After completing their tour in Shanghai Film ParkYingshi LeyuanGun-Ho, Min-Hyeok Kim, and Director Woon-Hak Sim headed to Wuxi City for their next tour stop.
Once they got into the car, the three men fell asleep right away and started snoring. Their morning at Shanghai Film Park must have been tiring. The park was huge, and they had to walk a lot.
After quite a while, they arrived in Wuxi City. It took at least two hours of driving to get there.
"Oh, it's already past lunchtime."
Wuxi City was situated in the southern part of Jiangsu Province in the Yangtze River delta area. It was sitting next to Suzhou City, and it had 6.5 million populations. There was a huge freshwater lake called Lake Tai, and it made the place suitable to shoot the famous novels which were made to TV series later, like Romance of the Three Kingdoms and the Outlaws of the Marsh.
"Let's eat something simple before we go into Wuxi Film Studio. Do you want to have some dumplings for our late lunch? We can have a nice dinner after finishing our tour at the film studio."
The four gentlemen including the chauffeur went into a fast-food restaurant across the street from the film studio. It was called Kuaican. They ordered dumplings and twisted breadsticks.
"I feel much better after eating something even though this is not fancy food."
While having dumplings, the chauffeur said, "I saw the ticket booth on the way. The Menpiao (admission ticket) costs 210 Yuan per person. It's pretty expensive. They charge even more than Shanghai Film ParkYingshi Leyuan."
"Hmm? Really? So, it would be 840 Yuan for four people. It's about 150,000 Korean won. It is quite pricey."
Gun-Ho took out his wallet and gave 1,000 Yuan to the chauffeur.
"Can you get us four admission tickets?"
Min-Hyeok Kim, who was sitting next to Gun-Ho, jumped out of his chair.
"No way! Put away your wallet! The admission tickets are on me."
"President Kim, why don't you buy us dinner later then? I got this one."
After a moment, the chauffeur came back holding four tickets.
"Here is the change, sir."
Gun-Ho smiled and didn't take the change from the chauffeur.
"You can use that change to get a cold drink or something."
"Thank you, sir."
The chauffeur gave Gun-Ho a slight nod to show his gratitude.
Even though it was expensive to get into the film studio, the place was packed with people. Several groups of people came on a tourist bus. They were probably a group of tourists coming all the way from other cities. There was the place where the main character in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms had the famous Peach Garden Oath. Also, Gun-Ho saw warrior figures. They were the top greatest warriors in the same seriesRomance of the Three Kingdoms. They were standing majestically, holding a weapon with dignity. The one figure that drew Gun-Ho's attention was Zhuge Liang's. He was wearing a traditional robe with a hand fan in his hand, which was made of peac.o.c.k feathers.
"Oh, look at the palace over there."
"It's the palace of the Kingdom of Wuthe emperor Sun Quan's."
Around Lake Tai, Cao Cao's warsh.i.p.s were anchored.
"Wow. This is the Lake of Tai, huh? Is it really a lake? Not the ocean or a reservoir? It's huge."
Min-Hyeok explained, "I just heard what the Korean tour guide said about the lake. He said that its size is larger than Jeju Island, and it is several times bigger than Seoul City."
Being mesmerized by the lake, Gun-Ho was staring at Lake Tai when the chauffeur added more surprising facts to the explanation.
"It is a freshwater lake, but you can see ocean-like waves there. Even seaweeds are growing there."
"How can that be possible? As you said, it's a freshwater lake."
"That's because the lake's size is so big that it is affected by the gravitation of the Moon. Do you see the waves there?"
"Oh, I see."
Many tourists got on the ship anchored there and spent time taking pictures. They seemed to prefer to take pictures in the control room, which looked like the place where Cao Cao was sitting in during the Battle of Red Cliffs. Gun-Ho was thinking about joining them and take pictures but decided not to because there were just too many people there already.
Gun-Ho's party moved on to Tang Cheng. The area was relatively quiet. The two most popular and busiest areas were the places where the Romance of Three Kingdoms and the Outlaws of the Marsh were filmed. It was Gun-Ho's lucky day though. He could watch the actual film shooting that day. The camera was rolling when he arrived at the next spotTang Cheng. Gun-Ho looked at the main actress. Her face was not that pretty for an actress, but she had a gorgeous body. And her profile was stunning.
"She must feel hot with those thick outfits."
Once a cut ended, the extra actors in a soldier outfit gathered under a shade to take a break. They placed their swords and shields beside the palace wall. The swords were painted in shiny silver color. Gun-Ho picked up one of them. It wasn't made of plastic as Gun-Ho initially expected, but it was a wooden sword.
"Huh? They are made of wood."
Gun-Ho laughed while holding a sword. One of the extra actors, who was sitting under the shade, quickly stood up and yelled at Gun-Ho, "Mister, do not touch it."
"Huh? Oh, okay."
Gun-Ho put down the sword. Gun-Ho noticed that a few swords among many of them seemed to be real swords made of metal. These real swords were probably being used to make real effects of the swords while colliding and making clunking sounds.
Gun-Ho's party visited the next area where the Outlaws of the Marsh was filmed. They were eating the Chinese pancakes that Wuda Lang sold in the series when they heard other tourists shouting 'Pan Jinlian.' They were running to a certain spot while shouting the name.
"That's Pan Jinlian!"
Gun-Ho was certain that he heard that name from somewhere. While trying to recall who it was, Gun-Ho followed the crowd. There was a traditional house with a flag saying 'The House of Pan Jinlian."
"Oh, Pan Jinlian!"
Pan Jinlian was the name of the temptress in the Outlaws of the Marsh. She was the wife of Wuda Lang who was selling Chinese pancakes. She had an affair with the rich manXimen Qingin the series. She was famous for her beauty. Her husbandWuda Langcaught them in the act of a.d.u.l.tery, but he ended up being beaten to death by Ximen Qing.
Gun-Ho, Min-Hyeok Kim, and Director Woon-Hak Sim entered Pan Jinlian's house, following the crowd. A woman, who was wearing Pan Jinlian's dress with heavy make-up, was sitting on a chair. The woman put an artificial wart on her jaw in an effort to look s.e.xier. She was holding a hand fan in her hand. The tourists were competing to take a picture with this woman. They charged 10 Yuan to take one picture with her. Gun-Ho thought that Chinese people were genius in coming up with an idea of making money.
Min-Hyeok Kim, who was standing next to Gun-Ho, suddenly started laughing out loud.
"Hahaha. Look at the old woman sitting next to Pan Jinlian. She is supposed to be the old matchmaker ladyMrs. Wang."
Gun-Ho looked at the woman who Min-Hyeok indicated. She indeed looked like an old woman just as depicted in the TV series, and she was holding a cane as if she was confirming that she was an old lady.
After having their fun at the Wuxi Film Studio, Gun-Ho's party headed to Suzhou City.
Min-Hyeok Kim already reserved rooms for Gun-Ho and Director Sim at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. After checking in and leaving their suitcases in the room, they came down to the lobby. And then, they followed Min-Hyeok Kim to a luxurious restaurant. It was a traditional Chinese restaurant where people could enjoy live music. When Gun-Ho arrived there, a musician in a Chinese traditional dress was playing the Chinese traditional musical instrumentHuqin.
"Wow, this is amazing."
Director Woon-Hak Sim's eyes widened while looking around the restaurant.