2009年1月31日星期六

Chinese New Year, Part I

video

Hey everyone. Sorry for the belated post. I know that I promised to post every week but things got hectic around here (especially before Chinese New Year). Hope everyone is doing well.

For those of you don't know, Chinese New Year is like Christmas for Chinese people. IT'S HUGE AND IT'S IMPORTANT. Every year there are hundreds of millions (Just imagine the whole population of the U.S. traveling during Christmas time) that travel throughout the country, either going back to their hometowns to visit family and friends or people going on vacation. Since my 2 members of my immediate family are in the US and my extended family is in Taiwan (where most of them are not going to be home for CNY) my Pops and I decided that we would go spend a few days traveling as well.

Shanghai was getting really cold and so my Pops and I decided to go down South where we THOUGHT that it would be warmer. Since I've already been to HK, I thought going to Guilin would be a great choice. For those of you that don't know about Guilin, it is known as one of the most beautiful scenic areas in China; so beautiful that it's featured on the back of the 20 RMB bill.

Well, we were wrong about the weather. The weather was suppose to be colder than Shanghai; since we booked our tickets well in advance, there was no way of backing out. We left on the 24th, and from the minute we got there it was COLD. I actually do not mind the cold weather, but it was really WINDY and thus it was colder than usual. We got into Guilin late afternoon, and thus couldn't really explore as much as I wanted to. They say that the further south you go in China the weirder the food gets; of course I had to check it out. I saw live chickens, ducks, rabbits, snakes, turtles in front of restaurants...but my favorite one was this:








Yup, muskrats. Don't they just look DELICIOUS? I looked it up and they're actually not related to rats. In fact, I remember watching the discovery channel and seeing people in Louisiana eat them. I seriously considered trying it, but my Pops thought it was gross and forbade me. Maybe next time...haha

After a "normal"dinner, Pops and I went to catch a show where they performed native dances. Guilin is the province of Guangxi, and the province is known for its large population of native minorities. I wish I had pictures of the dances, but alas, I wasn't allow to take pictures.

Since our boat ride down the Li River was early in the morning, I decided to wake up at the crack of dawn to check out the most famous site in Guilin: Elephant Trunk Hill. The Chinese people have a tendency of imagining physical landscapes as animals (you'll see more examples later on). Take a look and you can determine if it looks like an elephant with it's trunk in the water...






















After visiting Elephant Trunk Hill, my Pops and I headed to the boat down the Li River. These are the images people see on T.V. and movies...































































20 RMB Bill...










This is called Mural Hill of Nine Horses...can you see them?












So this is what it basically looked like for four hours. It was cold, windy, cloudy, and occasionally rainy, and most people go down the Li River during the summer, but I thought it gave a different type of beauty and mysticism that you can't see during the summertime. Plus, it wasn't packed full of tourists, thus the scenery was a lot better.

We got to Yangshuo early afternoon. We visited a few of the sites in the city, including some caves...






















We also visited this amazing tree...YES, THAT IS ONE TREE, NOT MULTIPLE TREES. It's called the Big Banyang Tree...and it's over 1500 years old. When the branches got long, the local people planted them into the ground and it started to grow separately while being grafted to the main tree...great example of the allegory in Jacob 5. The local people also worship the tree thus you see them praying to it, burning incense, and putting good luck charms on it.


















When nightfall came we went to West Road (know for its nightlife and westerners...surprisingly, there are a lot of westerners that live in Yangshuo...actually not surprised... it's so beautiful there I want to live there)

I saw some ex-pats lighting fireworks (the video at the beginning of the blog...sorry I flipped the camera in the middle of the video; I didn't realize it was a bad idea until afterwards) near the bridge and the river. And that was the end of Chinese New Year's Eve for me!

The next morning my Pops and I visited an area known for its butterflies; however, since it was winter, there were no butterflies...but the scenery was still fantastic...

Here's a video on the way there...
video














































We also went to check out the famous Moon Hill...it's a natural phenomenon...and depending on where you look at it, you can see a different phase of the moon...



































You can actually climb to the peak of the hill; I wanted to do so badly, but my Pops forbade me since it was very rainy and wet...oh well, next time.

After Moon Hill we headed to the Yulong River to get a raft to float down the river...it took around 3 hours but the views were breathtaking...




























































Here's an video of our trip...
video

We were soaked after our trip down the river and decided to head back to the hotel...this is what happened to our car...













Kidding! But we did see this car on our way back. Those crazy Asian drivers...

By the time we got back to our hotel it started to rain harder and we had an early flight the next morning, so we decided to stay in for the rest of the day. Although I didn't get to see EVERYTHING (there were a lot more sites) I was pretty satisfied. I'm thinking about coming back in the summertime (when the weather is nicer). Who's with me?

4 条评论:

Amber 说...

Guilin and Yangshuo were two of my favorite places I visited while in China.

Jay-Dub 说...

"Alright people. Take a look at this..." It is good to hear your voice Chuiy! I am totally in for your next tour. That raft looked crazy dangerous. You will have to tie me to it to get me on it. Yikes!

Melanie 说...

nice entry. looking forward to part II. i echo the comment made by "jay-dub" about your voice...i had forgotten what it sounds like! you should be an announcer or something...forget law school. "This is Music and the Spoken Word..."or "Gooooooooaaaaaaallllll"

Violet and Thomas 说...

It was so good talking. It has been way too long. I love your blog and can't wait for more updates!!!!