BootsnAll Travel Network

Archive for November, 2004

« Home

Yangshau & Shanghai

Monday, November 15th, 2004


To Bob
When I sent e-mail had not seen your messages. Your place sounds great–will spend a couple more days here before moving on–would like to access your place. gonna run back to hotel to see more of election results.

Well, last night I went to Hilton to find luck so I circled back to Huaihai via Huanshan. By the time I had turned a few corners I got turned around and then turned the wrong way on Huaihai. Turns out that the hotel is off a section of Huaihai called Central Huaihai…further west it becomes West Huaihai…I walked until I got to the very end of Huaihai…but at least the street was varied and interesting. Walking any of these streets is fun unlike around the other hotel. The Brasil Steak House serving meat like the restaurant in Nairobi is recommended by Lonely Planet is right across the street from the Library…

hi again–
Am still in Yangshau and am enjoying it–many canals, shady streets, and less hussle/bussle. Will stay another couple of days then will probably make a short hop to Nanjing for a couple of days–anticipate Shanghai probably Monday–depends on train schedule but suspect there are many–or may take a bus.

We can look into flying to your next stop–do not think we will miss too much unless there is some stop you have in mind en route. I would like to do +/- 5 days in Shanghai if you are up to that much more. Gonna mail another package tomorrow–not much accumulated but I am near a post office and have no room to spare–all this luggage is getting tiring–in BKK I will store much of it. My camcorder screen is almost a total goner- -difficult to take shots–and I cannot review to edit –so less pics– hope you have many. Will check in again manana.

I don’t have any pics…just enjoyed my stay in Quindao without being Ms. tourist. And second day here my little camera got picked out of my jacket pocket…I know because my pen and reading glasses were in same pocket and they all came up missing later…it happened late at night…was walking all around the area of the Hilton Hotel looking for that little country inn I saw advertised in the China newspaper…never did find it. Guess I better get out the video camera…

Have you heard from Josh…I have emailed him but haven’t heard from him for weeks…

I now have hi speed internet in my room…was worthwhile asking…4 yuan an hour.

Sat Nov 6
good morning
Last night while doing my email chores was hit with an overwhelming feeling of fatigue–then chills and sweats thru the night–had diarrhea much of yesterday so suspect GI is the focus–not doing too well–diarrhea about every third day with cramps–had a couple of close calls while on buses–such are the battles!!! At any rate had planned on leaving here (yangshou) today but have apprehension about getting on a bus for 3-4 hrs–so will hang out here today and see how things are tomorrow–always feel there is some sort of a deadline but that is due to years of conditioning–have to stop and readjust to fact that there is no hurry getting anywhere. Better to smell the roses…

Sorry about your camera–it also was insured but may not be worth hassle of police reports etc–you decide. Room rate at Admiral in BKK must be for one of the more upscale rooms– cheaper not available? Also at this time of year rates go up in Thailand. At there are many serviced apartments but I never know re location–but take a look. I will be knocking on your door sometime Mon. afternoon unless catastrophe strikes–may not have email access between now and then…
see ya soon

Tai Shan Sacred Mountain

Sunday, November 14th, 2004

East China.gif

Located midway between Beijing and Shanghai, “Tai Shan” is probably the most famous of the five sacred mountains of China. According to legend Tai Shan represents the head of Pan Gu, who after creating heaven and earth, dies from exhaustion and his limbs and head fall to earth as the five mountains. Subsequent emperors were required to climb the mountain in order to be considered an appropropriate ruler. Both Confucius and Mao felt obliged to scale the summit (5068 feet).

The sacred Mount Tai (‘shan’ means ‘mountain’) was the object of an imperial cult for nearly 2,000 years, and the artistic masterpieces found there are in perfect harmony with the natural landscape. It has always been a source of inspiration for Chinese artists and scholars and symbolizes ancient Chinese civilizations and beliefs. It is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

I had no idea what to expect but planned on spending a night on the summit so packed my pack with multiple contingencies to include extra clothing, rain gear, food, water etc. All unnecessary, of course, as vendors and shops lined the route from bottom to top altho prices became proportionately more expensive with elevation.

The majority of the route is along carved and/or constructed stone steps which are several centuries old. Multiple temples and shrines line the way. These have cultural and spiritual significance for the Chinese but without English explanation went over my head and remain largely unappreciated. Trees, under which various emperors rested, are noted and enshrined.

Along the route the Chinese would often give me the thumbs up sign–perhaps because of being a foreigner (“laowai”–the word has a derogatory connotation like farong or gringo or honkie) or perhaps my age, perhaps both. Frequently they would request (demand) to carry my backpack (I sweat easily) and were dismayed and occasionally argumentative when I communicated that I preferred to carry my own pack. My interpretation was that they felt they should be “taking care of” the foreigner.

Photos of ancient sites & scenery were encouraged but attempts to photograph poverty, filth or anything less than ideal were met with negative feedback or at least wonderment on why anyone would want to take such a picture. The Chinese have elevated posing to an art form and always include themselves in the scene.

I reached the summit about 5pm and found it to be crowded with all shapes and sizes of Chinese who had taken a bus to the half way point and then a tram the remainder of the way to the summit. As the sun set it became increasingly cold and vendors rented out Chinese military overcoats. The laowai (foreigner) had difficulty finding one that would fit–precipitating smiles to giggles to gaffaws. The lodging was somewhere on the negative side of adequate and without heat the night was cold enough to interfere with sleep.

After a knock on the door at 5 a.m. I joined a huge entourage of Chinese for a hike to a lookout where we sat and waited for the sunrise. It was spectacular with an orange globe rising from a white bank of clouds…this coupled with a lone pine tree next to a pagoda…represented my interpretation of the quintessential and mystical China.
the summit.JPG

“No Foreigners Allowed”

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2004
East China.gif Travelled last p.m. from Tengshau to Yangzhau--train left at 7 p.m.--reported to be a 10 hr ride--however was aroused at 2 a.m. by the train mother that it was time to get off--so ... [Continue reading this entry]