Sun, Sea, Sand & Spa @ Sanya 19 – 23 Oct

Our first official family holiday to somewhere else besides our kampung, S’pore.

I had my weeklong mid-term break and we had planned for this trip months before. Original venue was Phuket, but flights were already fully booked at the beginning of September. I had heard about Sanya, being the PRC version of Hawaii, and since we are beach bums, we decided to go there instead. Sanya is just about an hour-ish flight time away from HK and we were fortunate to get a pretty good family getaway package at Kempinski Resort & Spa.

Overall, we are pleased with the resort. TJ had loads of fun running around in our deluxe ocean view room and climbing up and down the king sized bed. D was pleased with the balcony which was his cigar-smoking zone. The free internet access was a godsend although I couldn’t access Facebook, Youtube or blog cos all these sites are banned in PRC. So I had less distractions and more time to start on setting my share of the SA1 paper, which I did after TJ slept. Yup, I took work along on the family holiday. 😉

Bedtime was horrid on the first 3 nights, TJ just didn’t want to sleep until close to 11 on the first night and around 10 pm on subsequent nights. I don’t blame him, TJ is so used to sleeping in his own cot since he was born and this was the first time he had to sleep with us, in a new and exciting environment. Still we tried to keep to his routine but it was tough. I tried carrying him, rocking him, patting his butt, but TJ is so heavy now for me to do that. And when he was too tired, he would scream and cry before falling asleep with me holding him on the bed. And when I tried to peel myself away from his grasp, TJ would scream, squirm onto me and hold me even tighter. This went on a few times, and I was held hostage.

Even though we all slept on the king-sized bed, which technically meant there should be enough space for 3 of us, it was not so. Our son who slept between us would push and kick us to the edge of the bed, and when he couldn’t nudge or elbow us any further, would wake up and cry murder. There were good days and not so good ones and woken up by TJ at around 6ish one morning wasn’t something I expected on a holiday.

We didn’t get to make sandcastles on the beach but managed to take short walks there. And we only used the huge pool on two days before the topical storm poured continuously the next 2 days and nights. Still we were very fortunate to get those 2 days of good weather, ‘cos my student’s mum (saw my student and her family at the airport while waiting for our flight back to HK), that it rained for 4 days and nights over at the Ritz, where they stayed. Apparently it rained on more days over at Yalong Bay, where the fancier and better 5-star resorts were located.

The rain continued without lightening up, we were getting quite bored with staying in the room and watching Thomas and Friends. After a slow breakfast, I took TJ to Kidz Kempi, the resort’s indoor kids club and stayed there for close to 2 hours while he played with the many toys and kept himself entertained.

Food was ok, lots of selection at the daily breakfast buffet and for dinner, we just had BBQ buffet at Paulaner Brauhaus since it was included in our package. It got kinda boring after the 2nd night, so we supplemented the usual BBQ spread with ala carte stuff from the menu. D and I had the brewed beer only on the first nite and subsequently had our glasses of chardonnay instead. TJ wasn’t too keen at mealtimes, and didn’t eat as much unlike at home. Think he missed homecooked food, but on the last nite, I realised that I could order rice and stir fried veg at Paulaner Brauhaus, and fed that to TJ together with some of the BBQ chicken. He was happy to eat rice and drink the clear soup but not the angmoh Potato cream soup.

We braved the rain on 3rd day and took the free car ride to the supposed “shopping” strip at the city area. But it was raining so heavily that roads were flooded and by the time we got to the city area, we just zipped through a very boring “mall”, went to check out the supermarket and bought a few cans of coke, some imported kids cookies from Korea and Koka cup noodles (S’pore Laksa & Tom Yum flavour and imported from our kampung). Macs was next to the supermarket and we decided to ta bao our lunch. TJ had his first Fillet O Fish burger, and he almost finished the entire burger. On the way back to the hotel, we took the taxi and prayed hard during the entire ride that the flooded roads would not stall the cab and leave us stranded. The only person who was totally relaxed was TJ, who fell asleep in my arms, while D and I had this perpetual cramped look on our faces each time the driver revved the cab to keep it going, drove quite fast in the pouring rain and wet roads and talking on his mobile phone (no handsfree) at the same time.

D and I each saw two young kids, one a baby girl of maybe 7 months old at the supermarket and an older boy who was about TJ’s age at Macs. What caught our eyes was that both kids had their underpants on and no diapers. So what right?!? Except that their underpants had a huge tear, stretching from the front to the their butt crack for ease of pee and poo. We don’t think this is a fashion statement, and understand that diapers are expensive. But having the kids so exposed in that manner, with their genitals all exposed to the elements is very disturbing to us. The boy at Macs was seated on the table, and seriously, his exposed butt and all is on the table, which may not be clean to begin with and what about the next customer who comes in and eat at the same spot? So we are wondering, what is the point of wearing that tattered piece of underpants when what should be protected isn’t.

On the 2nd day, D did a 40-minute dive and he was very disappointed with the so-called good divesite, he reckons some divesites at Sai Kung are way better. In fact, he was also not impressed with the dive shop, especially since he was told that he would take over the BCD and the air tank from the previous client at the dive site, and that the air tank had only about 150 bars left. Anyway, D was so bored during the 40 min dive that he just wanna get it over and done with.

The day before we left, I treated myself to a relaxing Swedish/Thai massage and a facial at the Angsana Spa, pure bliss and relaxation for 2 hours. TJ had his afternoon nap, while D watched over him, while I took some time out for myself. Actually, 2 hours wasn’t enough but at the back of my mind, I didn’t want to stay too long away from TJ either.

The sun finally came out on the day that we were supposed to return to HK, double drats, but it was still a great family trip. The weather could have been better, but what matters is the time spent with the people who matter the most and creating memories for ourselves.

Photo Slideshow here.

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