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Travel
31
May
2010
One Day Trip to LuoYang E-mail
Reviews - Travel
Written by Noruma Mueller
My colleagues corrected me. It is not a 火车 Huo Che, a normal train, it is a 高铁 Gao Tie, which means high speed train. With the new GaoTie connecting Xi'an to Henan province, some attractive locations became „closer“, meaning faster and easier to reach. LuoYang, located 375 km to the east of Xi'an, is one of those locations.

I had not heard about this city before, but it had been China's capital at various times in history. It is said, that LuoYang was one of the first places where buddism set a foot in China. The three main attractions of LuoYang are: 1. The LongMen caves, a UNESCO world heritage site with thousands of stone buddas carved out of the limestone cliffs bordering the Yi River.2. The BaimaSi, which is said to be the first buddhist temple in China. 3. The Shaolin Temple, which is worldwide known for the martial arts. This spot is not directly in LuoYang but 60 km to the east.

 
12
May
2010
Tai Shan - Live to be 100 E-mail
Reviews - Travel
Written by Peter
Local lore: If you climb Mount Tai, you will live to be 100. I arrived into Tai’an bus station at 10am, and greeted by friendly hawkers trying to off load hotels and private tours. Caught a taxi to Hong Men (Red Gate), and 30mins and RMB130 later I was passing through the entry gate at the bottom of a 6,600 stepped staircase.

Tai’Shan is one of the five sacred Buddhist Mountains in China. Some say this is the number one for numerous reasons, one being watching the sunrise from the peak you can see the first sun in China for that day. There have been traces of human existence found on Mount Tai that date back to the Palaeolithic period (Stone Age). Tai Shan has been climbed by a long list of who’s who of Chinese history, such as Mao Zedong and Confucius. Now, I can be added to that list, having successfully completed the arduous hike to the top.

 
04
May
2010
Jinan - Spring City E-mail
Reviews - Travel
Written by Peter
When Shandong province was established during the Ming Dynasty, Jinan was announced capital of the region. Jinan comprises a ridiculous 72 springs throughout the city. Unfortunately, none of these being hot springs. After WWI when Germany handed over their concession in Qingdao to Japan, supposedly a large population of Japanese setup shop in Jinan.

The city itself seems quite spread and difficult to get around. The local’s choice of transport is the motorised bicycle. The bicycle lanes which border every road are jam packed with eager movers, seemingly racing each other to get to the next intersection. The traditional means of transport "on foot", appears neglected and unpopular with sidewalks unmaintained, rare, and narrow if they do exist. I spent a day and a bit in Jinan, tasting some local delicacies and visiting the most notable tourist attractions.

 
28
Apr
2010
Qufu - Confucius Says... E-mail
Reviews - Travel
Written by Peter
Qufu, home to Confucius and his next 75 generations. A town of 2500 years of history and UNESCO listed, on paper this place is impressive. Qufu is where it all began for Kong Qiu (孔丘) or as westerners know him, Confucius. He was born and buried here. His teachings, the Analects of Confucius, were the basis of thinking during the majority of the dynasties throughout Chinese history.

Catching the bus from Jinan seemed a little too easy. Upon reaching the border of Qufu county, the xifu explained the bus doesn’t stop in the city, but on the outskirts of town. After some song and dance, he smiled and left me alone. I began to think “how far am I prepared to walk?”  The bus stops to let me off, I get ushered into a waiting taxi and after giving my hotel name I was on my way. The taxi driver was asking for RMB20, this must be a long way out I was pondering. The cost of the ticket for the bus ride from Jinan was RMB21.

 
31
Jan
2010
Likes and Dislikes E-mail
Reviews - Travel
Written by Pavel
Xi'an was a blast from the past, literally. It is an old city in China, full of history, yet modernized like all other industrializing cities in China and of course, home to the Terracotta warriors. A couple of hard facts in advance: Xi'an or Sian, capital of Shaanxi province, China, in the Wei River valley. Situated on the Longhai RR, China's principal east-west line, it is an important commercial and tourism center in a wheat- and cotton-growing area. It has textile and steel mills, food-processing establishments, and plants making chemicals, cement, electrical machinery, and fertilizer.

The city has numerous Tang dynasty pagodas and is noted for its history museum, housed in an 11th-century Confucian temple containing large stone tablets from the Tang dynasty; one (781) commemorates the establishment of a Nestorian church. The city wall, dating from the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), is still visible in places. In Xi'an are botanical gardens and Northwest Polytechnical Univ., Xi'an Jiaotong Univ., and many other institutions of higher learning.

 
07
Dec
2009
ChimeLong - Guangzhou E-mail
Reviews - Travel
Written by Peter
Zoos in China, usually a foreigner walks in and feels like an angry animal activist; because of the sad animals on display living in squalid shelters with little or nothing to play or look at. So the few hours spent walking around looking at the different enclosures, is time spent commenting on every animal about how sick or bored it looks.

Well I have good news for those people interested in Zoos, Guangzhou has the largest Zoo in China, ChangLong Zoo, and it is amazing! I was hopeful but optimistic with the idea of visiting another zoo in China. However, this zoo is dubbed the largest in China, and with a 1 billion RMB invest from the Chinese government, it has potential on paper. Arrival to the zoo was easy, there is a Metro station on Line 3 (Hanxi Chimelong Station) that will drop you close to the front door, or for more luxury a RMB70 taxi ride from downtown.

 
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