A Travellerspoint blog

November 2011

Qinghefang Ancient Town & Dance Festival

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

An old Chinese saying declares; There is heaven above, Suzhou and Hangzhou below.

Hangzhou is an old city, and the modern streets sit where the rich Southern Song Empire residences and teahouses frequented by the politically powerful and wealthy in the city once stood. During the end of the Southern Song Dynasty and Yuan Empire eras, Hangzhou was one of the biggest and perhaps the richest city in the world and now is once again probably the richest city in China in terms of per-capita wealth.

Hangzhou was a refuge for the Song Dynasty clan when they fled the Jin Empire who conquered much area north of the Yangtze River. They made it their capital, and for a while, the city flourished and developed. It became a center for technical innovation and scientific research as the Song Dynasty technicians made world leading advances in several fields including chemical and mechanical engineering.

When the Mongols finally conquered the rest of the Song Empire, the city became opulently rich under the Mongol rule of the Yuan Empire. They inherited the extensive imperial architecture and Song urban planning and the Mongols encouraged foreign trade in the city and it soon became so rich that it astounded the widely traveled Marco Polo who described it as richest, most beautiful and noblest city in the world.

After the end of the Qing Empire (1864-1912), warfare razed whole sections of the city and hundreds of thousands of people left the city or died. After Hangzhou became a Special Economic Zone open to foreign investment and foreign companies in the 1990s, there was very heavy foreign investment in the area, and a lot of factories and business opened. In the past six years, rapid growth of high-tech industries and tourism has more than doubled the city’s GDP. Though it is much smaller than many other cities in China, it is China’s third largest market for luxury goods and trails only the super huge cities of Beijing and Shanghai.

The famous Song Dynasty poet, Su Dongpo (960-1127), once compared West Lake to Xizi who was the most beautiful woman in ancient China;

Rippling waters shimmering on a sunny day; Misty mountains shrouded in rain; Plain or gaily decked out like Xizi; West Lake is always alluring.

<u>Qinghefang Old Street</u>

At the south end of Zhongshan Road is this fun and fascination bustling Pedestrian Street, with make shift puppet theatres, teahouses and curio stalls. Chomp on chewy southern Song Dingsheng Cake (Nansong dingsheng) a Chinese Burrito (Guicai Jianbing), pick up a hand carved stone teapot, or a box of Dragon Whiskers Sweets (longxutang), try your hand at a Song-era coconut throw, pose for a photo next to the statue of the prodigy laughing Buddha, covered in effigies of cavorting children, and pick up some ginseng or silk. It is also the home of several traditional medicine shops including the Huqing Yutang Chinese Medicine Museum which is an actual dispensary and clinic.

Originally established by the Qing Dynasty merchant Hu Xueyan in 1874, the medicine shop and factory retain the typical style of the period.

Qinghefang Old Street is one of the most historic streets in the city and reflects the Southern Song Dynasty’s architectural styles. Southern Song Dynasty reigned from 1127 AD to 1279 AD and the founder of this dynasty, Emperor Taizu also created a centralised system of governance which allowed him to have the concentration of power in his own hands. This period had many refined scholars and artists and most Qinghefang Street buildings are from the Ming and Qing dynasties. You will find several antique buildings and locally made crafts such as silk parasols, brocades, famous Zhang Xiaoquan scissors along with Hangzhou fans which are cherished all over the country.

<u>Wu Hill & Cheng Huang Temple</u>

Wushan is the most prominent hill south of Hangzhou’s old city area which is topped with a pavilion called Cheng Huang (Temple of the City God) which once stood at the foot of Wu Hill. The pavilion is seven floors high, has a wax museum, was constructed during the 1990’s, is of both Yuan and Ming styles and offers excellent views of West Lake and southern Hangzhou. The ninety four meter high evergreen hill stretches into the city area and is covered with gingko and camphor trees. Some of the camphor trees are around five hundred years old, some almost eight hundred years old.

The Xing Gang vegetarian restaurant, close to Yoga Summit, is a good option for lunch.

If you’re looking for a slice of Zen in your day, Yoga Summit would be a beautiful place to practice yoga. Set at the top of Wu Hill, the centre is part of the Cheng Huang Temple and Pagoda Scenic Area, a wooded hilltop spot overlooking the city and West Lake. The sunlight-strewn Qing Dynasty-style building could be mistaken for one of the area’s many classical pagodas dotted among the trees. For those that are interested, Hatha, Iyengar and Flow yoga are all taught along with a few exotic choices such as belly dancing and digestive therapy and from what I was told, ninety-minute classes are available in both English and Chinese.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Elliot Smith The album was 'Self Titled’ ____________________________________________________________

Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town


Qinghefang Old Town

Qinghefang Old Town

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

West Lake & Cold Pints For JiangNi's Birthday

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Birthday Squeezes. What does one give his Squeeze for her birthday? A wonderfully long and romantic weekend at Hangzhou’s West Lake of course!

We’ve been trying for such a long time to find a way to combine both our lives and life styles but being so different when it comes to our personal thoughts on things that affect our working and personal lives directly we never really found or reached a conclusion. For those that are confused, I love teaching in small public schools in tiny city’s where it takes me as little as ten minutes to reach the first rice field and trying to think of changing that for a large city makes me cringe.

She on the other hand is the very opposite to me. Thankfully though, life has offered us a new door and pathway.

Tired of her fast paced life in Import & Export in Shenzhen city, several weeks ago JiangNi cleared her desk, packed her bags, gave me a surprise call after boarding the train my way and dropped in to stay awhile. However long 'awhile’ will turn out to be, we have no idea but what we do know is that we shall simply allow life to answer that question for us. It could be as short as a month or as long as…more than a month but for now there is no real need to ponder such things and create confusion.

The main thing for now is for her to rest and for us to spent valuable time together.

She loves to cook and for me, thankfully she is also a wonderful cook, I’m not one for creating sizzling sauces but I do enjoy visiting the local market, helping with the selection and then throwing on some music for us both to slice and dice by. Everything else (being a long term bachelor), is a breeze. Just don’t put me near stove as then everything and everyone around me will remain unroasted, healthy and full of life.

Somewhere in between selecting, slicing, dicing and sizzling JiangNi changed her age. When trying to scheme a surprise gift and party it all seemed to just fall into place.

Firstly the school took us out to welcome her to the city along with celebrating her birthday. The following night Travis, Alice, Zoe and I took her out for Hot Pot followed by a night of pool but the main gift came about though a conversation with a friend during which I found out that Hangzhou only three hours away by fast train and not the eight hours I thought it to be. .

And as they say, the rest is history!

<u>BEAUTIFUL HANGZHOU & DREAMY WEST LAKE</u>

The underwhelming suburban approach in to Hangzhou, past grim workers flats and numbing ceramic tile architecture, hardly prepares you for Hangzhou’s trump card; the gorgeous West Lake and its fabulously green and hilly environs. Praised by emperors and revered by poets, the lake has intoxicated the Chinese imagination for centuries. Its willow lined banks, ancient pagodas and mist covered hills are like stepping into a classical Chinese watercolour. Despite huge numbers of tourists, West Lake is a delight to explore either on foot or by bike. You need about three days to fully savour what is on offer, but the inclination is to take root, like one of the lakeside’s lilting willows, and stay put.

Hangzhou’s history dates to the start of the Qin Dynasty (221BC) and when Marco Polo passed through the city in the 13th century he called the city Kinsai and noted in amazement that Hangzhou had a circumference of one hundred miles while its waters were vaulted by twelve thousand bridges.

Although Hangzhou prospered greatly after it was linked with the Grand Canal in AD610, it really came into its own after the Song Dynsasty was overthrown by the invading Jurchin, predecessors of the Mancus. The Song capital of Kaifeng, along with the emperor and the leaders of the imperial court, was captured by the Jurchen in 1126 and the rest of the Song Court fled south, finally settling in the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty. Hangzhou’s wooden buildings made fire a perennial hazard; among major conflagrations, the great fire of 1237 reduced some thirty thousand residences to piles of smoking carbon. When the Mongols swept into China they established their court in Beijingh but Hangzhou however, retained its status as a prosperous commercial city.

With ten city gates by Ming times, Hangzhou took a hammering from Taiping rebels, who laid siege to the city in 1861 and captured it; two years later the imperial armies reclaimed it. These campaigns reduced almost the entire city to ashes, led to the deaths of over half a million of its residents through disease, starvation and warfare, and finally ended Hangzhou’s significance as a commercial and trading centre.

The Chinese tourist brochure hyperbole surrounding West Lake is, perhaps for the first time, almost justified in its shrill accolades. The very definition of classical beauty in China, West Lake continues to mesmerise while methodical prettification has worked a cunning magic. Pagoda topped hills rise over willow lined waters, while boats drift slowly through a vignette of leisurely charm. Originally a lagoon adjoining the Qiantang River, the lake didn’t come into existence until the eighth century, when the governor of Hangzhou had the marshy expanse dredged. As time passed the lake splendour was gradually cultivated; gardens were planted, pagodas built and causeways and islands were constructed from dredged silt.

Celebrated poet Su Dongpo himself had a hand in the lakes development, constructing the Su Causeway during his tenure as local government in the eleventh century. It wasn’t an original ideas the poet Bai Juyi had already constructed the Bai Causeway some two hundred years earlier. Lined by willow, plum and peach trees, today the traffic free causeways with their half-moon bridges make for excellent outings, particularly on a bike.

Connected to the northern shores by the Bair Causeway is Gushan Island, the largest island in the lake and the location of the Zhejiang Provincial Museum. The islands buildings and gardens were once the site of Emperor Qianlong’s eighteenth century holiday palace and gardens. Also on the island is the intriguing Seal Engravers Society, dedicated to the ancient art of carving the name seals (chops) that server as personal signatures. In the northwest, is the lovely Quyuan Garden, a collection of gardens spread out over numerous islets and renowned for its fragrant spring lotus blossoms. Near Xiling Bridge is the tomb of Su Xiaoxiao, a fifth century courtesan who died of grief while waiting for her lover to return. It has been said that her ghost haunts the area and the tinkle of the bells on her gown can be heard at night.

The smaller island in the lake is Xiaoying Island, where you can look over the Three Pools Mirroring the Moon, three small towers in the water on the south side of the island; each has five holes that release shafts of candlelight on the night of mid-autumn festival. From Lesser Yingzhou Island, you can gaze over to Red Carp Pond which is home to several thousand red carp.

Topped with a golden spire, the eye catching Leifeng Pagoda can be climbed for fine views of the lake. The original pagoda, built in AD977 collapsed in 1924. During the most recent renovations in 2001, Buddhist scriptures written on silk were found in the foundation, along with other treasures and at the bottom of the pagoda is a museum with English captions.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane

PS: Also a HUGE THANKS goes to American Allen for helping out with the hostel booking. Mate it was awesome to finally meet you and your tiny set of wheels buddy...and the Hangzhou info was from the one and only travellers bible, the Lonely Planet Guide! ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Augie March The album was &#8216;Sunset Studies’ ____________________________________________________________

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday


Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

Hangzhou For JiangNi&#38;#39;s Birthday

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

Shangrao: My County Bike Adventures II

Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II


Shangrao County Adventure II

Shangrao County Adventure II

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

Shangrao: My County Bike Adventures I

Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I


Shangrao County Adventure I

Shangrao County Adventure I

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

After All, Time With Twins Is But A Mans Dream!

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Situated midway between Shangrao City and Shangrao County is a park that daily captures both myself and my lens. Twin Pagoda Park is one and a half kilometers of peaceful bliss that without camera in hand takes around half an hour to walk but once my camera breaks free it can easily take up to an hour. One can try to escape its beauty but it is difficult to do so as all buses between city and county pass by and I honestly can’t stop myself leaping from the bus at the first pagoda and slowly making my way along the Xinjiang River towards the second.

My main ride begins across from the park and takes me along the river and my nightly walk into the city takes me along the river side path below the park.

I was going to try and write my own blog from the small amount of information I gathered from the net but instead I decided to simply take photos of the information boards found at both pagodas, transfer the info and allow the Chinese to offer you the story/history of each pagoda and I do believe they did a great job! I also could have easily offered only twenty photos to cover this blog but as so much of my life is spent here I couldn’t stop myself from taking liberties and throwing in another thirty, after all, this is is my blog and how I want to remember my life here in China!

<u>WUGUI SHAN TOWER </u>

The Wugui Pagoda is situated on the rocky mountain off the northern bank of the Xinjiang River. As it is not far away from the Kuiwen Pagoda, the two are called the Twin Pagodas of Shangrao City. It is said that the two pagodas were built for removing the flood disaster of the Xinjiang River.

The Wugui Pagoda is about one and a half kilometres away from the Kuiwen Pagoda, the two pagodas echo from each other from afar and contrast finely with the river. The Wugui Pagoda is only seventeen meters high, much lower than the Kuiwen Pagoda. The Wugui Pagoda is five storied with eight angles. The foundation of the Wugui Pagoda is natural rock and features masonry structure. Only the first floor of the pagoda is empty inside with four doors. From above the second floor, the pagoda is closed without any ladder for climbing. The angles features and whole style of this pagoda is the same as the rebuilt five floors of the Kuiwen Pagoda during the Jiaqings Reign of the Qing Dynasty, so according to this the construction time of the Wugui Pagoda should be in the early 13th century.

<u>Wugui Pagoda History</u>

One year the Feudal Court hosted the annual examination to select the talents and the five intellectuals came here on their way to the capital city for the examination and they all had to take a boat for crossing the river. As it was getting dark and no boat was seen one of them pointed to one of the huge rocks on the bank of the river and made a proposal; it is now late and I’m afraid we cannot move forward in the dark. As we meet here today maybe by ties of fate, why not just enjoy our books here and have good reading and talk with each other as much as we like and we don’t need to look for Inn, everyone agreed and some already sat down on the land.

So the five high spirited and vigorous men just lost themselves in reading and talking.

Unconsciously the day broke, although it was only the first time for the five young men to meet, they found they had the same temperament, so they made a promise that after the examination in the capital, no matter success or failure, they would meet here again. Later, perhaps with the help of God, they all succeeded in the examination and when they meet again their friendship just is certainly deepened much more than before. So they decided to donate money together to build a pagoda here. Each of them planted a sweet osmanthus tree on the mountain nearby symbolising their success in the examination and wishing to leave a good fame for future generation and as a result, people of later generations called this pagoda 'Wugui’ meaning;

Five Sweet Osmanthus Trees Pagoda. They then called the mountain Wugui Mountain.

<u>CRAVENS TOWER </u>

The Longtan Pagoda, also known as the Kuiwen Pagoda or Cravens Tower, is situated on the rocky mountain off the northern bank of the Xinjiang River. According to the records of the Tongzhi Emperor’s Reign version of Shangrao County annuals, this pagoda was first built during Wanli’s Reign (1573 to 1620) of the Ming Dynasty and named the Jianlong Pagoda. Under the pagoda is a large deep pool gathering the water from the Xinjiang River and the Fengxi River. It is said that there used to be two big Chinese characters meaning &#8216;Dragon Pool’ inscribed on the palisades alongside the water. So the people of that time set up this pagoda alongside this pool to pray for a good harvest and named it &#8216;Jianlong’ meaning &#8216;Seeing The Dragon’ Pagoda.

However, no one has seen the characters so far.

In the Jiaqing’s reign of the Qing Dynasty the pagoda was rebuilt and renamed &#8216;The Kuiwen Pagoda’ with many houses constructed in addition to a large number of poems and inscriptions in praise of the pagoda. The masonry structure Longtan Pogada has eight angles and seven floors and reaches a hight of nearly fifty meters. Every floor of the pagoda has doors and windows and people can climb alongside the inside ladders up to the top of the pagoda to have a look at the distant view. Later the pagoda fell down and remained only two floors. In the nineteens year of Jiaqings Reign of the Qing Dynasty (the year 1814) Wang Gengyan, the head commissioner of the shire, together with Wang Zhengxiu and Lai Xun, the Magistrate of Shangrao County rebuilt the fallen five floors, the top floor offers sacrifices to God Zitong and they also renamed it the Kuiwen Pagoda.

The simple solemn and magnificent architectural style of the pagoda still remains.

There used to be a pagoda courtyard with several buildings inside including the Chunyang Building, Madame Huiji’s Temple, Cangjie’s Temple, the Xizi Stove, the Waterside Pavilion and so on. By the end of the Qing Dynasty almost all of the buildings and sites fell down with only the exception of the Xizi Stove. Now the Kuiwen Pagoda is well preserved as an ancient pagoda representing the architectural style of the Ming Dynasty.

Now days the Kuiwen Pagoda and the Wugui Pagoda have become the landmarks and symbols of Shangrao City. Clean and clear ways of the Xinjiang River, green leaves and shade of the &#8216;Two Pagoda Park’ and the two ancient pagodas standing upright alongside the river all bring the whole city not only simple and aesthetic beauty but also much strong cultural charms and flavour.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Metal Church The album was &#8216;Metal Church’ ____________________________________________________________

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park


Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

Shangrao Twin Pagoda Park

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