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The Seductive Silence of Orchards & Nanyue Kings

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, After yesterdays misadventure with the Australian Consulate I decided that I wanted to get a bit more personal with Guangzhou City. I then ask myself how you can get more personal than renewing your passport but then I guess I will always find a way to dance around those things that really need to be done to get to those other things than I really want to do! Monk, did you ever watch the TV series Monk? Pearl TV here on Guangzhou is so much better than CCTV9! For those that don't know CCTV9 on mainland China is China's only English TV channel but the sad fact is it is only News, Economics, Documentaries and you could probably then add in another twenty hours of news. Pearl TV on the other hand is made up of hours of TV stuff that I have never heard of....well, except Monk of course. Last night there was Bones and New Amsterdam and then there were a many fun filled few hours of stuff I have never seen while watching tv in any of my rural rice fields on mainland China. So there I was on my way to the Australian Consulate minding my own business walking along Huanshi Zhonglu and then I came across the innocent Orchard Garden. It came from out of nowhere and I tried so hard to ignore it but its beauty kept on leaping at me. So green, so peaceful and so seductive. It simply became too much for a man who has been in northern China for the past year. I couldn't help myself and I soon found myself turning left down Jiefeing Zhonglu and within minutes I was standing before the ticket booth to the famous Orchard Gardens of Guangzhou City. <u>THE ORCHARD GARDEN</u> Situated on Jiefeng Road across from the lovely Yuexiu Park can be found the Guangzhou Orchard Garden. Originally a miniature garden, over the years it has developed into a small park specialising in ornamental orchards. The grounds cover thirty six thousand square meters and are filled to the brim with all things delicious to the eye. It is easy to lose yourself in silent thought along the winding pathways that take you over several small stone bridges and past willow fringed ponds. As busy as Guangzhou city is, the Orchard Garden simply takes you on a journey to a land of peace that is unique in silent beauty and elegant splendor! For those who love orchards you will be in heaven here as there are three green houses which house more than two hundred species of orchards. Out side of the green houses you will find yourself walking amongst three hundred or more species of plants that include graceful creepers, rare flowers, majestic trees, hearty pines and vigorous bamboos. Just like all Chinese parks and gardens you will come across beautiful structures some of which have graceful names and others have titles that I simply find 'too descriptive'. The Pine Bark Pavilion, Spring Scenery Pavilion, the Lobby Hall for Sharing Fragrance Together, the Hall of Exquisite Fragrance, Thatched Cottage, Time Cheishing Veranda, Enjoyment Hall, Bright Mirror Pavilion and the Aromatic Flowers Garden. For those who want to linger longer, your entrance fee supposedly includes a pot of tea at one of the several tea houses and if you desire, for an extra twenty Yuan you can find yourself being part of a traditional tea ceremony and for anyone interested in Islamic history the western edge of the park sits on the site of an old Muslim cemetery that is supposedly the burial site of Abu Waqas who is the uncle of the Prophet who brought Islam to China. After leaving the Orchard Gardens I began to fulfill the promise I made to myself as I left the hotel this morning, to visit one park and then race to the Australian Consulate. I think we all know what happened next and for those who are still questioning, you mustn't have read the above very well for the Orchard Gardens sits directly opposite the huge Yuexiu Park. Needless to say, I was busy between the 'Passport Hours' of nine to twelve! <u>Yuexiu Gongyuan (Park)</u> Yuexiu Park believe it or not is the largest urban park in China and it is beautiful! It costs five Yuan to enter and like the Orchard Garden, can be reached by taking the metro to Yuexiu Gongyuan station. Its lush greens flow over acres of hills and includes several very clean lakes. It includes the Ming Dynasty Zhenhai Tower which is now home to the City Museum with relics dating back to the 15th century along with an up-to-date miniature of Guangzhou city. The museum for me was quiet bizarre as it had a room filled with electronic 'things' that I grew up with like records and stereos that include record players and tape decks. There were black and white TV's, answering machines, radio transistors and even video machines. In fact there was a huge Ghetto Blaster that is identical to one that one of my friends had! Needless to say I felt like I should have grabbed a shelf and stayed awhile! The park also houses the famous stone statue of the Five Rams which is the symbol of Guangzhou and here you will find a heap of Chinese standing before the statue giving their buddy the V sign for their digital memory. During my wanderings I met Little Fish. It's a Mandarin tone thing. Her name didn't really mean Little Fish but they are the same words just said with a different tone. Her name really isn't Little Fish but to a silly foreigner like me, it sounds like it. She was from Wuzhou city in Guangxi Province. Her English was in dribs and drabs just as my Chinese is so we got along splendidly. As we both had no plans for the day we decided to make one and to spend the day together. We soon found ourselves walking by the amusement and within seconds we were flying around the Merry Go Round in fits of laughter and we also had an adventure through a very non-scary haunted house before it was time smashem up on the Dodgem Cars. We then re-entered the quiet and shady pathways upon which we wound our way around the park at a much more relaxing pace compared to those outside our green walls. After a few green hours we headed across Jiefeng Zhonglu to the 'Mausoleum of the Nanyue King'. <u>The Mausoleum of the Nanyue King</u> Found just down from the Orchard Garden and just across from the gates to the Yuexiu Gardens is a very modern looking building that has been built on the site of the two thousand year old Nanyue Kingdom which was unearthed in 1993 by workers who were building a shopping plaza. Imagine their surprise when they discovered the royal tomb. Also imagine the surprise the company building and funding it got when they were told they couldn't continue and to go build elsewhere. It really is a beautiful Museum. What it houses can be compared to the Banpo Museum in Xian. It really is such a pity that the Banpo site hasn't been left to deteriorate since it was first built giving one the feeling of walking into an Australian Public Service building that hasn't been renovated since the eighties. All decorations including the carpet are brown and those who work there are dressed in brown cords and a woolen grandpa vest and believe me they honestly still exist and usually there will be a sign out front reading; Australian Taxation Office! We then spent many hours zig zagging our way around the river front area where you can find blocks full of tiny roads and lane ways all filled to the brim with locals enjoying either an evening stroll or hunting down a bargain or two from the little stalls that line many of the roadsides giving you a very vibrant evening. Beers N Noodles toya.....shane The PHOTOS can be found beneath all text as usual ________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by Living Colour The album was 'Times Up' _________________________________________

<u>Yuexiu Park </u> The largest park in central Guangzhou is a lovely place to wander through and holds a few noteworthy sights (see the Five Rams Statue and Zhenhai Tower below). With Guangzhou's sub-tropical climate, the plants are of an exotic nature and the park is large enough to sport a variety of wildlife, particularly birds. Covering some 930 000 square meters, Yuexiu Park is spread over a number of hills and boasts three artificial lakes. Row boats are for hire on one of the lakes while the others provide some picturesque scenes as they are crossed by stone bridges. Also on the grounds are some basic amusement park rides, souvenir stalls and all sorts of other tourist traps. Apparently it was Sun Yat-sen's dream to have a large park in this spot, but it wasn't realized until after his death.

There is now a monument to the 'founder of modern China' in the park.

<u>Five Rams Statue </u> Since its erection in 1959 this 10 meter high statue has become the symbol of Guangzhou. The significance of the five rams comes from an old legend about Guangzhou. A little more than 2000 years ago five immortals, each wearing a colorful robe, came to Guangzhou playing majestic music and riding on the back of five rams. The five rams carried rice stalks in their mouths which the Immortals presented to the people of Guangzhou. Guangzhou had previously been a barren place, but after this divine visit they were not to suffer famine again. The immortals then returned to the sky while the goats remained and became stone. This is how Guangzhou came to be known as the City of Rams.

The statue itself was sculpted by Yun Zhi Chang from 130 pieces of marble.

<u>Zhenhai Tower and Guangzhou City Museum </u> Zhenhai Tower stands proudly on Yuexiu Hill, built on top of the last remaining section of Guangzhou's City Walls. At a height of 28 meters, it is also known as Five Storey Tower or Five Storey Pagoda (presumably because it has five storeys) and was first built in 1380 by the orders of nobleman Zhu Liangzu. Zhu apparently built the tower as an expression of his power and these days it seems about the only thing for which he is remembered. Since his day, Zhenhai Tower has been destroyed and rebuilt five times and was also occupied by French and British soldiers during the First Opium War.

Just outside the tower are a collection of cannons from this period.

Zhenhai Tower is now home to the Guangzhou City Museum. This fascinating though relatively small museum traces the history of the old Canton from prehistoric times, through the dynasties and foreign settlement up to the present day. The ground floor has a 3D model of modern Guangzhou as well as maps of where the City Walls used to stand. The views from the top of the Zhenhai Tower ought to be fantastic, but unfortunately only one side of the balcony is open and the vista it presents is uninspiring.

<u>Museum of the Southern Yue King in the Western Han Dynasty </u> A site of historical importance that is well worth visiting, this is the excavated mausoleum of the Emperor Wen, a ruler of the Southern Yue Kingdom (Guangzhou and the surrounding area) during the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - 25 AD). It is the earliest and largest Han Dynasty mausoleum to be discovered. Since most records of the Southern Yue Kingdom had been destroyed long ago, there was no hint that this mausoleum existed. That changed in 1983 when Xianggang Hill (Elephant Hill) was being leveled for construction and the workers stumbled on the tomb some 20 meters beneath the summit.

In 1988 the tomb was opened to the public along with a museum.

If you like you can skip over the various exhibitions in the first building you enter and head straight for the tomb, where the emperor was buried along with several of his concubines and servants. It's only small, but still manages to capture the imagination. Then head to the part of the museum where the excavated artifacts are on display. Here are such relics as brassware, pottery, gold seals and jade ornaments, as well as the emperor's burial shroud - made of more than 2000 pieces of jade stitched together with silk. The excellent information in English about the each of the relics really enhances the experience.

Such a museum could very easily be dry and uninteresting. But the Mausoleum of the Southern Yue King is truly fascinating.

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue


The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

The Seductive Silence of Orchards &#38;amp; Ancient Nanyue

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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