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15/05/2014

Suzhou’s 5 Best Hiking Routes

So it's that time of year again. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and that ass dent in your sofa is lets face it, wider than it should be. Time to get rid of your spare tire and enjoy some of the great hiking that Suzhou affordable China tours has to offer. Here's a few routes to get you started.

The Low Road (Suzhou Taihu National Tourism Vacation Zone)

If you’re not looking to get into anything too crazy, the Huantaihu Avenue trail is the route for you. Although this trail follows the road, it offers some truly stunning views of Taihu Lake. The blue-green water and tropical vegetation will remind you of how close to the sand and sun we really are. The open bay looking out onto small brown islands give the third largest lake in China the breezy feel of the ocean. Start exploring off the main road, especially near the Shanghai Expo statue. There are many hidden gardens and paths along the shore of the lake.

The High Road (Suzhou Taihu National Tourism Vacation Zone)

When you get tired of the scenic roadway and want to find adventure, head for the hills. The forest trail starts on a nameless road between Huantaihu Avenue and Xiangshan Middle School and ends at Hu Yang Ze at the top of Yu Yang Mountain top 10 China tours. Unfortunately at present the trail is gated off and closed until landscaping is completed (no signs of current landscaping activities were detected). In order to circumvent these inconveniences you will have to dodge the harsh shrieks of an elderly municipal servant sitting in her chair, then hop a short gate. Along the way you will see some impressive views of the lake on one side as well as green rolling hills on the other. The hike culminates at the Hu Yang Ze temple where you can find your way down.

The Road Less Travelled (Suzhou Taihu National Tourism Vacation Zone)

Your hike need not stop at the Hu Yang Ze temple. Follow the road at the top of the mountain towards Kwan-Yin Palace (it is a small local temple, well worth a look). Between Hu Yang and Kwan-Yin you will find a narrow path leading into the forest down the mountain. Take it! The narrow path can be tricky when wet but ends at yet another temple compound. Head along the wall towards the back end of the compound and you will find a beautiful garden and cherry blossoms along a dirt road way. Follow this road (turn right or left) till you reach Huantaihu Avenue popular China tour package.

Qionglong Mountain (Qionglong-Shandong Wu National Forest Park)

This mountain is the highest in Suzhou. It is also the home of the site of an 1800 year-old Taoist temple, a trail used by Emperor Qianlong, and the garden where Sun Tzu wrote The Art of War (yep!). Despite a steep 80 yuan entrance fee this mountain, criss-crossed with picturesque trails and gorgeous temples, delivers exactly what it promises. Highlights include the opportunity to bang a massive bell at the top of a tower as well as destroying friends and enemies alike in the Sun Tzu garden. The three story Taoist temple has guided tours (Chinese language only) but seems to be used more for tourist purposes than actual worship. However with its extensive trails, temples, scenic spots, and history, Qionglong Mountain is well worth the 80 kuai.

Lingyan Temple Route (Lingyanshan Scenic Area)

Take the subway and bus to Lingyan Temple China travel guide. Once you've made the climb to the top, haul yourself over the hill to follow the trail that leads to behind the temple. You could literally spend days exploring the rolling hills that stretch across the Lingyanshan Scenic Area. However there is a well-established trail that leads you out to 193 village road.

04:57 Publié dans Voyage | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

09/05/2014

Get to know Bonan Wedding Rituals

The 12,000 Bonan people in China live mainly in Gansu Province, and are one of the country's smallest ethnic minorities. As Muslims, the Bonan have close cultural ties with the Hui ethnic minority. The dialect they speak belongs to the Mongolian branch of the Altaic language family China vacation deals.

The monogamous Bonan culture has many courtship and marriage rituals.

A Bonan wedding usually takes place on a Sunday morning according to the Hui calendar. Under the matchmaker's guidance, upon arriving at his bride's house the groom pays his respects to the maternal elders. The bride's father then announces the start of the formal wedding ceremony, using the groom's "pet" name. The Imam chants from the Alcoran and showers people watching the ceremony through the window with a plateful of red dates and walnuts, which symbolize happiness. This windfall of tasty tit-bits encourages spectators to give their blessings to the newlyweds.

When the convivial merriment subsides, the bride's family invites wedding guests to sit at the table arranged on the top of the kang (heatable brick bed top China tours). Young male residents of the bride's village then appear and ask the groom's family and guests for "lamb money." If dissatisfied with the amount received, they plaster the guests' faces with black ash. A free-for-all then ensues, in which relatives of both the bride and groom blacken one another's faces as they exchange congratulations.

The bride prepares to set out for her husband's house when the wedding is in full swing. Before she leaves the young men from her village ask the matchmaker for "lamb money." He makes a great show of giving little or none, which raises another storm of merriment. The ritual ends when he relents and hands over the cash.

An elderly relative or family friend of the bride performs the send-off ritual. Carrying a plate of five-color corn in her right hand, she and the bride walk slowly, hand-in-hand from the bride's bedroom to the gate. At each step the bride sprinkles a handful corn in a prayer for blessings on her family. Upon reaching the gate, the veiled bride mounts a horse and heads for the groom's house popular China tour package.

As the procession approaches its destination, the bride's elder brother meets her. He and the groom's relatives make a show of obstructing the bride's nuptial procession, another ritual enjoyed by all.

As relatives and friends sit and enjoy the dishes served at the nuptial banquet, the bride refuses to eat a bite for three days. Tradition demands that she wait for the food that her family sends her. The ritual ensures that the bride never forgets the love and kindness her parents lavished on her in bearing and bringing her up.

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08:36 Publié dans Voyage | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

08/05/2014

Something about Yangtze Culture Evolution

The Yangtze River Basin has long been the center of southern China in terms of economy, culture and politics. Meanwhile, the Yangtze River Yangtze River tour culture also represents the culture of the southern China area. However, culture of different areas along Yangtze River, due to an intricate natural environment, developed at different paces. During the Qin and Han periods, the cultural center of Yangtze Basin was in the upper reaches, especially in the Sichuan Basin. However, from the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907), the cultural center began to move eastward along the Yangtze River. To the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the prosperous “Jiangnan” (South of Yangtze River) of that time only referred to the present Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangsu in the regions of the river as it runs to the coast.

Ba & Shu Culture, Jing & Xiang Culture, and Wu & Yue Culture are respectively representatives of the upper, middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River.

Ba & Shu Culture
Ba & Shu Culture originated in the Sichuan Basin in the upper reaches of Yangtze River. It is recorded that the Ba people were an ancient tribe that lived near the Han River. The Ba Kingdom was first established in the Western Zhou Dynasty (11th Century - 771BC). Defeated by Chu State during the Spring and Autumn Period (770BC - 476BC), Ba people moved southward to Sichuan and Chongqing areas, where the Ba Kingdom was reestablished. The earliest Shu Kingdom was founded during the Xia and Shang Dynasties in the Sichuan Basin, which set Chengdu as the capital in the Warring States Period (476 - 221 BC). The Ba and Shu kingdoms both were defeated by the Qin State and the Sichuan Basin became the territory of Qin in 316 BC.

Archeological excavations indicate that human activities appeared early in the late Paleolithic Age and Neolithic Period in Sichuan China vacation deals area. Because of the isolation caused by rugged mountains, Sichuan area was not influenced by wars. The favored natural environment of the Sichuan Basin also ensured the economic and cultural development, especially during the Qin and Han Dynasties. The achievement in agriculture, bronze wares, lacquer wares, and tapestry were much more advanced than those of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. Even the lacquer wares uncovered in the middle reach of the river were stamped “Made in Chengdu”.

Jing & Xiang Culture
Jing & Xiang culture originated from the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, including present Hubei and Hunan provinces. Centered on Dongting Lake and the Xiang River, the area has, since ancient times been the transportation hub of China.

Archeological excavation has turned on traces of human activity in the area from as early as the Paleolithic Period. Jing & Xiang culture reached its peak during the Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods. Copper work reached its peak and made contribution to the improvement and spread of ironware. The area was also famous for silk waving and embroidery production. The great philosopher Lao Zi and patriotic poet Qu Yuan both lived in the Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods in the area.

The Jing & Xiang culture declined from the Qin and Han Dynasties to the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279). Until the establishment of Yuelu Academy in the Song Dynasty, Jing & Xiang Culture saw its revival, but the center was moved to Jiangxi Province rather than Hubei or Hunan top China tours.

Wu & Yue Culture
Wu & Yue Culture refers to the culture in Southern Jiangsu, Southern Anhui, and Zhejiang Provinces in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. Archeological research shows that the Wu & Yue culture originated from the Paleolithic Period. The famous Hemudu Culture, Majiabang Culture, and Liangzhu Culture of the Neolithic Period were all uncovered in the area.

The Wu & Yue Culture was named after the Wu and Yue States of the Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods. Wu and Yue were both powerful states, and their copper smelting, shipbuilding, seafaring, agriculture, and textile industries ranked the top among all the states. From the Sui and Tang Dynasties when the Grand Canal was opened and economic center was moved southward, Wu & Yue culture gradually became important and saw its best days in the Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties. Small towns sprang up in the lower reach of Yangtze River since the Tang and Song Dynasties up till the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Well-developed small towns in the area attracted large amount of merchants. Industry, commerce, and culture of the area were prosperous.

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05:52 Publié dans Voyage | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)