Finding Myself in China: When excavating workers discovered the original Royal road and archaeological viewing platforms have been set up from both above and beside the original road. No charge! You can go down the ramp and clearly see the road and the accompanying signs/ The Chaotian Gate - During the Zhizheng Reign of Yuan Dynasty it was renamed to Gongbei Tower. It was destroyed in the 10th year (1474) of Chenghua Reign Ming Dynasty and rebuilt in the next year. The building was destroyed again in early Qing Dynasty and rebuilt in the 25th year (1686) of the Kangxi Reign Qing Dynasty. It is known as Drum Tower.
This particular article is predominantly photographic with just a little commentary thrown in for luck. I took a trip at the end of June 2012, first visiting Xitang in Zhejiang Province (about which I have written), before traveling on to Hangzhou. Leaving Xitang on Sunday 24th of June my friend Mingxing and I caught a local bus to Jiaxing where I had an appointment, after which we took a train to Hangzhou, staying Sunday and Monday nights. Tuesday Mingxing went back to Shanghai to prepare for a conference, and I headed back to Suzhou.
I have already published 2 photographic articles regarding our trip to Westlake, and the photographs today relate to the area in Hangzhou in which we stayed.
Song Nan Yu Jie
One Entrance View from the footbridge not far from the railway station.
Mingxing had booked a very inexpensive hotel (Hotel Ibis Hangzhou Song Dynasty - Ibis Hangzhou Nansong Yujie Hotel - 193 Middle Zhongshan Road Tel 86 (0) 057156105888 ) for us through C trip. Although it had no window in the room, it was an excellent and recently refurbished room. The night we arrived we took a walk around the area together, and the following night while he had supper with friends, I took a little trip around again. Since on neither occasion did I have my camera with me, come early Tuesday morning, I went out to take these shots. This area has been recently upgraded being as it was the Original Royal Road - now called Zhongshan Road. There is plenty to see there, but what was immediately impressive was its 'charm.'
Notice the right frame of the photograph above.
This is the view of that glass structure - from below street level.
When excavating workers discovered the original Royal road and archaeological viewing platforms have been set up from both above and beside the original road. No charge! You can go down the ramp and clearly see the road and the accompanying signs
Toward the end of the article about West Lake I wrote:
The Ibis Hotel has a glass elevator running up the exterior wall and while waiting I happened to glance up and saw the lift coming down. Inside the elevator I saw a man doing a hand stand on the railing. It really sent me into a spin until I realized that I was actually looking at the mirror on the roof of the elevator and the guy was merely holding the railing.
This next photo is a view looking out from that elevator and BTW, this is not far from the archaeological site.
The Red Banner in the right frame advertises the approaching opening of a new cinema.
When we arrived Sunday night we took a stroll and followed the road up and around to the Drum Tower. The sign by the gate reads as follows:
It used to be Chaotian Gate. During the Zhizheng Reign of Yuan Dynasty it was renamed to Gongbei Tower. It was destroyed in the 10th year (1474) of Chenghua Reign Ming Dynasty and rebuilt in the next year. The building was destroyed again in early Qing Dynasty and rebuilt in the 25th year (1686) of the Kangxi Reign Qing Dynasty. It is known as Drum Tower.
View from "outside." This is where the road from the footbridge (first photo) came to an end.
Temple on the right is diagonally opposite the Drum Tower gate in the left frame.
When we arrived at this point on the first night, we continued straight on down through a long road of food stalls at the end of which was another area of merchandise stalls. Where it finally ended there was a little square on the right and from that vantage point one could see Lingyan Temple lit up like a Christmas tree on the not too distant hilltop.
Before we traveled all that way though we stopped at a roadside food stall and had supper, soaking up the exotic old world charm and ambience of this ancient - noisy, litter filled, "Smelly doufu" and seafood choked air - part of the city. After supper we traveled the whole length of the street and then returned to the drum tower, following the road all the way down to the MacDonalds intersection (diagonally right) where we turned left rather than continue back the way we had come. Before describing our journey in that direction however, I should point out that on the "inside" of the area by the Drum Tower, there are numerous rather interesting sights. And here are the photos.
Water features play an important role in this area.
The Original Ancient Sluice Gate for this area
View of the area opposite the old Sluice Gate
The Sluice Gate
Left is the Sluice Gate and Right is a Church (Maybe).
A Feature Wall at the Sluice Gate
Running off that main road from the footbridge to the Drum tower are numerous intersecting streets all filled with wondrous assortments of oddities and tourist attractions - (a redundant statement no doubt)
All these alleyways are teeming with people at night all checking out the varieties of shops and merchandise
From Modern day Jewelry shops to silversmiths working from their booths; from cheap souvenirs to expensive dresses; from sweets and candies to traditional teas and medicines; from street performers to 'Pouring Tea' displays, these streets have everything that you could hope to see. Mingxing and I traveled this in the evening and so we weren't quite sure where we were going but it didn't matter for it was all quite interesting. We followed this particular street (at the intersection with MacDonalds) until we could go no further. Up past the Golden Reclining Buddha there was another Gate or archway called Jing He Fang. These arches or gateways can sometimes be Memorial or Honorific Gateways. Sometimes they just announce the name of the place.
Feng Huang (Phoenix) [Buddhist] Temple on the Left and the Jing He Fang Memorial Archway on the right.
We went as far as we could past all the stalls and street hawkers and then doubled back, stopping at the "85 C" Coffee bar where we bought excellent cappuccino. I only mention this because so often in Coffee Bars your ordered cappuccino will arrive as a Vienna Coffee or something else.
My second night in Hangzhou while Mingxing was out, I called into this shop again and while waiting for my coffee a young couple came in and the woman told the man that 'the foreigner is very lovely.' When my coffee arrived I collected it and as I walked past the woman on my way out, I turned and in Chinese told her that she also was very lovely. She nearly died of embarrassment. (Not as much as the girl in Yancheng who told her friends that I was very sexy to then discover that I had understood her.)
Interesting architecture all around this place
Just some more views
Translation of the tablet
Hu Qing Yu Tang
It was founded by wealth merchant Hu Xueyan of late Qing Dynasty in the 13th year (1874) of the Tongzhi Reign. Hu Qing Yu Tang traditional Chinese medicine culture was included in the first group of national intangible cultural heritage catalog in 2006. In the same year, it was in the first group of Chinese time-honored firms approved by the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China.
And this is the store.
I took this photo because of the crazy style of the Shop's facade
I mentioned earlier that we had entered by the overhead footbridge near the Railway station. You actually use escalators to get up to and down from there. In the China Daily article that talked about how the road was updated in 2009, there is a photo of a group of sculptures that stands by the footbridge. In this area there were quite a few different varieties, including the Buddha already show above, and this one below.
Additionally there was a statue of Guan Yu.
Guan Yu (Wade-Giles: Kuan Yu) (died 219) was a general serving under the warlord Liu Bei during the late Eastern Han Dynasty of China. He played a significant role in the civil war that led to the collapse of the Han Dynasty and the establishment of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period, of which Liu Bei was the first emperor. (Wikipedia)
This may not have significance for you but I used to live in Hong Hu in Hubei, over the river from Chibi about which I have written a few articles, and the history of Chibi is tied up with that of Guan Yu.
Guan Yu on the right - and a Nepalese market on the left. The Nepalese market in a little laneway off the street we were travelling in, is full of antique jewelry.
We had only gone to Hangzhou to see West Lake, so the location of our hotel on the Royal Road came as a surprise and it gave our trip that little 'extra' oomph! This area is really worth seeing, especially at night. And if you are in the mood for cheap trinkets or expensive clothes and jewelry, then you won't be disappointed. It really is a marvelous place.
The Road is quite long and intersected by other roads so there are lots of these gateways
As already stated, we stayed in this area Sunday and Monday nights and on Tuesday departed for different destinations. Mingxing attended his conference in Shanghai on Wednesday and Thursday and then Friday Morning I met up with him again at the hotel booked for him by his company. After checking out we went into 'The People's Square' district of Shanghai and booked into the Starway Shangfu Hotel, just off Nanjing Road at 67 Guizhou Rd Huangpu District - Tel 86-21-63520808.
People's square is very easily accessed by the Metro line (once you are familiar with it) and of course East Nanjing Road takes you down to the bund. The Starway hotel is just a few meters off the Square and within the square on the opposite side of that intersection, there is a subway store. I was surprised at the quality and taste of those subways. (Often in China, what is sold as 'western' food has a decidedly 'Chinese flavor.')
We spent most of the time walking around the Bund area back streets with a friend of mine, although that friend and Mingxing went to visit Madame Tussard's Wax Museum somewhere or other in the local area. We stayed there from Lunchtime Friday to Check-out on Sunday, when Mingxing flew back to Chengdu and I flew to Australia.
Interesting little critters quite near the Ibis Hotel on the Southern Song Dynasty Royal Road in Hangzhou.
I hope you Enjoyed the photographs and commentary.
Below the Social Commentary links below are the links to other Photographic China Stories.
The kids used to turn up repeatedly throughout the day just to look at the foreigner, touch him, feel the hair on his (the monkey’s) arms and generally just gawk. China has changed a lot over the years but there have been times when a foreigner in a small town or village would attract huge crowds. Sometimes people would be known to suddenly come upon you, look up at your face and just plain scream! I’m not joking!
Many there are who delight in bringin shame to their country and heritage, and all in the name of some blessed cause or other, but when there be no difference at all between their words and behavior and those of our worst enemies, how be it that such folk can think of themselves as ‘decent, patriotic or right-minded’?
Unfortunately, the West does not know what every Muslim scholar knows; that the worst enemies of Islam are from within. The worst of these are the khawaarij who delude others by the deeply dyed religious exterior that they project. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said about them, “When you see them pray you will consider your own prayers insignificant. They recite the Quran but it does not exceed the limits of their throat.” In other words, they don’t understand the true meanings
Below is a one minute 43 second youtube video featuring Muslim Human Rights Activist Raheel Raza from the Clarion Project, in which she says of Donald Trump that though he is politically incorrect, he won the election ‘with a mandate among other things to call radical Islam what it is’ and she invites people to stop being politically correct and begin talking about radical Islam.
We spent quite a bit of time in Leifeng Pagoda before leaving to take a cab back to our hotel. On the way out we read all the signs about the Pagoda's history and the Story of Lady White Snake. We also stopped so that Mingxing could duck into a little temple beside the Pagoda. I took the opportunity to sit on a fence and have a cigarette. While doing so I notice 2 young couples at the entrance and one of the boys looked at me, smiled, said something to his girlfriend who then produced a camera and then made a beeline for me so he could have his photo taken with a 'real live foreigner.' We foreigners probably have our photos taken more often than movie stars.
Located at the south foot of Qixia Ridge, Yue Fei's Tomb (and Temple) is one of representative historic sites of Confucian culture in West Lake Cultural Landscape as well as the place for the famous national hero Yue Fei. As a model of Chinese cultural tradition of loyalty and filial piety known to every household, Yue Fei has been respected and cherished by people with their sacrifices for centuries in this sacred site.
One of the things you often see in China, is people washing their clothes in the nearest body of water, and living by a canal makes it just so easy to wash your clothes. Whilst the location sounds ideal, given the rather 'shaky looking' foundations to the local domiciles, I'm not sure if I would feel particularly safe. And given our western concern to control every possible negative possibility in life, I doubt that anyone with kids would be allowed to live in such a place.I would take this opportunity to point out that if I actually lived in such a place, I doubt that I would be as friendly a resident as were these locals. Can you imagine people day in and day out looking in your back door; watching you wash your clothes; and constantly taking photos of you and waving? I'm pretty sure I know what type of gesture I would be returning.
I can say that the new computer cost me half of what I had expected to pay, and the money saved will almost pay for a special trip I'm planning to the other side of the country in October. We had our conversation on a Tuesday at about 11.45am at the end of March, and two days later on the Thursday, I picked up my brand new computer already loaded with all my programs. It also came with a gift of some high definition movies (Mr. Kang is able to provide 1500 HD Movies on an external hard drive.) If you are coming to Suzhou and you really NEED to buy a new computer, go talk to him. Maybe you just need some repairs - he'll fix you up. Maybe you want some High Definition Movies - he's the one to talk to.
Yunyansi pagoda is called Tiger Hill pagoda by local people. It was began to built in 959 A.D. and was completed in Song Dynasy (961 A.D.) It is a brick pagoda with seven floors and eight sides. The height is 47.7 meters. It leans to the north to the east and has a lean of 3.59 degrees. It weighs about 6000 tons. This pagoda has become the Symbol of ancient SuZhou. It was put in the protection list of national important historical relics in 1961
I once had someone write me to say that there was no such thing as Murphy's Law but that my personal 'negativity,' my belief - if you will, was drawing all the negative energy of the universe into my life and thus I was creating all my own bad luck. Wow! Who knew I could have such power! - Two weeks later I decided to return to Jiaxing to take some photos. At the North Bus Station in Suzhou I bought my ticket and while waiting for the bus, noticed that my destination in Jiaxing was the 'Central' bus station. When I arrived, I was totally lost and had to call my friends and ask them how to get to their place.
The Hong Kong Hotel was located in a back street, about 10 minutes from the Bund. We spent two days in the area before taking the train to HangZhou, where we spent a couple of days exploring 'West Lake'; and visiting "Shaoxing" about which I have already written at Magic City. The photos contained in this file are nothing spectacular, but for those who have never been to Shanghai, or never been to China, they might offer some insights.
In this file I merely present photographs accompanied by a sign at Du Fu Thatched Cottage park, and a sample of Du Fu's poems. I hope you enjoy this presentation. At the end are some links to other articles and photographic files at Magic City and KingsCalendar. The Relic Exhibition Hall is the most important Part of Du Fu Thatched Cottage. It is located on the site of Du Fu's former Residence. In the late winter of 759, Du Fu went to Chengdu to avoid the disasters caused by An Lushan Shi Rebellion. In the next year, he built a thatched cottage on the bank of the beautiful Huanhua Brook, where he lived for four years and wrote more than 240 poems.
Really, we only went there to eat pizza at Carole's Restaurant, but noting a few changes in the area, decided to take a few new shots. From the vantage point on the upstairs balcony of the restaurant, I started off the process by taking photos of people in the street who kept pointing out the foreigner
(Note: Chiara Braccagni's articles are in both English and Italian)
Sabato mattina, dopo un cambio e quaranta minuti di metropolitana, ho raggiunto Haidian, quartiere alla periferia nord-ovest di Pechino, sorta di villaggio satellite. In mezzo al nulla, si erge la stazione della metro, un edificio quadrato che pare l'entrata di una bisca clandestina. Il parco era pieno di nonnini dediti alle attivitèpièsvariate, tra cui le acrobazie col diablo. Non so come, ma la versione cinese suona. A dire il vero, sembra uno sciame di mosconi impazziti. Uno dei nonnetti, poi, era un genio del diablo, faceva certe acrobazie da Cirque du Soleil.
From the airport one may take the fast train into Hong Kong, or as the Chinese say, 'You can just.......' The trouble with that is, unless you can read Chinese, or have someone with you to guide you, you can't just do anything. I found it very confusing and wasted a lot of time trying to find my way OUT of the airport and onto the train, but having finally accomplished that, when I arrived at the final destination, I had no idea where I was, or where to go, or who to speak to, for, although Hong Kong was under the control of the British for so long, no one seemed to be able to speak English
Now while the tour itself was interesting, the real experience commenced upon leaving the compound. One cannot imagine what it is like to be literally surrounded by hawkers, who will not take no for an answer. They jostle you, prod you, beg, and harass you. They know that if they keep it up you will buy something. Fortunately my meager knowledge of Chinese permitted me to tell them to 'rack off'; that I wasn't interested, and that they charge too much. Not even the Chinese contingent escaped with all their finances intact, for like the westerners, they simply gave in and bought unwanted items.
I decided to climb the brick wall beside my house to see were the sewage went. Yes! I know! Why would someone want to check out something like that? But you know, sometimes in China you just have to find your amusements where you can. You see as I may or may not have already mentioned, one needs to frequently flush the toilet with detergent, hot water and bleach, if one does not wish to be knocked over by the smell when returning home on a hot day. But in doing this very thing I had been concerned 'for the environment,' for, to the best of my knowledge, the run off went directly into the rice paddy next door. But I am digressing!
Being an organisation relying of public support, you can well imagine their financial difficulties, but as they point out, "Surgical costs in China are so much lower than in other parts of the world," that "no gift is too small when it involves the health of a child." They are currently attempting to raise funds to build an extension to the 'Hope Foster Home' in Beijing, in order to care for critically ill and disabled children - you know! - the ones that absolutely nobody wants
Hong Hu is about 3 hours (165 Kms) South of Wuhan, (the Capital of Hubei), and is located on the Chang Jiang (Yangtsze) River. Did you expect some wonderful description to follow? Apart from, 'It is in the middle of nowhere, and is an old and dirty town (their words) although fast transforming into a modern city' there is really not much to say. It does have Lotus park and a lake which are very famous (in Hong Hu) but then again so am I. Have you ever heard of me? There you go then! (Actually the Lake is famous for a battle during the Liberation War - Communist vs. Guomingdang - KMT)
Feng Qiao Road runs behind my school. Eventually it becomes Xi Zhong Shi Road (West-Middle Road) which turns into Dong (East) Zhong Shi Road. This then becomes West and East Bai Ta Road, which eventually curves around a park and canal to intersect at Dong Bei Street. A right turn at Dong Bei Street runs takes you to the City Gateway and on the otherside it is called Lou Men road. I followed Lou Men road a fair distance until I ended up in a little village, at which point I turned around and headed home
I am currently learning quite a lot of Chinese bad language of late. You see, whereas for the past 18 months I have lived without neighbours on this floor of my building, this semester brought with it so very many boys to this university, that the administration decided to fill the 3 rooms on either side of mine, with a total of thirty-six 2nd year male students, and my home has turned into a virtual drop-in center. My students have the freedom in my class to speak honestly. I tell them that I prefer the truth to politness. I tell all classes, that it is not my job to be their friend, and their purpose in class is neither to be friendly or unfriendly. I'm not there for friendship.
The Jinibara people are from the D'Aguilar Range and surrounding areas. The word 'Jini' means 'place of lawyer cane.' Aboriginal people used the stem of lawyer cane as a handle for knives and axes. The stem of the vine was split into two and folded over the sharpened axe head. Grasstree resin and kangaroo tail sinew were used to bind the handle and axe head. I took a lot of photos of this place years ago, but it was a long time before I noticed that some of the carvings are quite obscene. This area on the south side of the Brisbane River holds a public beach, the Entertainment Center, the State Library, and weekend Markets
What a shocker to discover that at Sydney I had to collect my luggage, exit the airport and travel to the domestic airport and check back in again. They decided to break the rules and send us prior to our luggage, and in my case, that meant waiting at Brisbane airport for 2 hours post-arrival just to retrieve my luggage. My time in Brisbane was mainly spent staying with relatives and living a mundane existence. Although my daughter apologized for not providing me with more entertainment that having a baby throw up all over me; that type of 'daily life' was in fact quite novel for me, being as it is, something other than what I experience in China
After a life on the buses, and after many years as a union representative causing havoc with each new administration (and sometimes the union itself), he retired. Last year, he was diagnosed with 'altzheimers disease.' We left Brisbane on Air New Zealand flight NZ 316 bound for Auckland, and from there continued on flight NZ6 to Los Angeles. In Los Angeles we transferred to Air Canada flight AC555 to Vancouver. Having left Brisbane on March 29th at 11:15 am Eastern Standard time, it was interesting to discover that 36 hours later, we had arrived in Vancouver at 7:15pm on the same day we left - March 29th.
Queensland, the Sunshine State of Australia, Home of the Banana Benders, the Kingaroy Peanut (Sir Joh Bjelke-Peterson) and many many famous people including Sean Connery's former wife Dianne Cilento. Brisbane City Hall faces King George Square, and on the other side of the road is the Wesley Methodist church, and behind that a tall building that 30 years ago was the State Government Insurance Office (where I once worked). These two shots are significant, because in one of the Mission Impossible Movies, you see this church in the background of one scene, minus the tall building. Really scary scene. I thought the building must have been demolished. Nope! Still there!
On the Matilda Trail by Captain Sandy Stewart. Today we are going to head north to Mt Isa, but before we go we have a few things to do. First of all we have to go to the FLYING DOCTOR HQ and thank them for the tip of when the plane was coming in. On our way back to town we went past the Vortex guns built by Steiger Vortex as a rain making exercise in 1902, it failed. We are now crossing over Lagoon Creek heading for Longreach. Cruising west 80 kms to Ilfracombe we stop to have a beer at the Wellshot Hotel and guess what! THE PUB'S GOT NO BEER.
Spanish Lighthouse at Corregidor Island had a signpost letting us know how far from home we were - The Centerpiece at the War Memorial for American Soldiers in Manilla - Corregidor Island Battery looking toward Batan - Military tanks at the Philippine Military Academy
The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is a baleen whale and is the fifth largest of the great whales. They reach an average size of 15 metres and can weigh up to 48 tonnes. Humpback whales can be found in all oceans of the world. They are highly migratory and tend to move in small groups of three to four animals. Since many of the Magic City Morning Star readers are Canadians, and I needed an excuse to show you this one good photo of the whale under the boat, I thought I would just bring Dr. Deecke to your attention. His work is quite interesting
Since 2004 he has been writing academic articles, social commentaries and photographic 'Stories from China' both here at KingsCalendar, and formerly as a contributing columnist at Magic City Morning Star News (Maine USA) where from 2009 to 2015 he was Stand-in Editor. He currently has a column at iPatriot.com and teaches English to Business English and Flight Attendant College Students in Suzhou City Jiangsu Province People's Republic of China.)
BenDedek originally created the site to publicize his research results into the Chronology of Ancient Israel. Those results were published under the title: 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran.' Whilst there have been many attempts to solve the chronological riddle of the Bible's synchronisms of reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah and their synchronism with other Ancient Near Eastern Nations, no other research is based on a simple mathematical formula which could, if it is incorrect, be disproved easily. To date, no one has been able to dismiss the mathematical results of this research.
Free to air Academic articles set forth Apologetics for and results of his discovery of an "artificial chronological scheme" running through the Bible, Josephus, the Damascus Documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Seder Olam Rabbah. Check the Chapter Precis Page to see details of each chapter and to gain access to the Four Free to Air Chapters
(The Download book does not contain a section on Seder Olam)
Definition: King's Calendar Chronological Research
The Premise: Between the 5th and 3rd centuries BCE (but continuing down to at least 104 BCE), Sectarian redactors transcribed the legitimate 'solar year' chronological records of Israel and Judah, into an artificial form, with listed years as each comprised of 12 months of 4 weeks of 7 days, or 336 days per year, thus creating a 13th artificial year where 12 solar years existed.
When the Synchronous Chronological Data provided in the Books of Kings and Chronicles for the Divided Kingdom Period are measured in years of 336 days, the synchronisms actually align. [Refer to Appendix 5. to see how it synchronises the Divided Kingdom Period]