A Travellerspoint blog

January 2010

A Bus Ride, Carpet Squares & Chinese Maps

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Why yesterday morning I allowed the girl at the hotel in Shantou city to draw me a map to get to the small bus station I’ll never know and as to why I tried to use it goes beyond my normal behavior!

I followed her map which took me this and that way and turned here and then down there and where did I end up, about a five minute walk from the hotel out the front of the big Lotus Shopping Center that I have passed each day (and the exact same place where I should have got off upon arriving in Shantou). So if anyone finds themselves in Shantou city and wishes to go to Chaozhou city just go to the front of the Lotus shopping center and when facing the shopping center you’ll find several tiny bus stations to the left and the Chaozhou bus station is just across from the entrance to the underground car park.

I tell you what, that map!

After half an hour I knew the map she drew me was useless and I should have known better as the same girl showed me which way to hold the map (same as pointing which way I guess) to get to the river on my first night and had me walking in the complete wrong direction and it wasn’t until I began comparing the Chinese characters on the street signs that I figured that one out.

Sheez I’m glad we got that out of the way!

The journey between both cities was very uneventful as I was all excited about what I had read in the LP about passing several fortified Hakka villages chock-a-block full of traditional houses and ancient temples but all I got was a crappy bumpy road that pretty much passed through industrial areas and fish farms the entire way. What I don’t understand is that after questioning the bus driver with the help of a student he said that the buses between both cities have always taken this crappy bumpy road so I don’t know what planet or website the LP writer was on at the time of writing as it seems there never has been a bus route with fortified Hakka villages chock-a-block with traditional houses and ancient temples to be seen as Hakka Villages are nearly always built in mountain areas due to the fact that they are a FORTIFIED VILLAGE. The Hakka People were driven from the north a long time ago which is why they tended to built their villages in the mountains in the first place.

Seriously sometimes I really do wonder about the LP writers.

Fortified Hakka villages chock-a-block with traditional houses and ancient temples 1 - 2006 Fortified Hakka villages chock-a-block with traditional houses and ancient temples 2 - 2006 Sorry I’m having a bit of a negative LP week as I purchased the small and supposedly readable 'The Perfect Day’ book in Xian which is ‘a perfect day in one hundred cities around the world’ each written by a different author. What I actually got to read was the same thing for nearly every city and that each writer ‘refulled’ on coffee and then they ‘Bee Lined’ it to some ‘Bohemian’ this and that café, eatery or museum.

I don’t understand why they all have to refuel, bee line it and go to a bohemian thing. Why can’t some have a quiet coffee and others sip or slurp or have a caffeine fix? Why can’t some make their way to and others bloody woddle? And why is everything now freakin bohemian?

Anyhow after my bus beelined me from Shantou to Chaozhou I grabbed a hotel in a bohemian part of town and then refulled on a much needed caffine fix and then once again beelined it towards the Han River and spent the remaining part of the afternoon and into the evening darting here and there amongst the colonial and Chinese architecture. As for today, I'll add all the information about what I’ve seen in the next blog as the point to this entry has now changed.

It is now all about carpet and vacuum cleaners and seriously what I just found is almost as exciting as visiting a fortified Hakka village chock-a-block full of traditional houses and ancient temples!

After five years I honestly believe I have found the hotel with the only vacuum cleaner in all of China and yes, I have the one photo to prove it. Not once during all my time here have I either seen nor heard a vacuum cleaner. I have witnessed time and time again hotel staff sweeping the carpet and I have time and time again stamped my foot on a hotel floor that has carpet and sneezed for the next hour but in this little hotel in Chaozhou City I have found proof that there is actually one vacuum cleaner in this entire country.

If you look at the photo you will see the proof. Or being China, it could be a scam!

Maybe a child was playing in the corner of my room on the carpet with a ruler prior to me arriving or maybe just maybe this really is the one hotel and the one city that does actually have a vacuum cleaner. I will allow you to make your own decision from studying the photographic evidence.

I hope you enjoyed this silly little blog entry from a day in the life of me and always remember what Agent Fox Molder was trying to tell us for an entire decade; The truth is out there, but now its also in the carpet. I might not be bohemian nor do I refuel or beeline it but usually I wing it, wrong it, right it and hope for the best and somehow it always works out in the end.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Infected Mushroom The album was ‘The Gathering’ ____________________________________________________________

The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City


The Very Vibrant  Chaozhou City

The Very Vibrant Chaozhou City

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Queshi Scenic Area & This N That Soup

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Wha was the name of that Motorhead album? That's right.....Another Perfect Day!

Connecting to Shantou across the Queshi Bridge is Queshi town which has been known by the local people throughout the 19th century as Kakchio and was the main site for the American and British Consulates of yesteryear. Today the area is a scenic park and some of the structures are somewhat preserved from its earlier history. It became a city/town in 1919 but sadly 1922 saw the devastating Swatow Typhoon, which killed 50,000 out of the 65,000 people then inhabiting the city.

Today I decided to hit the green patch (known as Queshi Scenic Area) which can be found on the other side of the Rong River on my map. I can’t say I got to see much of what I think it has to offer but I had a wonderful day none the less. Yesterday from my side of the river I spotted a huge pagoda and several pavilions scattered throughout the far away hills so I decided simply to make the huge pagoda my destination for the day. This morning I slowly made my way towards the port area and dropped into my favourite noodle eatery to fill myself full of energy.

Even though I’ve only eaten there three times they now understand what I am after. A different bowl of noodles each time I drop in and one that can happily be photographed.

For those who want the most amazing seafood noodle soup head down Shangzhang Lu towards the river and when you come to the end at the T intersection on the left hand side you will find the most amazing bowl of 'this and that’ seafood noodles that Shantou has to offer and this morning my friends met their challenge with ease. Proudly, yet a bit worriedly they placed before me a huge bowl of not only seafood but also bits and pieces. Along with tiny legs with suckers, prawns, fish and other watery delights there were some of my other landish favourites such as pigs blood, heart, stomach and throat lining and other delicious internal offerings and to their surprise and satisfaction I could tell them what each was either by word or by pointing to that part of my own body.

To this they giggled and clapped and offered me another bowl but as I’d already had my fill I declined and sadly told them I was leaving tomorrow and said my goodbyes.

I then made my way to the river side and headed to the People’s square where across from I thought the ferry terminal would be found and thankfully I was right. The journey across the river cost one Yuan, took only five minutes and after arriving I decided to walk the entire way to my destination, the Baihuajian Temple. I can’t say I’d walk it again as the journey really didn’t offer much in the way of scenic beauty so instead I’d grab a five Yuan Tuk Tuk from outside the Bus/Ferry terminal.

When I finally arrived what I found though was well worth the walk.

Within the Baihuajian Temple statues of Chinese Immortals are enshrined and the front part of the temple has been built in the style of temples of Chaoshan area, while the rear has taken on the shape of a palace. Two stone lions, two kapok trees, two ancient cooking vessels and two pillars engraved with entwining dragons stand in front of the temple. Being a combination of various precious folk arts, the temple reflects vivid culture of Chaoshan Area and is well worth the visit.

The ten storey pagoda also offers some awesome panoramic views as does the pavilion that can be found at the top of a small mountian just a five minute walk back towards Queshi town. It’s only a short ten minute climb and hopefully for those who do chose to climb it they are not met with a huge fart from a fat elderly Chinese man that I was met with and after waiving the smelly man and his family good bye I took a short break and kicked back to relax and enjoy the stunning views that surrounded me.

I then headed back to Queshi town for a pick and point lunch and after a walk around town. After scanning my map and not wanting to waste day light I found and scooted off to the Shengmu Temple which can be found at the opposite end of the scenic area and not far from the Queshi Bridge. Though the temple wasn’t worth the walk the following hour I spent with some children from a local village made the journey well worth the effort and a heap of fun. Their village has been built around a small lake and they proudly showed me their homes where I got to say 'hellow' to some rather bemused and befuddled parents who then in return for my 'hellow' they wanted to show me their local temple. As always this leaves me breathless as to how wonderfully accommodating the Chinese people really are.

As darkness began descending I said my goodbyes to all and slowly began dragging my weary legs back towards the bus/ferry station. When I arrived on the mainland I was met by my beautiful friend who treated me to a delicious ‘frogs legs and seafood’ soup after which we grabbed a few too many cold beers and headed back to my hotel to relax.

Have a read of the following, I didn't change a single word….please enjoy. So descriptive and wordy and wordy and wordy!

<u>A SHORT AND FUN DOWN ON THE QUESHI SCENIC AREA</u>

Queshi scenic and historic interest area is located to the south of Shantou Port and oversees the northern part of the urban district. The seas on the east, the west and the north surround this place. It is adjacent to the land on the southwest. This scenic area covers an area of 20.77 square kilometers in which the land area is about 13.47 square kilometers and the sea area is 7.3 square kilometers. Queshi scenic and historic interest area is divided into six scenic areas: Xiaoshi Scenic Area, Tasha Scenic Area, Yanfeng Scenic Area, Xianglu Mountain Scenic Area, Bijia Mountain Scenic Area and Su’an Scenic Area. Most scenic spots are centralized in Tashan Scenic Area.

Ranking first of the top eight attractions of Shantou City, the Queshi Scenic Spot is separated from the city by the Que Shi Sea in the south of the Shantou Gulf. Surrounded by vast stretches of blue water on three sides, it is just like a miniature garden sitting in the sea. Characterized by superb subtropical beaches and seashore scenery, the scenic spot is an excellent integration of imposing sea, magnificent mountains, rare stones and mysterious caves.

In this scenic spot, the 43 hills presenting different postures are covered with evergreen trees and decorated naturally with crystal-clear springs, providing a nice escape from the summer heat. Climbing up and standing on the top of the hills, you can have a bird's-eye view of the entire gulf and you will be captivated by the picturesque marine beauty. Along its coastline, the beautiful beaches and seashore bathhouses enable you to enjoy the inviting sea water as well as other sea-related entertainments. The scenic spot is divided into six parts, respectively, Entry, Tashan Scenic Spot, Yanfeng Scenic Spot, Su'an Scenic Spot, Xianglu Hill and Bijia Hill.

The entry sits to the north of the scenic spot, and is the marine gateway between Shantou City and the scenic spot. It features historical western style buildings which were built in the past centuries, including the former British Consulate, the former Germany Consulate, church and customhouses. In addition, there is also natural attraction such as the Seashore Park which covers an area of over 14 hectares (35 acres). The park consists of the East Lake and the West Lake; the former is now a natatorium and aquatic amusement place and the latter is a fishing village.

This place is also well known for its granite geography. You can see various shaped granite stones on the hills. They are in the form of human beings or animals or plants, leaving you to imagine beautiful stories about them. The 1,200-meter (3,937 feet) long Chuihong Cave is composed of nineteen varied granite caves and it is the longest one of its kind in China. With small caves inserted in or connected to other caves, this spectacular cave is mysteriously deep and magnificent; therefore, it is reputed as the top attraction of Chaoshan Area.

This attraction is remarkable for its picturesque hills, steep gorges, grotesque rocks and deep caves. The You Gu Song Tao (soughing of the pines in retired valley) is encircled by stone paths of about 2,000 meters (6,562 feet) long. Six natural caves and more than ten pavilions are scattered in this spot. When winds come, there will be continuous soughing of the pine trees, sounding like roaring ocean waves. The refreshing air and the enchanting natural beauty will make you want to linger with no thought of leaving.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by a JJJ Hottest 100 CD. The year was 2007 and thank you very much Aussie Judy for sending it! ____________________________________________________________

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Ridiculously Delicious Women & Seafood

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Talk about clicking up the hours and kilometers onboard moving things! Here I happily sit in a tee shirt with all thoughts of northern China gone….for now!

Wednesday morning at eight I boarded the Xian to Guangzhou train and happily waved good bye to the cold and drab Northern Winter Blues and for the next sixteen hours I relaxed, read, tried to sleep and ate noodles ….repeat, repeat and repeat but for the first time in my five years travelling in China I was on a nearly empty train. In fact it was so empty that I was one of I think six people in my entire carriage and yes that was for the entire journey. I arrived in Guangdong at half past eleven the following day and after buzzing up on an ElcheapO coffee at Mc Donald’s I headed directly to the Long Distance bus station and grabbed a ticket to Shantou city, which due to traffic and food stops ended up being a further eight hours away on Guangdong’s east coast.

Sso that makes it around a twenty four hour journey. From the moment I arrived I fell totally in love with this mega-vibrant colourful little city.

I spent last night in heaven as many of the inner streets become a huge hive of activity and are turned into deliciously smelling night markets full of clothes, knickknacks and best of all cheap seafood eateries which are totally full until all hours. I also must add that after spending last winter in Guangzhou city I quickly declared Guangdong Province to be the home of China’s most beautiful women, one of which I ended up spending the nightly hours with getting to know over seafood BBQ and beer.

With whom I also spent this evening with slurping down seafood noodle soup and more beer.

After such a huge journey and a further long night I decided to relax and gave myself a sleep in until mid day and soon after rising I joined the crowded streets and slowly made my way towards the Shantou Harbor/Rong River area. My first stop, apart from a slurpy seafood noodle breakfast/lunch was the Stone Fort Park which 'faces the sea and the breezy embankment running above the shore in which can be found a castle-like battery with solid walls and loopholes built in 1874 and also comes complete with moat’ (LP).

Nowdays the inner courtyard has been turned into a roller rink and a new green city park has been built around the fort.

I spent the next few hours slowly walking along the river side walk and then headed back into zig zag my way through the small port side streets. Here I found the Cathedral of Catholic Diocese of Shantou. Construction began in 1992 and was completed in 1999 and I believe it stands where the house of the Bishop of Shantou once stood. Not much to look at from the outside but the actual third floor church was beautiful and strangely when they found out I was from Australia they ran around turning all the lights on so my pictures would come out better.

Now that was surprisingly sweet and all for you Bruzer & LockEgee!

After saying good bye I made my way towards the Colonial District which can be found at the cross section of Waima Lu and Minzu Lu and if the local government had any brains they would go about spending a heap of money to renovate it as in many Chinese cities they actually try to capture such an area by building things from the ground up. Instead I found blocks and blocks teaming with decrepit colonial structures and the area has now become one huge street market.

I of course spent the next few hours winding my way from here to there and back again. Somehow I ended up in a very out of the way area where I was surprised to find a beautiful temple.

I have no idea what the name of it is nor do I have any information on it but it sits on the river side and almost directly beneath the Queshi Bridge and also allowed for some great shots of many decaying fishing boats. When I arrived it was getting dark and the temple was being closed down but when the staff saw me walk through the gate once again all lights were put on and doors were open and they walked me around and told me what to take photos of and giggled when I showed them each one.

After more goodbyes I found myself back in the Colonial District but as it was totally dark I had no idea where I was and soon found myself slurping another huge bowl of seafood noodles with some locals at a small local fish market after which I walked around in circles for a few hours before I finally came across something I remembered from daylight hours so from there I made my way back to my vibrant part of the city which was filled to the absolute brim with beautiful girls out and about for a night at the street markets. I headed back to my hotel to rest my weary legs and soon after got a call from my &#8216;new friend’ and I soon joined her and her friends for even more sea food and bbq.

And people continually ask when I’m coming home! HHhhhhmmmm, how about never…tee hee!

<u>FUTURE SHANTOU TRAVELLERS</u>

For those reading this who are interested in visiting Shantou city (I’m not sure why unless you are like me and just love to travel) and are wondering about accommodation I can tell you one thing, it is actually hard to find. Usually I find my own little hotel to stay in but thankfully I listened to the taxi driver who told me I would have trouble. One piece of advice is to NOT get off at the Long Distance bus station as it is in a complete shitsville part of town. Instead get off at the small stop your bus will make at the Lotus Shopping Centre and ask a Tuk Tuk driver to take you to the Yu Yuan Hotel.

I can’t explain where it is but it is only a few minutes away.

It can be found directly across from one of the gates to the Jinshua Park (there are only two) and also across from clothing store called &#8216;Cinderella’ and once again for some strange reason when they found out my passport was Australian the price dropped dramatically. I got an eleventh floor room and it is beautiful and the hotel is right smack bang in the middle of all the night market area. It is costs a little more than my usual travel budget hotel and there is an actual dress code sign as you walk in but the staff are wonderful (no English) and there is free internet and my bathroom is the best I’ve had in many years.

There is even a bath but for those who know me, I just don’t have time for a bath!

<u>NOW FOR A LITTLE SHANTOU INFORMATION </u>

Shantou, a city significant in 19th Century Chinese history as one of the treaty ports established for Western trade and contact, was one of the original Special Economic Zones of the People's Republic of China established in the 1980s, but failed to blossom like other cities such as Shenzhen, Xiamen and Zhuhai. However, it remains an East Guangdong economic centre and is home to one of Guangdong's most prestigious universities, Shantou University.

The historic quarter of Shantou features both Western and Chinese architecture.

Shantou was a fishing village and part of Tuojiang City during the Song Dynasty and came to be known as Xialing during the Yuan Dynasty. In 1563, Shantou was a part of Chenghai District in the Chao Prefecture (Chaozhou) and as early as 1574 Shantou had been called Shashan Ping but in the seventeenth century a cannon platform called Shashan Toupaotai was built and the city name was later shortened to "Shantou", locally though it has always been referred to as Kialat.

In the 1930s, Shantou Port was a transport hub and merchandise distribution centre for Southeast China and its cargo ranked third in the entire Chinese nation.

In Shantou though most residents are ethnically Teochew there are also Hakka people whom are popularly known as Half-Hakka. Majorly living in Chaoyang District and the Chaonan District they speak Teochew on a daily basis and practice Teochew culture and just to try to explain how difficult the language situation is here, Teochew in no way resembles Cantonese and both are nothing whatsoever like Mandarin (Chinese). Governmental statistics show that 2.16 million overseas Chinese have roots in Shantou with significant populations of Teochew people residing in Thailand and Cambodia and for those airline buffs this is why there is an unusually high number of international direct flights between Bangkok and Shantou which is also why there are at least two Teochew speaking air hostesses on board each China Southern flight between Shantou and Bangkok.

Shantou people share the same culture with other Teochew people and the tea-drinking tradition popularly practiced in town is classic examples as according to statistics Shantou people drink more tea than anyone else in China and in total seven hundred million Yuan is spent each year (US$87.5 million).

Tomorrow I will head across the Rong River to visit Harbin Park. Supposedly a couple of temples and a few good hikes…Yeah! Beers N Noodles toya…..shane

PS: Travelpod & Facebook Address Book updates: I have just added a heap of you to my Travelpod Address Book as you are the ones who always comment on my blogs through Facebook BUT somehow the Chinese have found a way to block updated entries from Travelpod to Facebook. No longer can I send you notification of a new blog through Facebook so the only way now is through your actual email.

PSS: if you don’t want to receive them just give me an email and I’ll take you off…its cool mate! ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by the Gorillaz The album was &#8216;Demon Days’ ____________________________________________________________

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Guangdong Province & Delicious Cantonese Cuisine

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, To begin the 2010 Winter Beers N Noodles Adventure I put together this page (from www.wikipedia.org) for those who have Chinese friends and also love Chinese food. For those who don't, I'm sure you will find it rather interesting as well. You will be surprised at how much Guangdong Province (Guangzhou/Canton City) has actually immersed itself into and influenced the Western World without us even knowing. Chinese immigrants from Guangdong helped build many of the rail roads from which our societies flourished, dug and found wealth in several of the rushes and simply worked the jobs that nobody else wanted to do, even today. All the above along with spreading Cantonese Cuisine throughout the world. (Or simply put), the Chinese food we eat in our Western Restaurants. When you read the small piece about dialects, this very much answers why my Mandarin/Chinese is so bad. What you will read also goes for Guangxi Province and Fujian Province which both border Guangdong. Add to that, Guangxi is 70% Minority peoples. I began simply smiling, shrugging my shoulders and playing charades along time ago to help stop the frustration and confusion of trying to learn a language that no one around me used. At the bottom of this page you will find a small sample of the delicious foods that I was lucky enough to have found a tiny stool to sit myself on, squashed myself in with the locals and chowed down on along with the odd bottle of beer or five during the 2009 Winter Beers N Noodles Adventure during which I spent the entire month in Guuangzhou city (the capital of Guangdong Province). <u>Guangdong</u><u> Province</u><u></u> Guangdong is a province in South East China on the border with Hong Kong. In the era of tea clippers, both Guangdong and its capital Guangzhou were referred to in English as "Canton". We still call the food and the language of the area "Cantonese". Guangdong faces the South China Sea and surrounds Hong Kong. Long a provincial backwater, the province's economic fortunes changed dramatically when Deng Xiaoping instigated his reforms in 1978. Home to three of the country's Special Economic Zones and to a burgeoning manufacturing industry, Guangdong is now the richest province in China. It is also the most populous Chinese province, with about 110 million people. The Chinese food most Westerners are familiar with is basically Cantonese cooking. The language of the area is Cantonese which differs from Mandarin as much as French differs from Italian or Spanish. Cantonese people are extremely proud of their language (this applies in Hong Kong as well) and continue to use it widely despite efforts at Mandarinization. Cantonese itself is more closely related to the language of the great Tang Dynasty than the more modern (circa Yuan Dynasty) Mandarin. Cantonese people worldwide tend to refer to themselves as Tang Ren (People of the Tang) rather than Han, the standard appellation for ethnic Chinese. There can also be significant dialectal variations within Cantonese, and the Cantonese spoken in areas in the far Western reaches of Guangdong (eg. Taishan) are only marginally, or sometimes even not mutually intelligible with the Cantonese spoken in Hong Kong or Guangzhou. At the coastal areas near the border with Fujian, most notably Chaozhou and Shantou, a variant of Minnan known commonly as Teochew (the native pronunciation of Chaozhou) is spoken. Teochew is not mutually intelligible with Cantonese, but is still mutually intelligible with the Xiamen dialect of Minnan to a small extent. As Mongols from the north engaged in their conquest of China in the 13th century, the Southern Song Dynasty retreated southwards, eventually ending up in today's Guangdong. The Battle of Yamen 1279 in Guangdong marked the end of the Southern Song Dynasty (960-1279). During the Mongol Yuan Dynasty, Guangdong was a part of Jiangxi. Its present name, "Guangdong Province" was given in early Ming Dynasty. Since the 16th century, Guangdong has had extensive trade links with the rest of the world. European merchants coming northwards via the Straits of Malacca and the South China Sea, particularly the Portuguese and British, traded extensively through Guangzhou. Macau, on the southern coast of Guangdong, was the first European settlement in China since 1557. It was the opium trade through Guangzhou that triggered the Opium Wars, opening an era of foreign incursion and intervention in China. In the 19th century, Guangdong was also the major port of exit for labourers to Southeast Asia and the West, i.e. United States and Canada. As a result, many overseas Chinese communities have their origins in Guangdong. The Cantonese language therefore has proportionately more speakers among overseas Chinese people than mainland Chinese. In the US, there is a large number of Chinese who are descendants of immigrants from the otherwise unremarkable Guangdong region of Taishan (Toisan in Cantonese), who speak a distinctive dialect of Cantonese called Taishanese (or Toishanese). During the 1850s, the first revolt of the Taiping Rebellion by the Hakka people took place in Guangdong. In recent years, the province has seen extremely rapid economic growth, aided in part by its close trading links with Hong Kong, which borders it. It is now the province with the highest gross domestic product in China. In 1952, a small section of Guangdong's coastline was given to Guangxi, giving it access to the sea. This was reversed in 1955, and then restored in 1965. Hainan Island was originally part of Guangdong but it was separated as its own province in 1988. Guangdong faces the South China Sea to the south and has a total of 4,300 km of coastline. Guangdong borders Fujian province to the northeast, Jiangxi and Hunan provinces to the north, Guangxi autonomous region to the west, and Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions to the south. Hainan province is offshore across from the Leizhou Peninsula. Guangdong has a humid subtropical climate (tropical in the far south), with short, mild, dry, winters and long, hot, wet summers. Average daily highs in Guangzhou in January and July are 18C (64F) and 33C (91F) respectively, although the humidity makes it feel much hotter in summer. Frost is rare on the coast but may happen a few days each winter well inland. The majority of the province's population is Han Chinese. There is a small Yao population in the north. Other smaller minority groups include She, Miao, Li, and Zhuang. The Hakka people live in large areas of Guangdong, including Huizhou, Meizhou, Shenzhen, Heyuan, Shaoguan and other areas. Much of the Eastern part of Guangdong is populated by the Hakka people. <u>CANTONESE CUISINE</u> No matter where you are in China, it honestly is 'All About the Food!' Cantonese (Yue) cuisine comes from Guangdong Province in Southern China, or specifically from Guangzhou (Canton). Of all the regional varieties of Chinese cuisine, Cantonese is the best known outside China; most "Chinese restaurants" in Western countries serve Cantonese cuisine and dishes based on it. Its prominence outside China is due to its palatability to Westerners and the great numbers of early emigrants from Guangdong. In China, too, it enjoys great prestige among the eight great traditions of Chinese cuisine, and Cantonese chefs are highly sought after throughout the country. Cantonese cuisine draws upon a great diversity of ingredients, Guangzhou (Canton) being a great trading port since the days of the Thirteen Factories, bringing it many imported foods and ingredients. Besides pork, beef, and chicken, Cantonese cuisine incorporates almost all edible meats, including organ meats, chicken feet, duck and duck tongues, snakes, and snails. Many cooking methods are used, steaming and stir-frying being the most favoured due to their convenience and rapidity, and their ability to bring out the flavor of the freshest ingredients. Other techniques include shallow frying, double boiling, braising, and deep-frying. Classic Cantonese sauces are light, mellow and perhaps bland compared to the thicker, darker, and richer sauces of other Chinese cuisines. Spring onion, sugar, salt, soy sauce, rice wine, corn starch, vinegar, sesame oil, and other oils suffice to enhance flavor in most Cantonese cooking, though garlic is used heavily in some dishes, especially those in which internal organs, such as entrails, may emit unpleasant odors. Ginger, chili peppers, five-spice powder, powdered white pepper, star anise and a few other spices are used, but often sparingly. Due to Guangdong's location on the southern coast of China, fresh live seafood is a specialty in Cantonese cuisine. Many authentic restaurants maintain live seafood tanks. From the Cantonese perspective, strong spices are added only to stale seafood to cover the rotting odor. The freshest seafood is odorless, and is best cooked by steaming. For instance, only a small amount of soy sauce, ginger, and spring onion is added to steamed fish. The light seasoning is used only to bring out the natural sweetness of the seafood. There are some dishes that are prized within the culture. These dishes range from being medium price to very expensive. Most of these have been around in the Far East for a long time, while some are just barely becoming available around the world. Many of these prized animals have serious animal rights controversial issues such as finning of Shark cartilages due to increasing price demands. <u>Below is a very short list of what you should recognise from your visits to your local Chinese Eatery.</u> Hoisin sauce, Oyster sauce, Plum sauce, Sweet and sour sauce, Black bean paste, Fermented bean paste, Shrimp paste, Red vinegar, Master stock, Dried scallops, Fermented tofu, Fermented black beans, Preserve-salted fish/duck/pork, Century egg, Dried cabbage, Chinese sauerkraut, Dried small shrimp, Tofu skin, Pickled Chinese cabbage, Chinese steamed eggs, Cantonese fried rice, Sweet and sour pork, Steamed spare ribs with fermented black beans and chili pepper, Stir-fried vegetables with meat (e.g. chicken, duck, pork, beef, or itestines, Steamed frog legs on lotus leaf, Vegetables with oyster sauce, Wonton noodle, Chinese noodles with fish balls, beef balls, or fish slices, Lo mein, Pan-fried crispy noodles, Roasted duck/goose/pig, Beef entrails, Beef stew, White rice with Chinese sausage and cha siu,, beef stew, Crispy fried chicken, Seafood birdsnest, Roasted suckling pig, Taro duck, Roast young pigeon/squabs, Sour spare ribs, Salt and pepper rib/squid/shrimp, Red bean soup, Black sesame soup, Sweet potato soup, Mung bean soup, Sweet Chinese pastry, Coconut bar, Shaved Ice, Steamed egg custard, Steamed milk custard, Layered egg and beef over rice, Layered steak over rice, Tofu pot over rice, Pork spare ribs over rice, Steamed chicken over rice, Braised abalone, Jellyfish, Shark fin soup, Sea cucumber, Swallow's nest soup <u>How strange that I live in China but haven't had many of the above since leaving Australia!</u> There is a level of complexity associated with the cooking style and ingredients that fascinate westerners as well as bring stereotypes and misunderstandings. An example is the western commentary by Prince Philip commenting on Chinese eating habits to the World Wildlife Fund conference in 1986. "If it has got four legs and it is not a chair, if it has two wings and it flies but is not an aeroplane, and if it swims and is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it.' Despite having the quote presented to a notable organization, it has also appeared in books such as "The most stupid Words Ever Spoken" as it is deemed by some Westerners as a showcase of "lack of understanding" in foreign culinary traditions in the Western world. However some sources point out that this is a modern Chinese saying used by the Northern Chinese with reference to southern Chinese cuisine, especially Cantonese. I can vouch for the above being a Chinese saying as when I tell many Northern Chinese that I lived in the south of China for three years many of them will answer with a variation of the above quote. But that is not to say that it is a quote used only by the Northern Chinese. In fact many southerners will proudly tell you the same about themselves! Beers, Noodles and Cantonese Cuisine toya.....shane ________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by World Hemispheres The album was the delicious 'Fresh Global Sound' ________________________________________________

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine


Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Guangdong &#38;amp; Cantonese Cuisine

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Happy Aussie Day Mate & a Drunken Kitty Catchup

HAPPY BLOODY OZTRAYLYA DAY MATE!

Talk about having the most awesome time catching up over the last few days! Along with that add in one hell of a hangover!

I said my final good byes to my little school and dusty little town of Shangzhou on Sunday afternoon and Dutch Andre and I both made our way to Xian city as he flew home to Holland for the winter break early Monday morning and gathering how I felt Monday morning when I woke up I don't think his flight boarding would have been one to remember.

While we were busing it to Xian I got a call from Baise Kitty, who for those that don’t know or don’t remember she was a Chinese English Teacher in Aussie Kylies High School for our first year in Guangxi Province here in China way back in 2005. There was Aussie Leanne in Pingou, Aussie Judy in Tiandong, Aussie me in Tianyang, English/Chinese Gary in Baise and added to the crew was Baise Kitty and on most weekends we’d all catch our separate chicken buses to Baise city and have a wonderful time.

It really was one of my most memorable times here in China.

Anyhow, everyone but me headed back to Australia and Baise Kitty headed to Japan for a year and a half to study Japanese culture and while she was there she met a wonderful guy from Holland named Ivan. They returned to China together and soon after were married and they’ve been tooing and frowing it between China and Holland ever since. Now they have shacked up in Baise city (Guangxi Province) and have been doing a bit of travelling and this weekend they headed from Beijing to Xian city and joined Dutch Andre and I for dinner and beers. It was so wonderful to finally meet Ivan but to see Kitty again after three and a half years was totally awesome! Anyhow being in such a festive mood one thing led to another and for most of the night Dutch Ivan was waiving the poor waitresses to the bar and back again in a matter of minutes as it turned into a night of double Long Island Ice tea’s and Margaritas so needless to say none of us can remember leaving let alone getting home.

I do remember poor Andre texting me the following morning not long after his alarm went off at six.

I slept till after midday and poor Dutch Ivan who single handedly drank nearly as much as the rest of us put together was still asleep in the early evening when I rang to see if they wanted to catch up for dinner. I spent that afternoon and most of the following day walking totally around the outside of the city walls through all the little parks and gardens, taking pictures, chatting to students and squirming as I stopped to listen to the elderly sing, dance and play their memories.

To me it is always like skinning a live cat! You have to listen to it as well as feel its pain!

Tonight I decided to head across to my local hostel for a few beers and to write my 'Australia Day in Xian’ blog and as usual I found all the tables full so I grabbed my beer and computer and asked if it was ok if I grabbed a seat with one of the girls sitting alone at a table reading. We began talking and then she stopped and stared at me and asked if I was Shane which of course took me by surprise as I was going to introduce myself as Bond, James Bond but I think as she wasn’t Chinese she may have caught on pretty much straight away. So to cut a long story short about a year ago I got an email from an American lady named Laura who wanted to come to China to teach and to teach through Buckland’s and we’ve been communicating ever since. She landed a job also in Shaanxi Province and over the Christmas period we thought we had missed each other in the same hostel but we then found out we were drinking in different hostels but tonight we finally got our surprise meeting which turned into a nice couple of beers with her and her friend Chinese Shaun.

Sadly though, I had to cut it short as I have an early morning train to catch tomorrow. Thanfully to the south of China.

Also surprise to me it was the same table I met Aussie Doughal at who surprised me a few weeks later by contacting me through Facebook as he was good friends with Travelpod ScottWoz who had couch surfed at his place several years prior.

So I’m thinking I might just make that table my local each visit. Who knows who I will meet there in the future!

Anyhow I must cut it short, I did have a heap of stuff I was going to write but it turned into a much better night than I expected thanks to Laura somehow remembering my noggin from reading my blog.

PS: Below is from an Aussie Day email I have receive from several friends so I thought I’d add it as it sums us Aussie Bastards up pretty well I reckon! PSS: Next blog will be from somewhere in Guangdong Province…yeah! PSSS: Photos can be found below all text. Beers N Noodles toya…..shane

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The soundtrack to this entry was by my favourite Aussie band, The Underground Lovers The album was &#8216;Rushall Station’ _________________________________________________________________________

GOD BLESS AUSTRALIA, WE ARE ONE We are the people of a free nation of blokes, sheilas and the occasional wanker. We come from many lands (although a few too many of us come from New Zealand), and although we live in the best country in the world, we reserve the right to bitch and moan about it whenever we bloody like. We are One Nation but divided into many States.

First, there's Victoria, named after a queen who didn't believe in lesbians. Victoria is the realm of Mossimo turtlenecks, caf&eacute; latte, grand final day, and big horse races. Its capital is Melbourne, whose chief marketing pitch is that "it's liveable". At least that's what they think. The rest of us think it is too bloody cold and wet.

Next, there's NSW, the realm of pastel shorts, macchiato with sugar, thin books read quickly and millions of dancing queens. Its capital Sydney has more queens than any other city in the world and is proud of it. Its mascots are Bondi lifesavers that pull their Speedos up their cracks to keep the left and right sides of their brains separate.

Down south we have Tasmania, a State based on the notion that the family that bonks together stays together. In Tassie, everyone gets an extra chromosome at conception. Maps of the State bring smiles to the sternest faces. It holds the world record for a single mass shooting, which the Yanks can't seem to beat no matter how often they try.

South Australia is then province of half-decent reds, a festival of foreigners and bizarre axe murders. SA is the state of innovation. Where else can you so effectively reuse country bank vaults and barrels as in Snowtown, just out of Adelaide (Also named after a queen). They had the Grand Prix, but lost it when the views of Adelaide sent the Formula 1 drivers to sleep at the wheel.

Western Australia is too far from anywhere to be relevant. It's main claim to fame is that it doesn't have daylight saving because if it did, all the men would get erections on the bus on the way to work. WA was the last state to stop importing convicts and many of them still work there in the government and business.

The Northern Territory is the red heart of our land. Outback plains, sheep stations the size of Europe, kangaroos, Jackaroos, emus, Uluru, and dusty kids with big smiles. It also has the highest beer consumption of anywhere on the planet and its creek beds have the highest aluminium content of anywhere too. Although the Territory is the centrepiece of our national culture, few of us live there and the rest

prefer to flyover it on our way to Bali.

And there's Queensland. While any mention of God seems silly in a document defining a nation of half arsed sceptics, it is worth noting that God probably made Queensland, as its beautiful one day and perfect the next. Why he filled it with dickheads remains a mystery.

Oh yes and there's Canberra. The less said the better.

We, the citizens of Oz, are united by Highways, whose treacherous twists and turns kill more of us each year than murderers. We are united in our lust for international recognition, so desperate for praise we leap in joy when a rag tag gaggle of corrupt IOC officials tells us Sydney is better than Beijing. We are united by a democracy so flawed that a political party albeit a redneck gun toting one, can get a million votes and still not win one seat in Federal Parliament. Not that we're whingeing, we leave that to our Pommy immigrants.

We want to make "no worries mate" our national phrase, "she'll be right mate" our national attitude and "Waltzing Matilda" our national anthem (so what if it's about a sheep-stealing crim who commits suicide). We love sport so much our newsreaders can read the death toll from a sailing race and still tell us who's winning.

And we're the best in the world at all the sports that count, like cricket, netball, rugby league and union, AFL, roo shooting, two up and horse racing. We also have the biggest rock, the tastiest pies, and the worst dressed Olympians in the known universe. Only in Australia can a pizza delivery get to your house faster than an ambulance. Only in Australia do we have bank doors wide open, no security guards, or cameras

but chain the pens to the desk.

Stand proud Aussies - we shoot, we root, we vote. We are girt by sea and pissed by lunchtime. Even though we might seem a racist, closed minded, sports obsessed little people, at least we feel better for it.

I am, you are, we are Australian! P.S We also shoot and eat the two animals that are on our National Crest!!!! No other country has this distinction!

HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY YA BASTARDS

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City


Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

Kitty Catchup &#38;amp; Australia Day in Xian City

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