglong because if you have already seen jiuzhaogou, then huanglong is not going to make much of an impact. the attractions are quite similar except that those at huanglong seem less spectacular.
many people are not aware that not one of the clay figures was found intact when they were unearthed. all the warriors on display at the various pits have undergone reconstruction and restoration. another thing that most people do not know is that the terracotta warriors were not always of that dull colour. once they were very colourful, being painted with laquer of different colours.
what is really remarkable about the terracotta warriors is that they are life-size and they are all unique. each warrior is different from the next; no two warriors look the same though most of them wear the moustache in the same style.
although thousands of warrior figures have been unearthed, very few of them have been taken out of china because they are considered priceless treasure of the nation. when i was in xian viewing the thousands of pieces, there was an exhibition in singapore at the asian civilisations museum featuring a few pieces of the terracotta warriors. i think the first exhibition outside china was held in europe. it was reported that the responses in europe were overwhelming.
only a few visiting heads of state have had the honour and privilege of viewing the famous clay warriors at close range. these few people, including queen elizabeth of england and president clinton of the usa, were taken down to pit one to be up close with the pottery soldiers.
what i find particularly mystifying about the uncovering of these artefacts is that according to some projections, there are more than 8000 of these figures but so far only about 2000 have been unearthed. why have they slowed down the excavation process?
according to some friends i have checked with, the authorities are waiting to acquire the technology to take out the figurines from an area that has been flooded with mercury. it has been reported that toxic mercury vapour is present in the area where the emperor was buried.
like everything else in china, not all the terracotta warriors that you see in china are authentic. there are a number of potteries that make these figurines for sale and they look very much like the ones on display at the museum in lintong.
i have seen terracotta warriors in the compound of a transport company in kranji.