A Travellerspoint blog

August 2013

Kicking Around KungFu Style in Guangzhou

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Ok people we have to finally get one thing straight. I've told you once, I've told you twice, I've told you a million, billion, trillion times. When I take you to one of Guangzhou's (Cantons) most popular and famous parks; For Gawds sake.....Do not Spit, Litter or Piss Around (see photo). But you don't believe me and laugh at me, It's right there in Engrish and black and white'

DO NOT LITTER, SPIT OR PISS AROUND!

Why you always gotta go and piss around? So do you want to know what I reckon?

I reckon and know that Mao Zedong (Chairman Mao) did start off as a good man, in fact a handsome and genuine really, really good and caring man. He searched, questioned, pondered, lectured and scratched his matches in deep thought about what was best for his countries future and then went about walking, fighting, shooting and scheming for a few years but then allowed futures time to tell its Demon Tail.

I reckon that I have seen some more amazingly Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Hakka Peoples architecture from fortresses too spirally wirily Taoist villages that when given a chance still continue to give present days 'we don't give a fark about anything’ Feng Shui a super human kick in the arse!

I reckon that during this year’s Summer Beers N Noodles Adventure I met several extremely beautiful maids that made my bed with precision and precise and then messed them all up again and re-made them with precise and precision. BBQ, rice wine and beer I did share with them, non existence in your day is how you not seem them....unless you actually do go about to see them. Maids that make, made this year’s rainy adventure totally bearable because they liked to play .... you know...UNO, the card game!

Get your mind out of the gutter you dirty little buggers!

I reckon that being back in Guangzhou is amazing as it is my favourite city in the entire world. Canton my friend is your friend as she offers you an unlimited supply of snacks, food, extraordinarily beautiful girls, wonderful people and green spaces. Also walking along side the Pearl River as always is a refreshing memory of being back home. You would know, doing the clickity clack of chop sticks with friends in one of the many Chinese Restaurants found in every town where people actually do think they are eating Chinese food.....NOT!...It’s Cantonese Food!

I reckon Guangzhou (Canton) is a super amazing grace! And that Metallica should put their redneck guns down and tour SnackAdelliA!

I reckon that it’s great that Mc Donald’s are now in the lingerie business (see photo) and that I can go in, shop and feel my way around and leave with a double cup size of choice that I feel the need to chow down on. I reckon that’s what Mc Donald’s should be all about... Panties and bra’s Ronald, fill them full of ice cream, gherkins, beef and cheese and I’m thinking you’d bring the world to its knees!

I reckon that due to the fact that I travel and walk so much that I also must smell so much and the fact is, I hate hand washing and there really should be more public laundries here in China. Sniff Sniff and due to the extremely limited supply, I need to make an appointment with my washing machine.

Do you know what I also reckon? As I sit in Guangzhou’s bus stations Mc Donald’s restaurant;

I reckon that I’m searching for the little girl that is usually juuuuuuuuuuuust over there and she usually has super squinty Chinese eyes. Like at the end of many of my Summer 'Beers N Noodles’ Adventure’s there are usually birthday parties happening and their cardboard birthday hats usually squash their eyes together making them Super Chinese and I reckon that is always really super cute!

I still reckon the above reminds me of when I am in class and when one of the MANY students who needs glasses puts their fingers to the end of their eyes and lift the skin, I reckon that makes them look Super Chinese and I still reckon that if we did that anywhere in Australia we would be taken to court.

I reckon that just like during all my Beers N Noodles Adventures that like every year in my hotel rooms each hotel has a bath but the plug hole still has a steel rod coming out of it so no one can put a plug in it, therefore not fill the bath. So I reckon that being in China that if anyone does step on the steel rod they still can't sue for compensation.

I reckon that's crazy! I reckon you want to know what I really really REALLY reckon! I reckon that's it mate, the 2013 'Summer Beers N Noodles Adventure’ is at its end.

I reckon I had a great time and visited some awesome places full of so much beauty and history. I reckon I met many beautiful girls and great people all whom helped me a lot and with whom I shared some great moments and I reckon most importantly, I drank some tasty beers and ate some delicious noodles!

I reckon more importantly than 'most importantly; Is the fact that I survived all my bus rides! I reckon 'Life Huh!' 'Go Figure!'

Beers N Noodles toya...shane ________________________________________________________________________

The Soundtrack to this entry was by Tori Amos The album was 'Little Earthquakes' ________________________________________________________________________

Guangzhou  City Adventure

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

The Baimiao River Walking Home Adventure

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day Toya,

After having my secretary check my incredibly busy daily schedule I found that I was free the rest of the day.

So I figured, after a wonderful morning and afternoon on a boat visiting two River Temples why not use this time wisely and walk the twelve kilometers back to Qingyuan city from the Baimiao Boat Docks. So with the river gorge behind me I began my walk and not far from Baimiao Village are a small handful of boat builders where I spent an hour walking around with my Occupational Health and Safety clipboard trying to find at least one tick, even just a small one would have been nice.

Yeeeeup, a whole lota safety going on there!

The rest of the walk took me through peaceful little villages surrounded by so much bamboo that even Pan Pan and her friends couldn’t devour it in an entire lifetime. Once I hit the river I figured why not follow it the rest of the way which was a good idea for an hour or so until I looked across the fields and saw how far away the road was.

It definitely didn’t follow the river like I thought it did. What idiot would build a road that follows the most direct route...sheez! What should have been a twelve km walk turned into maybe double that which for me was the perfect end to a most awesome day!

Beers N Noodles toya...shane ________________________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Dinosaur Jr The albums were 'Without a Sound’ ________________________________________________________________________

Baimiao Walking Home Adventure

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

Finally The Baimiao River Temple Adventure

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day Toya,

Finally after many years; I managed to squeeze in the Baimiao River Temple Adventure.

I wish I had more time here as I'm finding more and more things to see situated around Qingyuan such as Ancient Yeo Peoples Villages etc but I guess that will give me a reason to return (maybe?). Yesterday what I was told was going to be a two hour journey ended up being almost four and a half, that'll teach me for listening and sleeping in as I ended up losing the entire afternoon. I must say that I am a little confused with the city as I've asked the locals where the city center is and they all tell me 'right here', I've also asked one of the six hundred thousand trillion Moto Taxis the same question and I've been given six hundred thousand trillion of the same answers along with six hundred thousand trillion beeps to get my attention.

The reason I'm confused is that there is nothing here!

Oh I did find a KFC this afternoon but that's way down the road, nothing there either but a large shopping complex that looks like it’s about to fall over with cracks in the walls and half the paint missing, surely that can't be 'the city center'? The LP says where I am is four kilometers from the center, I've taken several of the six hundred thousand trillion beeping motto taxis in all directions and I can't find a damn thing but half completed high rise residential complexes.

Chinese cities always have a lot of 'shopping' in the city center, brand names, many KFC''s and McDonalds competing, little snack streets and hands full of beautiful girls/women dressed like they are about to compete in a fashion show...um, I guess they actually are in a way. In the end I found a small vibrant local area and that’s where I begin to snack my way back to my hotel.

I was SnackAtallicA on tour in Qingyaun! Anyhow, onto the reason I'm here.

<u>The Baimiao Temple Adventure</u>

I rose around mid morning and after a hearty fill of 'morning rice noodles' I grabbed a motto across to the old bus station and grabbed Bus No: 207 to the Baimiao Docks and as I thought it was a nice journey I decided that I would walk most of the way back to the city (oh gee that's new isn't it). When I arrived I asked a few other people how much they were paying and went about halving it which I did of course.

BUT they were in small tour groups;

The tour company charges them one hundred Yuan each and then probably pays the boat owner half of that per person. In the end I got it down to two hundred and seventy including lunch and no time limit on the stops. The boat owner’s daughter was more than happy with that as her baby was sick and motionless seems to stop him crying.

Here is where the big surprise came into it.

The old guy (boat owner) took me to an old large fishing boat that had been converted into a restaurant type thing and told me to wait. I thought he was going to go get the small fishing boat that for many years I thought I'd end up on. When he returned he untied us and off we went, ha ha I had the entire huge boat to myself....unbelievable!

LP: The first part of the trip takes you along the river past some mountain villages and ancient pagodas to the stately Buddhist temple of Feilai (first founded over one thousand four hundred years ago) nestled at the foot of a steep mountain. The temple is serenely located in a pine forest. When you get there follow the narrow path through the forest to the mountaintop pavilion that offers terrific views of the river gorge below...Done!

When your boat arrives at Feixia about four kilometers upstream you'll be dropped off at stairs that lead upwards from the riverbank and onwards to the temple. Founded in the late eighteenth century, it’s actually a complex of different halls, courtyards and pavilions connected by tree lined paths...Done!

The entire trip, from the docks to Feilai onwards to Feixia and return took me around five and a half hours. Normally it should take four but we sat for an amazing lunch of fresh fish, mouth watering duck, wild vegetables and beer and rice. The photo of me with the Full Face was during our 'See How Many Shots of Beer You Can Fit Into Your Mouth At Once' compatition.

It was a close finish but i won but half a shot!

<u>Qingyuan City History</u>

Known as the 'The backyard garden of the Pearl Delta', Qingyuan is a young and vibrant city with the largest land area in Guangdong. It is surrounded by beautiful mountains, rivers, forests, streams, gorges, lakes and hot springs. Definitely a place worth exploring when you travel to Guangdong province. It is bordered by Guangzhou in the south, neighboring Hunan and Guangxi provinces in the north.

History: Before the Qin Dynasty (220BC-206BC) united China, this area was inhabited by many ancient minorities in South China, generally called Bai Yue. Qingyuan region partly belonged to Nanhai Shire and Changsha Shire during the Qin Dynasty. In the early Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD), it was governed by the Nanyue State, and the central government conquered it and brought this region into the Guiyang Shire later.

Present Qingyuan City was established in 1988. Beers N Noodles toya...shane ________________________________________________________________________

The Soundtrack to this entry was by The Foo Fighters The album was 'The Colour and The Sound' ________________________________________________________________________

Baimiao Feilai &#38;amp; Feixia Temples Adventure

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

The aMAAZEing Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Chicken bus rides and the Daoist concept of feng shui; They do actually work together, if in the right direction!

After a bumpy chicken bus journey we stopped and I was told that I had arrived at my destination and even after yesterdays visit to Licha Village after departing I became a little confused as I found myself walking around yet another normal Chinese small town, that of ugly white tiled buildings and thankfully also with vibrant street side market places and no matter where I went I couldn't find the Bagua village.

Thankfully after a short time of zig zagging around and a handful of snacks the locals stepped in pointed me in the right direction.

A squawky old lady then befriended me and after drawing a circle in the dust told me to follow the road around until I returned to her and that’s when I began to find the Ancestral Temples and that the road did take me 'around’ a much larger circle than I expected. After returning to her she took me by the hand and starting pointing out different lane ways to visit as most of the lanes that I first started trying to duck and weave my way around in ended in over grown crumbling homes that made it impossible to pass.

<u>BAGUA VILLAGES</u>

Sadly here in China just like the rest of the world the old has given way to the new and including the Daoist concept of feng shui into the present and future construction of mega cities has been forgotten. But found outside Zhaoqing city the historic gems of Licha and Xiangang are two Bagua Villages which are Ming Dynasty villages constructed in the shape of the eight trigrams of the Dao that represent changes in eight different phases of life.

I’ve included the &#8216;main Lichacun village picture’ in this entry as once again it is simply impossible for my photos to offer any sort of explanation as to what a Bagua Village actually looks like. In fact even after reading about them I still had only a basic idea of what to expect, that was until yesterday when I arrived and looked at the picture of Lichacun Village.

Feng shui influenced the organisation of the village buildings and spaces to maximize qi which is the current of energy Taoists believe flows through the universe. Harmony is crucial to this concept and manifested in the symmetrical spacing of the houses that appear to expand out from the village centre toward the edge of town.

<u>Xiangangcun Village:</u>

Built during the Ming Dynasty, Xiangangcun Village is larger than Lichacun and much further off the beaten path, in fact down a road that passes rice paddies and banana groves. Unlike Licha, Xiangang has not been earmarked for tourism. While entrance is free, nature has been extremely busy reclaiming much of the village whilst locals relocate to the new side of town. It’s certainly more decrepit and difficult to explore than Licha, though it does boast sixteen ancestral halls that are opened on the first and fifteenth of every lunar month. Also unlike Lichacun, the locals seemed rather amused that I actually came to visit their crumbling and overgrown Bagua village but during my stay in what is a still partially inhabited village I began to see what distinguishes Xiangang somewhat from Licha.

It was nice to hear and see the few that were left going about their lives just as they did many hundreds of years ago......Beers N Noodles toya...shane

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The Soundtrack to this entry was by A Perfect Circle The album was &#8216;The Thirteenth Step’ ________________________________________________________________________

Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

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Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure


Xiangangcun  Bagua Village Adventure

Xiangangcun Bagua Village Adventure

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

The aMAAAZEing Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

It's taken three years, But I knew I'd be back here one day. I finally put an end to my love affair with Longnan County

With it's beautiful lakes and being surrounded by a series of misty limestone formations that have countless concealed caves and grottoes found amongst them along with ancient city walls and pagodas it is no wonder Zhaoqing is known as the Guilin of Guangdong and one of the most popular scenic spots in the province.

With most of the south east of China being absolutely hammered by rain I figured that I had spent enough time laying reading in the same hotel so I figured why not simply move hotels but the problem was, where to go. The answer came when I got a simple 'hello' text from my friend Sofia whom I met here in Zhaoqing three years ago and as I hadn't had internet for almost a week I got out my trusty old Lonely Planet and turned to page 599 and by the time I got to 601 I knew why I would purchase my ticket;

The Ancient Bagua Villages!

I left Longnan yesterday and just over five hours later I arrived in Guangzhou (ancient Canton) City and I must say, the journey was not only one of the most beautiful bus rides I've done in years but it was also one of the scariest. When it poured it poured and there were landslides everywhere with heavy machinery doing their best to clear the roads for the passing traffic and add to that that the bus drivers wife was either about to give birth or begin her period, all in all he had pedal to the metal the entire way!

I also remembered the current extreme flooding of not only Chaozhou city but many others down here; A bus ride further south was probably not the smartest decision I've ever made.

<u>BAGUA VILLAGES</u>

Sadly here in China just like the rest of the world the old has given way to the new and including the Daoist concept of feng shui into the present and future construction of mega cities has been pretty much forgotten. But found outside Zhaoqing city the historic gems of Licha and Xiangang are two Bagua Villages which are Ming Dynasty villages constructed in the shape of the eight trigrams of the Dao that represent changes in eight different phases of life.

Many of the houses have the regionally distinctive 'wok handle' roofs, symbolising wealth and status and the village houses radiate systematically from a taichi (symbol of Yin and Yan in Taoism)on a central terrace turning the village into a maze which is a perfect place for travellers to spend many hours getting lost.

<u>Lichacun Bagua Village:</u>

I've included the 'main village’ photo that is found on a large board beside the ticket booth (twenty Yuan) in this entry because it is simply impossible for my photos to offer any sort of explanation as to what a Bagua Village actually looks like. In fact even after reading about them I still had only a basic idea of what to expect, that was until I arrived and looked at the picture.

Feng shui influenced the organisation of the village buildings and spaces to maximize qi which is the current of energy Taoists believe flows through the universe. Harmony is crucial to this concept and manifested in the symmetrical spacing of the houses that appear to expand out from the village centre toward the edge of town.

Remarkably, Licha Village was not just planned according to the shape of Bagua for feng shui purposes but also to protect the village from intruders, hence the small number of entrance and exit points.

Until twenty years ago the village was still a vibrant and bustling place but today only the elders remain, along with a few nesting swallows. If you actually sit and look around you can actually allow the smell of incense and the chirping birds take you back seven hundred years to Ming Dynasty China.

Beers N Noodles toya...shane ________________________________________________________________________

The Soundtrack to this entry was by Creedence Clearwater Revival The album was 'Anniversary Edition' ________________________________________________________________________

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure


The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

The Bagua Lichacun Village Adventure

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