|Dream or Nightmare ? Adventures and experiences during a journey in the modern China|
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|Itinerary: Beijing -> Xi'an (Nighttrain) -> Luoyang (Chinese ICE) -> Shaolin Monastery -> Zhengzhou (Flight) -> Shanghai -> Suzhou (Bus) -> Wuzhen -> Shanghai (Flight) -> Wuhan (Bus) -> Yichang - Yangtze Cruise (4 days) -> Megacity Chongqing -> Guilin (Flight) -> Yangshuo (Boattrip on the river Li) ->Longsheng (Bus) -> Guangzhou (Flight) -> Hongkong (ferry boat)|
|The photos and travelblogs do not show a total representative picture of the modern China. Even though we traveled more then 5000 km through the populous country, but nowhere we saw big industrial utilities and (nuclear-)powerplants. Only giant high voltage power transmission lines, big highways and satellite towns. Nowhere agricultural areas with cattle out at feed, no forest or wood land, no water birds in the rivers.|
So the conclusion seems likely, that the travel route is maniplated by the Chinese Government. We consciously were presented only the chocolate side of China and the glittering mega cities. The Chinese people living in the big cities make a fairly prosperous impression to us and the young generation is incredibly loving technology and is extreme consumer-oriented - Shopping is their aim in life. Bicycles, the former trademark of China, have dies out in the mega cities and were substituted by modern cars with catalysators and electric motorbikes. According media reports circa 300 to 400 Millionen people should live under remarkable economic prosperity in China's Megacities. But what does the remaining billion of chinese people ?
These necessarily very poor chinese people were faded out consciously on our tour through China.
Chinese people consume much animal products, like meet, eggs, fish. But if we can't find animals anywhere in the fields and all the wild animals have died out, where are the huge amounts of animal food produced ?
How would an under these described circumstances necessary intensive mass animal farming look like among people who deal with nature as brutal as the Chinese ?
Sightseeing in Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, Imperial palace in Beijing. Extreme mist or smog prevents the view from the observation mountain "Coal Hill" downto the "Forbidden City".
Das Red Theatre located in the citycenter of Beijing offers a fantastic Kungfu Show. Taking photos is indeed official forbidden, but without using flash it should not catch some ones eye. Retold is the biography of a Shaolin monks life in pictures.
We drive to the "Chinese Great Wall", about 90 km north of Beijing. The "Great Wall" was build in the Ming period and is estimated to a total length of 6300 km. In visibility range to each other stand thousands of defense towers. The defense tower were operated day and night by soldiers and were used as news and communication plattform.
GPS-Track of a walk on the Chinese Great Wall
A traditional Peking duck meal belongs to each China journey. China Tours has choosen for the Beijing Duck Dinner a very good traditional Chinese Restaurant.
Xi'anThe more than 2000 years old Terrakotta Army consists of circa 8000 life-size stoneware soldiers. The Terrakotta Army was first discovered by chance in the year 1974 during water well drilling and belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In Xi'an lives an Islamic minority. Interesting is the large in chinese style built mosque. Then we visit the Bell and Drum Tower (27 Yuan entrance fee) in the citycenter of Xi'an.
We made a short walk on the city wall of Xi'an in thick fog. On nice weather conditions you can rent a bicycle and drive on the top of the city wall.
In the city center of Xi'an we visit two lovely Pagodas, the Drum Tower and the Bell Tower. Located in the south of the city is the seven floor, 64 m high "Big Wild Goose Pagoda".
Shaolin Monastery near LuoyangThe Shaolin Monastery near the ancient royal city Luoyang is the worst tourist kitsch I ever saw on my travels. Millions of noisy Chinese tourists are crowding in long lines through the temples. The Kungfu performance was a primitive tourist show, an absolute joke.
Although our small tour group consisted of only 10 people, the China Tours tour guide was not willing or qualified enough guide us to a lonely Kungfu school with real training - although this was supposed to be included in China Tours China Travel Program Panorama.
Longmen GrottoThe Longmen Grotto at the riverside of the river Yi belong to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. At a length of 1km along the Yi river thousands of foxglove to towering high Buddhas are carved into a rock wall.
|Some look more like clowns than Buddha's. This dubious UNESCO World Heritage Site one must not have necessarily visited on a trip through China. Just as easy to skip a visit of the smelly old city of Luoyang.|
ShanghaiShanghai has the most impressive Skyline of all chinese Megacities. From 420 m high Jinmao-Tower the view int the deep is breathtaking. In unmittelbarer Nähe liegt ein weiterer Tower, wegen seiner markannten Form auch "bottle opener" genannt.
The nightly cruise with one of the many excursion boats on the Huangpu river along the skyline of Shanghai is an unforgettable experience.
Stroll along the quayside "Bund", sightseeing of the oldest pharmacy in Shanghai's oldtown (colonial style) in the district Puxi, shopping mall Nanjing Road.
Just outside of Shanghai is the Longhua Temple with beautiful golden Buddha Statues and many religious Buddhists, many young people come here to pray.
Suzhou and the water village Wuhzen
Suzhou is the city of gardens and of silk. Of particular interest is the Lotus Blooms time of the "Garden of the humble public officer" a jewel of Chinese garden architecture, with its many small lakes and bridges. In endless long waiting queues at the chinese tourists huddled on the narrow ridges.
The subsequent tour of a nearby silk spinning factory is a pure sales show - produced is there nothing at all !
The water village Wuhzen is a kind of Europa Park Rust, theme and Venice gondolier. Hundreds of coaches in front of the park entrance. To the booked guest house we are driven after checking in with the boat. Canals and bridges in the Venetian style run through the holiday village. Suzhou is therefore also called the "Venice of the East". In the water village Wuhzen you can buy beautiful Chinese lanterns.
The famous Three Gorges during the Yangtze Cruise:
Qutang - the bellows gorge is the most spectacular of the Three Gorges, Wu - the Witches Gorge and Xiling - here is located the famous Three Gorges dam on the Yangtze River.
Excursions during the cruise:
The staff of a Yangtze cruise ship has to work pretty hard. During the day maid service or cook, ... and in the evening program folklore dancer and catwalk models at fashion shows for the passengers. Because of the lovable clumsiness of amateur performers there was much to laugh.
|The Yangtze dam is heavily guarded, after Taiwan has ever threatened the Chinese with a rocket attack.|
A walk on the dam is no longer allowed. Thus, the visit of the artificially created mountains around the Yangtze dam is less worthwhile.
The passing through the four locks of the the Yangtze dam lasts all night long.
Megacity ChongqingChongqing on the Yangtze river reservoir is the largest city in China currently with 35 million inhabitants.
The damming of the Yangtze River has serious implications for the microclimate in central China. So there is fog throughout the year over the megacity of Chongqing, the sun appears only very rarely. Therefore, women in Chongqing, with there bright and velvety soft skin because of the high humidity are the most beautiful girls in China :o))
Guilin at the Li River surrounded by limestone mountainsThe "million village" Guilin is the city of the perfume because of the cassia trees, which spread their sweet perfume of its flowers throughout the city during autumn.
The best thing in Guilin and Yangshuo was a hot air ballooning ride over the karst mountains and the Li River. After several serious accidents with tourists this spectacular hot air balloon ride was unfortunately forbidden by the Chinese government in 2010.
The limestone mountains strongly remember to behind the city of Dresden located river Elbe Sandstone Mountains, also known as "Saxon Switzerland".
|Im Elefant Hill Park (50 Yuan pro Person Eintritt) führen steile Treppen hinauf zum Gipfel des Aussichtsberges, auch "Elefantenrüsselberg" genannt. Oben angekommen haben wir eine atemberaubende Aussicht auf die Stadt Guilin, the Li-River and the surrounding limestone mountains.|
Beautiful Neonlight illumination at the lake in Guilin
Shipping on the river Li from Guilin to YangshuoBetween Guilin and Yangshuo fahren auf dem Li-Fluß täglich hunderte Ausflugsschiffe in einer langen Schlange hin und her. Auf unserem Schiff bietet eine Chinesin in Schnaps eingelegte Schangen an. Nur ein besonders mutiger Reiseteilnehmer kann sich zum Genuss des Schlangenschnapses überwinden. Obwohl die Flußufer meist bewaldet sind und die Natur einen noch halbwegs intakten Eindruck macht, sieht man keine waterbirds, like ducks, swans or kormoranes. Ob die Vögel wegen der heavy water pollution ausgestorben oder ganz einfach alle verspeißt worden sind, remains the mystery of the Chinese.
Yangshuo ist ein reiner Touristenort und steht unserem "Ballermann Mallorca" in nichts nach - tausende von Souvenirshops, Fastfood Restaurants, Disco's.
Spektakuläre Aussichtspunkte auf die Karstberge sind der Xillang Hill im Yangshuo Park und der wesentlich höhere Green Lotus Peak (298 m) am Li Fluß. Vom Green Lotus Peak hat man die beste Aussicht, sowohl auf die Stadt Yangshuo als auch auf den Li-Fluß.
Die idyllische ländliche Umgebung von Yangshuo mit seinen kleinen Dörfern, Reisfeldern und bizarren Karstbergen erkunden wir mit dem Fahrrad. Anschließend Bambusfloßfahrt (das Bambus-Floß ist aus Plastik) auf dem Yulong-River.
Tip: In front of the bizarre limestone mountain scenery over the river Li is played an evening Watertheater with fantastic Lightshow.
Rice terraces of LongshengHiking to a guest house (1075 m high) picturesque located in the rice terraces of Longsheng. Women of Chinese Minorities Miao, Zhuang and Dong in beautiful embroidered traditional costumes carry our luggage and are happy that they can earn some money. The small villages with the guesthouses, the natural stone stairways, the cloud-covered rice terraces and the warm, funny nature of our porter women reminds me very much of the Annapurna trekking in Nepal (of course here at much lower altitude).
Kanton (Guangzhou)Ancestors temple of the family Chen. Beautiful colonial buildings on Shamian Iceland in the river Perl, many engaged couples use the imposing scenery of the ancient trees and Art Nouveau facades for wedding photos im (geliehenen ?) weissen Brautkleid.
Longest outdoor Escalator in the worldThe longest outdoor Escalator (ca 800 m) in the world is build of twenty cascaded escalators. The outdoor Escalator starts behind the market building of the Central Market and ascends up in the posh residential area of ??the Mid Levels. Along the way of the escalators there are many pubs, bars and restaurants. During rush hour traffic the escalators move in downwards direction until 10 o'clock in the morning, then until about midnight exclusively upwards.
Peak TramWith the old Cablecar Tram we drive for sunset up to the Peak with breathtaking views downto the famous Downtown of Hongkong.
Repulse BayDreambeach like the Copa Cabana on Hongkong Island. Von der Central Station ca 30 bis 40 min Busfahrt (Linie 6 oder 260, 6 bis 8 Yuan). Schon die Fahrt im Doppeldeckerbus ist ein Erlebnis.
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