A Travellerspoint blog

August 2008

The Temple of The Eight Immortals

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya The Temple of the Eight Immortals is Xian's largest Taoist temple and from the ones I have visited it is also the most beautiful. It is supposedly built on the site of an ancient wine shop and it was built to protect all against 'subterranean divine thunder.' When I arrived the actual 'Eight Immortals Temple' was fully active and all was made more sublime by the anciently beautiful sounds from five young musicians playing strange yet wonderful Asian instruments. Even if you are not into temples it is worth the visit for some of the colourful mythological paintings alone. I got to take photographs in many areas as I was led around by a rather cute young female monk. When I wasn't with her I was told I couldn't take photographs in many places but strangely when I was with her I could take photographs in those same places. Rather strange for a Taoist Temple! Usually you can take as many photos of whatever you like to your hearts desire! Across the tiny road from the temple is a very lazy market place where there is supposed to be a very popular Antique Market on Sunday and Wednesday mornings. Hopefully if you go there then it will be much more alive than it was today. It seemed that everyone from visitors to store people lay asleep on any flat surface they could find. Lazy days in one hell of a lazy market place! Beers N Noodles toya.....shane

PS: <u>So ends the 2008 Summer Beers N Noodles Adventure.</u>

I think its been one of my favourite adventures so far. I got to see so many different things along a pathway that took me from lush greens to desert regions to a sub-tropical mountain dotted with colonial buildings. For me though the best part was being able to actually travel and spend an entire month with Luo Wei.

Tomorrow I will begin an entire new adventure in my life here in China. Tomorrow I actually move in and begin to call Shaanxi Province my home. A province so full of history that I will catch but a glimpse of it to show you in my year to year and a half I live here.

Life is such a wonderful adventure. I hope you don't mind me shairing a part of mine with you. _________________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by the poetic Fish The album was 'Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors' __________________________________________________________ From: www.travelchinaguide.com

<u>Ba Xian An Monastery (Temple of the Eight Immortals)</u> As its name indicates, is mainly dedicated to the legendary Eight Immortals Han Zhongli, Zhang Guolao, Han Xiangzi, Tieguai Li, Cao Guojiu, Lv Dongbin, Lan Caihe and He Xiangu. Located on Changle Fang Street in the eastern suburb, it is the biggest Taoist temple in Xian and is a famous Taoist architecture in northwest China. Ba Xian An Monastery is also called Ba Xian An Palace because when the Eight-Power Allied Forces invaded Beijing in 1900, Emperor Guangxu and Empress Dowager Cixi escaped to Xian and lived in Ba Xian An Monastery. Therefore, Empress Dowager Cixi donated taels of silver later to fund the renovation of the monastery and gave it the name Ba Xian An Palace. The monastery is said to be built in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), and was repaired and expanded many times in succeeding dynasties. The structures that can be seen today were mainly built in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Not counting Mountain Gate, Paifang, Screen Wall, the Bell Tower and Drum Tower, the monastery can be divided into three sections. The first section includes five halls, dedicating to the protective god of Taoism-Wang Lingguan. The second section has two halls, and the color-painted statues of the Eight Immortals are worshiped in the back hall. The third section is the Main Hall with a tablet hanging on its lintel. The four characters 'Dong Tian Yun Ji' was inscribed on the tablet by Empress Dowager Cixi. Inside the hall, sacrifices were made to Dou Mu Yuan Jun (a high ranked god in Taoism) and other gods. Its annexes contain Lvzu (Lv Dongbin) Hall and Yaowang (King of Chinese medicine) Hall on the east and accommodations for Taoists on the west. Besides visiting the monastery and burning incenses to pray for felicity, you should also look around the street outside the monastery. It's really a short street at a length of only 100 meters (110 yards) lined with two-storey buildings on both sides. Many curios like bronze mirrors, folding screen, four treasures of study, gallipots, porcelain and folding fans are sold here, most of which were commodities of the common people in olden times. Ba Xian An Monastery is a popular and important spot for Taoist celebrations in Shaanxi Province. On the 14th, 15th and 16th day of the fourth lunar month, the annual temple fair will be held. Ceremonious religious activities on the Double Nine Festival (9th day of the 9th lunar month) also attract a lot of adherents and tourists from near and far.

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

The Historical Residence Gao Yue Song

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya Let's talk about the drink Red Bull. Here I sit after laying awake for the last hour or so after trying to have an early night as tomorrow is my last free day. This obviously means that as of midnight tomorrow night the 2008 Beers N Noodles Summer adventure ends. So where does Red Bull come into this story? I was feeling a little tired after many hours walking so I thought hey, why not get a huge hit of caffeine and Vit B into me. Instead of the small can of Red Bull I chose the Chinese version which is a bottle the size of Mizone (which is my usual choice). It is called Red Oxen and as there is four times as much I guess it lasts four times longer. I know what I will be having with my brunch tomorrow! I had an awesome day today! I began my day by aimlessly walking around the north western quarter of the city. You know no matter how many cities I visit and no matter how long I am here I will never get used to many of the ways they do things. It is only when we go camping or I guess a when a tourist goes to Australia that you 'boil the billy' on an open flame. Here it is a normal every day thing in most parts of China. As you walk around the ancient parts of even a modern city such as Xian you will see a kettle that has been placed to boil on an open flame. I can't even begin to describe the different types if open flames I walk past on any given daily adventure. If I was to try then I would have t begin trying to describe all the different ways they bake their breads. Here it is normal to bake different styles of bread in an ancient oven over an open fire. But to us is seems so primitive to do such things. Yet many of my daily meals come from such things. So many different breads baked in such a primitive manner and all filled with such delicious fillings such as lamb and beef with or without some sort of vegetable. It is not only the breads but actually all ways of cooking here in China that for us seem so primitive. Here is the Lonely Planets description of what you can look forward to in Xian; Hit the Muslim streets for fine eating in. Common dishes here are Majang Lianpi (cold noodles in sesame sause), fenzhengrou (chopped mutton fried in a wok with ground wheat), roujiamo (fried pork or beef in pita bread, sometimes with green peppers and cumin), caijamo (the vegetarian version) and the ubiquitious rouchuan (kagabs). Best of all is the delicious Yangrou paomo (a soup dish that involves srumbling a flat loaf of bread into a bowl of noodles and adding mutton and broth). You can also pick up mouth watering deserts such as huashenggao (peanut cakes) and shibing (dried persimmons), which cab be found at the market or in the Muslim Quarter shops. I am serious, here in China it is nothing like most would have ever seen. Xian is an ancient full of different peoples and ancient cooking methods. Most places I choose to live and teach have their own ancient styles of living and cooking. All use mostly the same methods that we would call 'primitive' when we compare them to our own. Yet strangely there is no comparison when it comes to taste. I guess it is like comparing a modern loaf of bread to what we in Australia know as 'Damper'. When you compare there really is no comparison, damper wins hands down! I then decided to visit the south western outside corner that I walked through after dark not so long ago. I slowly made my way to the west gate and whistled my way towards the corner where I sat reading, watching the birds in the trees and talking to a girl named Nancy in the sunshine for several hours. After she left I decided to head back to the Islamic Market Street to visit the 'Ancient Styled Folk House'. Here I encountered another daily encounter, when all Muslims bow to Mecca. It seriously leaves one in a bewildered state of wondering where in earth they actually are. All becomes silent except for the sounds of Mecca. All across the Muslim Quarter in all cities are the chants that tell all it is time to bow. It seriously is like being in a movie such as 'Alden's Lamp' Anyhow, I had walked passed this place almost on a daily basis each time I have visited Xian city but I had never visited it. Mainly because out front it is advertised as an Art Exhibition and being in such a touristy area I never bothered with it. It wasn't until I looked in the LP for something to do or see that I hadn't before and then when I checked out where the address actually was that I figured out it had to be the same place that I had walked past a million times. So this time I didn't continue towards the Drum Tower I asked about the entrance fee and was given the following two options; The Historical Residence costs 20 Yuan if you wish to participate in the short tea ceremony and 15 Yuan if you wish to simply walk around taking photos. I chose to begin my visit with several refreshing small cups of tea. I got to chose three different varieties and the beautiful tea girl (who had rather large......um.....tea cups) took me though the Chinese tea ceremony. This I've sat through in many different homes of my friends. It is all about using tiny little tea cups and tiny little tea pots. You then use large tweezers and rinse your tiny little cup with tea before and after use. All tea tables are beautiful and seem to be a large cut from a rather large tree trunk. But not all tea girls have such large.....um.....tea cups here in China! As there is a tiny drainage system throughout the entire table you can rinse away and spill tea to your hearts content and never have to worry about cleaning your mess. After a few beers I'm sure we could all use one of these. Hey, maybe I should patent the Aussie Beer Ceremony table! I guess they would have to be in the shape of a football or a football field! I then slowly walked around taking pictures and chatted to a few people from Norway and then some others from Germany. It was such a romantic time as the red lanterns were all lit and it reminded me a lot of when I was in Pingyao. There really is something about red lanterns and ancient stone buildings and paths to bring out the romantic in you. Maybe if I sell enough Aussie Beer Ceremony tables I could afford one of these pads! On my way home I gave Luo Wei a call and happily found out that her Army Training had finished today and that she would be in bed by eleven this evening and could sleep in until seven thirty tomorrow morning. She will also have next weekend free so I am hoping that my new school won't have any plans for their new teacher and that I can meet Luo Wei back in Xian and hire a beautiful room for her to relax and sleep in for the entire weekend. She has now worked a month without a single days rest! And all of those days have been from around six in the morning and have ended around one in the morning. I think it is time for her to rest and to be pampered like a Princess! Whilst I've been writing this I've been watching this crazy movie about what are known as 'Jumpers'. These guys can jump though worm holes at the blink of an eye. An awesome movie in which Samuel L Jackson plays the white haired guy who is the leader of a team hunting down the 'Jumpers', but I have no idea of the title of the movie. Why am I telling you this? Because it reminds me of what I see people doing when they head beneath the Bell Tower. Soon after they can then be seen popping up at different exits until they find the right one. Hahahaha! I'm usually one of them! But I am finally getting the hang of it now! Beers N Noodles toya.....shane _________________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by Massive Attack The album was 'Mezzanine' __________________________________________________________ <u>The Historical Residence and Folk House </u>(Gao Jia Daqyuan) The former residence of Gao Yue Song is located at No 144 of Bei Yuan Men Xian. The whole villa covers an area of 2517m2. In total there are eighty six rooms of which some fifty six rooms are open to the public. It is mainly brick and wood structure. Gao Yue Song was born in Zhen Jiang, Jiang Su Province. Two hundred years ago he took the imperial examination and placed second. All seven generations of the Gao family got official positions in the royal palace. In 1966 the government confiscated the residence and it was listed as a 'key project of Sino-Norway Historical Districts Protection' in 1999 and invested in by Norway. The residence was thoroughly repaired and won the 'Prize for Cultural Heritage Protection in Asian-Pacific Area of UNESO' in 2002. In 2003, the art department of Xian Traditional Chinese Painting Institute took charge of renovation fir the residence. It was assigned as the teaching base for the Architecture Department of Norway Trondheim University and postgraduate of Xian Architecture and Technology University and as the research base for the Institute of Famous Historical and Cultural City Research of Chang'an University. The main contents involve: Architecture of Ming and Qing Dynasties, old furniture, "couplet culture" of traditional fold residence, brick caving, tea house, paper cuttings, shadow show, performance of Zheng, calligraphy and paintings by famous people, elaborate works of traditional Chinese paintings. Old photos, pottery and porcelain, typical Shaan Xi style tourist souvenirs and so on.

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

The Xian City Arts Corner N Freddy Kruger Turtles

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya Art supplies. Being the budding artist that I am (NOT!), I thought it best that I visit the cities major art supplies centre to stock up on all those art 'things' that I don't have. You know, like a paint brush, some paper and better yet some crayons! So I simply rose and crossed Nan Dajie (the main road from the Bell Tower to the South Gate) and there I was, at Shuyuan Xiang (the name of the cities main street for art supplies.) The art district can be found in the south east corner of the city walls. Parts of it are built in Qing style architecture and most of it is usually packed full with Chinese tourists. Here you can stock your pack full of paintings of all sizes, calligraphy, paper cuts, paint bushes (once again of all sizes) and fake rubbings from the Forest of Stelae Museum. After viewing the paintings and calligraphy I decided to quite my art life. Mine are obviously of greater quality and I wouldn't dream of making anyone else feel bad. The real reason was that they didn't stock crayons! I spent many hours walking slowly back and forth, to and fro, up and down, round and round and in and out of all the small streets in the art district and then headed down towards the cities mobile phone district where I decided to take a rest and send as many text messages as I possible could whilst my phone was open to do so. By this I mean that for some reason my phone will only send text messages for a few hours a day. I never know when these hours are but when I find out when they are I simply take a seat somewhere comfortable and let my fingers do the walking. While I was breaking world speed records with my thumb I was watching a guy on the footpath near me trying to sell baby turtles. It was so funny. He had children coming from all directions with their parents chasing after them. He would let them hold a turtle and they would then race off screaming hysterically. Other children would run off screaming in fright. It was as if Freddy Kruger was coming out if the shell and chasing them in their minds shell. He arrived not long after I did and he had a mid sized fish bowl with a heap of baby turtles in side. By the time I left I'm sure he had only sold two or three of them and the others, I guess were in the pockets of the crazy children who obviously thought he was a Teenage Mutant Santa Turtle. I really did feel sorry for him. He tried so hard to keep the children happy. From the looks of him he was very poor and like many wouldn't have much to his name. When I left there was only three turtles left in his bowl and a very sad look on his face. I went over and purchased a few bottles of orange juice from the little drink seller near by and went back and after giving him one I purchased the rest of the turtles from him for fifteen Yuan (two Aussie dollars). I'm sure he was selling them for two Yuan a turtle. It is not something I make a habit of but if any of you could have seen the look on his face when he looked into his bowl and found that nearly all of his turtles had gone, I'm sure or I hope you would have done the same. He could have begged for money like many here do. Maybe that is what he normally does as he looked as such. But there he was with a bowl of baby turtles trying his hardest to make some money. Honestly I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I gave the last three turtles to a pair of twins who were standing with their mother nearby and I then continued my city wanderings which led me to the time worn stone streets of the Muslim Market streets. Here I feasted on small snacks and said a million 'No Thank yous' to the 'You Buy You Buy girls and then headed back to the Youth Hostel to do the days photos and have a quiet beer. I then headed back to my hotel to watch the movie 'Heat' which was dubbed into Chinese along with having Chinese subtitles. Even though I thought I did good job of figuring out what was happening from memory.So, turtles huh! Even now I can't stop laughing at the scene from today. I am also wondering as to what has happened to Val Kilmer. Seriously, a great actor, handsome as buggery and was born to play Jim Morrison. So where is he now? For all I know he is probably in season four of Lost which still lays untouched in my pack on the opposite bed. It has taken all my strength to leave it there laying in wait for when I arrive home and by home I simply mean my next port if call where my big pack is to be unpacked. Where ever I lay my pack, that's my home! Beers N Noodles toya.....shane _________________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by another of my favourite 'various artist' releases. The album was 'Real World'. This one is enough to take you anywhere! __________________________________________________________

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

The Banpo Prehistoric Museum Adventure

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya Yuncheng City! What can I say? It looks so much like Xian if I was to wake up I would believe I was still here. That could be because I haven't actually packed my pack and left Xian just yet. Yesterday (Wednesday 27th, I'm actually writing this Thursday night from the very empty second floor of KFC just up from the Bell Tower. Beside me is my delicious cheap McD's/KFC coffee that I love so much) there was no real excuse for not leaving Xian except for the fact that I woke up and loved being in an ancient city surrounded by an ancient city wall which then again is surrounded by an ancient city moat! It made me feel safe and secure from all the nasties of the world. So I figured, whilst on such a natural high why leave. Kind of like when you arrive at your parents house. So instead of making my way to the train or bus station I figured why not spend the day with some skeletons of those whom once walked these parts around six thousand years ago. With that in mind and no bones to pick with anyone I happily headed to the Bell Tower in search of Bus No: 15 which believe me, you can find stopping outside of the Bell Tower Hotel. Sometimes it would help if the LP actually put in such small details. If you have been to Xian then you would know how big the Bell Tower round-a-bout is. If you know that then you would also know how many entrances and exits there are. For those who don't know there is a set of stairs for each and every side of all roads. People can be seen popping up to then, after a quick look around quickly pop themselves back down again and continue their search for the right exit. So after popping myself up here and there I finally found out where to catch Bus No: 15. I guess it also would have helped if I had purchased the 5 Yuan city map with all the bus details on it along with everything you need to know about Xian and all in English. For some reason I always choose to wait until I have figured it out myself and then I purchase one from the next person I pass. Yep, you can call me stoopid and on many occasions such as these you'd be right! The journey to my destination cost only 1 Yuan on the public bus and it took around forty minutes. If you decide to check out Banpo and you are wondering where to get off the bus then simply wait for forty minutes and then begin to look out the window for a new (or the only) highway overpass. The bus will then turn right and there you are at the next stop. To return to the city after your visit Bus 15 leaves from directly outside the gate. So what in the world is this Banpo I'm talking about? The leaflet I got tells you that 'Xian Banpo Museum is the first prehistoric site museum built in 1958 since Liberation. The remains of cultural relics unearthed show the brilliant intelligence of Banpo people in the Neolithic age. [/i]</b> [/i]</b> Banpo was a matriarchal clan community of the Yangshao culture in the Neolithic age. It is divided into three sections; the Residential, the Pottery making and the Burial Section. Some of the important remains are; a large moat, a small ditch, house relics, storage pits, pottery kilns and a worship place.[/i]</b> [/i]</b> The main relics show us the development of the primitive civilization of the Yellow River Valley'.[/i]</b> The Lonely Planet will tell you that; Banpo is the earliest example of the Neolithic Yanshao culture. It appears to have been occupied from 4500BC until around 3750BC. As less than a quarter of the site has been excavated, little is known of the early agrarians. However, circumstantial evidence indicates that the culture was probably matriarchal and that also of interest at the site are the Shamanistic relics that have been unearthed. </b> [/i] The LP also says that it was closed for renovations around 2004/2005! I must say, I find it hard to believe that anything within has been cleaned, weeded or even touched since the time of building. I had spotted some of the large advertisements around the city and they made it look and sound fantastic and after reading in the LP that is had been closed for 'supposed' renovations that happened around 2005 I was expecting something a little different. When I arrived I was rather surprised to find that an archaeological site of such historical importance to have been left to the birds and the weeds. Although all displays have obviously remained the same since the park was built that really didn't bother me. Not all sites/parks have the funds to revamp themselves but what I did find very annoying is the fact that it seems that no-one actually takes the time to care. Inside of the main site everything is now overgrown and the small paths can barely be found in most places. Even the ancient houses have been mostly covered by natural growth. Are they not part of the main display and the reason people pay to visit? Anyhow, I chose not to let it bother me and to also not take any photos of the grounds as I wanted to remember the site for what it actually is, a Neolithic Village that is around six thousand years old. I began my afternoon checking out the four display rooms near the gate. Here you can find pottery, weapons, building tools etc. My favourite room was actually the room full of colourful paintings that have been painted by a famous Chinese painter to help capture some of the culture of the time. The main attraction is of course the village site itself and like the Terracotta Warriors it can be found housed in a huge shed in which walk ways take you throughout. At some sections there are some small signs and all have English to help you understand what you are actually looking at as most of it is actually bare earth with many holes in it. It isn't until you actually get a higher view that you can put things in perspective such as where the houses once stood. These can be located by all the frame 'post holes'. The houses were either circular or square. Many earthen jars can be spotted all over the site and like most people I thought them to be storage jars for grain etc. I was soon to find out that they are actually the burial jars of young children. There are several displays of the bones of the dead in a room within the main 'shed'. Most are individual graves but there are also several Joint Burial Tombs. Outside the main site can be found several Pottery Kilns, some houses and like I stated at the beginning, many weeds that have been given free reign to take over the entire Banpo site. What a pity! If the site was even weeded and cleaned then maybe people would walk away with a better opinion of the place. It is like visiting a museum built during the 60's/70's that has remained untouched since, yet for some reason they advertise it with glitzy modern advertising. All in all, I actually did enjoy my time at Banpo and unlike most places I go I was happy enough to leave. I paid my 1 Yuan and enjoyed my forty minutes ride back through the crazy traffic to the Bell Tower. I then decided it was time to pay a visit to the Hiking Store that my Music Fountain buddy took me to the prior evening. At the bus stop near the south gate I met Sven, a guy who had been in China for nearly three weeks. I still have no idea where he was going or what bus he was searching for but when I mentioned I was going to a hiking store we decided to share a cab and both go together. When we arrived I was greeted by the sight of the day pack I had long been waiting for! A small 15/20 liter rain proof pack with air comfort support. I was sold pretty much straight away. My small pack I got last summer got a flat tyre and had broken down beyond repair (hahaha) and I had given Luo Wei my nifty Nike pack I brought as it was too big for a day pack. All I carry are my LP, my mini computer, a novel and a bottle of water. Even though the Nike pack was an awesome pack it was too heavy and put too much strain on my shoulders for the amount of hours I walk each day. For this you need a small compact pack. You can carry the same load but it feels much lighter with much less strain. Earlier that morning and prior to me searching for Bus No: 15 at the Bell Tower I ran into a Chinese guy named Ying. He was from Zhengzhou City which is the city next to Luo Wei's city of Kaifeng. He was here visiting his girlfriend who was an English student at one of the Xian university's. We began talking and I was more than surprised with his English and complimented him on it. He laughed and told me that he had returned last year from seven years living, being a student and working in England. After swapping contact details I then departed to pop up and down here and there at the Bell Tower underground. After saying good bye to Sven I met Ying and his girlfriend back at the hotel. Earlier we also laughed at the fact that out of the billion hotels here in Xian we were both staying in the same one. I think we kind of didn't really believe it until we both took identical key rings from our pockets. It could have almost been taken from an old Western Film. A very stupid and silly one at that where they use key rings instead of guns! We all headed down to the Drum Tower and decided to eat 'Yung-Ro Por-Mor' which is simply Xian's local 'specialty' of Lamb noodles (very thin almost like glass noodles) with little pieces of Muslim bread scattered throughout. Depending on where you get them some of them have barley any noodles or broth and the entire dish seems to be little pieces of Muslim bread soaked in broth. We then headed across to the Youth Hostel near our hotel where we sat for a few hours going through some of my photos on my computer and chatting about anything and nothing important. Today (Thursday, 28th) I woke with a very queasy stomach could have been watching the movie 'Runs Forest Runs' so I decided to lay in bed and watch TV until the 'movie' finally ended. There went my journey to Yuncheng today. Bloody Forest and his Runs Forest Runs! After lunch I decided to head out side and I ventured just around the corner to the 'Advanced Train Booking' window where I found out that tomorrow mornings train was sold out and that there wasn't another until tomorrow night. I decided to skip the train and I then slowly made my way down to the Long Distance Bus Station which is just across from the Train Station at the north city wall. Here I found that there are buses running nearly every hour for most of the day. Perfect! Absolutely perfect! In China when you pay for your hotel room you have it until mid day the following day! So sometimes I feel reluctant to leave it for a bus or train departing much earlier. So I happily thought, I could do some washing tonight and it will be dry by the time I need to leave. I love micro-fiber and air-conditioning, together they make traveling much easier. I decided not to purchase my ticket today and wait until I return tomorrow. I then slowly walked back towards the south gate and just as I once again popped beneath the Bell Tower and was walking the subway Sven rang and we decided to meet up and have Yung-Ro Por-Mor a good-bye dinner. His train for Beijing left at eight. After dinner we headed back to grab his bags from the Shuyuan Youth Hostel which is across from my hotel and we then went to grab a cab to take him to the train station. Here is where I got a little confused. Taxi drivers, no matter what country you are in they will almost run you down to get your fare. Here in Xian it took us several cabs before we found one that could be bothered heading to the train station. The fare is around nine Yuan. Do the drivers here make so much in one day that they can simply wave you off at will? It is a six Yuan flag fall here in Xian and Sven said that the night he came he was lost trying to find his hostel and that every cab he asked waved him off. It actually wasn't until a policeman got involved that one of them could be bothered driving him to the hostel. So, the flag fall is six Yuan. The drive from the Bell Tower (where he was) to his Youth hostel is (at the south gate) all of about one minutes drive. So that is six Yuan for one minutes work. I have been in China for almost four years and I have never EVER come across anything like this. Not only was I shocked by being waved off by several cab drivers but when Sven told me his story I began to wonder about the new China. What type of people it is breeding and what would their parents have done. They would have bloody slapped them down and kicked the absolute shite out of them! What many of the last generations went though here in China I can't comprehend any of my family or friends etc every living through. Until you have been here for sometime you may think that I am over re-acting but no one here ever waves off money. I have traveled far and wide and never have I seen such a thing yet three cab drivers (whom were all awaiting a fare mind you) chose to simply wave us away. Strange, very very strange indeed! Anyhow, it is time for me to go and do my washing as it is now 11:30pm Thankfully I won't need to catch a cab! Beers N Noodles toya.....shane PS: if you find yourself in Xian and in need of a new pack or anything such as hiking shoes, a tent or anything camping/back packing and you want something that is REAL and that is of good quality and worth the REAL money that you will have to spend. Don't go to the Islamic Market and buy a pack that will begin to fall apart a few weeks or days after buying it. Grab a cab and go to the corner of Zhuque Dajie and Xiaozhai Donglu. On your left (when you look back towards the city) you will see an eatery called 'Stewed Beef' (or something like that). Walk across to that and then continue for a few hundred meters towards the city walls and you will come across a huge camping store. There is supposed to be another even larger one much further towards the city but I found that this one had everything that most would desire. It is pricey but all camping/packing stores anywhere in the world are. No matter what country you are in. If you want real you pay real! _________________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by the funksta himself Jamiroquai The album was 'Greatest Hits' __________________________________________________________

Banpo Neolithic Village

Banpo Neolithic Village


1-Banpo Neolithic Village

1-Banpo Neolithic Village


2-Banpo Neolithic Village

2-Banpo Neolithic Village


3-Banpo Neolithic Village

3-Banpo Neolithic Village


4-Banpo Neolithic Village

4-Banpo Neolithic Village


5-Banpo Neolithic Village

5-Banpo Neolithic Village


6-Banpo Neolithic Village

6-Banpo Neolithic Village


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7-Banpo Neolithic Village


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8-Banpo Neolithic Village


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9-Banpo Neolithic Village


10-Banpo Neolithic Village

10-Banpo Neolithic Village


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11-Banpo Neolithic Village


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12-Banpo Neolithic Village


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13-Banpo Neolithic Village


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14-Banpo Neolithic Village


15-Banpo Neolithic Village

15-Banpo Neolithic Village


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16-Banpo Neolithic Village


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17-Banpo Neolithic Village


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18-Banpo Neolithic Village


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27-Banpo Neolithic Village


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28-Banpo Neolithic Village


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30-Banpo Neolithic Village

30-Banpo Neolithic Village


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34-Banpo Neolithic Village


35-Banpo Neolithic Village

35-Banpo Neolithic Village

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

The Awesome Xian Music Fountain

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya So, let's talk about this time of year then shall we! This time of year can either make you or bloody well break you! No one seems to know what the hell is going on and what dates you are supposed to begin teaching and what dates this and what dates that. Seriously, I have just wasted nearly a week or so of good travel time as I thought I had to be in Xian by around the twenty fifth to then head to my new school and begin teaching on the first of September. So what did I do? I spent what I thought was some quality rest time in Jigong Shan. To then head back to Xian rested and well to begin my new term. So, today what do I find out? That I don't have to begin teaching until most probably the fourth of September! I could have gone to those several other places in Henan Province that I wanted to visit or even a few others here in Shaanxi Province that I want to visit before the vicious cold of winter sets in. Ok, I guess I better re-read the blog entry from many days ago where I wrote about time and that it was time to slow down and that I had seen enough for one summer. Well, anyone who know knows me well enough will tell you that I can give advice, usually very well thought out, mature, sound and usually full of &*^%$! Hahahaha! But they will also tell you that though I can give some good advice can never follow that same advice that usually helps someone in need. So if a good friend or a fellow traveler was to ask what they should do given the fact that their holidays were nearing an end I would tell them to slow down, kick back and relax and cruise on in to the new term. Me, well! Bugger that mate! I'm out of here tomorrow! Hopefully I'll be off to Yuncheng City in Shanxi Province where they have a bloody big temple to visit. In fact it is the biggest temple in the country dedicated to Guan Yu. I'll post some information in my next blog, that is if I can get out of bed early enough to make it to the train station to catch the bus. So! Enough about this time of the year! It happens every year and it is no ones fault. Every school is different and usually they have to wait. What do they have to wait for? Usually the government to set dates and send them out! Then there is the Lunar Calendar and having to wait for the right moon to begin teaching! Not really, but I did have a great day today though. I knew you were wondering thoughtfully about what I got up to. I could tell by your crinkled brow and the fact that you are leaning on our fist! Oh....really? You're bored! Oh.....sorry, I guess I better beef it up a bit then hey! Well there is the story about when the maid came in to clean my room and I was in the shower and we decided to clean the shower together. Oh, I've told that story. .....um.....um..... What about the one about the Chinese gymnastics team when we were staying in the same hotel and they wanted me to teach them....English! You don't believe me! .....um.....um..... Well then I guess its back to my boring day then isn't it! I was out the door by mid morning and found myself wandering aimlessly no where and yet every where like usual. I soon found myself in a little park over near the Sofitel Hotel in which I had to dodge a million young children rollerblading all around me. I slowly walked in a circle around the waterless fountain as the kids came and went doing their best to ask me as many questions as they could each time they went around. I stayed for about an hour during which I answered as many as I could. I did my best to leave alive! We all had a great time and I had to laugh as their parents all ran to help me stop them crossing the busy main road to follow me. Soon after waving my goodbyes I finally found a China Mobile store that could help me with my 'recharging' problems. This one, (instead of using a computer and telling me they couldn't help me because they couldn't access Shaowu City in Fujian Province) simply pulled out some recharge cards, called a number and input the code on the card. Wallah, within one minute I was recharged! Gee, what an awesome idea hey! China, see what I mean by it being a confused mess of new and old! Seriously, some of the oldest things are so new here yet everything around it is a decade more advanced than it. Recharge cards, the simple technology must be about ten years old by now yet for the worlds largest mobile network it really is so far behind the rest of the world in many ways. Wouldn't it be simpler to just link all of the Provinces? This also goes with the banking system, why not just link them all? I happily walked away and pressed send on all of the text mails sitting in my 'outbox'. I then dropped into a small yet clean and fashionable hair salon which I very much chose by the very two cute girls whom worked there. Sitting beside me was a young guy who could speak English rather well. The girls hovered around like two beautiful birds and asked many questions and after they had finished asked me for forty Yuan. I then asked my new friend to re-explain to them how long I had been in China and that the very fact that I have very short hair should tell them that I get my hair cut regularly. I gave them twenty Yuan which is between five and ten Yuan more than I should have. This depends of course in where you get your hair cut, Xian or a small rural town. As I was slowly walking down the main road the guy who was sitting next to me came to apologise for the girls behavior towards me being a foreign wallet. I thought this was very brave of him and we both decided to head outside the city walls to the world's largest music fountain which can be found right beneath the ancient Big Goose Pagoda. I have visited the Big Goose Pagoda on two occasions. One eight years ago and the second nearly two years ago when I was in Xian with Judy! I must also wish Aussie Judy a huge Happy Birthday. Which mind you I never actually forgot! I just haven't checked my email enough lately to remember. She understands. I know she does. Does she? I'm sure she'll receive those warm and happy thoughts sometime in the future. The music fountain was absolutely amazing. I have seen it before but only during the day and with only a few people around. Tonight though there were thousands of people which only added to the excitement. The light show was so beautiful and hundreds of children could be found running around soaking themselves beneath the fountains. The difference between visiting the music square at night and day is the fact that during the day light hours you get to see it in its entirety and to fully understand how enormous it actually is. During the evening hours, you may get the amazing light show but you pretty much get to see the small section of the square you are in at the time. The Big Goose Pagoda of course, is always in your sights. The ancient structure sets the scene and allows those who take the time to ponder to actually consider what actually lays before them. It was completed in AD652 and was built to house the Buddhist sutras brought back from India by the monk Xuan Zang who spent the last nineteen years of his life translating the scriptures. Many of which are still used today. Then you have the actual music fountain square which was completed in modern times and has KFC and other chain eateries etc surrounding it. Entwining it all together is the beautiful music that the fountain is programmed to dance to and the beautiful light show. To complete the blend are the families who come to view the show. Some of which look old enough to have seen the beginning of the Pagoda and the others are the young children gleefully dancing around beneath the fountains. Who of course have no 'comprehension and are oblivious to the confusing world of their China they are being raised in. So if you find yourself in Xian City, I guess this is one of the highlights. Maybe try to see it in both the day light hours and the darkened hours after. For both cast their own spell on the viewer and both shall be remembered long after. Beers N Noodles toya.....shane PS: The several 'building' photos you will see are of the new Xian Subway that is being built that in two years will link the north, south, east and west of the city, both within and beyond the city walls. Strangely it will cost three Yuan for each ride. This is strange as when you compare it to the new Beijing City subway the Xian subway has only four arms where each ride will cost three Yuan. The Beijing subway has thirteen sections where you can ride as many as you wish for only two Yuan for the day. Yet as my new friend believes here in Xian you will have to pay three Yuan per ride. Who the bloody hell knows mate! If I'm still here in Xian I will let you know! _________________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by one of the greatest bands ever, Living Colour The albums were 'Times Up & Stain' __________________________________________________________

Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square

Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square


1-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square

1-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square


2-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square

2-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square


3-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square

3-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square


4-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square

4-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square


5-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square

5-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square


6-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square

6-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square


7-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square

7-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square


8-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square

8-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square


9-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square

9-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square


10-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square

10-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square


11-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square

11-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square


12-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square

12-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square


13-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square

13-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square


14-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square

14-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square


15-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square

15-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square


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16-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square


17-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square

17-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square


18-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square

18-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square


19-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square

19-Xian City Walk &#38;amp; Music Square

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