Monday, April 9, 2012
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
(the red lights on top of some of the apartments are phrases in English and Chinese characters. One says Huai Te Community of Wisdom and Knowledge, the other says Huai Te Palace of Advantageous Community (or something like that) (Huai Te is a family/company that owns a lot in our part of town)))
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Friday, February 10, 2012
On the way I walked along Victoria Harbor and over the Avenue of Stars. The skyline across the harbor is absolutely amazing.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
(See first video at the bottom)
At the first stop we made, some farmers brought their water buffaloes over for us to feed.
I took this picture from the near the water buffalos (from almost the same place where the Windows XP wallpaper picture was taken).
Then we stopped on the river and one of the guys from the village put on a cormorant fishing show for us. It only took the birds a few seconds to bring up a fish. (See second video at the bottom)
We went a little bit further down the river after the cormorant show. At one point one of the men paddling the raft lost his balance and fell in (and it was probably about 35 degrees out). The other drivers gave him a pretty hard time.
If I went back (which I would like to when it’s warmer) I would probably stay in Yangshuo over Guilin. Guilin was fine, but it was a lot of traveling to get to any of the scenic places. Yangshuo is much smaller and has many scenic areas close by for biking or hiking.
We also looked at a traditional doorway in the village, our guide (looking like the goofball he was) explained that the red around the door and the mirror at the top were meant to keep evil spirits away (which I guess come around more during spring festival time). There is also a wooden plank that you have to step over when walking through the doorway which also blocks the spirits (they can’t step over stuff for some reason). Also, during spring festival, the Chinese people scare away the spirits with fireworks.
On our next excursion we took a "bamboo" (actually just pvc pipes) raft ride down the famous Li River to a smaller town called Yangshuo. It is pretty amazing stretch of river with mountains that rise out of the mist and tower over the river.
There is apparently a tradition with this mountain (below) that if you can see all 9 horses (shapes that look like horses, not actual horses) in the mountain than you will become the number one scholar in all of China. And as our tour guide told us repeatedly, Bill Clinton only managed find three. I really only saw one for sure and that was only after the tour guide pointed it out to us.
On the ride to Yangshuo, we also stopped to see the location that is on the back of the 20 RMB note used in China. The picture below shows me in the most cliché pose possible but everyone else was doing it so whatever.