William Chow's Personal Web Page

The year is 2006.

This is some of the pictures and plans from the China 2006 trip.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Now, I just want to take a moment to just comment some more about our rather better acccomodations this morning. I mean for such a nice hotel, it is in the middle of fucking no where. I mean really really no where. Ok Surrey is bad, Langley is worse. Narita is even worse. Well, this is even worse than that. There is nothing around for miles around. Heck not even the next building is anywhere in sight. There is a river that runs through the area where you can hear a motor boat puttering away in the middle of the night and morning. you can hear weird insects and probably frogs. All through the morning I heard a rooster crowing for at least an hour. And what was sad was I didn't see the sun at all.

Now, due to some kinda file name mixup and maybe some fatigue and some other "activities" that took my mind of the computer, I have inadvertly lost today's (28th's ) pictures. So I will use what I can find on the web to supplement my accounts of what happened today.

Our morning started at 6:45am for our morning breakfast. Breakfast was the usual again, rice in water, with 2 different types of buns with some side vegatables and crap.

Our next shop is the tiny historic town of Wuzhen Town. It is located about thirty minutes away in the Tongxiang City, of North Zhejing province about 50 minutes drive from Hangzhou. For hundreds of years, its residents have been building houses along the rivers like a canal, and to this date over 169,600 square metres of floor area (81.54% of town's total floor area) has remained unchanged. All along the canal are houses and small shops which lends an atmosphere of antiquity.

Many residents houses are right along the canal.
Many bridges cross the river like streets.
Very traditional way of life.
Rows of residences which windows or doors are open for tourists to look into.

Funny story, I will add to that. We were walking down the narrow streets. Many residents have their window or door open for the public to see inside their homes as to see the old "antique" ways. However, it was like the third or fourth resident I saw, it was like the otaku house. The typical room I saw would have maybe one or two paintings or pictures on the wall usually of scenery or a Chinese lucky symbol. Well, not this guy. This guy had like 7 or 10 posters of sexy female Asian idol/singing stars pinned up like a real "modern" otaku. I wish I had a picture of it, just for the laughs.

In the centre square there is a puppet opera thing going on. I don't care for such things, but it is the age and style of music my mother would listen to. She would probably enjoy it.

There is a section of old style wool loom and weaving machines. They are used to make what is called calico, which is a fabric used for making everything from curtians, scarves and hat.

They also had a area for dying the fabric from the looms into a indigo blue colour. They hung them in a courtyard to dry. Another great spot to take some pictures.

Fanglu Pavilion (Pavilion of Visits to Lu) suppose to be the best teahouse in Wuzhen. The name comes from a meeting between owner Lu Tong and The Patron Saint of Tea of Tang Dynasty, Lu Yu. After being saved from poisonous leaves, Lu Yu taught him the ways of the tea. We did stop here to buy some rather sticky pastries to eat. They were like the stuff you make the red bean cakes with except without the red bean. Real plain but I suppose if you were having tea, why not.

Fanglu Pavilion.
This what the pattern on the blue cloths looked like used on these shoes.
View down a cannel.
The blue cloth hanging to dry.

An old style weaving loom for fabric.
Across the canal from an over hang.
Entrance gate to the town centre.

After gathering these pictures from the internet, I came across a Chinese person (whom I will just refer to as China Boy) who made an English blog entry. He complained that this city was boring and not worth the money or the time to visit. It over emphasized the importance of age rather than quality, and that it was a big money grab. Well, as tourist spots go, yea, probably no where near as exciting as the Great Wall. But then again, I found the more famous "nature" places like West Lake and Shizilin to be quite boring. So to each to his own what one gets out of an travel experience. The fact that he complains that he paid 60 yuan to see Wuzhen City when it only costs 30 yuan to see the Forbidden City. Now to China boy like the blogger was, this is probably a whole week's pay, where this is hardly even a price of Starbuck's Latte Grand over here in Canada. So I don't even blink an eye at the price. My mother told me, after you have made it to where your goal is, it is good to step back into time and see how the other part of the world lives. Because with that contrast, it really will reinforce in your mind how lucky you are to have what you have. I can say, I can appreieciate how hard these people work to live their life in this small corner of the world. It is their life style, not mine, nor not China boy's. Now, I can say I don't think there was a lot of historic picture taking to be done in this city, as I did lose all my shots I did take today, but that gem of an otaku house would have been my one prize picture. As for China Boy, he claims he is a photograph type, well, sometimes the picture is not about how good the subject is like, or how dark the lighting was in the residences; it is all about how good the photographer can creatively compose the piece. I guess he hasn't grasped that concept yet.

Again , we got placed in a tourist area. We are ones who have to pump money into the local economy because otherwise the town has no economy. It is also compounded by the problem that all the young kids go elsewhere for their schooling and then they move on to get a real job in the big city. So I would imagine eventually, the town will become more a tourist spot with less and less actual residents.

Ami bought some weird dragon beard covered taffy from a booth that was hand making the stuff. It is like the a chew taffy covered in a stringy even cob webby like sugar. Interesting taste, but like most taffy it will take a few minutes to suck it down. We also tried that Taiwan food which looks like a pancake with some hot sauce in it. It basically is a flaky pancake that is pan fried into a pita/crepe like shape, It then has some hot sauce spread on it and then it is folded into shape. It actually was quite good, and it does have a good sting of spicy hot to it.

The next destination is Lingyin Temple, well we didn't actually pay to go into the temple, but we spent more time in Peak Flown from Afar (Feilai Peak) which is located before the temple. The temple itself is part of some 2006 Buddhist Convention thing. Anyway, I not really interested in all that stuff, well, actually, I am not really interested in this buddha stuff either but there is more application out here than in there.

It was a rather cool place to be filled withmany tombs and stuff. Unfortunately, we are unable to take too many picturs becuase most of them are of buddha and dead things like that. I think it has to do with my mother, she would probably kill me if I too pictures of things like that. Maybe it was fate that made me lose all of today's pictures.

We went through a maze of caves and small rock formations. I was able to put my Team Canada leather gloves on to make use of them for rock climbing. I needed to be very careful to take care of Ami because she wore high heeled boots that made it very difficult to climb the rocks. Some of the path surfaces has been worn down by tourist traffic to a dangerous smoothness.

Now, I was able to hunt down on the internet these pictures which will help me describe what I saw and did. Since these are someone else's pictures, let them be cursed by the buddha for taking them.

The entrance to the entire area which is referred to as Peak Flown from Afar (Feilai Peak) stands in front of Lingyin Temple. An Indian monk named Huili, was so surprised to see the peak he wondered aloud "When did peak come flying all the way from India to this place?"
One of four guardians just inside the front gates. I had made some funny poses mimicing them but that was lost.
Example of a large cave opening.
Another cave, note buddha's carved right into the mountian side. FORBIDDEN PICTURE, A CURSE TO WHOEVER YOU ARE WHO TOOK IT!

Here is a row of buddha. I touched this, like the people in this picture, with their right hand to get good luck. So the person who took this picture will probably get much bad luck.
Row of buddha. Some idiot of a white guy actually climbed up on to this ledge for a picture. They probably got something extra in their bad fate list for that.
An ancient tree where the branch formed a bow. It is referred to as the heart. Couples who meet at the heart, and thus becomes a good picture spot. I am not sure what your butt gets for sitting on it. Maybe this person will get bum raped.
I, being male, is suppose to grab the buddha's left hand with a grasping motion and put the lucky money into my pocket. As a woman, Ami grabs it with her right and she will get health. The photographer will probably be fated death for this picture.

As shown here, there is some climbing to do. The peak is 209M tall and it is made of limestone where the surrounding mountains are sandstone.
This is just one of the over 340 stone statues carved into the mountian. Most of them are things you can't take pictures of unless you want to deal with the bad karma.
Here is a little alcove. The water shown is fresh and many people including my self slashed the cool and clean water on my face and arms to help fight off that hot sun.

We had another infommerical visit again. Today it was some Tea making factory thing. It is suppose to be some famous Hangzhou Longjing Tea. I am not a much of a tea entrepeneur since I like the cheap Chinese Dim Sum Tea, English Breakfast Tea and I couldn't really tell the difference between one brand of Earl Grey Tea from another. Ami bought some as a gift for my mother. So there, the tour guide can't say they didn't make a little bit of money off of us.

Afterwards we make our way to the next hotel.