A Travellerspoint blog

June 2011

The 2011 Summer Beers N Noodles Adventure Begins

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

So what part of China have I chosen to travel over the summer break? Manchuria is the historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia.

Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China and includes Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang Provinces but sometimes it can cross into Russia. This region is the traditional homeland of the Xianbei, Khitan and Jurchen peoples who built several dynasties in the area.

The region is also the home of the Manchus, after whom Manchuria is named. 'Manchuria’ is a translation of the Manchu word Manju.

According to the Manchu Records, the name Manju was originally given by the legendary dynastic founder Bukuri Yong to the country he established when he united the three warring clans of Odoli at the location of the modern city of Dunhua in Jilin province.

<u>Geography and Climate</u>

Manchuria consists mainly of the northern side of the funnel-shaped North China Craton, a large area of tilled and overlaid Precambrian rocks. The North China Craton was an independent continent prior to the Triassic period, and is known to have been the northernmost piece of land in the world during the Carboniferous. The Khingan Mountains in the west are a Jurassic mountain range formed by the collision of the North China Craton with the Siberian Craton.

This marked the final stage of the formation of the supercontinent Pangaea.

In the summer, when the land heats up faster than the ocean, low pressure forms over Asia and warm, moist south to southeasterly winds bring heavy, thundery rain, yielding annual rainfall ranging from 400 mm, or less in the west, to over 1150 mm in the Changbai Mountains. Temperatures in the summer are very warm to hot, with July average maxima ranging from 31&deg;C in the south to 24&deg;C in the extreme north. In the winter however, the vast Siberian High causes very cold, north to northwesterly winds that bring temperatures as low as &#8722;5&deg;C in the extreme south and &#8722;30&deg;C in the north, where the zone of discontinuous permafrost reaches northern Heilongjiang.

<u>History of Manchuria </u>

Manchuria was the homeland of several nomadic tribes, including the Manchu, Ulchs and Hezhen. Various ethnic groups and their respective kingdoms, including the Sushen, Donghu, Xianbei, Wuhuan, Mohe, Khitan and Jurchens have risen to power in Manchuria. At various times in this time period, Han Dynasty, Cao Wei Dynasty, Western Jin Dynasty, Tang Dynasty and some other minor kingdoms of China occupied significant parts of Manchuria. Various Korean kingdoms, such as Gojoseon, Buyeo, Goguryeo and Balhae were also established in parts of this area.

<u>Manchuria under the Mongol Empire</u>

In 1211, after the conquest of Western Xia, Genghis Khan mobilized an army to conquer the Jin Dynasty. His general Jebe and brother Qasar were ordered to reduce the Jurchen cities in Manchuria. They successfully destroyed the Jin forts there. The Khitans under Yel&uuml; Liuge declared their allegiance to Genghis Khan and established nominally autonomous state in Manchuria in 1213.

Genghis Khan (1206&#8211;1227) gave his brothers and Muqali Chinese districts in Manchuria.

During the Yuan Dynasty (1271&#8211;1368), established by Kublai Khan (r. 1260-1294) by renaming the empire to "Great Yuan" in 1271, Manchuria was divided into Liaoyang and Zhendong districts. Descendants of Genghis Khan's brothers such as Belgutei and Qasar ruled the area under the Great Khans. The Mongols eagerly adopted new artillery and technologies.

The world's earliest known cannon, dated 1282, was found in Mongol-held Manchuria.

<u>Manchuria during the Ming Dynasty</u>

The Ming Dynasty took control of Liaoning in 1371, just three years after the expulsion of the Mongols from Beijing. During the reign of the Yongle Emperor in the early 15th century, efforts were made to expand Chinese control throughout entire Manchuria. Mighty river fleets were built in Jilin City, and sailed several times between 1409 and ca. 1432, commanded by the eunuch Yishiha down the Sungari and the Amur all the way to the mouth of the Amur, getting the chieftains of the local tribes to swear allegiance to the Ming rulers.

<u>Manchuria within the Qing Dynasty</u>

In 1644, after the Ming Dynasty's capital of Beijing was sacked by the peasant rebels, the Manchus allied with Ming general Wu Sangui and seized control of Beijing, overthrowing the short-lived Shun Dynasty and soon established the Qing Dynasty rule (1644&#8211;1912) over all of China.

<u>Russian and Japanese Encroachment</u>

By the 19th century, Manchu rule had become increasingly sinicised and, along with other borderlands of the Qing Empire such as Mongolia and Tibet, came under the influence of European powers such as Britain which nibbled at Tibet, France at Hainan and Germany at Shandong. Meanwhile the Russian Empire encroached upon Turkestan and Outer Mongolia.

Inner Manchuria also came under strong Russian influence with the building of the Chinese Eastern Railway through Harbin to Vladivostok. Some poor Korean farmers moved there. In Chung Guondong many Han farmers, mostly from Shandong peninsula moved there.

Japan replaced Russian influence in the southern half of Inner Manchuria as a result of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904&#8211;1905. Most of the southern branch of the Chinese Eastern Railway (the section from Changchun to Port Arthur (Japanese: Ryojun)) was transferred from Russia to Japan, and became the South Manchurian Railway. In this series of historical events, Jiandao (in the region bordering Korea), was handed over to Qing Dynasty as a compensation for the South Manchurian Railway.

Between both world wars (WW1/WW2), Manchuria became a political and military battleground. Japanese influence extended into Outer Manchuria in the wake of the Russian Revolution of 1917, but Outer Manchuria had reverted to Soviet control by 1925. Japan took advantage of the disorder following the Russian Revolution to occupy Outer Manchuria, but Soviet successes and American economic pressure forced Japanese withdrawal.

<u>Japanese Invasion and Manchukuo</u>

Following the Mukden Incident in 1931 and the subsequent Japanese invasion of Manchuria, Inner Manchuria was proclaimed as an independent state, Manchukuo. The last Manchu emperor, Puyi, was then placed on the throne to lead a Japanese puppet government in the Wei Huang Gong, better known as "Puppet Emperor's Palace". Inner Manchuria was thus detached from China by Japan to create a buffer zone to defend Japan from Russia's Southing Strategy and, with Japanese investment and rich natural resources, became an industrial domination. However, under Japanese control Manchuria was one of the most brutally run regions in the world, with a systematic campaign of terror and intimidation against the local Russian and Chinese populations including arrests, organised riots and other forms of subjugation.

<u>After World War II</u>

After the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan in 1945, the Soviet Union invaded from Soviet Outer Manchuria as part of its declaration of war against Japan. Soon afterwards, the Chinese communists and nationalists started fighting for the control over Manchuria. The communists won in the Liaoshen Campaign and took complete control over Manchuria. With the encouragement of the Soviet Union, Manchuria was then used as a staging ground during the Chinese Civil War for the Communist Party of China, which emerged victorious in 1949.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by KISS The album was &#8216;Kiss My Ass’ ____________________________________________________________

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

Xiamei Village & The Start of the Ancient Tea Road

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Not only have I visited the tomb of the guy who founded the Ancient Silk Road, but I have also been to the beginning of the Ancient Silk Road in Xian City, but now I have been to the ancient village where the Ancient Tea Silk Road began...I think thats damn awesome for one life time!

Xiamei, a small village nestled in the mountains six kilometers east of Wuyishan City in southeastern China’s Fujian Province, is historically considered to be the starting point of the Ancient Tea Road. Today, it also holds two official honors: The village is part of the Wuyi Mountain resort, a World Natural and Cultural Heritage Site; and it is also recognized as one of China’s Famous Villages with Historical and Cultural Significance.

As there are no buses to Xiamei you can either catch one of the small mini-vans or pay for a taxi. Catrine and I decided to begin our adventurous day there and have the taxi driver show us around. Unlike Ancient Heping Village you do need a ticket to enter and the money then goes into restoring the village and helps the villagers continue live in an area where the only employment is farming and as all of the younger generation has moved to larger cities one must wonder how long the fields will remain.

<u>Xiamei, a Peaceful Riverside Retreat</u>

A stone wall with a faded slogan translated as "Taking grain production as baseline" stood alone, like a has-been and aged actor beside an abandoned stage. Not far away, the Ancestor Bridge crossed the Dangxi River, which runs through the village. The bridge was built by local guilds in commemoration of the founders of ancient professions. The original Ancestor Bridge was demolished during the Cultural Revolution, and it is now a two-story wooden structure with four upturned eaves. Here, one could imagine hearing the carpenters crafting the wood with axes, blacksmiths hammering in the workshop and boat trackers singing in unison.

Those ancient professions have almost disappeared with the passage of time, and the Ancestor Bridge is perhaps the only reminder of the village’s past prosperity.

The Dangxi River flows gently from west to east, dividing the village into two parts. Along the old stone-paved road in the village are preserved more than 30 residences dating back to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The ancient structures with white walls and black tiles, as well as gate towers, girders and windows decorated with superb brick, wooden or stone carvings, reminded me of walking through an old lane in the water regions of South China. Glancing up, I caught a glimpse of a beautiful girl, her head leaning out of a window. Several young ladies were picking tea leaves along the riverside, and such a scene reflected on the water was reminiscent of an impressionistic oil painting.

In the setting sun, a group of women, just having finished washing their clothes at the riverside, chatted all the way home, their laughter ringing in the air.

The locals built long benches with wooden planks against the balustrades by the river, and these they gave a poetic name: “Beauty’s Backrest.” Here is where the villagers take a break, chat and drink tea in their spare time. On this hot afternoon, however, I encountered only a few people here. Even the ducks hid themselves in the shade of a stone bridge over the Dangxi River. Strolling along the riverside street, I came across three dogs dozing on the ground.

Hearing the steps of strangers, they opened their eyes, barely, seemingly reluctantly, and did not bother to move their heads.

I stayed at the Xiamei Guesthouse, the only hotel and the tallest building in the village, and the only brick-and-concrete structure along the local stretch of the Dangxi River. Although built in 1998, the hotel maintains the architectural style of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasties, behooving the overall look of the village. Since 1999, when Wuyi Mountain was inscribed to the World Heritage List, to preserve the village’s original look and charm, new structures must comply with official processes of design approval.

My vision blurred with the change of light when I stepped into the hotel.

At that moment, I saw nothing but an expanse of red. A moment later when my eyes began to clear, I saw that the red expanse was actually 20 jars of waxberry wine on the counter. Then, local products for sale, such as snake-infused liquor, tea, mushrooms and bamboo shoots in bottles, barrels or plastic bags, came into sight. Local residents maintain a tradition of making waxberry wine. Each May when the waxberry matures, locals will gather the wild fruit in the mountains and soak them in wine.

Wild waxberries are too acidic for people to eat, but they add a special flavor to wine.

Next to the hotel is Zou’s Ancestral Temple, the largest structure in the village. Despite more than a century of weathering, the brick-carved mystical beasts sitting on upturned roof ridges still guard the old courtyard, while exquisite brick carvings decorating the gate tower remind visitors of the past glory and distinction of the Zou clan.

Built in 1790, the 55th year during the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty, the temple is a brick-and-wooden structure covering an area of more than two hundred square meters. In front of its gate stands a stone stake, which in ancient times was used to tie up the horses of descendants who came to worship their ancestors. Enshrined in the temple are steles with inscriptions of family rules and temple annals. The main hall is flanked with two side buildings. The second floor of the main hall was once a place for opera performances. The distinctively-designed corridor in front of the hall is supported by wooden arches, which are sometime used to hang lanterns. In the courtyard there is a small rainspout in the shape of ancient Chinese coin, and which is now covered by moss.

In northern Fujian during the Qing Dynasty, the Zou clan was known for its incredible wealth. According to the revised Annals of Chong’an County, in the 19th year during the reign of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty, Xiamei Village in Chong’an County was a place of many tea markets, and each day three hundred rafts shuttled here to transport tea leaves to other places.

All the local merchants were of the Zou clan.

Xiamei was once the starting point of the Ancient Tea Road, which extended from northern Fujian to Moscow. In ancient times, many merchants from the far north Shanxi Province travelled here to purchase tea leaves here and transport them northwards via Guangxi, finally reaching Europe across the borders between China and Russia.

At the end of the village is an antique store which, during the reign of Emperor Qianlong, was once a temple honoring Mazu, goddess of the sea. During the Qing Dynasty, water transportation thrived here due to the bustling tea trade. As a place of prayers for protection by the goddess, the local shipping guild raised funds to the temple. In those days, the temple was also a place for boat trackers to rest and have dinner.

During my days in the village, I learned the way of local tea drinking. In my spare time, I often relaxed holding a cup of tea, breathing of the strong fragrance swirling from the white porcelain cup. When drinking tea, locals traditionally hold the cup with three fingers. The movement is popularly referred to as “three dragons guarding the vessel.”

<u>There are many local legends regarding the villages beginnings</u>

Most of course are tales of fiction but the story most believe is about Zou Maozhang, the founder of the local Zou clan. According to legend, Zou, born to a poor family made a living as a wandering laborer. One day, after reaching Chong’an County, he fell asleep beneath a plum tree due to hunger and fatigue. In his dream, he saw a fairytale village through which a stream ran in tranquility, its banks blanketed by blooming plum trees.

When he woke up, someone told him the village was Xiamei.

Not long after Zou reached the village he married a maid serving in the family of a local lord. Using a piece of gold his wife stole from the lord as his startup capital, Zou began his business and finally became one of the richest merchants in the area.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Nine Inch Nails The album was 'Year Zero’ ____________________________________________________________

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village


Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

Ancient Xiamei Tea Village

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

Qinglong Waterfalls & Longchuang Grand Canyon

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

With seventy two days before you to play, Where does one begin the 2011 'Beers N Noodles’ Adventure? Once again my time has ended in my beloved Shaowu city school. It is therefore time to find a new school and move to a new province in which to play.

Even though I have already started my summer vacation I decided to rest for a few days and slowly ride through the surrounding mountains and rice fields to reflect the year gone. I actually still have no idea where to travel so as always a first destination continues to elude me. As both Lisa and Catrine are flying out from the Wuyishan airport I decided to tag along and see if it helps flick the &#8216;travel switch’ in my head.

I know most people are thinking, &#8216;why don’t you just buy a bloody ticket to anywhere!’ I don’t actually travel that way, I mean I could just as almost anyone could.

I though, usually travel by Theme or Minority etc, for example last summer it was the Miao and Dong Minority Peoples from Hunan, Guizhou and Guangxi Provinces along with their Wind and Rain Bridges. Winter break this year was the Mindong Region of Fujian Province which is considered the &#8216;birthplace’ of the Fujian people and from where many families in Taiwan originated along with their dialect come from. Last winter it was Guangdong and the later generations of the ancient Fujian Hakka Peoples along with the wealth they returned home with from building railroads in countries such as America and Canada.

So this year I am simply waiting for a little spark of direction.

Thursday night, after a cramped ride due to both Lisa and Catrine having all of their belongings with them we arrived at Wuyishan airport where we said a sad &#8216;Seeya Later Mate’ to Lisa. After being away for three years (two and a half years in South Korea and half a year here in China) Lisa was finally returning back to London where sadly she will have to get a &#8216;real job’.

Friday and Saturday I introduced Caterine to Wuyishan &#8216;Eddakath’ style. A huge day walking followed by a relaxing bamboo raft ride. Evenings spent down at Beer & BBQ Street.

As I always come to Wuyishan with &#8216;First Timers’ I usually do the same huge walk followed by the bamboo raft ride the following day. So Sunday I decided was going to be a day spent going to and doing as many new things as we could possibly squeeze into one day and out of our wallets. After hiring a taxi for the day we were soon on our way to ancient Xiamei Village (blog to follow). We then sped across the country side to climb the beautiful Qinglong Waterfall (pictures for this blog) and then half drowned ourselves smashing our way down through the Longchuan Grand Canyon in a circular rubber raft.

<u>Qinglong Waterfall</u>

Found twenty kilometers from Wuyishan the Qinglong waterfall, (Green Dragon Waterfall) is located to the west of Grand Canyon Park and is supposedly the &#8216;Number One’ waterfall in East China. It is forty meters across, cascades downhill from a height of one hundred and twenty meters above and has a total length of over two hundred meters. After a steep yet short climb, at the top of the hill can be found an abandoned Silver Mine in which you can lose yourself in for an hour or so.

<u>The Longchuan Grand Canyon</u>

The Longchuan Grand Canyon is twenty one kilometers away from the Wuyishan Tourist area and from what I can gather is a new addition to the Wuyishan area. There is a lot you can do in the new area but due to trying to squeeze as much in as possible in one day we chose the rafting which as I have already written above, would have been much more fun after more rain. When we weren’t stuck on rocks and actually in the raft we actually had a blast. During each downwards section you become the little silver ball in a pinball machine and are sent spinning and bouncing around smashing into the huge boulders on either side.

All the while giggling like insane taxi drivers speeding out of control. Well worth money and time it takes to get there.

Here is what the Chinese have to say about the area: The moment you step into this canyon world, you enter a realm of gardens and waterfalls. Ancient trees with giant vines entwined thrusts into the sky. Elegant water fountains runs along the rugged surface of the mountains. Silvery water curtains bounce off the mountain just to reflect the colorful sunshine. All makes you feel you have entered a fairy land and you can go there any time of the year.

<u>The Xiamei Ancient tea Village Adventure</u>

Xiamei, a small village nestled in the mountains six kilometers east of Wuyishan City in southeastern China’s Fujian Province, is historically considered to be the starting point of the Ancient Tea Road. See my next blog for photos and a complete historical description.

<u>The Eddakath Wuyi Mountain Tea & Temple Walk (In Black & White)</u> Click the above for one of my Wuyi Walking Adventures

Wuyi Mountain area is said to combine the uniqueness of Huangshan Mountain, the elegance of the Guilin peaks and the grandeur of Mount Tai. Apart from the natural scenery, Wuyi Mountain area contains many historic sites. Suspended planks and boat-shaped coffins can still be seen on the precipices on both banks of the Nine Bend Stream and on the northern side of the mountains. From the Qin and Han dynasties, Taoists and necromancers visited the area to preach their doctrines. More than three hundred monasteries, towers and pavilions were built, and over seven hundred inscriptions carved into the red rocks.

<u>The Jiuquxi River, Nine Twists Bamboo Raft Adventure</u> Click the above for one of my bamboo rafting adventures

The river originates from the southwest foot of Huang Gang Peak, which is the main peak of Wuyishan. It has nine twists, hence its name, Jiuquxi River (Nine-Bend River). The total length of the river is nine and a half kilometers running through an area of eight and a half square kilometers. Short as it is, the river journey is far beyond picturesque and every twist does actually offer a new and breathtaking scene.

There are only two photos of the rafting adventure (the one with the triangle houses and the next one) as I wanted to save my camera and not drown it. This doesn't happen often but within the first few minutes I was glad I left it with our trusty taxi driver.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by The Dave Graney Show The album was &#8216;Heroic Blues’ ____________________________________________________________

Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon

Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon


Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon

Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon


Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon

Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon


Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon

Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon


Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon

Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon


Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon

Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon


Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon

Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon


Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon

Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon


Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon

Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon


Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon

Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon


Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon

Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon


Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon

Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon


Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon

Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon


Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon

Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon


Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon

Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon


Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon

Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon


Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon

Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon


Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon

Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon


Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon

Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon


Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon

Qinglong Falls &#38;amp; Longchuang Canyon

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

The End of My Time In Shaowu & Fujian Province

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

June in Fujian! I’ve always loved living in Fujian Province. But being here when the summer rains begin is always an awesome experience.

Watching as the summer rains nourish the dry winter fields makes my life feel like it has become a picturesque calendar where instead of each month having a breathtaking picture attached to it mine has one for each day and usually of something that simply can’t be my personal reality. Even after six and a half years I still find myself thinking that this surely has to be out of a movie or from a postcard that a friend sent while they were on holiday in a mysterious far off land.

We've just had several weeks of rain and massive storms.

The Monsoon season here is so amazing but we are also very lucky as the coastal areas get the typhoons, the death and the damage. Up here in the mountains we get massive lightening, thunder, rains and wind but no real damage except for a few broken windows. Sometimes though, like last summer it does go a little too far as I had to take my belongings all the way down to Yangshuo for the summer as the entire town of Shaowu was under water and many villages died due to flash flooding.

For me term finishes next Tuesday (21st) and its then travel until September 1st.

Ever had itchy feet? Mate, I can’t believe how itchy my feet are. Lately my feet have once again become uncontrollably itchy. Tinea is a common fungal infection found on various areas of the body. Tinea that is present on the feet is called Tinea Pedis and can appear in various forms.

Sorry, the wrong type of itchy feet.

I need a new place to throw my pack but not only throw it as I will find many places to do so during my summer break. I also need somewhere to unpack it for a time and somewhere new to slurp my noodles, sip my beer and terrain within which to explore and find new rides. I've decided the past year here in Shaowu is enough for now and that my feet are simply too itchy for a new place to live and explore for the year to come. I still have to decide out of two different schools but both are near(ish) each other and can be found on opposite sides of the SanQi Mountains in northern Jiangxi Province which is west/next to Fujian.

I have personally gone to visit both schools in the past month and have a big feeling that it will be the school in Dexing City as it is found right in the middle of the mountains. As for the 2011 'Summer Beers N Noodles’ Adventure, as usual I still haven't made up my mind where my sandals and I will be found, I have at least come up with a few ideas;

A: The Silk Road Adventure through the western desert province of Xinjiang along the Northern Silk Road to Kashgar and then bus hop it back along the Southern Silk Road. B: The Manchurian Adventure through the far north eastern provinces of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang which will take me on the borders of Russia and North Korea. C: The Yangzi River Adventure which will take me to Chongqing city and then on a river cruise along the Yangzi into Hubei Province where the Kungfu mountains of Wudangshan can be found.

Where ever I end up I'm sure I will have an awesome time, so I guess this is goodbye from not only Shaowu city but this will also be my second last blog from the lush green south eastern province of Fujian….for now anyhow!

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane

PS: How hard is it to leave the most wild and beautiful province in China for the second time? It is an extremely hard thing to do for me as Shaowu and Fujian have become my home away from home. The school would easily be the best school I've taught in and my rides are extremely beautiful and amazing as are my friends. A new life and new adventures call, new pathways lay before me to live and love as do new Beers N Noodles! ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by The Pixies The album was both &#8216;Bossanova & Doolittle’ ____________________________________________________________

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu


The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

The End of Term &#38;amp; Shaowu

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

Wuyuan County & Villages Adventure

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Retreading footsteps from past Beers N Noodles Adventures.

In a country as large and diverse as China it is not often that I find myself climbing the same mountain, walking the same ancient alleyways or slurping my noodles in a location I have previously visited, nor do I find myself wishing to as there is just too much to see. That was until I was offered this chance to return to the north east of Jiangxi Province to simply teach one lesson in exchange for another day walking the ancient village alleyways found in the Wuyuan area and if given an opportunity to live in such a breathtaking area for a year I am very sure that I would jump at the chance.

The Wuyuan area is famous for having some of the most splendid countryside in China. It is also home to at least fifty beautiful ancient riverside villages.

Walking through these old villages offers refreshing views of hills covered in yellow rape, of green farmland and luxuriant camphor trees along with creeks with small rapids. The villages lie along small rivers, ancient trees stand on riverbanks and old farmers leisurely drive ducks towards a pond all coming together to form a typical Chinese countryside scene.

Old China remains preserved in enticing panoramas of ancient bridges, glittering rivers, stone-flagged alleyways and the slow meandering pace of traditional rural life.

Originally the Wuyuan area belonged to Huizhou in Anhui Province but when the PRC was formed the Chinese government separated it from the Huizhou District and it became part of Jiangxi province. The Wuyuan area features oodles of Huizhou local culture and architecture and is surrounded by Zhejiang province to the east and Jingdezhen city to the west. It is only a few hours away from Huangshan Mountain to the north and Sanqing Mountain in the south.

Wuyuan's Huizhou buildings were built during the Tang Dynasty (AD618 to 907), mostly around AD700 and thankfully its remoteness and inconvenient transportation has protected its villages.

Thus its idyllic scenery has remained un-noticed by the Chinese tourism radar until the last five or so years. All villages enjoy a stupendous riverside setting, hung with lanterns, threaded by tight alleys and tightly bound together by quaint bridges. Come night time, they become more serene as their riverside lanes glowing softly under red lanterns and old fashioned style street lamps.

Locals navigate the darker quarters by torchlight.

Among the vegetables draped from bamboo poles, chunks of cured meat can be found hung out to dry from crumbling, mildewed buildings. Washer women can be found scrubbing wads of wet clothing along the village streams banks, plump chickens are seen scampering about, all of the interiors of each ancient hall and traditional home lay open inviting inquisitive glances whilst peasant families can be found offering cheap beds to wayfarers.

<u>TODAY WE VISITED</u>

Ciahong/Rainbow Bridge (Qinghua Village) Xiao Likeng Village (Small Likeng Village) Da Likeng Village (Big Likeng Village) Tongji Bridge (Sixi Village) Dinner (Wuyuan City)

The first time I was in Wuyuan area was several 'Summer Beers N Noodles Adventures’ ago when I spent nearing a week in the area sleeping in several villages along with little Wuyuan city. I was glad we had a private car and a local to take us to all sites and we visited them all at a comfortable pace leaving from Dexing city in the morning and returning later that night.

Fitting in a delicious dinner of local food in Wuyuan city on the return journey.

The only downside, (which was personal as it was both Lisa and Catrine’s first visit) was not spending lazy nights beneath the red lanterns which in turn gave the opportunity to spend endless hours in the surrounding rice fields and mountains. I am sure though that if I am to return to teach in Dexing that I will fill many weekends recapturing those precious memories

Dexing School Beers N Noodles Adventure The reason I am here in Wuyuan again. Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Living Colour The album was &#8216;Biscuits Ep &#8211; The Japanese Release (10 extra songs)’ ____________________________________________________________

Wuyuan County &#38;amp; Villages Adventure

Wuyuan County &#38;amp; Villages Adventure


Wuyuan County &#38;amp; Villages Adventure

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Wuyuan County &#38;amp; Villages Adventure

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Wuyuan County &#38;amp; Villages Adventure

Wuyuan County &#38;amp; Villages Adventure


Wuyuan County &#38;amp; Villages Adventure

Wuyuan County &#38;amp; Villages Adventure


Wuyuan County &#38;amp; Villages Adventure

Wuyuan County &#38;amp; Villages Adventure


Wuyuan County &#38;amp; Villages Adventure

Wuyuan County &#38;amp; Villages Adventure


Wuyuan County &#38;amp; Villages Adventure

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Wuyuan County &#38;amp; Villages Adventure

Wuyuan County &#38;amp; Villages Adventure


Wuyuan County &#38;amp; Villages Adventure

Wuyuan County &#38;amp; Villages Adventure


Wuyuan County &#38;amp; Villages Adventure

Wuyuan County &#38;amp; Villages Adventure


Wuyuan County &#38;amp; Villages Adventure

Wuyuan County &#38;amp; Villages Adventure

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