A Travellerspoint blog

February 2012

The 2012 Winters Beers N Noodles Adventures End

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Do you want to know what I reckon? I reckon it feels like I'm sitting in Mc Donald’s in Melbourne. I reckon it feels that way because there are just as many Chinese people in it.

I also reckon that it would have been nice to have stayed longer in both Honkers & Moo Moo Cow but the Chinese New Year hotel prices in Hong Kong amputated both my arms and legs as payment and those in Macau quickly began working on the rest of my body. What I paid for a single night’s accommodation in Macau would have seen me throw my pack on many small, yet comfortable hotel beds on the mainland for anywhere between two to three weeks. Needless to say that this year’s 'Winters Beers N Noodles Adventure’ was one that I had put off for some time due to its expected cost but I did know that one future Winter’s Break I would simply sweep JiangNi off her feet, take her on her first ‘out of China’ adventure and sit mesmerized by the most beautiful pair of eyes and smile that I have ever set eyes upon.

I reckon that she is all the missing blocks in my Great Wall of China Lego set. Yep, I reckon she’s a bloody bewdy mate!

I reckon that when Lisa Jane & I left Shenzhen I expected and was more than happy to simply spend, chop off both arms and legs, sell kidneys and wash dishes to make sure that I got to see her shine and that we both got to live the experience that we believed both Honkers & Moo Moo Cow would offer us.

I reckon that it was that and much more! So do you want to know what I reckon?

I reckon that this Winters Beers N Noodles Adventure was right up there with some of my most favourites from over the past seven years. After arriving back in Shenzhen from Moo Moo Cow, life instantly took on that of a winters hibernation as each morning brought with it wind, wet and cold. So we stocked the apartment shelves, slept the cold days away and snuggled each night watching movies and reading books. I reckon that due to her work and lack of holidays that it has been some time since Jiang Ni and I have travelled together and that we really needed this time away and I reckon that it was just as romantic and beautiful as when we first met in the hostel in the tiny ancient red lantern lit walled village of Pingyao in Shanxi Province.

Do you know what I also reckon? I reckon Honkers was an amazing place to visit and that I will return. I reckon that it was rather nice of it to offer several Vietnamese Eateries.

I reckon though that the only Honker disappointment was the harbor light show when both Jiang Ni and I were still sitting in wait for it to ‘really start to do something’ at its end. I reckon though that the couple of cold cans of 10% Dutch beer I found on the way back to the hotel more than made up for it.

Do you know what I also reckon?

I reckon that it was just so totally amazing to have finally met my iSister CristinaW and her most awesome boyfriend Kungfu Ken. I reckon that it was so wonderful of them to give up three days during their Chinese New Year to show us ‘their’ Macau’. Yep, I reckon that was very special of them! I also reckon that Macau is one of the most beautiful places that I’ve ever been to and I reckon that it is stocked choca-block more full of history than my fridge is of beer!

Do you know what I also reckon?

I reckon like at the end of each Beers N Noodles Adventure that I’m found sitting in McDonald’s trying to both begin and finish some of my last god knows how many blogs, but I reckon that Chinese girls are simply far too beautiful for me to concentrate on trying to be informative, witty and full of travel adventure to care about writing.

I also continue to reckon that Mc Donald’s can't cook a chicken wrap and I still reckon even if they hired KFC workers something would go wrong and it would still taste like cardboard so I reckon I might as well be eating the Super Chinese Eyes girl’s party hat from last year’s ending blog.

I also reckon the Mc Donald's girl was a little silly giving me three sugars and one milk and for not taking back the one sugar and the milk when I tried to give them to her. I reckon she would have so much trouble playing charades as even though I didn’t speak, in Chinese she continually told me that she couldn’t understand me. I reckon what’s so hard to understand about someone trying to give back something with their hands so I reckon in the end that I just left them on the counter and that she must have felt a little silly.

I reckon it's still really cool that all foreigners continue to look the same to Chinese people, so much so that once again the Chinese have confused me for 007 or Austin Powers as a group of girls came over before and wanted to take photos with me so I reckon that continues to make me an International Man of Mystery!

I reckon that you want to know what I really REALLY reckon! I reckon that's it mate, the 2012 ‘Winter Beers N Noodles Adventure’ is at its end.

I reckon Lisa Jane and I had a great time and visited some awesome places full of so much beauty and history. I reckon we met some great people all whom helped us (even though speaking Cantonese) when we needed it and with whom we shared some great moments with. I reckon that during our visits to both Honkers & Moo Moo Cow that I didn’t drink a single Chinese beer and I reckon most importantly, I drank some fine and tasty foreign beers and ate some delicious foreign (Vietnamese) noodles!

I reckon that more importantly than 'most importantly'; That we survived all of the trains and ferries! I reckon 'Life Huh!' 'Go Figure!'

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

I reckon that the soundtrack to this entry was a single song that I want to dedicate to my beautiful Lisa Jane. The band was The Proclaimers. The song was ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles). ____________________________________________________________

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

Fifty Six Ethnic Groups In One Day

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

This is one for the Lemuer Gulliver's who inserted the extra dime!

For those Lemuer Gulliver’s who want to Supersize Me their order of China and are either on limited time in here and simply wish to outshine and stampede around a more life sized atmosphere. So instead of rushing around trekking all over the country to try to experience its fifty six different ethnic groups, why not simply begin your adventure here and supersize your order and stampede around finding out which ethnic groups are the most interesting to you and then after a few too many beers do your best to try visit them.

Seriously though from personal experience, to actually get to any of these villages will take not only many cases of beer but also an entire truck load of patience. You will need to travel to the closest major town/city (anywhere between ten to forty hours by train) and then you will need to find the next local bus (no actual road & chickens as your passengers) that will take you anywhere close to your chosen ethnic village.

Many buses only travel several days a week. Travelling rural China at the best of times can be a complete bitch!

Anyhow, back to the park, throughout the day one gets to experience the diverse and colorful cuisines, handicrafts, customs, architecture along with some of their different festivals that are celebrated here throughout the year. At more than two hundred square meters, the park offers twenty four life sized ethnic villages, folk art, folk customs, various folk dwellings along with different ethnic food and snacks.

Personally though, I have been to, eaten in, slept in and experienced MOST of what the Parks original ethnic villages have to offer in their actual positions in China but today I walked and snacked my way around in total bliss!.

I Loved it! The free entertainment each evening is more than worth sleeping in, arriving at the park after lunch to spend the afternoon snaking your way around each different ethnic group to then kick back and relax before the nights spectacular performance!

<u> A Few Examples of Traditional Architecture</u>

The stone village of the Buyi ethnic group, distributed mainly throughout Sichuan and Guizhou Provinces made me like I was dropping into visit The Flintstones for a cup of tea as not only are their homes made of stone but also their simple furniture such as tables, stoves and basins are made of stone.

The Mosuo People's village is like a prototype of modern day flats as they pile solid wooden stocks crossways into a square or rectangular house which also make them quakeproof and even more interesting is that this group, even today are the world's only matriarchal community.

The Dai ethnic group whom inhabit Yunnan Province where there is abundance of bamboo and due to this, all the girders, tiles and roofs of their homes are made of bamboo. Their homes are very much like a two storied attic that resembles a large boat. Dozens of wooden /bamboo stocks are used to raise the home due to Yunnan’s intense summer heat.

The Mongol ethnic group, due to their nomadic living habits, live in the yurts which are not only cool in summer and warm in winter but easy to set up or dismantle.

<u>A Few Examples of Traditional Ethnic Festivals</u>

Depending on what time of year it is, most ethnic groups will celebrate some of their unique festivals. The Water Splashing Festival is the most important event in the Dai Peoples lunar calendar which during summer is celebrated daily. By throwing buckets of water over anyone who is close they hope to rid evil and misfortune from the last year and anticipate blessings in the coming year.

The Torch Festival is the most traditional event of the Yi ethnic group and held in the sixth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. Tourists will see the Yi people in bright garments carrying torches as they walk around their houses and farmlands. Usually, chickens or ducks will be sacrificed to pay homage to ancestors.

The breathtaking and memorable Knife Bar Festival of the Lisu ethnic group is celebrated in the second month of the Chinese lunar calendar. This two part festival starts on the first day by the men jumping barefoot into a sea of fire. The second days performance is just as adventurous, as the men climb a ladder formed by two wooden poles with thirty two sharp long knives inserted crosswise and once they reach the top of ladder of knife blades, they light the firecrackers to celebrate their success.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Inxs The album was 'All Juiced Up’ ____________________________________________________________

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