A Travellerspoint blog

February 2010

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

Falling on the 15th day of the first month of the Lunar Year, the Lantern Festival takes place under a full moon, and marks the end of Chinese New Year festivities. The Lantern Festival dates back to shrouded legends of the Han Dynasty over two thousand years ago.

Legend of the Lantern Festival's Origin

In one such legend, the Jade Emperor in Heaven was so angered at a town for killing his favorite goose that he decided to destroy it with a storm of fire. However, a good-hearted fairy heard of this act of vengeance, and warned the people of the town to light lanterns throughout the town on the appointed day. The townsfolk did as they were told, and from the Heavens, it looked as if the village was ablaze. Satisfied that his goose had already been avenged, the Jade Emperor decided not to destroy the town. From that day on, people celebrated the anniversary of their deliverance by carried lanterns of different shapes and colors through the streets on the first full moon of the year, providing a spectacular backdrop for lion dances, dragon dances, and fireworks.

The Modern Lantern Festival

While the Lantern Festival has changed very little over the last two millennia, technological advances have made the celebration moreand more complex and visually stimulating. Indeed, the festival as celebrated in some places (such as Taipei, Taiwan) can put even the most garish American Christmas decorations to shame. They often sport unique displays of light that leave the viewer in awe.

Master craftsman will construct multicolored paper lanterns in the likeness of butterflies, dragons, birds, dragonflies, and many other animals; these accentuate the more common, red, spherical lanterns. Brilliantly-lit floats and mechanically driven light displays draw the attention of the young and old alike. Sometimes, entire streets are blocked off, with lanterns mounted above and to the sides, creating a hallway of lamps. Some cities in North China even make lanterns from blocks of ice and just as in days gone by, the billion-watt background sets the scene for dragon and lion dances, parades, and other festivities.

Yuan Xiao and Tang Yuan

Yuan Xiao and Tang Yuan are balls of glutinous rice, sometimes rolled around a filling of sesame, peanuts, vegetable, or meat. Tang Yuan are often cooked in red-bean or other kinds of soup.

The round shape symbolizes wholeness and unity. Beers N Noodles toya…..shane _______________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by DEF FX The album was 'Baptism' _______________________________________

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls


The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

The Lantern Festival on the Xian City Walls

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

Famen Temple & a Finger Bone of the Buddha

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Sadly it has arrived; today is the last day of the 2010 Winter Beers N Noodles Adventure. Tomorrow I will grab a bus with a new teacher and we will venture into the new term.

From my understanding I will be teaching in a school in Hanzhong City which sits in the south west of Shaanxi Province and is around four hours from Xian city where I am sitting right now. I will be teaching Grades 4 to 6 and Aussie Brad will be teaching Grades 1 to 3 and the two new female foreign teachers will be in a Private Primary School about twenty minutes from ours so it more than looks like next term will be full of Beers N Noodles and other great adventures.

Between now and then though is this evening!

A big dinner has been organised for all the foreign teachers that are here or about to arrive so it will be actually great to meet some of the people I’ve been chatting to about coming to China to teach for the past many months. I never get to meet most of the people I help as I’m usually here or way over there for my holidays and never over there where they are as I’ve already been there. So not only am I looking forward to the dinner but I am now actually getting rather excited about the coming term and being in a new school even though I’ve mostly heard bad things about it.

One thing I have learned in life is that things change and if you’re in a situation that needs to be changed, then go about changing it to suite your needs and if that change is walled then scamper off to find a new adventure and a new situation that suites you.

Apart from that the winter cold is at its tail end and we are now having two warm days for each coolish day As there is no great need for winter clothes I think you know what is racing through my mind each warm day and yes you guessed it, getting back on a bike and finding new and exciting bike rides in my new area. At this very moment I’m having lunch with Laura who was one of the last teachers at my new school and who like most, left very unhappy at the way she was treated and at not being allowed to teach 'her’ way but instead forced to teach the Chinese ‘Repeat Repeat’ way.

Needless to say we are having a bit of a giggle now that it’s over.

The most exciting thing I’ve done since returning to the north is visit the Famen Temple which renowned for storing the veritable Finger Bone of the Sakyamuni Buddha and is located in Fufeng County in Shaaxi Province which is 120km east of Xi'an and has a history of more than seventeen hundred years. I’ve been meaning to check it out for the past year but have just never put the plan into action. Thankfully when I was chatting to Chen Miao she jumped at it as she has never had a chance to visit which is sad as she is a local and it also houses something so important to a belief she holds so near.

We met at the KFC across from the train station and grabbed the 8:00am Tour Bus Number 2 from outside of the train station. The bus costs Twenty Five Yuan each way and my first piece of advice is to tell you NOT buy your return ticket in the morning with your ticket there as they will when you board the return you will be told it is not the correct ticket and that you need to purchase a new one for your journey home. Thankfully when they tried that with us Chen Miao happily raced off and returned with five police officers and from the way they dragged the driver from the bus it was obvious this wasn’t the first time he and his smart mouthed assistant had tried to steal money in such a way.

When we were walking to the ticket office we were bombarded by elderly incense sellers who have learned not to take no for an answer and will follow you and prod and pock you until you either run away or turn and yell at them. Once we finally got past the incense ladies we then had men telling us not to buy a ticket as they could get us in for a much cheaper price. My gut instinct was telling me that it was not a good idea so I happily paid the 90Yuan for each ticket and off we went.

Second piece of advice

Thankfully we did purchase tickets as during the afternoon we witnessed entire families being escorted from the grounds for not having a ticket to show during random ticket checks and it may sound a little harsh but the fact is we witnessed around twenty people jumping the fence with help from the locals and their long bamboo ladders. Sadly for them within minutes they were being chased by several golf carts full of Police and then being escorted from the grounds. So if you are going to visit the temple do yourself a favor and pay the ticket price as there is more of a chance that you WILL get caught and thrown from the grounds never to return.

My initial thoughts of the temple upon arrival were; Oh my god, what in the world is that? Is it a museum or is it a hotel?

This place is huge, in fact it is more than huge and no expense has been spared during its construction due to government plans for it to be the future terracotta warriors. After we entered I walked around with thoughts that we had wasted our time and money coming to visit this ‘thing’ but not long after seeing the actual strangely shaped temple that sat far in the misty distance I began warming to the place. As it was a coldish day we decided to do a happy couple thing and raced from place to place taking as many silly photos as we possibly could of each other. We raced from here to there and up and down stairs and then over there and when we had had enough of the Famen Temple we entered the smaller Tang style temple that is included in your ticket price which wasn’t really that exciting. We then left the grounds via the Tang Dynasty gate and spent the next few hours visiting the two sites that are in view down the dusty yet busy road way that leads to the local bus station.

Both are worth visiting and even though the eighteen Yuan entry fee for a small bland sixth centaury temple is too high we actually had more fun there than at the Famen Temple. Your entry fee gets you into the small Buddhist hell/haunted house dungeon beneath the huge four faced Buddha figure above.

The actual Buddha is an eight storey pagoda and worth climbing the rickety stairs for the view.

After the two hour journey back to Xian we had our last dinner together for what will most likely be several months after which we waved our sad goodbyes through the rear window of the bus that was to take her to her small village on the out skirts of the city.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane PS: As usual all photos can be found beneath the photos. ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Rage Against The Machine The album was ‘The Battle For Los Angeles’ ____________________________________________________________

<u>The Famen Temple</u>

Famen Temple was built in the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220).

Also known as King Asoka Temple.

According to the Buddhist scriptures, in 272BC, King Asoka of India presented relics of Buddha to different places in order to carry forward Buddhist doctrines. All places receiving such relics had to build pagodas to enshrine them; therefore, eighty four thousand pagodas were built worldwide. There are nineteen such pagodas in China, among which Famen Temple is the largest. Its prosperity began during the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534) and reached the peak in the Sui and Tang dynasties (581-907) when it was reputed as an imperial temple. Eight emperors of the Tang Dynasty welcomed several times the bone relics of the Buddha back to the palace for worship and awarded a large amount of treasure to the temple which was stored at its underground palace.

<u>Four Gates</u>

Between Temple Gate Square and Foguang Avenue stand four gates, Foguang Gate, Prajna Gate, Bodhi Gate and Perfect Wisdom Gate. Foguang Gate is the place where the light of Buddha delivers all beings from torture and guides them to the Buddhist Faramita. Inside the Foguang Gate are the two still water pools named "Heart-Pacifying Pool." As sacred symbol of Buddhism, lotus living in the silt but not stained signifies the purity of Buddhists among the filthy world.

Prajna refers great wisdom in Buddhism.

<u>Foguang Avenue</u>

As the main axle, it divides the Scenic Area into the Western and Eastern Sections. The Eastern Section, named "Famous Site of Buddha", displays the whole process from the birth to the nirvana of Sakyamuni. The Western Section, named "Source of Buddhist Realm", exhibits the great advance of Buddhism since Sakyamuni's nirvana.

Along the Foguang Avenue are the ten statutes of well-known Bodhisattva.

<u>Namaste Dagoba and The Buddha’s Finger Bone</u>

Namaste Dagoba was completed on May 9, 2009 after three years construction.

At the center of temple is the thirteen tiered octagonal pagoda (148m) under which it is said, a sliver of the finger bone of Sakyamuni was discovered. In 1981, subsidence of the pagoda led to reconstruction, during which, an Underground Palace was discovered unexpectedly in 1987. Many royal treasures and jewellery were found here - more than two thousand pieces surrounded the Tang mandala (geometric designs, usually circular, symbolizing the universe).

The most precious one is the veritable Finger Bone of the Sakyamuni Buddha.

<u>The Temple Museum</u>

Famen Temple Museum was established in 1987, which includes most of the precious treasures from the Tang Dynasty removed from Underground Palace, including gold and silverware, colored glaze ware, porcelain and silks. Owing to more and more tourists and their curiosity to the relics, two new exhibition halls were established in the year 2000 and the exhibition area expanded from five hundred square meters to three thousand square meters.

Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao


Famen Temple With Chen Miao

Famen Temple With Chen Miao

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

Last Snacks & Beers in Guangdong Province 2010

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Getting the actual ticket was a real bugger. The train journey back was a more than a real shaker. After a twenty seven hour journey I can once again be found in the land of northern noodles.

After saying good bye to Sofia and Steph I left Zhaoqing and decided to head back to Guangzhou to snack myself around the city for a few days before heading back north. I found a hotel near the main train station which turned out to be a real watery experience as for some reason everything leaked. The walls were always wet and the roof constantly dripped so much that when I woke on the next morning my head and pillow were half soaked as was my pack on the other bed.

Obviously I packed and grabbed another nearby hotel to throw my pack in

Most of my daylight hours were spent revisiting the many tranquil parks that can be found around the city and my neon nights were spent walking and snacking my way around the bustling brightly lit streets most of which were found around the Xia Jiulu and the Shang Jiulu shopping street area. Some of my daylight hours were wasted at the train station where each visit I had to stand in line for over an hour. The first visit of course was to grab the initial ticket north after which I walked away stamping my feet with a hard seat ticket for a twenty seven hour journey as there were no hard sleeper tickets left. After a flash flood of previous 'over twenty hour’ hard seat journeys I returned to see if I could upgrade to soft sleeper. Thankfully I got the same lady as the previous day who told me that if I could wait she was sure one would be returned soon. This of course meant I could have to stand there for many hours but the flash flood of past memories made the wait worthwhile.

Thankfully I only had to wait for an hour and rode my happy cloud out of the station with a smile.

Several hours later I got a text message from Buckland’s telling me that it was best not to return early as the school I’m going to likes their foreign teachers to arrive on the March 1st and instantly the fluffy white clouds floating in my Soft Sleeper mind soon darkened and I once again returned to the busy ticket office at the train station to change the date of my ticket and grab another four days in Canton city. After well over an hour’s wait I was given a big NO and the ticket was thrown back to me by a lady who for obvious reasons had had enough of her day behind the glassed window that separated her from thousands of rude and impatient Chinese who all pushed and shoved each other in and out of line trying to be next.

Right now in China it is the last few days of Spring Festival. As usual they are some of the worst!

Now you have millions of students trying to grab tickets back to their school along with many others who are trying to either change their ticket or grab an extra ticket for a friend. As usual the rudest and most disgusting behavior on the planet was performed by none other than the Chinese Military who walked to the front of any line, shoved their stupid little red book into everyone’s face and then shoved them out of the way. The silly assed git who tried that on me had my passport shoved back in his face and a return shove towards the back of the line and surprise to me and all those around he actually went to the back of the line.

Um…Military Red Book versus Australian Passport…how in the world did mine win? Maybe he was a nice guy and beneath his uniform there was a man of thought and respect.

For those who think that the Chinese people &#8216;love and adore’ their military you are sadly mistaken. Due to many soldiers total disrespect for anyone around them who isn’t wearing a uniform many of the Chinese citizens now return as much as the soldiers give. They scream abuse and shove them back but sadly it is the police who love and adore the Military and allow them to rudely shove aside the next to be served, take their place and totally ignore the frustrations of those who have been waiting in line for hours.

SO FOR THOSE TRAVELLING OR WANTING TO TRAVEL CHINA BY TRAIN; YOU CAN ONLY MAKE CHANGES ON YOUR TICKET ONCE!

Each evening after my snacks and lit neon walks I headed down to relax at Lucy’s Bar on the small yet peaceful Colonial, Shamian Island which sits at the fork of the Zhu Jiang (Pearl River) in the south west part of town. On my last night I made the awesomely fun mistake of grabbing a chair at a young English guys table. I think his name was Charles and as he was obviously well educated and from a very well to do family I think Charles is a good name. We soon began to share stories and not long after we were joined by a very jolly Syrian guy with the strangest of names that I can’t remember. I do know it was the same word twice and Zat Zat or Zoot Zoot come to mind. We threw words around until well after closing time during which I caught up on many things that have been happening around the world over the past five years and after saying our drunken goodbyes I grabbed a cab back to the Sanyuanli Area and then spent the next hour across at a small bbq area I spent many hours at during last winter’s Guangzhou Beers N Noodles Adventure.

Around mid day I somehow I managed to rise and partially shined my way to the train station. One the way I grabbed some noodles for brunch and two coffee’s to go.

I then joined the millions in the waiting room and thankfully I had only five minutes wait until it was time to board my northern bound train. Five minutes after boarding found me checking out the tiny denim and high heeled Chinese beauties on the back of my eyelids and I slept for the first six hours of my journey and sadly that was almost all the sleep I was going to get for the huge price of my soft sleeper ticket. I woke around eight thirty and found three other guys had joined me, I don’t know what they had been doing or drinking for the past six or so hours but they all lay sprawled out on their beds and were rattling the roof with their loud snores.

It was then that I knew I was knackered in the sleep department. I tried to read in bed but soon I found peace on the small isle seat by the window.

Around mid night I decided to give sleeping another try and plugged my ears with my head phones (which has always worked in the past) but this time they made barely a difference. After an hour of kicking the bunk above me and slapping the hand of the guy in the bunk next to me I was returned to the small isle seat by the window to watch the darkened world go by. I am serious, in not only all of my years of travel but also those of the two cute train girls, none of us had ever come across what we heard coming from that compartment.

The three of them rattled and rolled the roof and to our amusement they let off some of the most awesome farts we had ever heard that had us almost on the floor laughing.

I’m not sure how many of the people reading this have ever travelled Sort Sleeper before but it isn’t cheap so soon the train girls took pity on me and kept bringing me free bottles of beer. As they wouldn’t take no for an answer nor my money I was hoping they both wanted to get me drunk to have their way with me but in reality I’m sure it was just to get me sloshy enough to drop off to sleep in what became known as the Pig Sty. I think it was around half five when I finally dropped off but not long after (around eight) I was woken by the social chit chat of my three smelly compartment buddies who were all refreshed and wide eyed from their roll in the hay. Thankfully not long after one of the train girls dropped in for a chat to them they all headed to the food carriage so I am sure she told them of the previous nights noise fest.

I thankfully grabbed another few hour’s sleep, woke feeling much better and then joined my bunk buddies for some noodles and a chat about life and what I have been up to in China.

Our translator was a young business man named Yan who even though he hadn’t spoken to a foreigner nor used his English in over five years, done a hell of a job and rarely needed my help with anything. It was such a wonderful time that the past nights frustration cleared as fast as the &#8216;air of death’ that hung low in the compartment. Around five this evening we all said our goodbyes (during which I gave a moments silence for their wives who each night try to sleep beside them) and I walked from the north gate to the south gate of Xian and grabbed a room for the next few nights in my usual hotel.

At the moment I’m grabbing free Wi-Fi, eating a Chef’s salad and relaxing with a few ice cold beers at the hostel across from my hotel. I just got off the phone to Chen Miao and we will happily catch up tomorrow morning and spend the day at what is known as Famen Si which is a temple a few hours west of Xian city where supposedly one of the Buddha’s Finger Bone’s can be found.

If the Buddha’s finger bone isn’t enough to get me out of bed early, Then seeing Chen Miao more than will be! Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Cinderella The album was &#8216;Heartbreak Station’ ____________________________________________________________

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province


Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

Last Drinks In Guangdong Province

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

A Huge Food Day & Goodbye with Sweet Sofia

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Mate I couldn’t fit another thing in!

After a surprise phone call this morning I happily stayed in Zhaoqing city for an extra day to spend more time with Sofia and her friend Stephanie. For lunch they took me to their favourite Traditional Chinese restaurant after which we decided to head back across to the Seven Star Crag Park. Due being locals and having it on their front door step since it opened they both hadn’t been there for many years.

Even after a huge lunch we decided to snack our way around the park. We also added in a couple of touristy V shots in between snacks.

We left the park as it was closing and bused it back to the city and walked around trying to figure out what to eat for dinner. We all wanted to eat fish so I recommended one of the sea food eateries near the bus station and on the way there we passed by the cities new Thai restaurant and we all became excited at the fact that it was there (as it wasn’t the last time both girls were in town) and that they both had never tasted Thai food before.

Needless to say the seafood eatery was scrapped in an instant and within minutes we were hungrily browsing through the menu and the girls were salivating at the pictures.

We ordered a few too many dishes (all of which were finished) and both girls now have a huge taste for all things Thai. Hopefully in a few days when they arrive in Guangzhou city (if I am still there) I will take them for their first taste of Vietnamese and that is more than worth kicking around Guangzhou for a few extra days.

After leaving the restaurant (more than full) where is the first place you head?

You guess it, the city’s most famous Desert Eatery where you order a few too many of the area’s most famous deserts to sample. The dishes they ordered were mouth wateringly delicious and somehow we ended up scraping the bottom of each bowl before deciding to call it a night. Tomorrow I will head back to Guangzhou and Sofia will spend the next two days saying good bye to many friends that she won’t see again until the 2011 Spring Festival.

Tonight I also received a call from Ping from Buckland’s.

It looks like both Aussie Brad and I will be unpacking our packs, flash cards and other teaching stuff at a school in Hanzhong City which can be found in the south west of Shaanxi Province. The city is supposed to be nice but the school itself has more than a bad reputation with many of its previous foreign teachers. I know this as I have been the first person many of them have emailed to see if what they were experiencing was considered 'normal’ and in no way was a lot of it normal.

Some of it was of course put down to new teachers not understanding the different cultures. Sadly though many have left with bad memories and experiences.

So I’m thinking that it will be kind of fun to step in as an experienced teacher, dish back much more than they know how to dish out and to do my best at teaching them how foreigners should be treated when they are so far from their family and friends. If the school is as stupid and as closed minded as I believe they are then they can simply slurp my noodle and take a long walk on a short plank as I will be in no way taking any of the crap they have been dealing to their foreign teachers in the past.

If I am to unpack there I’m sure there will be a couple of &#8216;interesting’ blogs in the future. Of course though I will go in with an open mind and noodle bowl and let it unfold. But for now I have some packing to do and a beer to try and squeeze in.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by the Infectious Grooves The album was The Plague That Makes Your Booty Move’ ____________________________________________________________

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie


Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

Huge Food Day with Sofia &#38;amp; Stephanie

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

The Zhongxin Water Pavilion & Boat Ride Adventure

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Sadly Sofia’s relatives dropped in to say hello and we couldn’t spend the day together as planned so I decided to sleep in and give my legs a bit of a rest after all the stairs and walking yesterday before I headed out with no other plan except to find an adventure. I find it amazingly strange when I meet travellers who complain that they are bored.

Infact it always leaves me bewildered, so here’s how you fill in hours that can leave you bored.

When I reached the door of the hotel I actually stopped because I had no idea where to go as I’ve pretty much seen the entire city. I decided to head for the lake area and make a plan from there and thankfully on the way I remembered that near the south entrance to the Seven Star Crag Park there was also another small ticket box asking for twenty Yuan so I decided to head there and see what my twenty Yuan would buy me and what it bought me was time on a tiny yet very peaceful island upon which I found an exquisite pavilion which is infact one of the most beautiful pavilions I have ever seen. As there was no English I have no idea what it is called so I’m naming it the Zhongxin Lake Water Pavilion. I slowly walked around taking photos and chatted to a family from Guangzhou and then sat to read for an hour in the pavilion before making my way back to the lake side Arch Park to figure out what to do with the rest of my day.

So what does one do with their time when they are next to a lake? They take a boat ride to fill in their time and to see the area from the inside looking out.

I can’t say I would take the boat ride again as everything actually looks much more beautiful from the outside looking in. It was also cold and it drizzly and there were two young boys yelling and screaming whom I felt like throwing in the water to make my time more enjoyable. Thankfully for them the boat ride only went for about twenty minutes and the little monsters escaped to dry land unscathed. The adventure takes you around the lakes circumference and for those who love walking the only real difference is that things really do look better on foot viewing the lake with the crags in the distance.

Once I had my land legs back I then had to once again figure out what to do with my time. So I decided to do something I’ve done quite a few times during my Beers N Noodles Adventures.

I stood at the first bus top I found, boarded the first bus that came by and watched the city pass by outside my window. When we reached its destination I began to check out the area I was in and found myself beneath the Xiyiang Bridge which is the west bridge across the Xi River. I then found a sign telling me that Mr Boa’s Temple was up 'that’ road so I walked and walked that road but found no temple. By now it was beginning to get dark and I was getting hungry and I found myself at the starting/finishing point for buses six and twenty near the end of Chengzhong Lu which is the road that takes you through the heart of the ancient walled area of the city. I grabbed a bus back to the vibrant night market area of the city and spent a few hours snacking my way around the city I have fallen totally in love with but as usual will soon find myself viewing from the back window of a bus and leaving to my past.

Maybe this entry ends my time here in Zhaoqing city. That depends on whether Sofia is busy tomorrow.

What I do know is that Zhaoqing city has been my favourite city and most probably my last city for the 2010 Winter Beers N Noodles Adventure. I also know and have shown that an adventure always lays at the feet of those who are willing to place one food in front of the other and allow their day to unfold. Very soon I will have to head back to Guangzhou (Canton city) for a few days to grab a ticket back to Xian and hopefully arrive prior to the beginning of the new school term (March 1st) which will also most likely be in a new school.

So soon another new adventure will begin in the life of me. It’s a tough life mate, but somebody has to do it. I’m more than glad it is me!

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Global Psychedelic Trance The album was &#8216;Spirit Zone Seven’ ____________________________________________________________

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure


Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

Zhongxin Water Pavilion &#38;amp; Boat Ride Adventure

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