Monochrome Macau

Here’s a selection of photos from Macau which, I thought, looked better in monochrome.  The better to show off the smog in the first two photos.

 

In the waters around Macau

In the waters around Macau

Another view from Mont Forte

Another view from Monte Fort

On Fort Monte with a view of Grand Lisboa Casino and Hotel in the northern half of Macau,

On Monte Fort with a view of the Grand Lisboa Casino and Hotel in the northern half of Macau.

 

The facade of St. Paul's with those lovely striped stairs resulting from the Black and White conversion.

The facade of St. Paul’s with those lovely striped stairs resulting from the Black and White conversion.

Senado square.

Senado square.

My partner and I decided to forego the temptation of the casinos in Taipa, and the swimming pool at the hotel, and walk into the commercial centre of Taipa. At the pharmacy below we finally found aspirin, which we had been unable to figure out how to buy since Shanghai! It wasn’t quite dark, but it was smoggy and the buildings were tall so the lights are already on. The boys??? Well, make up your own mind.

In the 'city' of Taipa in the northern half of the island which makes up the bottom half of Macau.

In the ‘city’ of Taipa in the northern half of the island which makes up the bottom half of Macau.

Buddhist Macau

Macau 2013

Not far from the Christian centre of Macau was this charming neighbourhood Buddhist temple.

You could buy incense to burn ranging from tiny sparkler-sized to huge cones.

Macau 2013

Macau 2013

Macau 2013

The star attraction however was a special bowl. If you rubbed your hands firmly on the handles the water in the bowl would seem to boil. These two photos feature some of my traveling companions and one very amazed other lady.

Macau 2013

Macau 2013

I rather preferred the little shrine between the sidewalk and the busy road which I hadn’t noticed when we arrived.

Macau 2013

Next Chinese post: Las Vegas of the Orient

Yangshuo Market

Walking to lunch. Hot and hungry.

Walking to lunch in Yangshuo. Hot and hungry.

 

After our Li River cruise, Li villages tour and lunch, we were taken to Yangshuo’s street market. It was mid-day and very hot. A number of people – the smart people – found somewhere cool to sit and drink beer or coffee or something cool. I took photos.

A very busy street. It was along here that some of our number were taken to a shop featuring brand name knock offs.

A very busy street. It was along here that some of our number were taken to a shop featuring brand name knock offs.

Yangshuo style.

Yangshuo style.

These are two of my favourite street photos from the entire trip.

Up an alley full of hostels.

Up an alley full of hostels.

An alley of hostels and bars.

An alley of hostels and bars.

Next China post: more Yangshuo street photography.

Yangshuo Street Photography

This woman was so tired and couldn't keep her eyes open, yet she had to look after the baby. I felt sorry for her, but wasn't in the market for knives!

This woman was so tired and couldn’t keep her eyes open, yet she had to look after the baby. I felt sorry for her, but wasn’t in the market for knives!

The same photo in Black and White, which I prefer.

Guilin

Another sleepy vendor.

Another sleepy vendor.

They say that street photography gets easier over time. Not wanting to be too obvious about shooting people, I tried a few from the hip. This one is the only one I liked.

Shot from the hip.

Shot from the hip.

At last, we headed out of the heat and back to our hotel for Chinese massages before the evening light show. No photos of the massages!

Leaving the market, anxious to get out of the heat.

Leaving the market, anxious to get out of the heat.

Just outside the market, mid afternoon, so no food customers.

Just outside the market, mid afternoon, so no customers.

Li River Village #2

Noodles.

Noodles!

Another rack of noodles.

Another rack of noodles.

A couple of houses in the second village were being worked upon. One of our number went a little closer to see what they were doing. I hope no one dropped bricks on the kids playing below the workers. In our country we take so many safety precautions, some of them perhaps a bit too careful, but then we don’t hear the death statistics from construction sites in China….

This is how they build houses near Yangshuo.

This is how they build houses near Yangshuo.

House props with shoes drying.

House props with shoes drying.

It was only five days after the celebration of the founding of the PRC on October 1….

Remains of a firecracker celebration. Reminded me of the Canadian flag.

Remains of a firecracker celebration. Reminded me of the Canadian flag.

Final of Fengdu, China

While looking for background for some later posts, I found this web page on Fengdu which I think is a better reference than in an earlier post.

 

In an earlier post I commented on the neat flower displays that didn’t seem to get vandalized. However, Fengdu was generally dirty and scruffy. The incense container being used as an ashtray (below) is in contrast to those I saw in other sacred sites. And Chinese people smoke a lot.

In keeping with the run down theme.

In keeping with the run-down theme.

Some parts of the Ghost City were rather run down. But the blue was eye-catching.

Some parts of the Ghost City were rather decrepit.
But the blue was eye-catching.

A colourful corner.

A colourful corner.

Fellow tourists on Sinorama Bus 2 may find themselves in this picture:

To the right of this line of people was the diorama about souls in hell.

To the right of this line of people was the diorama about souls in hell.

Once we left the main site, we walked through vendors, and I was taken by this family preparing fruit, especially the smile on the boy’s face.

One member of this family has had enough for one day!

One member of this family has had enough for one day!

I thought these were rather cute and considered buying one for my 5 year old granddaughter, but didn't think they would make it home undamaged.

I thought these were rather cute and considered buying one for my 5 year old granddaughter, but didn’t think they would make it home undamaged.

The English in this one is right, for a change!

The English in this one is right, for a change!

Next posts: Toronto, Canada

Shaolin Temple: Kung Fu’s home

Happy Buddha.

Happy Buddha.

Shaolin Monastery or Shaolin Temple is a Buddhist temple on Mount Song, near Zhengzhou, Henan province. Founded in the fifth century, the monastery is long famous for its association with Chinese martial arts and particularly with Shaolin Kung Fu and it is the best known Mahayana Buddhist monastery to the Western world. The shào refers to Shaoshi Mountain on which the Temple is situated. The word lín means “forest”.

The monastery has been destroyed and rebuilt many times.

A dull smoggy day.

A dull smoggy day.

The roof.

The roof.

Roof detail on a secondary building, with weeds.

Roof (with weeds) detail on a secondary building.

The Cultural Revolution, launched in 1966, targeted religious orders including the monastery. The government purged Buddhist materials from within the monastery walls, leaving it barren for years.

These statues were very intimidating; but I do not know who they are.

These statues were very intimidating; but I do not know who they are.

Incense was offered.

Incense was offered.

I believe this vessel would have contained oil, not incense burners. As you can see, I had wandered away to take pictures (naughty me) so I didn't hear what the guide was telling people about the pot.

I believe this vessel would have contained oil, not incense burners. As you can see, I had wandered away to take pictures (naughty me) so I didn’t hear what the guide was telling people about the pot.

The long view (after a very long day.)

The long view (after a very long day.)

Up until the last post, Kung Fu Kids,  I had been posting in quite strict chronological order from the tour I took in September/October 2013.  So, in case anyone is paying attention, I missed a post on the Longmen Caves.  I’ll post that after the third set of pictures I took at Shaolin – of the Pagoda Forest.  (And to be truthful, we visited the forest before the temple.) Shaolin Monastery and its famed Pagoda Forest (next post) were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010.