Word of Caution for Travel and Security Checks at Chinese Airports

Recently I found that some of the Chinese airport security personnel have changed their view on what is allowed and what is not in your carry-on luggage. In the US you are aware that 3oz bottles of liquids are OK through security as long as you can place all the containers in the required Ziplock bag. Not so in China. At a recent flight from Xian to Shanghai I was asked to leave behind my hand sanitizer liquid (a 2 oz bottle). In the previous days and weeks I have flown through many airports (I had not been to Xian for at least 1 year) in China and my hand sanitizer gel has never been a problem. I use it frequently as a way to quickly wash hands before meals etc. and when you are in a rush for the next business meeting, it does come handy….

Well, the security folks at the Xian airport decided that it is flammable and dangerous liquid as it was alcohol based 🙂 –> I wonder why they allow all these cans of beer on the planes then 🙂 and confiscated it. I tried to have a conversation and ask WHY, but in the usual manner I was told “Shi Guiding” — “it is the rule” — nevermind, there was no rule that I was aware of (or any of the other airports like Shenzhen, Shanghai, Nanjing, that I fly through relatively frequently)…. Oh, well, live and learn.

So, for those of you who plan to travel next, you may want to keep your liquids in your checkin luggage (even if they are of the required size).

Happy travels!

More on JiuFen and JinGuaShi Towns – a Day Trip From Taipei City

It took me a while to get back to writing about the trip to JiuFen and JinGuaShi areas. Work has been very busy and this has had an impact on how much time I can spend on the blog. But today, Saturday, I finally got to it… So here I go:

I mentioned about going to JiuFen. Yes, this is a worthwhile day trip from Taipei. There are many options on how to get there:

* Of course your own or friend’s vehicle 🙂 is a good one. Although be careful — parking in the area is quite challenging. A lot of people take the weekend drive into the mountains. There are some parking lots in the town and 4-5 hour stop will cost you around NT250-300

* Bus service from Taipei;

* Take the train — to Rueifang Station — here is a link to TRA: http://www.railway.gov.tw/index/index.aspx

What do you do in JiuFen? Well there are many options:
* Hiking — there are tons of trails some of which pretty steep (see the photos of the hills surrounding the town in this and the previous posting; You can see also Tea Pot mountain — interesting hill in the shape of a tea pot as the name would suggest;

* Visit the small museums:
– The Gold Ecological Park — in the town of JinGuaShi (next door to JiuFen), where you can see
a museum of all-wood Japanese architecture: The Four Joined Japanese Style Residence;
the museum of Gold;
The Crown Prince Chalet – associated with a strange story — the Chalet was built in 1922 during the Japanese occupation in expectation of a visit by the Japan Crown Prince (later he became emperor Hirohito) — oddly enough he did not visit, but the chalet was built nevertheless….Oh, well. Nice place to visit anyway 🙂
Visit one of the Benshan gold mining tunnels;

* Shopping: there is a pretty big shopping (ornaments, food, clothing, etc.) — here is a link to some of the shops
http://www.9sale.org/en/store_list.php

Another idea to consider is a weekend stay in the area. There are many single family bed and breakfast like hotels. I took a picture of one of them on this photo you can see the building on top of the hill on the left hand-side. This bed and breakfast place is owned by a lively 85 year old Taiwan lady who was very eager to give us all sort of pointers about the locale….JiuFen Street

Here are some more images from the shopping street in JiuFen:
Food Stall JiuFen Shopping Street Food Stall in JiuFen Another view of JiuFen Shopping Street JiuFen Shopping Street

And then some more of JiuFen:
View From JiuFen

Enjoy your trip!