Category Archives: China

Zhenyuan, Guizhou, China

The town is well away from the usual foreigner’s path so you will need to use Mandarin or sign language, google translate etc.

This is a small place with the town divided by a river. The  bridges create choke points with quite amazing raffic jams.

Getting around by foot or bus is best.

My recommendation is make sure you visit the old Town first before taking on the hike, boat trip on the river etc. The old town is easily the most interesting part of Zhenyuan.

They have, amongst the usual China retail outlets, impressive cake shops with white chef hats etc and many customers. They do beautiful birthday cakes, cakes in the shape of a Ferrari etc etc.

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Old Town

The old town is crumbling with a few buildings being cared for and many in state of collapse

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Xijiang, Guizhou, China

Work

Play – whole village party & dressing up

Blind Date park – where village boy and village girl meet, hopefully.

Streets, rooftops ….

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Chengdu – Jinsha & Dufu Poet’s Thatched Cottage …

Chengdu has many attractions that even some locals are not aware of.

Here I look at 2:

  1. Jinsha archaeological site and museum
  2. Dufu Poet’s Thatched Cottage park

Both are within the city and accessible via Metro and/or bus.

Jinsha

Jinsha is understood to be where the Sinxangdui people moved after abandoning Sanxingdui. We can only speculate on the reasons for this move.

See

Sanxingdui, Sichuan, China

JInsha is a covered excavation site and museum combined.

5,000+ artefacts were uncovered at this site with some having been reburied, such as ivory, and others on display.

I cover a tiny portion of these artifacts below:

Du Fu’s Thatched Cottage is a 24-acre park and museum in honour of the Tang Dynasty poet Du Fu.

I have not taken pictures of the cottage but rather just enjoyed the park built around the reconstructed cottage.

The cottage itself has been rebuilt at least once, possibly more times, so is somewhat like your grandfather’s axe. But worth seeing while enjoying the park.

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Sanxingdui, Sichuan, China

You will find plenty of information on-line about Sanxingdui, unfortunately a lot of it is supposition as there are few known records of this time and place in China’s history. The culture appears to have vanished.

This means that little is actually certain about the culture that existed at Sanxingdui and Jinsha other than the artefacts themselves of which the bronzes and gold masks are the ‘rock stars’.

The photos below do not cover all the bronzes and to be honest I just ran out of time to see everything.

Getting to Sanxingdui, once you are in Chengdu, is a little awkward but manageable. Most common route seems to be to get to the Panda Park, where you can get a very large dose of cute pandas – recommended.

But even if you don’t want to see the pandas locals seem to still go to the panda park first and then catch a bus to Sanxingdui. The bus will pick you up again after  few hours and then drop you back in Chengdu.

There are plenty of other spots of interest in Chengdu including the Dufu Poet’s Thatched Cottage which is essentially a nice park in the middle of Chengdu set around the site of the famous poet’s cottage.

Chengdu – Jinsha & Dufu Poet’s Thatched Cottage …

A visit to Jinsha is also recommended. Jinsha is an archaeological site covering  the culture that followed Sanxingdui.

Another subject for theories – why the move to Jinsha? Earthquake, invasion, flooding, …. pick your theory.

Jinsha has more masks but the piece de resistance is the Golden Sun Bird below.

Jinsha is accessible via the Chengdu Metro.

Anyway – back to Sanxingdui and it’s stunning bronzes.

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1933 Slaughterhouse, Shanghai

If unusual architecture and photography appeal then this building likely has it all along with a touch of the macabre.

A concrete oddity with ramps and air bridges(27 bridges apparently – I didn’t count them) and bare concrete everywhere.

Seems to also be a very popular spot for young guys to take pictures of young women who in turn  actually seem much more interested in their phones than posing but maybe that is as close to ‘posing’ or any sign of interest you will get these days.

If it all gets a bit much – especially if you think you can hear the ghostly lowing of doomed cattle – then head down stairs to the Starbucks(even here) and maybe check out the DJI store for a new drone.

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Pingyao

Pingyao is a city that retains, for me at least, some of the feeling of China as it was 15+ years ago.

Tourism is being encouraged but the streetscape, inside the walls, gives impression that it is still fairly original. No superhighways, tall buildings or fast food joints.

Unbeknownst to us Pingyao also has a large annual photo exhibition – we arrived in the middle of it.

Pingyao is notable in part for the old draft banks and security companies that took care of rich peoples assets. The security companies provided fierce armed kung fu fighters to protect their client’s valuables during transport and bank/security company reception areas of varying opulence commensurate with the wealth of the client – similar to what you see today from retail banking through to private banking, family offices and so on.

City Walls

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Banks and Security Companies

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Bank Furniture
Your valuables are safe with us
Your valuables are safe with us
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Security

The streets

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Layers
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Dusty Shop Window

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Shy Locals

Our Hotel

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Yunnan

 Lijiang

Yunnan, China
New Years Eve bonfire Lijiang – the master of ceremonies is warming up the crowd
Yunnan, China
It’s midnight & the police have already marched inline out of the old town – 1 cool non participant in the photo – I call him ‘THE WATCHER’. My camera and I were sprayed with beer and there was menace in the air – time to go home.
Complications
Complications

Zhongdian & nearby

Yunnan, China

Yunnan, China

Yunnan, China

Yunnan, China

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Yunnan, China

Yunnan, China

Tiger Leaping Gorge

Yunnan, China

 

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