Category Archives: Tantou Island

TANTOU ISLAND: heading home

We had a really nice time in Tantou Island, despite some of the craziness we experienced. I had a lot of fun making friends with people in my group, they’re a great bunch. They do say adversity brings you together, and it’s true ;) And though I wouldn’t do it again (I have to admit I do like my little luxuries), I’m really glad I went, because it was hella fun and such an experience. If you’re into camping-type holidays and aren’t too prissy, I would recommend this trip.

My only regret? Chris was in the USA on a business trip, so he couldn’t come with me. It would’ve made it 3 times better and I would’ve said I loved the trip then, because I love any where when I’m with Chris :) He makes everything seem so much better and more interesting, and it was his absence that probably made me a little snarkier with it than I would normally be.

Our final meal was back on the mainland, after the boat trip. It was a Chinese lunch (AGAIN!!) and a few of us thought we would faint with yet another Chinese meal, so we legged it to KFC. Funny, because my first meal of the trip was also KFC, whilst we were driving there.. because I suspected it would be non-stop Chinese food, so I made sure I stuffed myself silly with fried chicken beforehand ;) It tasted EVEN BETTER on the way home, because we were feeling so food-deprived. Deep fried chicken…… fries…… OHNOMNOMNOM!!!!

At breakfast, which was very random each day
(basically whatever food we could scrounge up)

Crowded round the breakfast table

After relaxing a bit and packing our bags, it was a short walk out to the pebble beach

More goats!

Our little boat arrives

Wait, you want me to climb up this shaky plank?!?! *gulps*

Back on the mainland, we saw some FREAKY creatures that people eat

As well as live octopus, eeeekkk!!

A whole array of… stuff I couldn’t quite identify

So a few of us settled for the “safe” option instead :P

Driving back to Shanghai. The boy liked his bright pink pillow ;)

A group shot of everyone. Can ya spot me? :P

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Posted by on 22 June 2010 (Tue) in Holidays, Tantou Island, Uncategorized



One of the nights on Tantou Island was campfire night. I was really excited since I’ve never had a campfire on the beach, ever! And the weather was lovely for it – pretty cool with an ocean breeze, so it was perfect feeling the fire in our faces and warming us up.

Our own personal MacGyver (a crazy Canadian) did the whole camp fire shebang, whilst the rest of us pretended to look really busy, but really all we did was stand around and gawk ;) Impressively, he really got the fire started and we all gathered around to chat and drink. Probably the best part of the trip, because it was really unique since I’ve never done anything like this before, and because the weather was terrific for it.

Most hilarious part? When they dug this MASSIVE hole in the sand, threw in huge rocks at the bottom (heated by place them on the camp fire), and covered it all up with twigs and mats. Basically a sort of sauna/sweat lodge. It looked kinda horrific, to be honest ;) But the guys loved it and clambered in. I’m honestly surprised nobody passed out from the steam and heat in there, and there were no serious injuries from the red-hot rocks at the bottom of the pit (they sat around it, but one slip and they’d fall right onto those rocks). Craziness!!

Dinner time!

Us girls :)

One of the Americans singing a Chinese song. He was fluent! *impressed*

After dinner, the boys got to work building our camp fire

It was cave man style ;)

Let there be light!

Around the campfire

Relaxing and enjoying the warmth (the beach got much cooler at night)

Words fail me………

Hey look, it’s “lao ban” again!

The guys made a HUGE hole, filled it up with red hot rocks and made a “sauna”

Who would be CRAZY enough to get in this torture chamber? These people.

Even “lao ban” got in, lol!!!

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Posted by on 22 June 2010 (Tue) in Holidays, Tantou Island, Uncategorized


TANTOU ISLAND: chilling out on the beach

It was lovely on subsequent days on Tantou Island when the weather was warm, and it stopped raining! The sun peeked out from time to time but it was mostly cloudy, so unfortunately none of us got the tan we wanted. On the plus side, at least none of us got sunburnt ;)

The moment the skies cleared up, we all made a beeline for the beach, like bees to a honey pot. It was loooovely vegging out on the sand, sleeping, reading, and just chilling out with everyone. We even squeezed in a little random BBQ on the beach, with chicken wings, sausages, and bacon-wrapped mushrooms! Most of the time, however, was spent lying around and pretending it was bright blue skies ;)

Chilling out to let breakfast digest

Wandering around on the beach. There was little sun, but at least it stopped raining!

Finnish gf and I

Lovely deserted beach, VERY rare in China

A view of the tents and our dining/chill out area

Can you spot the goats, high up in the mountains?

Having a make-shift BBQ on the beach, with chicken wings, sausages and a crate of beer

The beer wench

Can’t really see, but these people (not part of our group) complete buried a
guy and girl up to their necks in the sand. Heh!

A totally unprepared photo of us ;)


We spent hours just lazing around. It wasn’t sunny, but at least it was warm!

The boys spent the afternoon playing soccer. We couldn’t watch the World Cup
cos no TVs on the island ;)

Using a tiny (but powerful) microscope to look at insects, to pass the time

Just hanging out :)

Checking email on my BlackBerry – yes I’m a wee bit addicted!

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Posted by on 21 June 2010 (Mon) in Holidays, Tantou Island, Uncategorized



A very interesting part of the Tantou Island trip was the food. I knew that it would be a remote island, so Chris convinced me to stock up and bring along my own food. In the end, 50% of what I carried was food, much to everyone’s amusement. I’m VERY glad I did though, because otherwise I’d probably have been half-starved ;) It’s not that the food wasn’t good (it actually tasted pretty decent), but I was highly suspicious of how hygienic it was. The kitchen is basically a makeshift kitchen, and when I looked in it scared me into a diet. Typical very local Chinese street-side style, where there’s no refrigeration for all the meat/seafood.. vegetables were just placed on the ground (where the people were spitting on).. and dishes were still dirty. I was really scared about getting food poisoning, considering the toilets were all sub-standard, so I tried to avoid it all as much as possible.

Breakfast actually looked OK – congee (I had a little and it was good) with bits of pickles and fermented tofu (didn’t try these ‘cos they looked too strange). The trip organiser promised a “western style” breakfast, but it turned out to be ONE BOX of cereal, that was shared amongst 33 people and for 3 mornings. WTF. So luckily, I had brought my own bagels, chocolate rolls, big pretzels, etc. Unfortunately, the others weren’t as well prepared..

Lunch and dinner was EXACTLY the same stuff, EVERY SINGLE DAY. I honestly can’t understand how the people there can stomach the same food for each meal, day after day?! I was already so turned off by the food by the 2nd day. The food looked really interesting, and SO impressive how that tiny dodgy dirty kitchen can churn out 20 dishes (!?!?!) per table of 10 people. However, since none of the food was refrigerated, I basically didn’t eat any of the meat or seafood, nor any of the dishes I couldn’t identify. Which meant I ate boatloads of fried noodles, rice, and potatoes. It was like a carb-aholic’s dream holiday ;)

It was great seeing all the different types of dishes, but I just wish they would have some variety, and be a little more hygienic. At least the night-time partying made up for it! We had liquors and beers that kept everyone well lubricated. After all, there’s not much else to do on a remote island when the sun is down than to party the night away ;)

This botchy little kitchen that (impressively) churned out a ton of dishes

Very scary looking clams (?) with 2 squishy ‘feeler’ things coming out

These little snail things, people said it tasted good despite looking freaky

Me and my Argentinian gf

20 dishes for 10 people! It was like this for EVERY meal.

And of course, there was much alcohol consumption ;)

The cute “lao ban” (big boss) was a total alcoholic

The girls were all given hard liquors (whiskey, baijiu, etc)

Some local Chinese playing a local game, I think

Doing The Squat Stance. You had to be there ;)

Some of the bottles of liquor. Mixer time!


The guys with the hilarious “lao ban”

Bustin’ a move ;)

I like both our tees!

Video of us at dinner

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Posted by on 20 June 2010 (Sun) in Holidays, Tantou Island, Uncategorized


TANTOU ISLAND: the good and the bad

Tantou Island was a totally different experience to ANYTHING I have ever experienced in my entire life. Both in good and bad ways ;) Would I do it again? It was fun, but probably not.. I don’t think I’m a “rough it out” kinda girl as I thought I was, haha!


  1. People in our group. We all made friends quickly and the group was friendly, open and hilarious! I was so relieved everyone was normal. We had a great time eating and drinking (which was the majority of our activities) and also lounging around on the beach doing… not much at all :)
  2. The campfire. I really loved this, it was fun and the first time I’ve had a campfire on the beach! Unbelievably we never did this in Australia. Our only regret – we didn’t bring marshmallows to roast over the fire :P


  1. The remoteness. This was both good and bad. Good because we specifically wanted somewhere without a lot of people, since we’re drowned with people in Shanghai. But bad because with that comes a lack of proper bathrooms, sanitation, nice rooms, etc etc. To put it in perspective, I didn’t have a shower the entire time. First time in my life I’ve gone more than 24 hours without a shower ;)
  2. Some of the locals. They were a few other groups there that had complete disregard for others. They’d wake up at 4:30AM and YELL AND SCREAM, not caring others were sleeping. In fact, on the last day, they let off fireworks (?!?!?!) outside at 5AM, nearly causing us to go on a killing frenzy. Also uncouth behavior like spitting right at the dinner table, letting their kids pee on the floor right next to where we’re sitting, and also theft (they stole my umbrella).

There is so so so much to say and so many crazy things that happened. But I’m a bit lazy to write it all out.. so I’ll post a lot of photos instead. Oh, I forgot another Bad thing, the weather!! It rained and rained nonstop the entire first day. And what do you do when it rains on a remote island? NOTHING, that’s what. So we just sat around indoors, which defeated the entire purpose of going to the beach, lol. At least by the next day, it was the end of the rain, so we could go to the beach – except that the sun never came out because it was really foggy. It was apparently thunderstorming all over the south of China, so I guess we should be happy that at least we didn’t have rain later!

It was wonderful watching Shanghai’s concrete jungle give way to greenery

That guy there? He carried 4-5 massive bags, cos he brought a huge tent!

On the Chinese wooden boats for the 40min trip to Tantou Island


The really dreary weather was depressing

Sitting in the fog and drizzle, boo!

Approaching the remote island

There were goats and chickens wandering on Tantou Island!

The massive tent all set up. It had separate rooms and everything

Depressing fog. It was like from the horror movie The Mist ;)

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Posted by on 19 June 2010 (Sat) in Holidays, Tantou Island, Uncategorized



I’m off for a seafood + campfire + beach holiday in Tantou Island!

There will be around 30 of us going, as it’s an organised trip for expats. Sadly, Chris won’t be coming along as he just flew off to Seattle yesterday :( I’m going to miss him, but also looking forward to a fun beach-side holiday :)

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Posted by on 14 June 2010 (Mon) in Holidays, Tantou Island, Uncategorized