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08/07/2013

Things to do for your travel in Quanzhou

When visiting Quanzhou for your Maritine Silk Road tour, you can consider the following things.

1. Kaiyuan Temple

This temple is old and very interesting and has a nice serene atmosphere to it. I don't think the style is typical in fact it looked a little more "western" than other temples we have visited. The walls of the pagodas are faced in murals which reminded me a bit of India or of Angkor Wat. The gardens are lovely and peaceful,with old people playing cards and ma jong.and the whole place has a relaxed feel to it. There are two large pagodas,and some huge imposing statues as you enter the place,and there is also a large rather emaciated looking Buddha statue in one of the halls.





A very old and famous pair of giant stone pagodas surrounded by temples and wonderful gardens and trees. Very big territory so you can walk here a long time. Unfortunately it is not possible to go inside of towers.
Closed at 17 o'clock.

2. Guandi Miao Temple

I don't know why this temple is not so famous as the Kaiyuan Si because we found it to be very interesting.The temple is very old and has an ornate roof in the typical style of South Fujian with colourful animals and dragons. Outside are many people selling incense and praying. There are also a great many beggars whom we found rather pushy,more so than in other places in China that we have visited. Nevertheless the Temple is worth a quick look.

3. Qingjing Mosque

We had heard that Arab traders used to live in Quanzhou (an optional destination for last minute China travel deals) in Marco Polo's time and hailing from the Middle East we were curious to see a Chinese Mosque. It was not quite as ornate or fascinating as the Buddhist temples we have seen but it was interesting and dates from over 1,000 years ago. Many parts have been rebuilt.


4. Interesting and FREE museum

We went round the little Overseas Chinese Museum which was free of charge and in my view rather interesting (maybe not for everyone)
It describes the history of the Chinese who left Fujian Province to escape slave labour conditions as "coolies" for the Westerners and traveled to other parts of South East Asia such as Philippines,Vietnam and Malaysia to seek their fortune.Many of them became successful businessmen but didn't lose their ties to their Country of Origin and some came back to use their wealth in the service of the community. The museum is not very big but we found it to be enlightening and a pleasant experience.

5. Qingyuan Mountain

Qingyuan Mountain is main attraction in Quanzhou, it is one of the national park in China. It covers area more than 56 sq.m. The mountain situated at the north part of Quanzhou.
Here you can see the biggest statue in China of philosopher Lao Tse (Laozi). There is a legend that if you can touch his nose you will be the happiest person (his nose is very high ))

Also you can find here Islamic Holy Tombs from the Tang dynasty (618-907), "Maritime Silk Route" (the grouped stone inscriptions on Jiuri Hill),Tibetan Buddhist stone "Three Lives Buddha".

6. Taiwan Museum

To be more exact, it's called the China Museum for Fujian-Taiwan Kinship, in Chinese it's the Min3 Tai2 Yuan2 Bo2 Wu4 Guan3. This's the only museum in mainland China that focuses on Taiwan. It opened in end-May 2006 and there's also a new Quanzhou Museum beside it. Admission is free for your China tours.

There're interesting exhibits on folk customs (traditional musical instruments used in Fujian nanyin music, elaborate puppets and such) and the history of Fujian-Taiwan Kinship -- with loads of the obligatory proclaimations of "Taiwan's bond to the Motherland is everlasting" and etc.
Extremely unique and huge painting of a tree in the front atrium which was made partly by exploding gunpowder.


Shallow water-filled area in square in front of the museum where locals gather to dip their feet in the cool water on a hot summer's day.
The museum opens daily at 0900. The last admission is at 1600, guards start chasing people out at 1630, and the museum closes at 1700.

7. Qingyuanshan Mountains

If you like sacred mountains, Qingyuanshan is an interesting option. Of course it not as spectacular as Huangshan (top destination for top 10 China tours) or Taishan, but the atmosphere is quieter: no crowd, no harrassing steet vendors, a kind of spirituality. You have also good views on Quanzhou. By climbing, you cross some Buddhist temples, Daoist shrines and Islamic tombs. At the top you find a lake (dam) with a restaurant. The climb is a bit tough.
At the bottom of the mountains there a big statue of Lao Tse (Laozi), worth to see.

09:41 Publié dans Voyage | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

04/07/2013

What to do in Foshan

When visiting Foshan for your China vacation deals, you can do the following things.

1. Shiwan Ceramics

visit the Ancient Nanfeng kiln, i firat viaited in the early 90's and again in Feb. 2010 the latter with my cousin who live in Shunde District (顺德区), this kiln has been used continuously for 500 years.
Growing up in an era, whee the little Shiwan figurines were incorporated into miniature garden,
the details in these 1-5cm figurines and buildings never failed to amuse me.


2. Foshan's Zumiao Temple

No tour to Zumiao Temple, no tour to Foshan. The Zumiao Temple, located at the central area of Chancheng District, at it was said, was founded during Yuanfeng period of North Song Dynasty (1078-1085), wherein Emperor Yuantian in north China was worshiped by the Taoists.

With an occupying area of 3500 sq.m, the Zumiao Temple is composed of such buildings as Wanfu Platform, Lingyin Torii, Jinxiang Pond, Zhonggu Garret, Three Gates, Front Hall, Main Hall and Qingzhen Garret, etc in line with the central axial. Prior to setting up local administrations in Qing Dynasty, Zumiao Temple, other than a simple one, was a place aimed at discussing official business. All of its construction materials, or even decorations and furnishings were donated by various industries and mainly produced locally. Typically, Zumiao Temple reflected of the famous foundry and potting handicraft industry in Foshan history. In turn, the refinement and beauty of its architecture reflected of the prosperity of ancient Foshan. In deed, it's a precious historical heritage of Foshan (an optional destination for popular China tour package).


3. Farmer's house

Some farmers in Shunde live in this kind of house. The house is built on the side of the rearing pond, and has a small road for entry.

See the bubble in the rearing pond? They use a machine to make it in order to increase oxygen for the fish.


4. Traffic

In fact, no meaning to this pic for you, I show it here just to share my experience with you --- yes, I lost my way here two weeks ago, when I went to Shunde, because I fell asleep on the bus. :-(

When you go from GZ to Foshan city center, you must be cafeful on the road when you taking the bus. I mean, lots of buses go from GZ to Foshan, and the last station is Xi Chao. If you arrive there, you will have passed Foshan long before. So, just tell the bus driver where you want to get off when you're taking the bus, don't be lazy. ^_~

Actually, I discovered something very interesting here too. See the big high speed-way in the pic? This is a stretch of it here in Shang Yuan village. There isn't any obvious marker to tell you where to find the bus station. But you can stand by the road side to wait for the No.36/No.34 buses or ask the local person for directions.

And don't worry for your China tour in Foshan, if you really can't find the way to go to Foshan in this road, there is still another choice. There are lots of buses that go back to GZ on this road and the drivers are so dependable --- they always stop their bus alongside you and ask you whether you want to go to GZ.

5. Zhu Temple, Qinhui Yard, Walk Street



One of the most famous place that shouldn't-missed-outlooking. It can show you the foshan's culture, it's in the centre of Foshan.
The China temple, just like the church in western, you can see everywhere in china especially in countryside.
There's Baolin Temple and Xishan Temple are famous as well in Shunde.
If visit Shunde, of course, you shouldn't miss the Qinhui Yard, and Walk Street. In Qinhui Yard, what you can feel not only the Foshan's Culture but also the Chinese culture, you can see you Chinese tradition building, the art ect, make you feel you are in the ancient China.

After visiting Foshan, you can consider to visit other ancient cities of towns like Xian (starting city for Silk Road tour ), Beijing, Wuzhen, etc.

10:43 Publié dans Voyage | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

03/07/2013

Wuhan Local Customs for Your Travel

When visiting Pingyao for your last minute China travel deals, you should know the following traps.

1. Pingao - NOT what you think

Based on the glowing reviews on Pingyao, I expected to find this city a fascinating place. Having been there, I am exceedingly disappointed in the way it was portrayed.

First of all, an ESSENTIAL piece of information that nobody mentioned - you CANNOT go into ANY of the tourist sites without the 150 Yuan ticket. 150 includes all, BUT, and I can't emphasize this enough, you cannot get into any single attraction on its own. None. Zero. It's all or nothing. We thought 150 was a bit expensive to climb walls, and then we found out we could not enter a single temple without that ticket. It's quite the monopoly they run, and this should be noted in big capital letters

Next, Pingyao is a very poor city. You walk a bit past the central tourist areas, and there is no electricity, no plumbing, no running water. We saw people emptying their urine buckets into the streets. I am astounded that others saw it and portrayed it as a friendly little tourist city for your top 10 China tours.

Finally, you MUST note the trains. Many people use it as a stopping point to Xi'an. A mistake. It is the middle of the line, and tickets sell out. Very very quickly. You can easily find yourself stuck in Pingyao just waiting for a train out.

Unique Suggestions: 1) plan to be there 5 nights

2) plan day trips from Pingyao

3) book a train far in advance

4) plan to spend 150 on tourist sites. If that's too much - skip it.

2. there is no real antiques!

You will find lots of street vendors selling antiques. Mostly are fake. Don't pay big price for these

Fun Alternatives: If you really like these stuff, try slicing the prices very hard! most stuff can get below 100 RMB (unit for Chinese currency)

10:34 Publié dans Voyage | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)