A Travellerspoint blog

August 2009

The Beers N Noodles Adventure Ends On Mt Lushan

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

You are there and I am here. You’ve probably been sitting there for some time but I just arrived here. What a journey it was, nearly twenty hours sitting in a hard seat on a packed train.

I left Jiujiang City last night at 10:30pm and thought my train would take me on my normal adventure towards Xian city through Louyang city and past Hua Shan mountain and then to Xian where I would have to spend the night before catching a bus tomorrow into the Qing Mountains to my little city. Today though nothing looked normal and I soon found that the train I was on was taking me the 'back way’ to Xian city through lower Shaanxi Province and huge surprise to me we arrived at the Shanglou areas train station which is my train station.

Quickly I had to grab my pack and race for the door before the train departed.

Everyone around me was yelling ‘this not Xian, this not Xian’ and when I was trying to get off the train the conductor was stopping me and telling me the same. I then had the hard job of trying to explain that I knew it wasn’t Xian but it was where I lived. Everyone then went silent and said ‘this your home? Where is this?’ Soon after I finally unlocked my apartment door and after grabbing a cold beer from the fridge I fell on to my couch and with a sigh I flicked the top off my coldie, looked at my pack, smelt my clothes and said;

Bugger mate! The 2009 Summer Beers and Noodles Adventure is at an end!

Although it ended quite suddenly, as tonight I was expecting to head to the Xian Youth Hostel to meet my sweet buddy Angel. There we’d slowly knock back a few too many beers over catch up chat and then wake in the morning really feeling like the adventure was at an end. I do think though that this years Summer Adventure was one of the best yet as I allowed myself more time in each place and randomly chose a wider variety of places and things to see and do.

And what a way to end such a journey! I don’t think I could have chosen a better place to end it than laid back Lu Shan. Sadly though I allowed others thoughts and experiences make it shorter than I would have liked.

One day on Lu Shan was not enough for me but I did get to take in many of the sites but would rather have done it at a much slower pace and kicked back for a few evenings with a beer or two in the beautiful colonial mountain village that was once a British summer retreat. For those who want to head to Lushan please forget about what everyone tells you as I wish I had of. Everyone I met told me how expensive it was in summer and the food and hotels are more than unaffordable. So I opted for a single day on Lushan and this is what I was greeted with.

You want hotel? Yes how much? Three to five hundred Yuan. All the Chinese around me accepted it.

As I had a hotel in Jiujiang city I said no and continued to walk and within seconds it came down to eighty Yuan which is less than I was paying in Jiujiang City. Head off the main tourist streets and food is also just as cheap. It’s not often that I do listen to other peoples advice on a place I want to go but when I put together their advice and the little research I actually did on Lushan then I had actually thought I that I had found that one place that was out of my budget. Sadly within seconds I found that it was not only well within my budget but also well beneath places such as Shandong Province.

<u>How to Get There & How Much?</u> <u></u>

Lushan is actually much easier to get to than I thought it would be.

Everything I read said that it was an hour away and from Jiujiang and from a travellers point of view I was expecting to be on a bus for an hour before we even got to the mountain and from there we would then have to either ascend by bus or by cable car. I met many people that paid much money for a tour bus to the mountain (100 to 200 Yuan). FORGET THIS! Head to the bus station just up from the huge round about on Xunyang Lu (not far past Mc Donald’s, bus numbers 101 through to 105 will get you there). Buses to Lu Shan buses begin at 7:50, 8:50, 9:40 and 11:40 and a one way fare is 12 or 15 Yuan (sorry I didn’t count my change). Within only ten minutes you are at the foot of the mountain and you can buy a Chinese English map onboard. The journey up the mountain is exceptionally beautiful and when you round the last corner and finally arrive at the top (around forty minutes later) you are greeted by a most wonderful sight of a bustling vibrant colonial village.

First thing is first, at the top of the mountain no one goes any further without ticket. The bus will drop you off at the ticket office where you buy your ticket and then get back on again.

<u>Food and What To Do and See</u>

When we arrived I was so hungry so I said good bye to the happy family I was sitting on the bus with and ventured off to find what I hoped to be a normal priced meal. I found a wonderful little eatery that served a hug bowl of won tons for less than I have paid all summer.

They were a meaty treat and a delight to eat! These guys weren’t your normal small won tons! Oh no, they were like the Pal Meaty Bites of won tons (huge and full of meat). Starvingly I woofed them down..get it, woofed them down! Pal Meaty Bites...oh forget it!

Being the type of scatterbrained traveller that I am I decided not to purchase a map and as I had left my LP at home to allow extra space for water storage I opted for a day of random here’s and there’s and if I made it back in time for the bus then so be it. If I didn’t then I would grab an eighty Yuan hotel room and grab another train ticket home the following day. Hey, I was well under budget as I thought I’d be paying for both Luo Wei and I for the summer. In the end my random walking covered most of what is in the LP and I by far covered more than the family from the mornings bus ride as we caught up several times throughout the day and each time they asked where I had been and what I had seen.

Later in the afternoon I found they had opted to buy the &#8216;What ever it is Mini-Bus Ticket’ that allows you to catch small brown mini buses. From what I could gather you can buy a special pass and it allows you to board these buses at will but I have no idea of what the cost is as I thought they were full of tour groups that had hired a bus for the day until I asked the &#8216;family’ how they got to and from places as they always seemed so dry and relaxed.

They pointed to the little brown buses. And I kind of went…Oh! Ok then!

Corrugated iron roofs were abundant and came in several rural colours that at a glance took me back to my childhood growing up in rural Victoria. Though I lived in a town many of my friends lived on farms and were raised in a typical farmhouse beneath a coloured corrugated iron roof. It has been years since I have walked amongst such a setting and it felt so strange to see Chinese people walking in and out of the doorways beneath such roofs but what was even stranger was around lunch time to see Chinese people sitting on the porches or front steps eating bowls of noodles or rice.

I felt like screaming WHERE AM I? Where’s Macka, or Tacka, or Shaaza or even Bazza. Where’s the bbq, the cold beer and the greyhound dogs yapping in the backyard.

By nearly five in the afternoon I was so lost that I couldn’t find myself on any of the large maps that are posted around the mountain. It really didn’t help that none of them were in English which I found rather strange. Lushan is supposed to be one of THE tourist mountains here in China yet there is a huge lack of English all over the mountain. Don’t get me wrong, there is some English but for the ticket price and it’s given &#8216;tourist name’ I was very taken back with the lack of English especially when I compare it to Jigong Shan which I visited last summer.

Like Lushan, Jigong Shan is full of colonial buildings from yesteryear but there is so much English on Jigongshan and it even comes complete with English speaking guides during summer, who of course are students wanting to gain work experience and wanting to practice their English while doing so. I spent several days with a beauty named Zhang Li and we still talk on QQ and over the phone every few weeks and I was so close to visiting her on my way home as I passed through Xinyang but sadly she had to head back to her family village the following day.

After visiting both mountains and finding pretty much the same thing on both if I was to choose to return to one (with a time limit) I would choose Jigongshan which can be found at the very bottom of Henan Province. I found the mountain to be much more beautiful and things were much easier to reach. Of course I did only spend one day on Lushan and it is much bigger in comparison so when I think about it I really shouldn’t compare them as it’s not fair for anyone reading this who wants to visit Lushan.

<u>These are my three days upon Jigongshan</u>

Day One Day Two Day Three <u>Lu Shan Mountain</u>

Lushan is ninety five miles north of Nanchang city (the capital of Jiangxi Province) and it is at the center of an area covering many scenic spots in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangzi River. Lushan has been praised for centuries for its natural beauty. Far back in the Han Dynasty (306 B.C.-330 A.D.), China's great historian, Sima Qian, wrote in his classic, "The Historical Records": “I mounted Lushan in the south and examined how Yu the Great had dredged the nine streams.” It has inspired many poets and scholars of past dynasties to compose literary works.

The Great Hang Yang Peak, the highest peak of the mountain, is 1,474 meters high

The scenery in the Lushan tourist area is breathtaking, and historical relics are abundant. Up in the mountains are towering peaks, steep gorges, overhanging cliffs and cascading waterfalls. Due to the surrounding mountains, thick forests, rivers and lakes, Lushan has long spring and cool summers, which make it a celebrated summer resort. At the foot of Lushan Mountain lies the biggest freshwater lake in China, Poyang Lake, Shizhongshan Hill and the ancient city of Jiujiang, all of which possess their own unique charms.

Lushan is not only well known for its beautiful scenery with sheer peaks, clouds and fogs, and deep valleys, but also quite famous for its cultural relics and long history. As described by World Heritage Committee, "Mount Lushan, in Jiangxi, is one of the spiritual centers of Chinese civilization. Buddhist and Taoist temples, along with landmarks of Confucianism, where the most eminent masters taught, blend effortlessly into a strikingly beautiful landscape which has inspired countless artists who developed the aesthetic approach to nature found in Chinese culture."

It owes its reputation to its wonderful, elegant, steep and spectacular features that embrace ravines, waterfalls, grottoes, rocks and rivulets. There are twelve main scenic areas, together with thirty seven attractions, over nine hundred cliff inscriptions, and over three hundred steles. The major spots include Wulao Feng, Sandie Spring, Lulin Lake, Flower Path, Ruqin Lake, Jinxiu Valley, Xianren Dong and Donglin Temple, etc.

For those wanting to know more about what to see continue to scroll down below the photos.

So my friends, this is it, the end of the 2009 Summer Beers N Noodles Adventure! Beers N Noodles toya…..shane _____________________________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by none other than the great Neil Diamond. The album was &#8216;Hot August Night’. I believe it to be the greatest travel album ever written. It was never intended as a travel album but it is perfect for any long distance journey! _____________________________________________________________________________

<u>Wulao</u><u> Peak</u>,

Is 1,436 meters (about 4,711feet) above sea level, is located in the southeast of Lushan. Its five parallel peaks once formed a single apex and standing on the top you will be rewarded with a magnificent view of the distant mountains, trees, lakes, and a seemingly endless sky.

<u>Sandie Spring</u>

Lies below Wulao Peak. It drops through three craggy tiers with a fall of 155 meters (about 509 feet). The upper part is like snow falling down to the pond; the middle reach wanders and twists with splashing sprays dancing in the air; while the lower level resembles a jade dragon running in the pond. This is considered to be the best of the Lushan waterfalls. It is said that you are not a true visitor here if you miss Sandie Spring. However, it was not discovered until the Southern Song Dynasty (1127 - 1279) due to its hidden position in a deep gully.

<u>Gu Ridge </u>

Located in the center of Lushan, is 1,164 meters (about 3,819 feet) above sea level with mountains on three sides and the valley on the other. The original name of Gu Ridge was Guniu Ridge, as it looks like a bull. Gu Ridge Street is 1,167 meters (about 3,829 feet) long and it has a variety of shops, hotels, restaurants, bookshops, bars, coffee houses and dance halls that together form a town high in the sky. The Center Park in Gu Ridge was built in 1954. After several reconstructions it now covers 10,000 square meters (about 11,960 square yards). In the park there is a large half moon shaped parterre in which stands a great stone bull that is the symbol of Gu Ridge. He is two meters (about seven feet) in height and four meters (about 13 feet) in length. The base of the bull bears character "Gu Ridge." Meandering pathways, fragrant flowers, flourishing trees and a pavilion all add to lively atmosphere of this delightful place.

<u>Historic relics</u>

Mt. Lushan abounds in historic and cultural relics. The great historian of the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - 220 A.D.), Sima Qian, once climbed Mt. Lushan, and wrote about it in his classic "The Records of the Great Historian." Some two hundred historic buildings are scattered over the Lushan National Park.

<u>White</u><u> Deer Cave Academy</u><u></u>

The White Deer Cave Academy (Bailudong Shuyuan) at the foot of Wulao Peak was established in 940 but fell into disuse; it was revived towards the end of the Song Dynasty (late 12th century) by Zhu Xi, who made it a renowned centre for academic research. It attracted many additional structures up to the 19th century and is a Complex of temples, study halls, and libraries. White Deer Cave Academy was the most famous of the four biggest academies in ancient China, and enjoys high prestige in the Chinese history of education.

<u>Donglin</u><u> Temple (East Grove Temple)</u>

The Donglin Temple (East Grove Temple), built by eminent monks in the Eastern Jin Dynasty, was the birthplace of the Jintu (Pure Earth) Sect of Buddhism. More than 1,500 noted figures in history visited this Mountain, leaving behind some 4,000 pieces of verse and over 900 inscriptions on the cliffs, as well as other writings, prints and calligraphic works. There are about 600 villas here, with the styles of 18 nations and cultures.

<u>East Grove Temple</u>

The most celebrated is the East Grove Temple complex at the foot of Xianglu Peak, to the west of Lushan. Begun in 386, this ensemble was added to progressively over the centuries. The group of prayer halls is important for the study of Buddhism in China and relationships between China and Japan. It is considered to be the earliest garden temple in China.

<u>Guan</u><u> Ying Bridge</u><u></u>

Other important structures are the stone single-span Guan Ying Bridge of 1015, with its seven parallel arches, the tomb of Jin Dynasty poet Tao Qian (427), the massive granite revetment on Lake Poyanghu known as the Zi Yang Bank (1102), a group of ornate imperial pavilions of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) and the remarkable Tower of Chan Master Gong Qian, consisting of tablet pavilion, scripture pillar, and stone tower in a single structure (1618).

<u>Cultural Heritage</u>

According to legend, Dayu (the Great Yu), who conquered devastating floods in primeval times, visited Mt. Lushan. Qin Shihuang, the First Emperor of Qin (221 B.C. - 206 B.C.) also visited the mountain when he toured the south. Poets and scholars of every dynasty were attracted to Mt. Lushan and inspired to compose numerous works. Among them were Tao Qian of the Jin Dynasty (1115 - 1234), Li Bai and Bai Juyi of the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907), Su Shi, Zhou Dunyi, Zhu Xi and Li Shizhen of the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279), and Xu Xiake of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644).

<u>Natural Heritage</u>

Ice-klin of Lulin - quaternary glacial remains

Mt. Lushan features geological structures of every period except the Triassic Period. It has unique evidence of glaciation during the Quaternary Period and is the birthplace of China's glaciological theory.

Though complicated, the geological structure can be clearly traced. Mt. Lushan is a Fault Mountain formed in the Quaternary Period. When it rose, the surrounding land sank, and the Poyang Basin eventually developed into the Lake Poyanghu. The many grotesque rocks, towering peaks and cascading waterfalls constitute a spectacular Mountain landscape. With frequent fog and mist, Mt. Lushan has cool summers. It also has typical flora and fauna.

<u>Flora</u>

Lushan has an abundance of flora. There are about 1,720 varieties, including plants of temperate zone, torrid zone, semitropics, East Asia, North America and China. Lushan belongs to subtropical area where the climate is moderate with ample rainfall. The average temperature in July is only 22.6C (about 72.7F). The Lushan Arboretum was built in 1934, and it is an important base for preserving flora of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. It is a good summer resort.

<u>Villas & Colonial Architecture</u>

The modern villas are quite a sight on Mt. Lushan. Each villa is an individual building complex with unique style and structure, including styles of Rome- and Gothic- churches, Japanese building and Islamic Mosque. The architects tended to build the villas in shady places, and pursued a natural and casual style. It is this style that enables the villas to be well integrated with the natural scenery. The modern villas on Mt. Lushan, mostly one or two-storeyed, though in clusters, are less densely located and decorated with trees all around, which is a pleasing picture to the eye. The villa complex is simple and natural in style. Each is like a distinctive geometric figure.

You could hardly find two villas that resemble each other.

The all-embracing spirit of Lushan means that it has various styles of architecture ranging from Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals to Byzantine structures, Japanese buildings, Islamic mosques and villas of 25 countries, all of which make Lushan a large-scale World Village.

<u>Religious centers</u>

Five different religions have been observed in Lushan over the past 1,600 years. The monk Hui Yuan (334 - 416) of the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317 - 420) established Donglin Temple in Lushan, which is the Pure-land Sect of Buddhism. In the 5th century, Lu Xiujing, a Taoist of the Southern Dynasties (420 - 589) initiated Nantianshi Sect of Taoism. During the Ming (1368 - 1644) and Qing (1644 - 1911) dynasties, Islam and Christianity became established here. In the early part of the 20th century, churches of 20 more counties were constructed in the area which still has temples and churches of the five religions (sects).

The Love On Lu Shan Adventure

The Love On Lu Shan Adventure


The Love On Lu Shan Adventure

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The Love On Lu Shan Adventure

The Love On Lu Shan Adventure


The Love On Lu Shan Adventure

The Love On Lu Shan Adventure


The Love On Lu Shan Adventure

The Love On Lu Shan Adventure


The Love On Lu Shan Adventure

The Love On Lu Shan Adventure


The Love On Lu Shan Adventure

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The Love On Lu Shan Adventure

The Love On Lu Shan Adventure


The Love On Lu Shan Adventure

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The Love On Lu Shan Adventure

The Love On Lu Shan Adventure


The Love On Lu Shan Adventure

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The Love On Lu Shan Adventure

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The Love On Lu Shan Adventure

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The Love On Lu Shan Adventure


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The Love On Lu Shan Adventure


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The Love On Lu Shan Adventure


The Love On Lu Shan Adventure

The Love On Lu Shan Adventure


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The Love On Lu Shan Adventure


The Love On Lu Shan Adventure

The Love On Lu Shan Adventure


The Love On Lu Shan Adventure

The Love On Lu Shan Adventure


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The Love On Lu Shan Adventure

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The Love On Lu Shan Adventure

The Love On Lu Shan Adventure

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

Mc Stunners & The Dongling Monastery

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Did you ever have one of those Mcdays where you never seemed to get Mcanywhere? Mcyet you finally end up where you were trying to get to all Mclong.

Today was supposed to Mcfind me at the top of McLushan but after last nights Mcpigout I woke up with the worst Mcstomach ache in the history of all Mc mankind. Did so, I counted them all and mine was the Mc worst! After yesterdays adventure along the Yangtze River I headed to the Mctrain station to grab my ticket home to Xian and if you didn’t read yesterdays blog then you won’t know that I walked out with a Mcfreakin ticket that will end the 2009 McSummer Beers N Noodles Adventure by sitting in a Mcfreakin hard seat for over seventeen hours.

Mc Yeah…..Mc Not! So what is all the Mcthisin and Mcthatin about?

After leaving the train station full of Mcgood humour I dropped into Mc D’s for a coffee and to do some writing and I happily took a seat next to a most Mcstunning McBeauty and her young daughter. We began chatting and had the best Mctime and I’m sure if there was no daughter then the best Mctime would have carried onto an even better Mctime, but sadly that couldn’t Mchappen so when it was time for them to go we swapped numbers and she then cut her cheese burger in half and we Mcsadly said out good byes.

Mc Damn! I don’t know if it was the food or the McStunner but all of a sudden I needed to eat Mc Donald’s.

I raced to the Mccounter and purchased a Big Mac, a Big and Beefy, a Fillet of Fish and a chocolate sundae and proceeded to Mcgorge myself with a food I never eat yet always Mc find myself surrounded by when I write. Later in the evening the Mcspecial sauces and Mccheeses were totally kicking my Mcinsides around and I headed to bed early without even Mcbothering with a Mccoldie or two.

This morning I woke feeling so Mcbloated, McFat and so over Ronald McFreaking Donald. I spent the Mcmorning Mcthisin and Mcthatin and in a Mcfoul mood. People actually eat this stuff! I think I’ll stick to beers and noodles!

When I woke just after lunch time I was all Mc’d out and feeling so much better so I decided not to waste the day and go where everyone would spend their spare afternoon in Jiujiang City, to the Donglin Monastery. It was a damn fine plan until I put it into action and from there it kind of went down hill a little and across the fields and back up hill and then everywhere but where I wanted it to take me. I found out about the temple last night when I finally sat down to gather some information on everything I had seen over the past few days and as there was a lot of information on the temple I figured it would be simple to get to.

It seemed that everyone knew about it but no one actually knew which bus to take to get there.

I spent hours trying to find a tour shop around the lake area but couldn’t find any and then just as I was about to give in I decided to head to the bus station as a last resort before heading back to my hotel. Once again I came across the same answers and just as I gave up and turned away from the huge tour map on the station wall an old lady came over and asked where I wanted to go, she then led me where I needed to go.

If you want to visit the Donglin Temple and you are near the bus station (just past the huge round about on Xunyang Lu in the north of the city), from the bus station head across the road and up the hill a little and on the left hand side of the road (as you walk up the hill) you will find a small stop for the Phantom Bus Number 7. I call it this as this is the only numbered stop for it. From here it goes along Lushan Lu on the west side of the city lake with the bus slowing down for anyone who flags it.

So I guess you can also catch it anywhere along Lushan Lu if you flag it down.

After a wonderful visit I caught Bus Number 14 back to the first main road in the city where it stopped and from there I walked all the way back to my hotel which took about three hours. I could have caught Buses 101 to 105 from the first main road to the northern side of the lake as I have been told they all go to the bus station I began my journey at but none of them leave the city and go near the temple. Now I am hoping to wake feeling like tackling a mountain tomorrow and then getting back to the hotel in time for a shower and then making my way to the train station with enough time to catch my homeward bound train.

So let’s hope there are no Mc Ups and Downs tomorrow!

<u>Donglin Monastery</u>

Located around sixteen kilometers northwest of Lushan Mountain in Jiujiang City, Donglin Monastery is renowned as the cradle of Chinese Pure Land Buddhism. The monastery has a history of over sixteen hundred years and was established by Monk Hui Yuan in the year 384 during the Eastern Jin Dynasty (AD317-420). The monastery with many grand structures and the profound culture of Buddhism attracts many visitors from both home and abroad each year.

Donglin Monastery covers an area of about 120,000 square meters with a floor area of about 4,500 square meters. The surrounding mountains make the Donglin Monastery rather remote and secluded. The monastery was quite prosperous during the Tang Dynasty (AD618-907), and there were more than 300 halls and rooms at that time. Being the major sermon place of Buddhism for a long time, Donglin Monastery established its fame and prestige firmly. Jian Zhen (AD688-763), a dignitary of the Tang Dynasty, rested at the Donglin Monastery after his fifth failure to travel to Japan. During his stay, he and the Donglin monks had a good exchange of thoughts. Then in the year AD753, Jian Zhen together with Zhi En, a monk in Donglin, made a sixth trip to Japan and arrived the next year.

Thus began the mission of prevailing Buddhism and the Chinese civilization.

Destroyed during the Anti-Japanese War (AD1973-1945), the existing buildings were rebuilt in recent years. Along the central axis visitors can appreciate the gate; the Great Buddha's Hall attached to Arhat Hall, Mile hall, and Shenyun Hall, attached to Sanxiao Hall (Three Laughers Hall), depositary of Buddhist texts and other relics. There are a great many histories and legends preserved in the monastery and some of the halls. The bridge at the front of the monastery is called Huxi (Tiger Stream) Bridge.

Legend has it that the master of the Donglin Monastery, Hui Yuan, had focused on studying Buddhism and vowed not to go across the bridge; one day while seeing two of his friends off he was so preoccupied by conversation that he walked across the bridge, when the trio heard a tiger roaring they realized the cause and burst out in laughter. Thus in Sanxiao Hall (Three Laughers Hall) recorded the beautiful legend and preserved it for your exploration.

Tourists have the chance to share vegetarian food with monks in the temple.

Entering the dining hall, men sit in lines on the right side and women on the left. The monks stand in two lines reciting the Buddhist scriptures, kowtowing toward the Buddha and playing religious music. Tourists must not make any noise when eating. If they want more food, they can draw circles in their bowl with their chopsticks and the monks will help them. When the dinner is finished, monks will chant scriptures again to request the Buddha bless the tourists. The entire process is sacred and solemn and provides tourists with a sense of the culture of the Buddhist religion.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane

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The soundtrack to this entry was by White Zombie The album was 'Supersexy Swingin Sounds’ ____________________________________________________________

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

A Sunny Afternoon On the Yangzi

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

The longest river in Asia and also the fourth longest in the world, the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang) flows for over five and a half thousand kilometers (three thousand four hundred miles for you others) from the Kunlun Mountains of Tibet in western China to the East China Sea just north of Shanghai and on its journey it makes its way through twelve of China's provinces and autonomous regions. The Yangzi begins in the relatively level Tibetan Highlands and it then descends through snowcapped mountains with elevations of sixteen thousand feet (or four thousand nine hundred meters for you others like me). After leaving Sichuan Province it then enters the beautiful yet dangerous Three Gorges area which runs for around two hundred kilometers after which it then makes its way to the east coast.

After that, now to my day. As awesome as the above sounds…hahaha! My day was spent on around two kilometers on the southern side of the Yangzi River. Before we get to that lets talk about air conditioners and how they can nearly ruin a perfect day.

I woke this morning terribly excited about being only a block away from China’s most famous river but I didn’t walk that block until around lunch time. In fact I nearly didn’t make it at all. I'm not used to staying in such a big hotel and as my room is on the fourth floor there are obviously many above me. When I woke this morning I heard what I thought were large rain drops speedily ending their life on my window pane and the ledge outside. So feeling a little disappointed (as travel days can now be counted on one hand) I smiled and went back to sleep.

Several hours later I woke to the same sound and repeated my previous actions.

It wasn’t until around mid day when I woke for the third time that I found that I couldn’t happily roll over and sleep anymore so I sat for a moment and thought about what I could do on this rainy day. A coffee and a book beside a partially open window was the first thing to come to mind so I made my coffee, grabbed my book and threw open the huge curtain to find….a bright sunny day with a huge blue sky above.

Needless to say that for the first few moments I was rather confused and even caught myself looking down to see if the ground was wet…..somewhere, anywhere. Of course it wasn’t you silly bugger, the sound was the combined drips from all the air conditioners on the above floors all dripping onto the fourth floor ledge and then running down a pipe to the street below.

Oh well, no need to waste a good coffee so I threw open the window and read for an hour anyway.

Jiujiang City is a cultural and historic city situated at the crossing of the Yangtze River and the Beijing-Kowloon Railway. Jiujiang has a population of over four million people even though it has escaped all worthy guide books in the west this two thousand two hundred year old city is a noted town in ancient China as for years it served as a communication center along the middle reaches of the Three Kingdoms (220-280 AD). The city was a customs station in the third century and became a country town in 589 AD. From the 17th to the 19th centuries, it was an important center of the tea trade and in 1861 it was opened to foreign trade.

My wonderful day (or afternoon I should say) was spent along the Yangzi River from the small port area to just past the’Jiujiang Changjiang Daqiao’ or the Jiujiang Yangzi River Bridge. It’s not a large stretch of land nor is it a piece of land that one would even off handedly remark as being beautiful, nor is it ugly for that matter, but I found enough there to keep my small mind amused for many hours.

<u>Xunyang Pavilion (Xunyang Lou)</u><u> </u>

The Xunyang Pavilion is located on the bank of Yangtze River and for those that don’t know (which would be all of us) Xunyang is the old name for the present-day Jiujiang city. It is not known when the Xunyang Pavilion was first built, but it has been mentioned in poems going back to 785 AD. It is said that the tower was first built as a public wine house in the Tang Dynasty. The Xunyang Pavilion is a great setting to view the Yangtze River and Chinese ancient history. The present Pavilion was reconstructed in 1980, and is now a tea house.

<u>Suojiang</u><u> Tower</u><u></u>

Also located on the side of the Yangzi River is what is known as the Suojiang Tower which is in fact the name given to a group of ancient buildings that include the actual Suojiang Tower, the Suojiang Pagoda (Wenfeng Pagoda) and four iron oxen guardians. In ancient times when traveling by steamboat along the river the Suojiang Pagoda was the first thing to be seen.

Suojiang Tower was firstly built in 1586 by an official of Jiujiang City, Wu Xiu, in the Wanli Reign of Ming Dynasty (AD1368-1644). It was built because the low-lying city of Jiujiang, surrounded on three sides by the Yangtze River, was vulnerable to flooding. It took eighteen years for the tower, which was paid for by collections of money, to be built. Suojiang Tower has three stories and is surrounded by four iron oxen.

A pagoda was built at a later point near Suojiang Tower - Suojiang Pagoda, also known as Wenfeng Pagoda. Standing at a height of about thirty five meters and is built of stones and medieval thick bricks.

Suojiang Tower and Pagoda were built to protect people from disasters, but these structures don't seem to have the same power over themselves. The ravages of earthquakes and wars led to Suojiang Tower being almost completely destroyed. In the Second World War, Japanese invaders shelled Jiujiang City with cannons and the Pagoda was nearly destroyed. Because of the shelling, the Pagoda now slopes north eastward and the pagodas top has strayed from centerline by about seventy six centimeters.

<u>Wave Well (Lang Jing)</u>

I couldn’t find the Wave Well and have added it to this page so that other travelers know that it does exists. I tried to find it but no matter who I spoke to or where I went no one seemed to either understand me or know that it actually exists.

The Wave Well (Lang Jing) is said to be the most ancient relic found in Jiujiang City and is located in Langjing Lane, which is very close to the Yangtze River. Being fifteen meters (49.2 feet) in depth, the well is distinct from others for its water had waves when the Yangtze River did, thus the name Wave Well. The reason why there were waves in the well remained controversial in the olden days. There were mainly two theories: one was that the well connected with the Yangtze River, the other one that the water was gushing out from the spring head, thus creating waves.

According to history records, the well was dug in about 201 BC when General Guan Ying of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-24) initiated the construction of Jiujiang City. For this reason the well is also called Guanying Well. However, the well was later buried and was unknown till the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD25-220), when Sun Quan, emperor of Wu Kingdom in the Three Kingdoms Period (AD220-280), found the site and dug it out.

After a restoration, the well is now guarded by newly-built square pavilion. The poems written by Li Bai and Su Shi explaining the reason of the phenomenon are carved on the wall.

<u>Jiujiang</u><u> Yangtze River Bridge</u><u> (Jiujiang Changjiang Daqiao)</u>

Jiujiang Yangtze River Bridge is located at Yangtze River, at the border intersection of Jiangxi, Hubei, Anhui three provinces. On the south shore are the clear water lake and the north shore docks with Chikou Town, Huangmei County, Hubei. It is the biggest dual purpose bridge spanning with double-deck road and railway at present in China. The upper deck forms a four traffic lane highway bridge and the width of the traffic lane extends to fourteen meters, with both side’s pedestrian walkway extending a further two meters.

The lower deck is the double thread railroad bridge with a length of 7,675 meters and the length of the highway bridge 4,460 meters. There are ten bridge piers and eleven erected steel girders and believe me, when you are standing beneath it or to one side it really is an awesome site, especially when you watch as a train crosses it beneath the highway bridge where huge trucks can also be seen crossing.

<u>Pipa Pavilion</u>

The Pipa Pavilion is located to the east of Yangtze Bridge and faces the river with Lute Lake located behind it. Poet Bai Juyi was demoted from the minister of war from Chang An (the ancient name of what is now known as Xian City) to Jiangzhou (now known as Jiujiang City) in the Tang Dynasty (AD815). The following autumn, he saw a visitor off to XunYangjiang River (north section of Yangtze River). A girl played a Lute on the boat at night and the music stirred Bai Juyi’s emotions.

Bai Juyi related his plight to the girl and he wrote 'Pipaxing' as a gift to the girl, hence the pavilion name. Now that is almost as sweet as how the Sydney Opera House got its name…NOT! Or for that matter the Melbourne Arts Center…NOT! Here is where it gets a little confusing.

The Pavillion was built in Tang Dynasty and originally on the shore of Jiujiang west end Yangtze River. But was been moved several times during the following dynasties. It was reconstructed in the Qing Dynasty (AD1736 - 1795) and was destroyed during the reign of Xianfeng (AD1851 - 1861) and in March of 1988 the new Lute Pavillion was constructed.

The pavilion height is twenty meters and is has a double-decked double-eave roof. The Lute Pavilion golden tablet was written by Liu Haisu can be found hung on the pavilion.

Standing before the pavilion is a giant stele with the engraving of "Pipaxing", the long poem where there are six hundred and sixteen characters making up the full text. Bai Juyi’s white marble statue stands in the center of the pavilion and there tablet porches built on both sides with fifty six stele carvings on the Lute Pavilion topic written by poets from previous dynasties.

After leaving the Pipa Pavilion I decided that it was about time to do something about purchasing my final train ticket that will end this years Beers N Noodles Adventure so due to time I decided to grab a bus back into town and then make my way to the train station from there. The question of which bus to catch was actually easily answered as there was only one bus number on the board and after checking my map I found that it actually begins its journey right before the train station.

So for those like me who are happy to put off their Mount Lushan adventure for a few worthy days spent in Jiujiang City bus five can take you from the train station all the way to the Pipa Pavilion and also an drop you off at all the above sites at a simple 'Oi You, Stop The Bus’ or if your bus driver has no knowledge of the English language simply call out Hey Hey Hey and point to the door.

It works every time, even in taxis but sadly not on trains, they just continue until their next stop!

Here is where my wonderful day took a bad turn as when I asked for my ticket to Xian the following night I was told there were no beds available so I then (full of hope) asked for a ticket for the night after and again I was told there were no beds and that from my understanding there never would be any beds available as they are all sold in Nanchang city. But, I think I may have misunderstood this part of the conversation due to my forming frustration of having the option of only one ticket and being that of;

A seventeen hour journey from Jiujiang City to Xian City in freaking HARDSEAT! I then slowly made my way to Mc Donald’s for an Elcheapo coffee.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane

___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by The Living End. The album was &#8216;Roll On’. ____________________________________________________________

Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure


Jiujiang City Yangzi River  Adventure

Jiujiang City Yangzi River Adventure

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

On The Crossroads of Hunan, Hubei and Jiangxi

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

This beautiful evening finds me lazing about in the city of Jiujiang which is situated near the northern border of Jiangxi Province. It borders the Yangtze River to the north, Poyang Lake to the east and picturesque Mt. Lushan to the south. Jiujiang in Chinese means 'nine rivers'. Due to its location at the geographical intersection of Hunan, Hubei and Jiangxi Provinces, Jiujiang has always been an strategically important city as it is virtually at the center of so many bodies of water, the city is one of the four largest rice markets and one of the three largest tea markets in China, yet it remains almost totally unknown due to it being so close to the famous Mount Lushan.

With a history of over two thousand two hundred years, Jiujiang is a very leafy and attractive city boasting grand mountains and numerous waterways. Cultural relics of Buddhism, Taoism, Islam and Confucianism can be found on nearby Mt. Lushan. The mountain also features captivating rock formations, natural springs, temples and stone inscriptions and most of its ninety nine peaks rise over one thousand meters above sea level.

I had actually never heard of this city before and the only reason I came here was due to the fact that it is supposed to me much cheaper to stay here than on top of Mount Lu Shan. So yesterday when I woke I decided that sometime in the next few days I would head to Lushan where I would end the 2009 Summer Beers N Noodles Adventure. After packing I headed to the Anyi long distance bus station where I was going to grab the next bus back to Nanchang City and stay two nights. Whilst I was in line waiting for my ticket I heard the city name Jiujiang being yelled and a bus horn beep beep beeping over and over again.

Which in China means; Oi! We are about to leave, if you’re coming GET ON NOW! If you not coming it doesn’t matter I will continue to beep this horn over and over anyhow! So I figured why not just head to Jiujiang city this very morning and skip Nanchang altogether.

The bus was tiny, without air conditioning and came complete with several chickens and pigeons all wrapped in the orange net bags we purchase our oranges in. The journey to Jiujiang was beautiful and took well over five hours through some splendid rural country side full of mountains, rice fields and rivers during which the chickens and pigeons almost covered the bus floor with thankfully non smelly droppings. All the while everyone and everything in the bus was almost bone shatteringly thrown around due to the very bad state of the roads.

The journey should take around three and a half hours. But we broke down and had to wait for parts from a town somewhere near by.

Thankfully when we arrived in Jiujiang a uni-student came racing from out of no where to see if I needed help. He was such a happy person and as we spoke he was bouncing from foot to foot telling me how great it was that he missed his first bus as it allowed him to talk to a foreigner for the first time. He had been visiting his grandmother in a city near by and was just passing through and would board the bus I just departed and head an hour the way I had just came to his home village. Before leaving he told me which bus to grab to take me to the inner city bus station from which I could catch a public bus to Lu Shan.

For those who want to journey from Anyi town to Jiujiang city, when you arrive you can board any of these buses from the tiny bus station your bus arrives at to the larger and more important city bus station (Bus Numbers 101, 102, 103, 104 or 105). After you pass the lake watch out for a Mc Donald’s on your right hand side and the bus station is soon after.

The only information I had on Jiujiang was this one sentence from the Lonely Planet 'many travelers arrive in Lushan from either Nanchang or Jiujiang and that buses leave regularly from Jiujiang for Lushan’ and that’s about as much as you need to know for your Lushan adventure. But the city I was greeted with last night and that which I explored today was one I never expected from those two short and uninformative sentences offered in the Lonely Planet. On my journey from the small bus station to the large bus station last night I found myself glued to the bus window as we slowly passed along the side of the huge inner city lake area.

Honestly I even grabbed my LP out again to make sure I hadn’t missed any information on this city.

When I arrived at the inner city bus station I grabbed some bus times to Lushan and then headed out to find a hotel along what I found to be the cities main street, Xunyang Lu. I checked out many hotel prices and they were extremely under my budget yet far better than many I had stayed in over the past two months. It is seriously almost impossible to pay more than 100Yuan for a good hotel in this city and most offer rooms with everything you need for around seventy to eighty Yuan.

My hotel is just across from the popular north eastern corner of the lake and after checking in I headed out for a long walk that I hoped would rejoin all my bones from the days bus journey. I had no idea how large the lake was and thought I would it would only take half and hour to an hour but I returned nearly four hours later. Of course it didn’t take the entire time to walk around the lake but I had dinner and found myself standing by the lake side wondering why so many people head to Hangzhou city to visit West Lake when right here there is a lake that is almost as beautiful.

It is also offered for next to nothing in cost comparison.

This morning I decided to spend the day in the lake area retracing the steps I took last night and from there where ever my sandals took me. It wasn’t until late in the afternoon that I actually found a map and where my hotel was located on it to my surprise I found that I was less than a good city block away from the Yangzi River. I actually had no idea at all that this city was located on banks of the mighty Yangzi River, so instead of heading to Lushan tomorrow I have decided to do what any normal person would do and that is to spend the day walking along the Yangzi River in search of what ever there is to be found.

Today though was such a wonderful day and one that came as such a surprise as the LP doesn’t even offer a simple short paragraph on what this city has to offer for example, a huge beautiful lake that is surrounded by parks, temples and even an old church. The cities streets are lined with huge leafy trees and small alleyways offering cheap eats can be found almost everywhere and for those who want to visit Lushan it is more than worth spending at least a day and a night here before moving on to the mountain.

You could easily do the lake area in the morning and from looking at the map you could easily do the river side sites in the afternoon. I’m not actually sure what they are yet but it looks like there are three pagodas (or something) on the map but they are all well within a short taxi ride or for those like me a nice afternoons walk.

This evening I spent a few hours walking around the area between Xunyang Lu and the river area. Here I found a very busy shopping mall full of all the latest fashion stores etc. Today at the southern end of the lake near train station I found a Wal-Mart and the cities beautiful open air swimming pools.

Below is some information I found and put together on what I found today during my Lake Adventure.

<u>Gantang</u><u> Lake</u><u></u>

During the Tang Dynasty (AD618-907), Gantang Lake was known as Jingxing Lake and was bisected by a dike that was built to facilitate the transportation at that time. The divided lakes are now separately called South Lake to the east of the dike and Gantang Lake in the west. In the lake's center stands a small pavilion and Buddhist Temple and after passing it by twice I found it to be closed to the public on both occasions.

Gantang Lake was divided into two by a dyke and bridge built in AD821 during the Tang dynasty. Sixian Bridge, now enlarged, still stands on the causeway which one crosses to reach Yangyue Pavilion on the low hill overlooking the lake. It is well stocked with silver and grass carp, and seagulls skim its surface. lt is said that during the Three Kingdoms period (AD220-265) the Eastern Wu general, Zhou Yu, inspected his warships from a reviewing platform on the Lake, trees of which remain.

<u>Yanshui Pavilion</u>

Linked to the shore by a zigzag bridge is the pretty Yanshui (Misty Water) Pavilion. A pavilion was first built here in the Tang dynasty (AD618-907) by the poet Bai Juyi during his unhappy posting in Jiujiang. It was named the Drenched Moon Pavilion after a line from one of his poems 'Bidding farewell I saw the moon drenched by the river.'

In the Northern Song period (AD960--1127) a highly regarded Neo-Confucian philosopher, Zhou Dun, taught in Jiujiang and his son built a pavilion on the lake to his father's memory, calling it Yanshui Pavilion. The present island pavilion dates from the late Qing period (AD1644--1911). One small hall is dedicated to BaiJuyi, other rooms display local archaeological discoveries. The Yanshui Pavilion is a series of buildings connected by corridors. These ancient buildings in the pavilion are Chuangting Hall, Cuichaoxian Pavillion, Yanhui Pavillion, Wuxian Pavilion, etc.

The city's antiques store is also located here.

<u>Nengren</u><u> Temple</u><u> </u>

You can find the Nangren Temple on the east side of the lake or if you cross the lake from the Buddhist Temple you will find that the road turns into Gantang Lu. At the next intersection you will find a small Church that of course is closed to the public (like most Churches are in China). If you turn right here into Yuliang Lu and walk a short distance you will find a leafy round about with a hospital on one side and the Nangren temple on the other.

The Nengren Temple was first built in the Southern Dynasty (AD420-589) and went through many changes and repairs through the dynasties that followed. Most of the temples present structures were repaired or built in the Qing Dynasty (AD1644-1911). The temple covers an area of three thousand square meters and is the largest historical structure in Jiujiang City and it is in fact one of the major protected temples in China. Visitors can find grand halls and statues of Buddha, guardians, warriors as well as relics and scriptures of Buddhism.

The temple has many things to see which include the awesome Great Victory Pagoda

The Great Victory Pagoda was built in the Tang Dynasty (AD618-907), underwent repairs in the Ming (AD1368-1644) and Qing dynasties. The pagoda, with its west-facing gate, is a seven storey hexagonal structure made of bricks and stones and is forty three meters high. From the second story, there is a door on each side and inside the pagoda there is a brick staircase that goes to the top and from what I can gather it is the only one of its kind remaining in China.

Next to the Great Victory Pagoda is the &#8216;Stone Boat’ which is a big concave stone which resembles a boat. It is five meters long and one meter wide. On the boat sits an Iron Buddha and legend has it that during the Song Dynasty (AD960-1279) a monk dreamed about an iron Buddha ferrying across the river in a stone boat. Unfortunately, this iron Buddha was destroyed and the existing one is made of concrete.

The Qing halls found in this temple are the oldest buildings left in Jiujiang city and from what I can gather three or four monks and several nuns continue to tend the temple.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane

PS: during the days adventures around the lake I found a wall that had a heap of flags from around the world and I can only guess that they are the cities &#8216;Sister Cities’ and one of them was a flag of Australia with the name Baw Baw Shire written under it. How wonderful it was to find that as the Baw Baw Shire is not far from my home town. ___________________________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Suzi Quatro The album was &#8216;The Best Of’. For all the younger readers who don’t know who Suzi Q is, Mate she is more than worth a short visit to your local CD store or download site. She rocks! ____________________________________________________________________________

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure


Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City  Adventure

Jiujiang Lake &#38;amp; City Adventure

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

Luotiancun, Shuinan & Jingtai Village Adventure

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Let’s talk about 'LOUD’ and I mean &#8216;VERY LOUD’! Most people who have been to China can kind of understand the meaning of LOUD.

Those who have taught and lived here do know the meaning of the word LOUD but it’s those who travel and find a chicken shop with a kids playpen that really know what the term VERY LOUD means. I really should add the F word in between those two words but let’s be happy with just the two of them. There is a birthday party happening and at the moment I am surrounded by at least twenty kids all under ten and all who, being Chinese don’t actually know how to &#8216;talk’ as they’ve never been taught to actually &#8216;talk’.

In China it is those who are the loudest who get the attention. Therefore, no one under the age of ninety actually knows how to &#8216;talk’ when they are in a crowd.

Most of you reading this I’m sure have been to a sports game with at least sixty to one hundred thousand people in attendance (maybe an Aussie Rules football match at the MCG). Remember the noise? Well times that by at least one thousand and you then have a Chinese Chicken Shop with a kid’s playpen along with a pre-teen year old birthday party. It is so freaking loud and why do they have to scream in my ear when they are only five centimeters away. It drives me totally insane and has for the past four and a half years. I will seriously never comprehend it now matter how hard I try. Once the kids have finished yelling into my ear their parents come over and yell into my ear as well.

Why can’t they just speak? It seriously is not at all that hard a thing to do. In fact speaking is so much easier and yelling takes so much more effort. It’s like the difference between frowning and smiling, frowning uses so many more facial muscles.

<u>Anyhow the big question is; Where can I be found this evening?</u>

Yesterday I left Jingdezhen City and bused it to Nanchang City which took around four/four and a half hours (adding in traffic). When I arrived there were just too many people for me. They were all crowding around me wanting me to stay in their hotel or to catch their bus to this other hotel so I decided to leave Nanchang pretty much as soon as I arrived. This might sound stupid to some but the fact is I actually had to come to &#8216;that’ bus station to head west to where I wanted to end up next but I didn’t expect to be here so soon.

Sadly, I did want to actually spend a night or two in the city checking out a few temples and sites. But my main reason for coming to Nanchang was to visit the three ancient villages to its west.

I had to wait a further hour and a half for my next bus but the bus station was surprisingly cool and I had a young couple and their baby sitting next to me who had a heap of food and drink and were committed to making me as bloated as they possibly could. Most of yesterday my head was pounding with a migraine that had been building over the past few days. It happens sometimes and I can usually feel it beginning to occur but I just never know when it will hit nor do I think to simply &#8216;Stop’ to stop it from happening as usually it is due to too much travel and sun without enough water and rest.

By the time the bus came I had turned into a vampire and all light had become my enemy. Along with light was any noise above a gentle baby step. Needless to say I was very tired and worn out.

An hour and a half later when I arrived at Anyi town I not only wanted but would have begged for the quietest hotel that could possibly be found. I quickly grabbed a cab and for the first time in my life asked for the towns most expensive hotel (mostly because Anyi is a small town that at the time I hoped came with small town prices). Thankfully for me it did and it turned out the towns most expensive hotel (after negating) was just within this years travel budget (blame Shandong for me having to recalculate) and actually cost less than the worst and cheapest hotel I stayed in Qingdao. It came complete with a flat screen TV, a computer and for me the most important thing, a very quiet sixth floor position with air-conditioning.

After nearing eight hours of waiting and busing I finally lay my head up pillow. Within five minutes of paying I was fast asleep on a huge and comfortable bed.

This morning I woke early feeling the best I’ve felt for the past several days so I rose and headed to the bus station where I was told I couldn’t purchase a ticket to get to the small town of Shibi I needed to reach to get to the three villages I wanted to visit. The ticket girl just kept pointed outside, so that’s where I headed. Of course the first people who raced to me where both motorbike and taxi drivers all yelling a crazy price each after I told them where I wanted to go. It was after they so quickly told me there were no buses to my destination that I knew there actually had to be (that’s how it works). I then noticed two buses leaving from a driveway across the road. I said thank you and a few minutes later I was onboard a bus leaving towards the Luotiancun Villages.

I didn’t know where I’d end up. I just knew that it wouldn’t take me all the way (but most of it). Whilst onboard, two very cute uni-graduates began talking to me.

They had never spoken to a foreigner and were very hesitant and first and later actually told me they were so happy I couldn’t converse in Chinese as it gave them their first opportunity to liaise with a foreigner and use the English they had been learning for so long. They were so happy that they remembered most of what they had been taught. I know it sounds crazy to some but there really are so many Chinese people who can speak English but the more foreigners who liaise with them in Chinese stops them from using many years of English education.

While travelling I meet so many of these people and every single one of them is so surprised at their abilities after we have spent time together, so apart form me rarely living in areas that actually use Mandarin (which has made me super lazy with my Mandarin studies) it is these times that make me even more super lazy with my Mandarin studies. One of the girls had already signed for several more years studies and the other had decided against it as she thought for her it was a waste of time.

This one single conversation changed her mind and she has now decided to continue with her studies. We swapped QQ Numbers and even this very night we have been happily chatting away on QQ.

Maybe I know more Mandarin than I lead people to believe (maybe I don’t) but from these experiences I find it much more beneficial to those around me to simply use very simple Chinese as always there will be one or two people amongst those around me who will jump in to help and use their English for the very first time with a foreigner. I do know that it sounds selfish but when you are in a country where EVERYONE has to learn English for many years without option then the huge and happy smiles that come across their faces make it more than worth while. For those coming to China to teach think about this before you race around the country side using your Mandarin and more so, don’t use Mandarin in class as it helps no one but yourself. You are one and your class has many who need to learn to think in English and not simply listen to you practicing your Mandarin.

Studying Chinese would make life and travelling much easier for me. But that would take away all of the adventure out of my life living and travelling wouldn’t it.

What good would it be to simply arrive at a bus station, an eatery or town and know exactly what to and where to go? I might as well go home or move to England. For me that would totally suck and I would have to move countries to find the &#8216;adventure’ I love so much. I would rather spend an hour or two in total confusion than a single second glancing at a board, ticket or menu and knowing exactly what is what. But not many are as scatterbrained as I when it comes to life.

I ended up at a tiny village bus station that consisted of two buses. I thought it was the town of Shibi but due to its size I figured it wasn’t so.

Once again another uni student came over and asked where I was going. My reply was &#8216;on this bus’ to Luotiancun Village. She then told me I was (once again) the first foreigner she had spoken to and that the village I was going to was her home village. Her English was excellent and I found out that each night she watched an hour of an English movie followed by many pages of an English novel and that this was then followed by what ever home work she had to do for other classes and that she done so for many years. All this and to have only ever spoken to one foreigner, unbelievable! We spent a wonderful time happily chatting soon after which we said our sad good byes. She then said something to the ticket guy I was told I didn’t need to purchase a ticket for my visit to the three ancient villages I had come so far to visit.

The following is a mixture of information from the LP and my own findings and notes

<u>Lu</u><u>&oacute;</u><u>ti</u><u>&aacute;</u><u>nc</u><u>&#363;</u><u>n, Shu&#464;n&aacute;n & J&#299;ngt&aacute;i Villages</u>

Northwest of town and faced on all sides by imposing ornamental gateways, the 1120-year-old village of Lu&oacute;ti&aacute;nc&#363;n (admission cost, I have no idea), its uneven stone-flagged alleys etched with centuries of wear, makes an ideal day out and rural escape from the urban grays of N&aacute;nch&#257;ng. A disorientating labyrinth of tight, higgledy-piggledy lanes, disused halls and ancient homesteads assembled from dark stone, Lu&oacute;ti&aacute;nc&#363;n backs onto a picturesque backdrop of fields and hills that maximise its pastoral charms. Over the years movies, documentaries and TV dramas such as &#8216;Huang Di Nei Jing’, Beloved China and the American TV play &#8216;The Explorer’ have all used this village as a backdrop for many scenes.

The stone alleys and ancient houses with dark stone walls plastered with red sand and grass gives this little village a lot of character. Luotiancun has a beautiful backdrop of fields and hills that gives it a very special charm. Wander the tight maze of lanes, past hand-worked pumps, ancient wells, stone steps, scattering chickens, lazy cows and conical haystacks, poking your head occasionally through doorways to glimpse wooden interiors softly illuminated by overhead light wells and catch snatches of Chinese opera warbling from old radios.

There are some lovely buildings here: pick your way along Qianjie and pop over to D&agrave;sh&igrave;f&#363;d&igrave; on Hengjie an old residence that has marvelous carved wooden panels and is hung with old lanterns called m&#462;d&#275;ng. On the fringes of the village you will find The Thousand Two Hundred Year Old Camphor Tree which Huang Kechang (the village founder) supposedly planted the year he founded the village. The story behind the village and the tree is that Huang fled to this area (from where I have no idea) and built a simple canopy residence to live in. One evening he dreamt that a gold lion went into the earth near his canopy and the very next day he unearthed three hundred Jin worth of gold so he planted the camphor tree in memory of his find.

Also hunt down the old well and the Watch Tower, both which locals swear are well over one thousand years old. One of my favorite buildings was that which houses the &#8216;Hall of the Liao River Strange Stones’. The displays are rather cool but the building itself was wonderful. I think my only disappointment was when I found &#8216;Horizontal Street’ (which links Back Street to Front Street). I knew that it had lost its charm but I never thought it had actually lost everything. Horizontal Street was built during the Ming Dynasty and is around one hundred meters long. Back in it&#8216;s hey day it was The Street in the village and housed many tea houses and restaurants, now though you would never guess.

From the waterwheel at the foot of Qianjie a flagstone path links Luoti&aacute;nc&#363;n with its sibling village, Shuinan. Although it is only a five hundred meter walk, it is a very beautiful walk that takes you through fields of rapeseed plants or rice depending on the time of the year.

In Shu&#464;n&aacute;n, follow the signs to the Shuinan Folk Museum, a further old residence consisting of bedchambers and threadbare exhibits; note how many wooden effigies carved on the interior panels have had their faces smashed off. Shuinan village was founded by Huang Yineng, the fifteenth grandson of the Huang who founded Lu&oacute;ti&aacute;nc&#363;n Village in the Ming Dynasty (AD1374). Its population is well over eight hundred and though there are over twenty very well preserved Ming Dynasty ancient buildings in the village I found it to be the least exciting of the three.

A further five hundred meters down the what was once a stone path but now a small concrete road is the large and pleasant community of J&#299;ngt&aacute;i, a village with a one thousand four hundred year history and a current population of around one thousand two hundred whose gap-toothed and largely non-p&#468;t&#333;nghu&agrave; (Mandarin) speaking citizens are all either surnamed Liu or Li. Again, traipse at will and enjoy the village’s hoary barns, stone gateways, musty homesteads, ancestral temple or the ancient stage which was built during the Qing Dynasty (in the year AD1745). If you take the time to study it you will find some beautiful carvings on its pillars and beams mostly one hundred and eight small dragon heads, lotus flowers and roosters.

You will need to cross the tar road to enter this village and to enter simply walk through the small stone arch way you see directly across. As with both other villages you can follow the small wooden signs with arrows that will take you to all of the important sites. By now I was drenched with sweat and about to fall over from lack of water and food. The only place I found to buy water and food was back in the first village and as I still had a little water left in the first village I thought I’d wait until the next village.

For those who actually want to have a village lunch I did pass by several small homes that had baskets of fresh vegetables, a wok and a table to two. I didn’t think to ask how much it would cost as I was going to have lunch in one of the next two villages but as I stated above, only in the first village can this happen. I doubt prices would be high as all drink prices were actually less than anywhere I have visited this entire summer.

I then slowly wandered back to Luoti&aacute;nc&#363;n Village taking in all three villages again just to make sure I didn’t miss anything and by the time I sat myself down in the back of a motorcycle taxi I realised I had been there for almost six hours and where the time went baffled me. It cost me ten Yuan to get to Shibi (I paid for two grandmothers that had to have been going on two hundred) and once I arrived I sat for a huge meal and then caught a local bus back to Anyi town (4 Yuan).

Today (Saturday, 22nd August &#8211; the day after I wrote this) my thumping migraine had returned so I decided to pay for another night and to spent the day drinking water and reading in bed. I managed to stay put until around five thirty and then couldn’t keep still any longer so I donned the sandals and headed out into the humid streets in search of something cool to drink and delicious to eat.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Spearhead The album was &#8216;Home’ ____________________________________________________________

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village


Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

Luotiancun, Shuinan &#38;amp; Jingtai Village

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